Known as the Palm Tree City, Tarapoto is a thriving commercial city in northern Peru, situated in the San Martín Province of the San Martín Region, located to the east in what is known as the selva baja. Although Moyobamba is the capital of the region, Tarapoto is its largest city, and is linked to the Upper Amazon and the historic city of Yurimaguas by now a maintained transandean road. The Tarapoto city was founded in 10 October 1656.
Tarapoto is often used by tourists and visitors as a «jumping off» point for excursions into the Amazon Rainforest. The main activities are tourism, commerce and agriculture.
TOURIST PLACES IN TARAPOTO
Waterfall of Ahuashiyacu
The Ahuashiyacu waterfall is the most famous and visited waterfall in the entire region of San Martín. Part of it is probably due to the fact that it is only 25 minutes away from the city, and getting there is quite easy. It is located in the mountainous system that surrounds Tarapoto, the mountain range staircase, and it is an area that, in reality, seems to be quite deep into the jungle. The natural reserve that shelters it has abundant specimens of Amazonian flora and has a road enabled for tourist transit. In fact, to get to the waterfall you only have to walk 15 minutes from the entrance.
In addition, the waterfall also has a small natural swimming pool and it is possible to bathe and even jump from an adjacent rock. Keep in mind that although Tarapoto enjoys a warm climate, the waterfall is at a higher altitude (465 m above sea level) and its waters run quite cold. It is best to go on a sunny day if you intend to bathe and spend the morning there. The place is a very accessible destination and is a perfect option to spend a pleasant morning with your family.
National Park «Rio Abiseo»
It is part of the National System of Protected Natural Areas for the State. Is a Natural areas of bigger importance of the Peru, to have mixed resources (natural and cultural).
In this park exist 8 areas of life that comprehend from the 350 until the 4349 m.s.n.m. The forests of fog that conform most of the Park contain the biggest diversity of plants after the tropical humid forests, their flora includes bromeliads, canes, orchids, mosses, ferns and plants characteristic of the high forest.
The Blue Lagoon is probably the most visited place in all of Tarapoto. It is a beautiful lagoon located in the town of Sauce 54 kilometers from the city. It is an ideal destination to spend the day with the family, sunbathe and bathe. Being next to an inactive volcano, its waters are kept at a temperature of about 20 degrees and are perfect for bathing and playing in the various recreations that are around its shore. In addition to lunch, you can do various activities such as canopy, kayak, jet ski and even take a horseback ride around the lagoon.
Next to the blue lagoon is also the famous pretty lake but you should keep in mind that it is not the same for if someone tries to sell you one thing for another. The beautiful lake is private property and you can only go to it if you stay at the hotel Puerto Palmeras, owner of the enclosure. It is also a very beautiful place but undoubtedly the main tourist attraction of the area is the blue lagoon. In fact, the people of Tarapoto usually say that if you have been in Tarapoto but you have not been in the blue lagoon, in fact you have not been in Tarapoto. So, if you don’t want to be told, the visit to this beautiful lagoon cannot be absent in your tourist exploration of the region.
Lamas is considered the folkloric capital of San Martín. It’s an ideal place to know part of the folklore and history of the peoples of the region although you must also keep in mind that it is a very tourist destination and has lost part of authenticity. The huaycos, the native community of the city, are descendants of the first settlers of the region and heirs of a centennial culture that now return in part with tourism. Visiting the indigenous museum of the city and the neighborhood where they live, you will get to know part of that culture and traditions.
Another point of interest for which the city is known is the famous castle of Lamas. It is a picturesque construction set in medieval times, which is an authentic rarity within the Amazon. It is a perfect place to take pictures before finishing your visit moving to the highest part of the city. There is a viewpoint from where you can say goodbye to Lamas with beautiful panoramic views of the valley where Tarapoto is located.
The Waterfall of Huacamaillo
Is a beautiful waterfall located in the town near Tarapoto, San Pedro de Cumbaza. Surely if you go to visit it you will not find as many tourists as in other places because it is usually frequented rather by people in the area. In part, this is because to get there have to make two hours of walking and so much time walking is not to everyone’s liking. However, if you like walks through the jungle, the road to huacamaillo will enchant you. It is an area full of tall tropical trees that border the road and provide shade. In addition, the trail crosses several times with a small river called Cumbaza, where you can bathe and rest before resuming the walk. The waterfall is embedded in a rock, just in front of a natural pool of reddish color where you can also bathe.
In addition, it has a contiguous rock from where the young people of the zone are usually thrown because the pool is quite deep and for that reason, it is also necessary to know how to swim. When you get there, it is best to have lunch at the waterfall and refresh yourself before heading back. If you like nature walks you will enjoy it intensely.
The Waterfall of Pucayaquillo
Is one of the last waterfalls that have been exploited for tourism in San Martín. At the time the road to get there was used to make coca plantations. However, after being reforested, the area enjoys high tropical trees and there is hardly any trace of a past that should never return. The trail follows a small creek and after 45 minutes of walking, there is a clearing in the forest where the waterfall is. It is located under a rock that hides it and gives it a very exotic look.
In addition, its waters end up in a pool with a sandy soil through which it is possible to move without swimming because it is not too deep. The rock where the fall hits has a part that can be climbed and placed just below to feel the full force of the current. The place is not as crowded as other tourist destinations in Tarapoto and can be enjoyed quietly, tasting the experience of walking through the middle of the Amazon jungle.