Peru: Kuelap archaeological site reopens, admission free until year's end

Kuelap archaeological site. Photo: ANDINA/ Jack Ramon.

Kuelap archaeological site. Photo: ANDINA/ Jack Ramon.

15:08 | Chachapoyas (Amazonas region), Nov. 12.

The big day has come. The Monumental Archaeological Zone of Kuelap reopens today, thus helping promote the economic reactivation in Amazonas region, the Ministry of Culture reported on Thursday.

To the pleasant surprise of tourists planning to go to Amazonas and visit this impressive pre-Hispanic archaeological monument, admission to the site will be free until December 31 this year.

It must be pointed out that the Ministry of Culture has implemented the necessary biosecurity measures to access Kuelap, and visitors shall comply with them to avoid COVID-19 contagion.

Moreover, the capacity of visitors to the site has been reduced to 136 (per day) to control social distancing in the place.

According to the Ministry, 17 groups of eight or nine people will be allowed to enter in a staggered manner. Each group shall be accompanied by a tour guide and will be allowed into the facility every 20 minutes to avoid crowds.

The archaeological zone of Kuelap will be open from Tuesday to Sunday, from 8:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. 

Once inside, visitors will be directed to flow in one direction only so that they do not cross paths with others.

Furthermore, eight explanation boards —where visitors will be required to stop— have been placed along the route.

Visitors need to make a reservation by email ( or phone (939 392 347). Reservations are taken from Monday to Friday from 8:00 am. to 4:30 p.m.

About Kuelap

The discovery of Kuelap is credited to Crisostomo Nieto, a first instance judge in Chachapoyas, who came across the complex on January 31, 1843.

Nevertheless, it was Peruvian archaeologist and historian Federico Kauffmann, who conducted the most prolific studies on this colossal pre-Hispanic construction.

Impregnable construction 

It is situated at 3,000 m.a.s.l. at the summit of Barreta Hill, in the valley of Utcubamba River, a little more than 70 km southwest of Chachapoyas city. This strategic location made of Kuelap an almost impregnable place.

Built entirely of stone —between the 11th and 16th centuries A.D.— Kuelap Fortress constitutes the largest material legacy of the Chachapoyas civilization.

The site contains circular constructions. The structure extends almost 600 meters and is surrounded by a perimeter wall measuring up to 19 meters in height.

Kuelap has three entrance gates. At one of them, the path narrows to where only one person can pass through at a time, which facilitated the defense of the building and, with it, of its ancient inhabitants.


Published: 11/12/2020
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