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Lost city of Kuelap at 10,000ft in Peru's remote Andes opened up to tourists by new cable car

Mirror logo Mirror 25-04-2017 Nigel Thompson
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Peru's remote 'second Machu Picchu’ - hidden 10,000ft up in the mists of the Andes - is now fully opened up to tourists.

The ancient Kuelap fortress – in the Amazonas region in the north of the country - was built and developed between the 6th and 16th centuries by the Chachapoyas culture and lies on a ridge overlooking the Utcubamba Valley.

Known as the Warriors of the Clouds, the Chachapoyas people created the largest stone structure in South America, which contains around 450 houses - topped with thatched roofs and decorated with zig-zag and rhomboid friezes - ringed by walls up to 60ft high and pre-dating Machu Picchu by some 800 years.

Kuelap was lost in the cloud forest for three centuries until it was rediscovered in 1843 - echoing the hit Charlie Hunnam - Robert Pattinson Amazon adventure movie The Lost City of Z - and then declared a cultural heritage site in 2003.

Credits: PA Photo/Studio Canal. © Provided by Trinity Mirror Plc Credits: PA Photo/Studio Canal.

A long-awaited $18million cable car up to the amazing fortress is now open, reducing the journey time for visitors heading from the nearest town, Nuevo Tingo, to just 20 minutes each way.

Previously it required a trip of 90 minutes each way by road or a sapping four hour, 5.5 mile uphill hike on rough tracks.

With 26 gondolas carrying up to eight passengers on a spectacular ride in the mountains, it it hoped it will at least double the number of tourists visiting the site annually, which is currently around 35,000.

The 2.5 mile long cable car, Peru’s first, was opened by the country’s president Pedro Pablo Kuczynski .

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The iconic 15th century Inca city of Machu Picchu, on an 8,000ft mountain in the south of Peru near Cusco, was named one of the New Seven Wonders Of The World in 2007 and attracts more than one million tourists a year.

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Latin America specialist Rainbow Tours ( ) has now launched a new 13-day Northern Routes of Peru and Beach Holiday, which takes in Kuelap, the Valle de Moche's Sun and Moon Temples, Chan Chana adobe city and the sandy shores at Mancora, the country's scenic coastal area.

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In pics: Intriguing lost cities around the world (Provided by Lonely Planet)

Prices start at £3,495 per person including international flights and transfers.

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