The culture of the Chachapoyas dates back to 750–800AD and developed in an Andean cloud forest of the current Amazonas Department. The word Chachapoyas is derived from the Quechua words “sacha" and "Puyus” which mean "cloud forest". That is why the Chachapoyas are often called the “Cloud People” or the “Warriors of the Clouds” as well.
There are 3 entry cities if you want to fly most of the way, Tarapoto and Chiclayo have equal road trips from those airports of 8 to 10 hours depending on weather conditions, and Cajamarca's airport is more like 12 hours away. Chiclayo is the preferred one as you can find more travelling options (nightly buses) to Chachapoyas and you can save some time. These flying options are about 4 times as expensive as road from Lima. Airlines serving these cities are LAN, LC Peru, Peruvian Airlines, StarPeru and Avianca
Now there are commercial flights to Chachapoyas operated by Peru's air force from Chiclayo (PEN200), Cajamarca (PEN120) and Tarapoto (PEN120) but only on certain days so you'll need to plan ahead, full schedule and pricing can be found here
Movil Tours has direct buses Lima/Chachapoyas that pass through & leave Chiclayo. They also have nightly service from Trujillo (16:00) and Chiclayo (20:30 & 21:00) & arrive in Chachapoyas around 6am. The Movil Tour buses are comfortable, with seats that recline far back. You also get a meal onboard. At the Chiclayo Movil Tours bus terminal you can securely leave your bag.
Civa has daily bed buses from Lima taking about 22 hours with movies and meals furnished on board like Movil Tours. Cost is about USD45 one way from Lima. CIVA also has a daily service from Chiclayo at 16:10.
Zelada offers daily service at a bit of a discount, and Paredes Estrella has a bed bus, but you must get off at Pedro Ruis and take a combi leaving about every hour for a 2 hour trip for about $2.00. Most of the bus stations are in La Victoria a walk apart, but to get downstairs for a "full bed" you may need to buy your ticket in the day on the double deck bus to reserve. These leave in the evening, so with a sleeping pill, the long trip isn't bad at all. Take a throw or blanket for the night. Transervis Kuelap, GH Bus and Transportes Zelada have nightly buses from Chiclayo. Transportes El Expreso has a bed bus (160°) from Chiclayo at 8:30pm and it costs about $23, this is the best choice if one gets by plane to Chiclayo.
A more arudous route takes 2 days from Vilcabamba & Zumba in Ecuador  crosses the frontier at Balsas & goes via San Ignacio to Chachapoyas.
You can also arrive from Tarapoto/Moyobamba to the east. Turismo Selva (Jr. Salamanca 956) has three daily departures, leaving at 6:30 and 10:00 in the morning and 1:00 in the afternoon. The ride costs S./ 34 and takes about 7 to 8 hours in a 16 passenger van.
Virgin del Calmen also runs a daily service to Celendin with connection to Cajamarca and three times a week service directly to Cajamarca, leaving 5:30 in the morning. As of Sep. 2012, due to the construction between Leymebamba and Celendin, and Celendin and Cajamarca, the bus may leave much earlier (3:30) and subject to detour/delay. This is a spectacular road to travel and in a big bus definitely not for the faint hearted.
If you are in Mancora, you'll need to first travel to Chiclayo before you can get the bus to Chachapoyas. A number of bus companies operate routes, and journey times are around 7 hours. Chiclayo bus company is one of the best, but you could also opt for Turela. They have a bus that leaves a 9.30am.
Kuelap - an ancient stone city with walls up to 12 m high - the largest pre-Inca ruins in South America. Some older information you may find says that you need to walk for several hours to get there but there is now better access by car. There's a 1 km walk to the site which takes about 20 mins. If it's raining the path will be very muddy, so take decent shoes. Entrance is 15 sols. About 2 hours drive from Chachapoyas. Tours will usually make a short stop on the way to view the ruins of Macro, a group of pre-Inca dwellings and burial chambers built on the side of a mountain - they're viewed from across the valley. You can find more information on Kuelap in the BBC documentary called Lost Kingdoms of South America - People of the Clouds which is available on YouTube.
Karajia - anthropormorphic sarcophagi built on a narrow cliff ledge. Tours (~S/.60) combine this with a trip to Pueblo de los Muertos (Town of the Dead), another site with several different types of sarcophagi built on cliff sides, along with houses. The walk here is a couple of kilometres but quite steep and gets very muddy during raining season so hiking boots are a must. Also, when it's raining then the Pueblo is inaccessible and Quiocta Cavern is used as an alternative, you'll need rubber boots but the tour operator usually will rent them for S/.2
Revash - cliff tombs that look like small houses with many pictographs.
Museum of Leymebamba - houses and cares for 219 mummies and thousands of artifacts recovered from cliff tombs in 1997.
