Rainbow Tours has launched a new itinerary in Northern Peru following the opening this month of the cable car to the Kuelap fortress in the Chachapoyas region.

The cable car, Peru’s first, cuts the access time for visitors to Kuelap to just 20 minutes, compared to a previous journey time of 90 minutes each way by road. T

he Kuelap fortress was established in the 6th century, pre-dating Peru’s most famous archaeological site Machu Picchu by around 900 years. Situated 3,000m above sea level, it consists of more than 400 circular dwellings, topped with thatched roofs and decorated with zig-zag and rhomboid friezes. Kuelap was occupied for around 1,000 years by the Chachapoyas culture and was rediscovered in 1843.

Kuelap is one of several pre-Incan cultures explored on the operator's new Northern Routes of Peru and Beach Holiday and the route also takes in the vast adobe city of Chan Chan – the largest pre-Columbian era city in South America, built during the Chimu period which rose to prominence in the 11th century before succumbing to the Incas in the late 15th century.

As well as exploring some of Peru’s lesser-known historical sites, visitors will enjoy the varied landscapes of the country’s north, travelling through cloud forest, steep mountain ravines and fertile agricultural areas. A full day is available to hike to Gocta Falls where Peru’s national bird, the Cock-of-the-Rock, might be seen, and the final three nights are spent in the beach town of Mancora, close to the border with Ecuador, which offers white sand beaches and a variety of watersports.

The 13-day Northern Routes of Peru and Beach Holiday costs from £3,495 per person including flights, transfers, 12 nights’ breakfast accommodation and entry to attractions as outlined in the itinerary.

To book or for more information call 020-7666 1266 or see rainbowtours.co.uk

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