La Jalca Grande is the Folklore Capital of the Amazonas region. Established in 1532, this community has retained its historical charm and agricultural roots. Here you will find several traditional thatched roofs and adobe homes, a 500 year old stone church and bell tower, charming people and plenty of trekking opportunities off the beaten path. The cemetery and church in San Roque are also worth a visit. People have lived continuously in La Jalca for over 1,000 years. Evidence of the Chachapoyan culture can be found nearby at several different ruins. The most well known, Ollape, are about a 20 minute walk from the Plaza.

Activities

Spectacled Bear
Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Hiking

There are hundreds of paths to archaeological sites, colonial ruins, and tropical valleys. See ruins from the ancient and little-understood Chachapoya – the Warriors of the Clouds – and from the colonists who conquered the Incas (who had conquered the Chachapoya). Stay alert in the forest and you may see rare birds, or a Spectacled Bear – the only bear native to South America.

Spelunking

There are hundreds of unexplored caves around La Jalca. Traditionally, Chachapoyans buried their ancestors here so many of the caves have evidence of human remains, pottery and even cave drawings.

Tours to Laguna Mamacocha (Overnight trip),

Horseback riding

Camping

Museum

The Museo Jalca Grande is a small museum, offering a glimpse of ancient traditions and culture from the Amazonas region. It is located on the barrio de San Roque, in front of the cemetery. Call Fernando at 94-172-1676 or Messias at 95-865-5772 to arrange a visit.

Festivals

A variety of typical dances and festivals are held throughout the year. In June, the community celebrates the Festival Patronal de San Juan, commemorating the patron saint of San Juan. This festival culminates in the Dance of the Bear with traditional music, food and drink.

La Iglesia Señora de la Mercedes

Originally constructed in 1540, this was the first church built in the region. The Spanish used rocks from the houses and buildings of the local Chachapoya and Incas to build it and, despite a restoration in 1985, some of the original stones are still part of the building, as is the zigzag design used by the Chachapoya.

Artisan Goods

There are two Artisan groups in La Jalca and both offer a variety of products made from local sheep’s wool. Pachamaytuna and Puschucana both have locations near the plaza and anyone in the municipality should be able to direct you. Ponchos, shawls, sweaters, purses and other goods are just a few of the products made here. The Señoras use a method of traditional weaving unique to this region.

Lodging Options

Hotel Rumi Huasi
Jr. San Pedro #452

Rumi Huasi is 2 blocks from the plaza and offers simple (single), doble (double), or matrimonio (king) accommodations.  All the rooms are clean and comfortable but rustic. Prices begin at S/. 10.

To make reservations, call Señora Maria Jesus Culqui Velásquez: (941) 826-209.

Dining Options

There are several Señoras who will prepare food. Señora Wilma’s is in the NW corner of the plaza and she will prepare lunch and dinner for anyone with a little advance notice.

How to get There

From Chachapoyas- Bus leaves from paradero Coralon on Calle Ortiz Arrieta Monday-Friday at 4pm. Reserve a seat in advance. Cost: 10 Peruvian Soles each way. Contact: driver 965669205. Distance 2.5 hours.

Community Contacts

In La Jalca Grande:

Francisco Javier Huaman– RPM#0039565- Great knowledge of local guides to contact to organize tours, trekking, horses, etc.

 

In Chachapoyas:
Amazon Expedition (Turismo Sostenible)
Jr. Ayacucho 952 – Plaza de Armas
tours@amazonexpedition.com.pe
www.amazonexpedition.com.pe
(964) 002572
RPM: #964002572

Community Website

http://www.lajalca.com

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