In the small village of Lamas, San Martin region, is a sight one would never expect to see in this cloud forest area outside of Tarapoto. A real European style castle!
Lamas is a native community known not only for excellent cocoa, but also prized for the rich coffee that comes from the surrounding mountains.
Constructed by Italian Nicholas Felice, the castle brings a unique flavor (and lots of tourists) to this small, but beautiful city. A Plaza de Armas in the center of town is well maintained and presents some excellent photo opportunities. (See below)
Several blocks up the hill from the Plaza, one encounters the Castle. Admission is S/.5 (less than $2) and one can explore the various rooms and levels of the Castle.
At the lower level is a pool which features a horsehead sculpture made from the existing rock. In fact, the Castle incorporates existing bedrock in many parts of the structure. Throughout the Castle, one finds myriad details: fine art, sculptures, painted ceilings, antiques, stained glass works, and all is lush with plants in containers everywhere.
From every level, one can peer into the surrounding valley and across to the towering mountains. This impressive view just adds to the ambiance & makes for many excellent photos.
The town of Lamas has been inhabited by different civilizations during the last thousand years: Pocras, Chachapoyas, Chancas, Incas, Spanish, Peruvian, European and Asiatic immigrants have all called Lamas home at one point or another. The Castle portrays many of these periods in the works presented there. There is even a photo exhibition of local photos taken from the 1950’s to more recent shots.
Here is a not so short pictorial, enjoy!
Plaza de Armas
Lamas has a gorgeous, well maintained Plaza de Armas (town square.) It has several colonial structures, and for a modest sized town, is surprisingly quaint and appealing. It’s peaceful, and lunch was reasonable (S/.6 – less than $2.00 at this writing.) Being higher than Tarapoto, the afternoon was warm, but not uncomfortable. Below are a few photos.
From Tarapoto, you can catch a colectivo (intercity taxi) for S/.5 (less than $2.00) each way, per person. Ask any mototaxi to take you to where the “autos” for Lamas are.
©2015 Ben Gangloff
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