deal for entertainment and adventure, the
department of San Martin is one of the best places in Peru for both natural and archeological tourist attractions.
With the city of Tarapoto
as your "operating center", you will be able to visit Moyobamba, Rioja, Lamas and even the pre-Inca citadel of Kuelap in the neighboring department of Amazonas.
night life will satisfy everyone, as you will have an enjoyable time in the discos and pubs to the rhythm of rock, salsa, Colombian "vallenatos" and Brazilian "sambas".
Visiting the following places is a must!
(Blue Lac goon), also known
as Lago de Sauce (Sauce Lake), is located in the district of El Sauce, 16 kilometers inland from the right margin of the Huallaga River.
Apart from being one of most beautiful places in the area; Laguna Azul is also ideal for water sports. Canoes, windsurfs, waterbikes, water skies and also the necessary equipment for angling, are all available at the lake.
Balneario de Cumbaza
(Cumbaza River Resort), on the shores of the Cumbaza river, 5 kilometers from Tarapoto, has crystal-clear waters and an excellent climate. Well-known tourist centers are found in the area.
Petroglifos de Polish
(The Petroglyphs of Polish) are extraordinary archeological remains, just 8.5 kilometers from Tarapoto. The site covers an area of one hectare, and has ancient animal and plant figures engraved in blocks of stone.
Catarata de Ahuashiyacu
This is a fascinating waterfall plunging 35 meters down. This cataract, the more famous and accessible in the region, is 14 kms. from Tarapoto. There is a pathway with carved stone steps and log bridges that allows access to the bottom of the falls for bathing in the small lake.
The waterfall serves as refuge for the "gallito de las rocas" ("rock hen"), a bird with red plumage and a flamboyant black crest, considered by many as the national bird of Peru.
(Venecia Lagoon): This is a small lagoon surrounded by "aguajales", a plant native to the jungle, only 4 kms. from Tarapoto.
NEIGHBORING CITIES AND TOWNS
Capital of the department of San Martin; and three hours from Tarapoto, Mayobamba was founded in 1542, and is the oldest city in the jungle. Its famous for its multi-colored orchid nurseries; the waterfalls of Gera with a 60 mt. drop, one of the highest in Peru; the hot springs of San Mateo; the sulfurous hot springs of Ormina; the Calzada cliff, ideal for hang-gliding; and the river Mayo rapids where river-running is practiced.
25 kilometers from Tarapoto;
this ancient town is famous for its people who still maintain their ancestral traditions and customs. The people of Lamas ("Lamistas") are descendants of the Chancas who, defeated by the Incas when trying to invade Cusco, fled to the jungle for shelter. The Lamista's population were finally defeated about 100 years after the Spanish conquest. Today, they maintain their traditions, customs, language (Quechua) and the pureness of their race.
Known as the "Ciudad de los Sombreros" ("The City of Hats"), Rioja has amongst its attractions the "Cueva de los Huácaros" (Cave of the Huácaros), with its 8-meter wide entrance; and the "Santuario de las Amazonas" (Sanctuary of the Amazons), which, with its plentiful stalactites and stalagmites, is of interest to those keen on speleology.
This spectacular fortified city, built by the Sachapuyos (Chachapoyas) can be reached from Tarapoto
by land, via Moyobamba, Rioja, Nueva Cajamarca, Laguna Pomacocha - a beautiful navigable lake three kilometers in diameter - and Tingo. From Tingo, in the province of Luya, Amazonas, a two-hour trek takes you to the fortified citadel crowning the summit of a mountain at 3,000 m.a.s.l. Kuelap covers an area 584 meters long by approximately 110
meters wide, and was constructed with limestone blocks.