Portrait of the Gran Vilaya Trek

Gran Vilaya Trek 4 days

   Chachapoyas, Peru
   Moderate difficulty
   2300 to 3500 meters

About the Journey:

Chachapoyas is the capital of Amazonas department, located in northern Peru. Its name derives from the archaeological culture of ancient Peru by the same name, also known as “Land of Cloud People” that left a number of large stone monuments, such as Kuelap, funerary buildings, sarcophagi and mausoleums that are found in the Laguna de los Cóndores and other treks. They were conquered by the Inca Empire in the time of ruler Tupac Inca Yupanqui in the 15th century, and then faced a great reduction with the arrival of the Spanish Empire. The Great Vilaya is composed of diverse archaeological sectors in the middle of the cloud forest, in the valley of Utcubamba river. There are no in-depth studies of the Chachapoyan culture, so most of the area remains a mystery. It has been declared Cultural Patrimony of Peru. It is estimated that there are approximately 5,000 buildings, built with geometric shapes on the walls that often represent humans and animals as the condor, snake and puma. Our trek will end at Kuelap, a mountaintop fortress, also known as the Machu Picchu of the North - except it’s older and less visited. Considered to be the largest stone ruin site in the New World, it is also one of the most impressive architectural structures in the world. It is surrounded by a perimeter wall that varies between 10 and 20 metres high. The most common theory claims that it was a sanctuary in which resided a powerful aristocracy whose primary mission was to administer the production of food while having the collaboration of supernatural powers that governed the atmospheric phenomena.


Day 1: Chachapoyas - Karajia - Huaylla Belen   +

We will depart from Chachapoyas early morning (around 5 am) and drive to Luya district. From there, we will do a 30 minute walk to the Karajia Sarcophagi. These prehistoric tombs are embedded in a cliff and are unique in their design (Tip: Bring binoculars so you can see the site in details). At the end of the visit we will go for lunch before starting a four hour hike through (around 12 km) the inca trail of Capac Ñan towards the valley of Huaylla Belén. Here we will spend the night on a home village, with the beautiful view of the Huaylla River.
Day 2: Huaylla Belen - Congon   +

Today we start walking down to the Huaylla River. We are going to cross the river so you will have to take your shoes off. Then, we will enter the forest and you will be able to see several ruins from the Chachapoyan culture throughout the trail. We will continue to the village of Congon where we will spend the night.
Day 3: Congon - Pirquilla - Choctamal   +

There will be a challenging 3 hour climb in the morning so we will provide a horse. You can opt to do it without a horse but you must be in great physical conditions. The climb consists of a beautiful pre-inca trail covered by vegetation. At the end of the climb, we will go to Pirquilla, an impressive and hidden archeological site which is maintained by local people such as your guide. We will then continue a small walk uphill where we will have lunch on a remote home with a spectacular view above the clouds. Afterwards, we will take the path down to Choctamal, where we will stay at a hotel.
Day 4: Choctamal - Kuelap - Chachapoyas   +

After a rich and nutritious local breakfast, we will head towards Kuelap (an 8 km hike). Our guide will give us a full tour throughout the ruins and you will then have some time to relax and experience its mysticism. Finally, we will head back to Chachapoyas.

What's included:   +

  • English speaking professional guide with many years guiding in the Chachapoyas region; first-aid certified
  • Brief session before the trek
  • Private transportation to the start of the trek and back to Chachapoyas
  • Entrance to Kuelap
  • First-aid kit
  • All acommodations during the trek
  • All meals during the trek

What's not included:   +

  • Breakfast on the first morning
  • Dinner on the last day
  • Trekking poles
  • Travel insurance
  • Tips (highly appreciated)

Reservations:   +

Once your payment is done, you spot will be automatically reserved. However, please keep in mind that we require at least three people for any departures to be confirmed. For more information please visit our Cancellation Policy

Open Departures