Our COO, Gunjan was full of tales and stories when he returned from Peru - from shape-shifting creatures to mischievous gods! The legends he heard in Peru kept us all engaged, here are some of the stories that have been passed down for generations in Peru and are still very much a part of Peruvian culture today.
Chullachaqui, the forest spirit
While you may believe that forest spirits to be noble and kind, not Chullachaqui! Known for his peculiar appearance, he is believed to lead travellers astray in the Amazon jungle.
Appearance: With one foot facing forward and the other facing backward, this trickster is known to confuse even the most seasoned explorers by taking the shape of their loved ones.
#UnWildFact: Some say that if you're lost in the jungle and come across the Chullachaqui, the best thing to do is offer him a cigar and hope he takes pity on you.
Mama Coca, the goddess of the coca leaf
Next, we have the legend of Mama Coca!
Appearance: The story goes that at the beginning of the Inca empire, a beautiful and unusual woman appeared with green skin, even darker green hair, and eyes the colour of almonds that could seduce anyone who saw her, even the emperor who then ordered for her to be killed.
Lungo, a giant sea serpent
In the underwater world, we have the tale of the Lungo, a giant sea serpent said to dwell in the depths of Lake Titicaca.
Pachacamac, the mischievous god
Peruvian mythology is also home to its fair share of mischievous gods, such as Pachacamac, the creator god of the pre-Incan civilization; he's known to have created the first man and woman and then neglected to take care of them for which he was punished by Inti (Sun God).
Known for his love of practical jokes, Pachacamac was said to delight in causing trouble for humans and was often depicted as a shape-shifter who could take on the form of any animal, in some stories he's also called the God of Earthquakes.
#UnWildFact: His antics were so legendary that even the mighty Incan empire paid homage to him, building a vast temple complex in his honour.
Naylamp, the legendary hero
We also have the story of Naylamp, the founder of the Lambayeque culture.
#UnWildFact: To this day, the descendants of Naylamp are said to possess the gift of gold, and tales of his exploits continue to inspire generations of Peruvians.
The Myth of the Boiling River
The Myth of the Mountain of the Seven Colors:
Scientific reasons aside, this one is really intriguing! For the uninitiated, in the Andes Mountains, there is a mountain known as the Mountain of the Seven Colors or Vinicunca which is actually the colour of the rainbow.
Next time you travel to Peru, don't be surprised if you hear whispers of ancient creatures and legendary heroes - just remember to keep your wits about you and offer the Chullachaqui a cigar! To plan an epic travel, DM us to book a Peru Travel package.