Moyobamba, capital of the department of San Martin, dubbed the City of Orchids, was the first city founded in the Peruvian jungle, shortly after the Spanish Conquest. It was the seat of the first religious missionary orders to be established in the area, and a foothold from where the Church set out to convert the natives to Christianity.
It was also to serve as a base for the posterior colonization and development of the region. The water that flows through the area forms waterfalls, lakes and rivers that provide a beautiful backdrop for the city. Visitors can explore the mouth of the Tioyacu River and even the underground river of the Cueva de los Huacharos cave. One can also take a dip in the natural hot springs at San Mateo, take a ride across the lake called Laguna Azul and climb up to the thundering Ahuashiyacu waterfall, deep in the heart of the jungle, or the Gera waterfall, which drops 120 meters down three separate falls.
Man has left his mark on this area since the dawn of civilization, building sites such as Gran Pajaten, a pre-Inca complex of circular slate buildings decorated with figures of flying condors. Due to its difficult access, tourism is not yet possible at the site.
Today, Moyobamba celebrates in June the Festival of San Juan, an excellent opportunity to visit the natural park called the Santuario de la Amazonia, on the eastern slopes of Andes. Travelers can also visit the native community of Wayku and watch the sunset over Las Puntas.