Gran Vilaya - a popular trekking route through cloud forest.
Tajopampa - cliff tomb sites.
Huancas - Two hour walk or 15 min taxi/colectivo ride (S/.3). Peaceful small village with old Church, square, some restaurants and artisanals. Mirador de Huancas (S/.1) provides spectacular view of Canon Del Sonche.
Yumbilla Waterfalls - measured in 2007 with 895.4m as the world´s 3rd highest waterfall. Entrance fee is 5 sols. You will need to hike 2 hrs to get there on a muddy trail.Yumbilla waterfall is located in Cuispes a small village in a mountain at 25 minutes from Pedro Ruiz and just over 1 hour from Chachapoyas.
Gocta Waterfalls - measured in 2007 with 711m as the world´s 4th highest waterfall. Entrance fee is 10 sols. You will need to hike 2.5 hrs to get there on a muddy trail. Boots are available to rent for 3 sols.
Amazon Waterfalls Association, located, ☎ 41-94196, . Yumbilla Waterfalls was discovered and measured in 2007. It is by far Peru's highest waterfall 895m, or almost 3 times as high as the Eiffel Tower. A volunteer organization built a trek on a pristine, nearly level ledge of a cliff for 10 km that passes 8 waterfalls as high as any of the continental USA. An ecological reserve was formed that contains 4 critically endangered species. We would like anyone that have tried other world class treks to compare those with this one as we are sure it will become "the world's best ecological trek". Its location is 20 minutes above Pedro Ruis on a moped taxi, and tickets gotten through the village as this is a sustainable income project to give the natives incentive to protect their ecology. The Amazon Waterfalls Association is seeking volunteers for these exciting world class projects.
Amazon Waterfalls Trek (Yumbilla), Cuispis or San Carlos (20 minutes by moto-taxi from Pedro Ruis), ☎ 41-94196, . Yumbilla is by far Peru's highest waterfall almost 3 times as high as the Eiffel Tower. Discovered and measured in 2007, at 895 meters. A 10km trek has been made that passes 8 waterfalls as high as any of the contental USA. The trek follows a nearly level cliff ledge covered in a pristine uncut Amazon forest. The Amazon Waterfall Association is volunteers working with villages to give them a sustainable income incentive to protect their ecology. A private reserve was formed to protect the 4 critically endangered species that are numerious only in this zone. Tickets can be bought from the village for an economical trek to the individual waterfalls, but reservations must be made for the trek along the ledge. AWA is seeking volunteers to continue with equally exciting projects to make this zone better and preserve their resources.edit
Levanto, (The nearest ruins to Chachapoyas, 2 hours by vehicle), . Perhaps the best unrestored major Inca 3000km road passes through here and the section from Levanto to Chachapoyas is a spectacular 3 to 4 downhill walk. It starts at an restored Inca Military Garrison that guards this major intersection. A side path will take you up to Yelape, the 2nd largest fortress after Kuelap, with many more buildings. Levanto has a church started in 1558ad by the Conquestadores, with a high gold plated altar. The village has a modern lodge built to look just like an ancient Cloud Forest building, and this same team also built the restored house in Kuelap and the Military Garrison. Levanto was the last and largest Chachapoyan city conquered by the Incas, and later the Spanish capitol until it was moved to a warmer elevation of Levanto's annex of Chachapoyas. edit
There are several tour agencies, many located on the Plaza. They all offer identical itineraries for around the same price, but each runs their own tours so the quality of guides and drivers may vary - ask around.
Before you pay for a tour, you may wish to meet the guide, the morning of your tour to ensure yourself that he actually can speak your language. Some agencies, will tell you what you want to hear just to sell their products. They do not always deliver what they say they will.
Tours to Kuelap cost about $14, to Karajía about $24 and to Gocta about $16, each takes a whole day.
There are many agencies and guides available, and trekking offers from the 1-day trip to Gocta (a 6 h walk there and back) to a 4-5 day trip visiting other archaeological sites. Tierras Vivas specialise in tailor made trips to Chachapoyas and Kuelap.
Tourist Week is the first week in June, with a large parade from many villages of all the provinces of Amazonas participating on the Sunday. Lots of traditional clothes and customs to be seen.
The Patron Saint of Chachapoyas is the Virgin of Asunta and they celebrate the festival in Her honour during the first two weeks of August.
