Choquequirao is also known as “the other” Machu Picchu. This archaelogical site has recently increased its importance and curiousness as a cultural and touristic site. It is located at the edge of the jungle where the transition between the Andean valleys and the jungle begins.
Life in this area is idyllic due to subtropical and dry forests. The meeting of these environmental variations attract visitors who can observe different fauna and flora species such as spectacled bear, condor, beautiful butterflies and amazing birds like “el trogon”. From the Andean perspective Choquequirao’s location is undoubtedly strategic, it allowed its inhabitants to have dominion over the most extraordinary paths of the country. Choquequirao comes from the word in quechua “chuqui k´iraw”, which means Golden cradle or “Cuna de Oro”, its area extends to 2000 hectares, where structures above 3100 MAMSL take part of a series of archaeological sites at Vilcabamba valley. Its geographical position and history makes Choquequirao a pleasant and tempting place for cultural tourism.
The trip to this amazing place is long and tiring, but it is also memorable. This Inca citadel is the ideal stop in Cusco for nature lovers because of its landscapes and paths. It is also known as Machu Picchu’s “Sacred sister” because of its beautiful terraces and temples. Lonely Planet chose Choquequirao as the best traveling destiny of 2017 in the Regions category.
The Choquequirao ruins were probably constructed during the reign of Pachacuti Inca Yupanqui and is thought to be the final bastion of opposition and also a shelter for the Sons of the Sun, who ran away from the city of Cusco when it was under attack in 1535. The Incas along with their leader Manco Inca Yupanqui took refuge in Choquequirao. It was likely used both as a checkpoint approaching the Vilcabamba area and as a cultural and religious center.
The city had a significant position, as it was a link between the Amazon Jungle and the city of Cusco. This area has many microclimates and an expanse of scenery brimming with glacial-topped peaks of about 6000m (19,685 f). For its geographical location this amazing citadel has warm weather during the day and cold temperature at nights.
Even with only a 30% of 1,810 hectares of the archaeological site found we can asume that Choquequirao was more than a fortress but a ceremonial center. It is thought that this was the most important ceremonial center which was inhabited by priests and other religious men.
On the Choquequirao Trek you will discover the remarkable citadel of the last Inca kings and enjoy beautiful scenery.
The site is comparatively detached, though recently there was a footway built over the Apurimac river to make it more reachable to the ruins. The following tours include a hike to Choquequirao: