When planning a vacation to Peru, many travelers immediately think of the iconic Machu Picchu. However, there is another ancient Inca site that offers just as much history and stunning views: Choquequirao. Located in the Andes mountains, Choquequirao is often referred to as the “sister city” of Machu Picchu and is just as worthy of a visit. Here is a guide to help you plan your journey to Choquequirao.
Photo: Fernando López / PROMPERÚ
The first step in planning your trip to Choquequirao is figuring out how to get there. Unfortunately, there is no direct public transportation to the site and it can only be reached by foot or by horseback. The trek to Choquequirao can be challenging, as it involves crossing a mountain pass and descending into a deep canyon, but the rewards are well worth the effort.
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The most popular way to reach Choquequirao is to take the four-day trek from Cachora, a small village located about 31 miles (50 km) from the site. The trek passes through picturesque Andean villages and offers breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains. There are several tour operators that offer guided trekking tours to Choquequirao, which can be a great option for those who are not experienced hikers.
Another option for reaching Choquequirao is to take a horseback ride from Cachora. This is a more comfortable option, but it does not offer the same level of immersion in the local culture and natural beauty as the trek.
Once you have reached Choquequirao, the most popular option is to camp at the site, which allows you to fully experience the beauty of the location and is also the most affordable option. There are also a few basic lodges on the way, which offer basic amenities such as hot showers and meals.
Photo: Fernando López / PROMPERÚ
Choquequirao is an impressive ancient Inca site that offers a glimpse into the culture and history of the Incas. The site is spread out over a large area and includes several terraces, temples, and plazas. The main attraction of the site is the Temple of the Sun, which offers stunning views of the surrounding mountains.
In addition to exploring the ancient ruins, there are also several other activities to do in the area. Visitors can go bird-watching, as the area is home to a wide variety of bird species, or take a dip in the nearby hot springs. There are also several hiking trails that lead to nearby waterfalls and other natural attractions.
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Choquequirao is a hidden gem in Peru that offers a unique and off-the-beaten-path experience for travelers. The trek to the site can be challenging, but the stunning views and rich history make it well worth the effort. With proper planning and preparation, your journey to Choquequirao will be a truly unforgettable experience. Whether you are a seasoned hiker or prefer a more leisurely horseback ride, there is something for everyone at this ancient Inca site. So, if you’re looking for a unique and authentic Peru vacation experience, be sure to add Choquequirao to your itinerary and discover the lost city of the Incas.
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