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How to get to Kuelap

Written by:
Claire Dean

Published: 05-02-2023


The Citadel of Kuelap is becoming a dream destination, characterized by its impressive enclosures and buildings that are witnesses of a pre-Inca culture little known worldwide. Kuelap is an important pre-Inca archaeological site located on the outskirts of Chachapoyas, characterized by green mountains of the high jungle of Peru. The monumental complex of Kelap has an area of 582 meters long, and its tallest wall reaches 20 meters. This impressive citadel is composed of about 420 circular, 4 rectangular, and occasional, square constructions. At the time it could have about 3,000 inhabitants.


Kuelap Building

Just a few years ago it was a little difficult to reach Kuelap, but slowly, this archaeological site has been gaining ground and is currently a destination requested by many Peruvians, and foreigners when traveling to Peru.


Kuelap Valley


The only airline that has direct flights from Lima to Chachapoyas is the ATSA company. The flight according to the web has a duration of 1 hour and 45 minutes.

Latam flies in an hour and 30 minutes from Lima to Jaén, a nearby city located in Cajamarca. The journey from Jaén to Chachapoyas takes about 4 hours by car or car.

Fly to Chiclayo with the airlines Latam and LC Peru. From the capital of Lambayeque it is about 8 hours by road.

A flight to Piura with Latam, Peruvian, or Viva Air Peru, from there it's about 9 hours by road.

Flying to Trujillo with Latam, Avianca, or LC Peru, from the capital of La Libertad takes about 14 hours by road.

A unique alternative is to fly to Tarapoto with Latam, Viva Air Peru, Peruvian, or Star Peru, and then about 7 hours by car. 


Exploring Kuelap 

There are several ways to get to Kuelap, but first, you have to travel to the city of Chachapoyas. The nearest major town to Kuelap is Chachapoyas where most people stay and base themselves when they are visiting the area.



You can either get the bus from Chachapoyas to the Kuelap cable car (Teleferico Kuelap) or arrange to do a tour to Kuelap with a guide from Chacapoyas Peru.  A tour is a great idea as this way you can actually find out the history of the site while you are walking around.  Kuelap tours are available in both English and Spanish.


Cable Car


The cable car at Kuelap was actually the first to be built in Peru and was finished in 2017 giving easy access to the site. It now only takes 20 mins by cable car, whereas before it was 2 hours by car or over 4 hours hiking.   The number of visitors doubled in the first year of the cable car being opened and more are expected each year.


Kuelap Cable Car


If you want to hike to Kuelap, from Tingo Viejo, embark on a 9km (5.6miles) hike through the cloud forest along the Camino Herradura. It takes about 3-4 hours to ascend the craggy mountainside and, though trails are well-marked, local guides can be hired in Chachapoyas city.



Valencia Travel offers the  Discover Chachapoyas Tour for those who want the stress taken out of organizing a tour to the incredible Kuelap Find out more here.




General Information about Kuelap


Opening hours: It is open every day from 8 am to 5 pm

Entrance Fee: s/. 12 soles for adults

Cable Car Fee: s/. 20 Soles return trip