Wednesday, 31 May 2017

PERU: Kuelap Cable Cars

Have you been to Kuelap, the fortified citadel in northern Peru?

Despite being one of the largest ancient monuments in the Americas, Kuelap has yet to receive the same amount of attention from tourists as Peru’s famed citadel, Machu Picchu.

Although Kuelap, noted for its exquisitely built round houses, sits at about half the altitude of Machu Picchu (3,000 m.a.s.l., as compared to 7,000-plus m.a.s.l. of the Incan fortress), the ease of getting to the Kuelap site has always been an issue.

In the next few weeks however, we can expect that to change. According to Eduardo Ferrereyos, Peru’s Minister of Foreign Trade and Tourism, a cable car service stretching 4 km should be completed by the end of January or early February..

The service aims to increase tourism to the Amazonas region gem, by cutting the travel time (typically done by car) from 1 hour 30 minutes to as quick as 20 minutes.

As reported by Andina, there will 26 cabins with the capacity to hold 8 passengers each. Round-trip tickets will run S/ 20.

Back in December 2016, the minister noted locals would be able to ride for free during an initial 10-day trial period.

“We are working in different ways to boost private investments, so the area has all services to cater for tourists, such as hotels,” Ferreyros told local station TV Peru.

In October 2016, LATAM began offering direct flights from Lima to Jaen, a significant boost for tourism in Chachapoyas, a town in northern Peru just hours from Jaen. From here, travelers can take a 2 hour 30 minute drive to Kuelap.

Built between 500 and 800 AC by the Chachapoya civilization, the well-preserved remnants of Kuelap have led archaeologists to label it a fortress as well as a religious or administrative center.

Tourists flock to Arequipa for its beautiful scenery and trails, even more so in recent years. In fact, this month, approximately “120,000 tourists” are expected to visit Arequipa, estimated Arequipa’s Hotels, Restaurants and related Establishments Association (AHORA-Arequipa) Chairman Rafael Cornejo.

Now, a new tourist route arises: Pinchollo geysers, located in Arequipa´s Colca Valley. This unique natural attraction may increase tourism even more. State-run Colca Valley Autonomous Authority (Autocola) is promoting the Pinchollo hot springs, acccording to Andina News.

Andina News also reported that Caylloma Province Mayor Romulo Tinta claimed the Pinchollo springs are in the process of being improved for both domestic and foreign tourists.

One feature of the hot springs which people may be interested in is the constant steam rising, indicating volcanic activity. Water rises simultaneously with eruptions of the Sabancayay volcano, located 100 km northwest of Arequipa.

Additionally, Hualca Hualca peak is visible in the distance at the Pincholla geysers. Colca Valley also maintains its culture, which consists of towns dating back to pre-Incan times.

There is a lot to see and appreciate at Arequipa´s Colca Valley. Currently, the area receives few visitors, but that could change soon.

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