~ Chachapoyas Peru ~
The Chachapoyas People excelled as an isolated agricultural society from 800 AD until their conquest by the Incas in the 1570's. The origin of the name Chachapoyas was possibly a variation of Sacha Poya, which means "Cloud People" in Quechua, the language of the Incas. In a possible effort to maximize the utilization of cultivatable lands, the Chachapoyas built their cities, monuments, and massive stone fortresses on the summits of mountains.
In concurance with the conquest of the Chachapoyas by the Incas, European diseases ravaged the native population. By the end of the 1500's the Chachapoyas Peoples were gone. Their lands, culture, cities, and fortresses once one of South America's most populative and progress civilizations, disappeared into the mountain mists. Only in the last 20 years has the grandeur of the Chachapoyas People begun to come to light with the archaeological excavation of Kuelap.
Kuelap, a mountaintop fortress city, rivals any ruins in the new world complete with living quarters for thousands of residents and a most impressive stone wall fortification reaching 60 feet high in circumference to the city. Surrounding Kuelap lies the mountainous and remote Vilaya Region.
Mountaintop Kuelap Fortress