Browsing: San Martin

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The Castillo de Lamas peeks out of Peru's jungle.
The Castillo de Lamas peeks out of Peru’s jungle. (All photos by Tony Dunnell)

By Tony Dunnell

Lamas, the folkloric capital in Peru’s jungle province of San Martin, sits up on a hill about 13 miles from Tarapoto. It’s an interesting town, divided into stepped levels that mirror the colonial impact of the Spanish Conquest. The top of the hill was claimed by the Conquistadors while the lower section, the Barrio Wayku, was reserved for the native inhabitants, the Pocras and the Hanan Chancas. Today, the Barrio Wayku is the beating heart of this officially declared Capital Folklórica de la Región.

The top of the hill has a new addition, one that seems to provoke a number of reactions upon first viewing. Children generally point and say “wow” before scampering off towards it. Adults, meanwhile, may well raise an eyebrow before approaching with some reservations. And there it is, a few blocks up from the Plaza de Armas, a towering medieval European castle, the Castillo de Lamas. It’s big, it’s tall, it’s… different.

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by Ben Jonjak –

Puerto Palmeras: The Resort of Choice in Tarapoto, PeruI felt like pampering myself a little bit, so I went out to Puerto Palmeras in Tarapoto. It was a good choice. I’ve been to the jungle several times, but most of the resorts you find in places like Iquitos, or Puerto Maldonado are a little too hard-core for actual relaxation. Generally you get to them by taking a boat down some forgotten tributary of the amazon and you spend your vacation huddling behind a mosquito net.

Puerto Palmeras is different. This isn’t jungle like you find in Iquitos (which is right at the headwaters of the Amazon. Tarapoto is back up in the mountains a little bit so you’ve got some solid land to walk around on (all the buildings aren’t constructed on stilts to account for the vast fluctuations in water level). Plus, the Mosquitos aren’t too bad (although there were some fairly annoying no-see-ems that bit me quite a bit…didn’t itch though)

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for map of the area - click here -Courtesy of

Text by Juan Puelles Urraca and Luis Vega Garrido
Photos by Juan Puelles Urraca, a mystery in the clouds
Kuelap, a mystery in the clouds
© LivinginPeru

(LIP-wb) — The colossal walls rise, imposing, defiant and superb. They seem to know that they are part of the great legacy of those mysterious lords of the clouds, those people who dominated the precipitous peaks of this mountainous region long ago.

We begin the ascent at eight o’ clock in the morning. Restless clouds try to hide the sun, but its warmth and brightness soon start to break through. After just fifteen minutes our breathing becomes labored and some of us begin to gasp for air. We are at three thousand meters above sea level.

The altitude takes its toll on us, but it is worth the effort. The brilliant light of the emerging sun bounces off the great wall, and we stand there for a long time, transfixed by the sight.

This is Kuélap, the marvelous legacy of the Chillao people, one of the many autonomous clans that rose to prominence in northern Peru and formed part of the Chachapoyan nation.