The Chachapoyas, warriors of the clouds, must have been courageous people. With their enormous fortifications and a wide road system, they were never completely subdued by the Inkas. When they finally rejoiced at the Inka's defeat by the Spaniards, they jumped out of the frying-pan into the fire: Under spanish rule only less than a tenth of them was still alive 200 years later.
The town Chachapoyas surrounded by cloud forest doesn't seem to be suited for paragliding at first sight. But one shouldn't be deceived. The large hill northeast of Chachapoyas at the road to Levanto, called Puma Urco, which is crowned by antennas, is a perfect flying spot. Up to its top at 3300 m it is closely overgrown by shrubs and trees, but there are small clearings in which the Campesinos cultivate their plants and pastures. You get there by bus in direction Levanto up to 2800 m, the rest by foot.
Launch at Puma Urco in a small clearing just below the summit
Flight through clouds and forest towards Chachapoyas. It is still early, 9 o'clock, but since it my first flight here, I did not wait for stronger thermals. The slight upwinds show already that splendid thermal flights should be possible as well. Completely without upwinds it would have been difficult to reach the stadion at a distance of 7 km.
Landing in the stadion of Chachapoyas
Hike Kuelap, Valle Belén