Located next to the Utcubamba River, with steep cliffs behind that and a blue sky behind mountains in the other direction, Achamaqui Casa Hacienda Hotel advertises that the property is in the middle of the Sky-Earth-Water trifecta. All three are in view and the ancestors are not forgotten either: there’s a cave tomb you can hike to across a suspension bridge where important people were buried more than 500 years ago.
There’s one winding road through a narrow valley that connects most of the main attractions in the Amazonas region of northern Peru. So no matter where you stay in this region, you’re going to spend hours in a vehicle. So you had better pick somewhere comfortable that you’re going to like a lot when you get back, creaky and tired.
Casa Hacienda Achamaqui looks like some grand estate that’s been here for a century or more, but really it’s a modern set of buildings designed in classic style. Lots of solid wood beams, carved banisters, stone work, and clay roof tiles give a sense of gravitas and history. In a region where the main attractions are tombs in the high cliff caves and a massive fortress on a mountaintop, it seems appropriate to stay in something that gives a nod to the old ways.
The property sits on a huge expanse of land, with acres of it dedicated to a working farm and plenty of room for an event center and large swimming pool. That pool is big enough for laps, with lounge chairs for sitting and soaking in the mountain scenery, plus there’s a kids’ pool and a fire pit to gather around at night if you’re with a group.
Out past the pool is an overflow annex section that doesn’t have the same charm as the main building, but is good for families who could use some separation from the public areas. Rooms share a similar look throughout, with red tile floors, local art and handicrafts, and adobe-style walls. Amenities are not extensive, but toiletries and drinking water are provided and the showers have steaming hot water with good pressure.
Despite the rather remote location 10 miles from Chachapoyas city, there’s WiFi that works reasonably well for normal web surfing and a variety of TV channels mostly in Spanish. The best rooms have their own balcony and a bit more furniture, though there are plenty of public areas where you can sit facing the river and take in the scenery.
One of these spots is the restaurant, which has an indoor area but also a large balcony area outside with enough tables for most guests if the place isn’t full. Breakfast is included in the rates and it’s a great way to start the day with some fresh fruit, eggs, fresh-baked bread, a few Peruvian dishes, and a mountain view.
We had two dinners here during our stay, the first accompanied by a pisco cocktail mixing session. For the second the chef made use of a large wood-fired beehive oven outside in a separate area and we had delicious fresh-made pizzas with local beer and wine. For these we ate in the rustic interior dining room with its soft lighting and wood beams overhead.
Guests tend to spend a lot of time away from the property when touring this area, but there is the hike to the cave tomb over a suspension bridge and you can arrange a massage treatment or cooking class here. The staff is not large, but the people who work here are well-trained and attentive, making sure their guests have a good time and are comfortable.
Rates at Achamaqui Casa Hacienda in Peru run $85 to $140 double including breakfast, with some seasonal variation throughout the year. Book direct with the hotel or online at Hotels.com or Booking.com.
Review and photos by editor Tim Leffel, who stayed as a guest of Achamaqui while on an Amazonas region trip with the Adventure Travel Trade Association and Visit Peru.