Updated: Aug 31
If you are just passing by and don't have much time to spend in Tarapoto, here we give you some ideas of what you can do by yourself in one day:
Chocolate Factory La Orquídea
You can learn the process of the chocolate from the beginning in a guided tour for S/5.00 soles. They also give you repelent as there are mosquitoes there so we recommend you to wear pants and sneakers.
La Orquídea has a Certification that does not allow people to be in the production plant but the guide will take you to have a look at the plantations, the seeds and its process before it turns to the chocolate we eat. At the end of the tour, you can buy what they produce.
This factory is pretty close to the hostel, you can either go walking or take a tuk tuk which shouldn't cost more than S/2.00 soles.
This popular town is just 30 minutes away from Tarapoto. You can visit a 'castle' - yes, a medieval style castle in the jungle that was built by a wealthy Italian and charges S/6.00 soles to visit. This peculiar place has also some art works from local artists, combined with another european art pieces.
You can also go to the neighborhood called Huayco, where most of the Lamas natives live. They have a small 'Plaza' and souvenirs shop.
If you have more time you can also go to a small waterfall called Chapahuanki by tuk tuk.
How to get from Tarapoto to Lamas: take a 'colectivo' for S/5.00 from 'Paradero de Lamas' on Alfonso Ugarte Street. They don't have a fixed schedule, you can go at anytime until 9pm.
Approximately 3 km. away from the hostel you can find Urku, an animal Rescue Centre.
There are birds, turtles and another rescued animals. The parrots are free so you can socialize with them.
They offer a guided tour for S/10.00 and you can also buy some organic stuff or their delicious honey, which is produced there.
This is the most known and closest waterfall in Tarapoto.
It's 40 m. high and it's very easy to get there, from the entrance you just need to walk around 15 minutes to reach the waterfall. If you go a bit further there is another waterfall called Golondrina. If you also want to go there you'll need to pay another fee at the entrance (around S/8.00)
There are two options to get there:
Tour: costs around S/35.00. It includes transportation and entrance fee (S/6.00).
In a truck: this is the cheapest way but not very reliable as you don't know if you'll catch another truck on the way back. You can pay S/5.00 one way. This is in the 'Paradero a Yurimaguas' located in Banda de Shilcayo.
*Remember that all the waterfalls are open just until 4pm and also this waterfall is usually very crowded so try to go as early as possible.
If you just want to relax in the nature and do not want to pay any fees or go too far, the Cumbaza river is a great option for you. Tarapoto is sourrended by some rivers but this one is not too big so you can take a bath, do some camping there and enjoy a great time.
How to get there: the closest way from the hostel is to go to the MINSA Hospital, right on the corner of Circunvalacion Avenue there is a police booth. From there you can start walking until you reach the river.
*Please take your trash with you. Unfortunately, in Peru people is not used to take care of the environment but please do not do the same. Help our mother nature to keep clean.