The Green Andes Of Tarapoto


Located in the San Martin Department, Tarapoto has become one of the more appealing jungle destinations for travelers and tour operators. Its great location, geography, climate, and accessibility are only some of its allure.

Boasting amazing forests and natural wonders, as well as a city full of fun and festive initiatives, this lively place brings together people from all over the world.

Tarapoto is surrounded by three valleys, each of which has its own personality.

One takes us to Chazuta, the main ceramic-producing village in the San Martin region, as well as one of the best organic chocolate production sites. This lush valley runs along the Mayo and Huallaga Rivers.

(Photo: Pixnio)

The second valley is ample and full of light, with a landscape defined by crop fields and pastures. It takes us up the north Interoceanic Highway to the villages of Lamas and Moyobamba. Lamas was es­tablished years ago, during colonization, and is cu­rrently made up of various Quechua-speaking Ama­zonian communities who belong to the Lama group. These people live in adobe houses, and work with colorful clays. Meanwhile, Moyobamba is known for its excellent gardens, which exhibit a wide variety of plants collected from every corner of the forest – the stars of the collection being the incredible as­sortment of orchids.

(Photo: Wikimedia Commons)

The third valley is more hidden, as it is flanked by a magnificent and imposing mountain range called Es­calera, which houses a number of a gorgeous water­falls and a variety of diverse fauna. Many local tour agencies offer opportunities to explore this remarka­ble protected area.

(Photo: Wikimedia Commons)

The beautiful, fresh Cumbaza River flows down the valley, surrounded by boulders and sandy beaches. Within the valley lay three small villages, all named after saints: San Pedro, San An­tonia, and San Roque. Every Sunday, these villages converge and hold small, excellent food fairs.

The three valleys come together in Tarapoto, as do some of the most important highways in Northern Peru. One of these highways is the aforementioned Interoceanic, which goes from Paita – in Piura – to Yurimaguas, where the Paranapura River opens into the Huallaga River; from the Pacific coast, to the Amazon jungle. Another highway begins in Lima and leads through the Andes, past the central jungles of Tingo Maria and Jauja, arriving in Tarapoto.

Tarapoto is one of the most appealing cities in the coun­try, thanks to its location, accessibility, great weather, pristine nature, and friendly locals.

People come from all over the world to enjoy this incredible place and many now call it home. There are Italians who run restaurants and a cigar factory; French doctors who offer alternati­ve therapies using sacred plants; Spanish people who run lodges in the thick of the forest; people from Lima who liven up the city’s night life with their fun bars and music halls; Germans who run yoga centers; American retirees who have moved to the jungle to enjoy their freedom; Greek people who manage Buddhist centers; natives from 15 different ethnic groups.

Tarapoto is a unique cosmopolitan world within the amazing world that is the jungle.

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Credit: Ultimate Journeys



Diego Oliver is a Peruvian writer and author whose work can be found in the travel magazine Ultimate Journeys. He loves to focus on Peruvian culture both modern and classic, traveling the country, as well as social responsibility.