Tarapoto – City of the Palms


We’re currently staying in Tarapoto (the City of the Palms,) which is a laid back medium sized city in a cloud forest region of Peru. One lure to this area is the vast amount of natural areas that surround Tarapoto in the region of San Martin.

One of those natural attractions is the cascading waterfalls at Ahuashiyacu. Considered by many to be the best falls overall, it’s certainly the closest, at just 14 km from Tarapoto.


Here’s an article from Peru.com on the Ahuashiyacu falls:

Translated and adapted by Natasha Clay

Can you imagine being able to swim in a beautiful waterfall in the San Martin region? Well now you can enjoy the waterfall Ahuashiyacu.

With a drop of clear water 40 meters high, the Ahuashiyacu waterfall runs down rocks with dense vegetation, ending in a pool of about 12 meters wide in which you can bathe.

Its name means “singing water” or “laughing water”. Ahuashiyacu unfolds in the Cordillera Escalera (Regional Conservation Area) and the waters of its channel are used for irrigation.

The depth of the pond varies, allowing for child-friendly spaces, although in the central part it is deeper. The surrounding vegetation is filled with abundant trees and ferns that add a special beauty.

On site you can also see an impressive flora, among which highlights a variety of orchids and ferns. When visiting you can also observe butterflies, insects and birds in the area. And practice diving and swimming.

The Ahuashiyacu Cataract (waterfalls) is located in the district of Shilcayo, in the department of San Martin, just minutes from the city of Tarapoto and is a must visit while in Peru.

Tarapoto – Thriving Cloud Forest City

Plaza de Armas Tarapoto, Peru

Tarapoto & the whole region of San Martin are lush with tropical vegetation & abundant rainfall. However, unlike the lower regions of the Amazon & its tributaries, Tarapoto sits on a plateau a bit higher, and often has cloudy days with refreshing rains that tend to make things much more comfortable. Usually, mornings are cool and fresh until the sun comes up and reminds us that we are in the jungle…

Verdant Mountains San Martin Peru

Via : Tarapoto – Wikipedia.

Tarapoto, known as the “City of Palms”, is a thriving commercial hub in northern Peru, an hour by plane from Lima, situated in the San Martín Province of the San Martín Region, located in the high jungle plateau to the east of what is known as the selva baja (low jungle). Although Moyobamba is the capital of the region, Tarapoto is the region’s largest city, and is linked to the Upper Amazon and the historic city of Yurimaguas by a relatively well-maintained newly paved (2008–2009) transandean highway.

Tarapoto is at an altitude of approximately 356 metres above sea level on the high jungle plateau, also called the cloud forest.[1] Founded in 1782 by Baltazar Martínez Jiménez de Compagnon, Tarapoto has a population of 63,484 (downtown) and over 117,184 inhabitants with the outlying Morales and Banda de Shilcayo districts, according to the 2007 census. (Author’s note: Now over 130,000)

Tarapoto is often used by tourists and local visitors as a “jumping off” point for excursions into the vast Amazon Rainforest. The region’s main activities are tourism, commerce, agriculture and a thriving illicit “shadow economy” including the production of coca leaves, the extraction of lumber and the trade in land concessions.

Tarapoto is home to the Universidad Nacional de San Martin, an important center of higher education serving the professional and technical needs of the bio-diverse region.

This must see area keeps drawing us back again & again. These lush green mountains & the lively beat of the jungle are intoxicating and addictive. It’s a city of motorcycles rather than cars, and if you need transportation a moto-taxi will soon be along to whisk you to your destination quickly & affordably.

A Trip to the Chocolatier

No trip to Tarapoto would be complete without a visit to the “Chocolatier.” This region produces some of the best cacao in the world for making the finest chocolate. My favorites are the chocolate truffles, or is it the passion fruit, no wait it’s the moka…


Truffles – La Exotica Tarapoto, Peru

More information:

Most cities of any size in Peru will have a local office for tourist information. We highly recommend using this service as they are very helpful & will have maps and latest info on tours, museums etc. Tarapoto has an office located in the Plaza de Armas.

Tourism Office Tarapoto, Peru

Here are some other websites that contain news and articles that can help your explorations:

Tarapoto Life

Wiki Travel – Tarapoto

Tarapoto.com (Spanish)

There are abundant adventures in and around Tarapoto, too many to list all of them here, but some of the more popular are the Laguna Azul, small village of Lamas, and a host of waterfalls, natural areas & historic sites. We’ll visit some of these places as time allows. Enjoy!

©2015 Ben Gangloff

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