If you're in Chiclayo, standing in awe at the Lord of Sipan Tomb, you're just at the beginning of a tale of treasurable sights.
Hop on the bus and head east to reach the trailhead to Peru's largest waterfalls (Catarata Gocta) in San Pablo (upper falls) and then to Cocachimba (lower falls).
Visit the ancient fortress of Kuelap in Chachapoyas, the largest stone structure in South America, using more brickwork than the Great Pyramid.
Get off in Rioja for the closest access to the spectacular Alto Mayo Forest with incredible valley and river hikes.
In and around Moyobamba, don't miss the orchid epicenter Jardin Botanico San Francisco inside the city itself and the Waqanki Center 2km outside of town; some of Peru's best hotsprings Termales de San Mateo, and two popular area waterfalls, Lahuarpía and Paccha.
The wildlife heaven of Lindo Lake in Tarapoto is your prized destination of all. So sublime!
SANTA MARTA - TOLU
If you're coming from the splendid beach at El Rodadero in Santa Marta or visiting the Quinto de San Pedro Alejandrino where Simón Bolívar spent his last days, go west young packer on this Caribbean coastal route that involves just a couple hours ride at a time.
While most bypass the big industrial port of Barranquilla, it is South America's second ... more...
This is a splendid route that takes you from the capital (constitutional) of Bolivia through breathtaking highlands all the way to the gorgeous wine country of Tarija.
But before you leave Sucre going south, take a side trip east to what I think is Bolivia's best traditional market town, Tarabuco. On your way there, make sure to stop and walk with the dinosaurs at Cal Orcko, which contains over 5,000 tracks of 294 species of ancient beasts. more...
My sweet spot for happy returns is to actually start this route in Misahuallí, a small town to the east of Tena where monkeys stroll around as casually as the people do. Then head north from Tena to go spelunking in the Jumandy Caves outside Archidona and some beautiful lodges and waterfall walks in nearby Cotundo. more...
If you're coming to Bolivia for the first or a short time, this route is likely the best pick. Cochabamba itself is a central hub for all directions, which makes it a good starting point, but we won't cover what do there in this route.