Welcome to Tarapoto!
In eastern Peru, at the base of the Andean foothills, is Tarapoto. Still well above sea level, the metropolis calls the high jungle plateau home, and its misty cloud forest is notorious for keeping the surrounding regions lush, green, and thriving. Guests meander around the city exploring the Plaza de Armas and relaxing at local cafes, but the magic and tranquility of Tarapoto extends even beyond the city. Known as “The City of Palms,” Tarapoto tempts visitors with its proximity to something truly spectacular—the tantalizing Peruvian rainforest. Nestled in the Amazon Basin, Tarapoto’s jungles enchant visitors with musical waterfalls, rushing rivers, and exotic wildlife.
Travel off the beaten path, through the Lupuna trees, orchids, and cat’s claw to Catarata de Pucayaquillo — Pucayaquillo Waterfall. Unknown to many, the waterfall is quiet and serene, often lending its visitors a private escape from the hustle and bustle of Tarapoto. Surrounded by palms, vines, and every shade of green, the fall’s clear waters spray down mossy, bronzed rocks and slip into the refreshing pool at the base. Those willing to take the plunge can jump in and enjoy the water—a rewarding breath in the middle of the Amazon — and some adventurers can even be found rappelling down the waterfall, experiencing the beauty of the clearing along with an adrenaline rush.
In the waterfall’s dense forest, foliage homes an abundance of wildlife, and, along the hardly-travelled trail from Tarapoto to Pucayaquillo Waterfall, visitors might accidentally stumble upon the amazing creatures that call the jungle home like the unique tapir or one of the many vibrantly feathered birds singing in the canopy. Even farther into the exotic beauty of the Amazon and across the Huallaga River lies Laguna Azul. The blue “laguna” is actually a lake pooling in the basin of the Andes foothills, and from its shores visitors witness some of the most spectacular sunsets known to the region. Rich hues of burnt orange and magenta streak across the sky as a cool night’s breeze rolls in and darkness settles in the forest. Far from the glare of large cities, the stars on clear nights dazzle gazers, as the soft glow of the lodges around the lake flicker and reflect on the water. Home to eco lodges and quaint resorts, many guests choose to enjoy a day boating on the water or lounging on shore and soaking in the paradise around them.
Even farther down the winding Huallaga River lies Chazuta, a must-stop village on Peru’s famous cacao route. Dedicated to the tradition of the art of making chocolate, the farmers in this region produce some of the best cacao in Peru. Planted and tended with the maximum attention and care, the cacao is hand-picked and then crafted into delicious treats of all kinds. Mishky Cacao, a traditional, gourmet, bean-to-bar chocolate factory has even garnered world recognition in a Parisian competition for the best handmade chocolates. Not only is the region famous for its chocolates, Chazuta is also renown for its pottery. Beautifully crafted pieces can be found and some artisans even offer workshops. Guests perusing the village may even find some pottery urns that date before the Inca Empire. A region steeped in traditional Amazonian culture, Chazuta is the perfect place to explore tradition and learn about the indigenous groups that call the Peruvian Amazon home. Discover one of the world’s most important gems. Amazonian Peru awaits.