Chachapoyas Tours (Los Tambos Chachapoyanos), 452 Santo Domingo, . Chachapoyas Tours is the original land provider and built 2 lodges for the villages to give them the incentive to protect their archaeological ruins. One is near Kuelap in Choctamal and the other in Levanto, with perhaps the best un-restored Inca roads in Peru. From Levanto it goes downhill for 3 to 4 hours with spectacular panoramas and Inca engineering. An Inca Military garrison guards over 3000km of major Inca roads and a side branch takes you to Yelape, the 2nd largest fortress after Kuelap. edit
El Eden, Jr Grau 448. Vegetarian restaurant with daily menu's of about 5 soles. Also open for breakfast and lunch. Late afternoon they will tell gringos there is no menu (solo carta) but serve it to all the peruvians anyway.edit
El Tejado, Santo Domingo (a couple blocks from the plaza). This is the best restaurant in Chachapoyas. edit
La Tushpa, Jr. Ortiz Arrierta N. 753 (1 1/2 blocks from the corner of the big Church on the placa the armas), ☎ 041-777471. 1-11pm. simple local restaurant with a friendly owner and really good steaks and other meat dishes. 12 soles for a steak with rice and alittle salad. edit
La Vida y Salut, Jr. Grau (between the plaza the armas and mercado). -8pm. Simple vegetarian restaurant with some health food stuff for sale. 5 soles for a set menu with soup, salad and main dish. edit
Casa Monsante, Jr. Amazonas 746 (From the church, uphill 2 blocks), . Casa Monsante is a restored ancient mansion in the historical section of town with extensive orchids. edit
Chachapoyas Backpackers Hostal, Jr. 2 de mayo 639, ☎ (+51 41) 478879, . This place is a great budget choice. 30 Soles per room or 15 Soles per dorm bed (Oct.2012), shared bathroom, kitchen facilities, wi-fi and friendly owners will make you feel at home. 2 minutes walk from Plaza de Armas so it will be far enough to be quiet and close enough to access all areas in Chachapoyas. Jose (owner) knows english good and is also a tour guide, he can give you some idea about where to go and what to do. Also he can arrange tours for you if you want. A lot of friendly folk stayimg here also. Have fun ...edit
Hostal Amazonas, Jr. Grau 565 (In front of the Plaza de Armas), ☎ (+51 41) 478 839, . Hostal Amazonas, an old colonial house that until now kept its design unchanged. Since 1936 he has been recognized as cultural heritage located in the Plaza de Armas (main square).edit
La Posada de Cuispes, Plaza de armas de Cuispes, ☎ +(51) 956030811, . checkin: 12:00; checkout: 11:00. There is one Hotel in Cuispes (a small village in a mountain at 30 minutes from Pedro Ruiz and just 1 hour from Chachapoyas), it is manage by Galoc Family, very gentle people from this village, who are going to treat you with hospitality and give all their experience and knowledge of Cuispes an the waterfalls. They offer treks to Yumbilla Waterfall 895 meters, Chinata Waterfall 540 meters and Pabellon Waterfall 400 meters. They can also organize and prepare your visit to the Sarcophagus of San Jeronimo and the Caves of Hatupampa in San Carlos and Gocta waterfalls. The profits they earn with the treks are completely for the people of the village.45. (soles,)edit
Kuelap on your own account.
There is no public transport (combis) from Chachapoyas to Kuelap. You can take a public combi to nearby Pueblo Maria (about 2 hours travel)and from there follow the road to Kuelap, an easy 2 hours walk. You may find a taxi in Pueblo Maria but do not count on that. Combis and colectivos to Pueblo Maria leave Chachapoyas early in the morning (around 5.00 am), look for the office of Roller´s two blocks down from the plaza, passing the market. At Pueblo Maria you can stay the night in one of the several rooms made for visitors by villagers. There are several restaurants as well at Pueblo Maria (good trout). You can go back to Chachapoyas by public combi or walk down to the village of Tingo, which lies halfway on the road between Chachapoyas and Leymebamba. The walk is interesting but quite long, going down about 1,500 meters (5,000 feet). Calculate some 2 to 3 hours walking. There is a basic hotel in Tingo and 2 restaurants. In Tingo you can pick up a bus or combi to travel on to Leymebamba (about 70 minutes)or Chachapoyas (about an hour). Combis to Chachapoyas pass by around 6 am. The daily bus from Chachapoyas to Cajamarca vice versa passes Tingo at about 7.00 am coming from Chachapoyas (arriving at 8.15 am at Leymebamba and at 5.30 pm at Cajamrac) and at about 4.15 pm coming from Cajamarca - Leymebamba, arriving at Chachapoyas at 5.15 pm.
You can also go from Tingo to Leymebamba picking up one of the combis or the micro passing at about 13:00, 15:00 and 17:00.
There are daily buses from Virgen del Carmen to Celendin via Leymebamba and vice versa. Fron Celendin you can catch connecting bus to Cajamarca. The trip from Cajamarca to Chachapoyas takes about 11-12 hours. The route is very beautiful, crossing the deep canyon of the Marañon river. The road is mostly a well-maintained gravel road and partly asfalted.