Choquekirao or Choquequirao is a XV century Inca budding that is known as the other Machu Picchu; this archaeological site has recently gained a high level of importance and curiosity do to its great biodiversity and the cultural remains.
It’s located in the zone where begins the Amazon jungle, which is the transition from the Andean valleys to the jungle. Life in this area belongs to those given in dry, mountain and sub-tropical forests. The confluence of these environmental variations makes it an important attraction for visitors to observe various expressions of the fauna and flora like: the spectacled bear, the condor, colorful birds and hummingbirds.
From the Andean perspective its location is undoubtedly strategic, which allowed this unique settlement to encompass and have mastery over what could be considered one of the most extraordinary altitudinal routes in the country.
Choquekirao comes from the Quechua word «chuqui k’iraw», which means «Cradle of Gold», it extends in an area of 2,000 hectares square, where a set of structures are located above 3,100 masl, and is part of a series of architectural complexes within the Vilcabamba Mountain range; last Inca resistance site. Its geographical position and its history make CChoquekirao a pleasant and tempting place as an alternative form of cultural tourism.
The trip to Choquekirao is long and strenuous, but certainly unforgettable. It starts from Cusco by the road that goes to Abancay. At kilometer 154, take the detour to the town of “Cachora”; a very nice and picturesque Andean village; it is the last town before reaching the archaeological complex.
The road has recently been extended and arranged. To travel through it, it is now more comfortable and safe. Arriving in Choquekirao requires good physical condition and adequate equipment. Starting from Cachora (2,900 m.s.) it is necessary to go down to the Apurímac River (1,530 m.s.) to camp. The second day goes up to 3,085 m.s.n.m. of altitude, where the complex is located. From the archaeological complex one can continue to Machu Picchu or return by the same trail to “Cachora” then to Cusco.
History of Choquekirao
The great Choquekirao was probably administrative and religious center for the Vilcabamba region; many studies demonstrate that Choquequirao was like a control gate, to get the access to Vilcambamba, one of the most important regions in the Amazon Jungle.
From the year of 1532, arrival date of the Spanish conquer, until 1572, Choquekiirao was the last refuge of the last four Incas: Manco Inca, Sayri Tupac, Tutu Yupanki and Tupac Amaru I.
In 1834, the prefect of Cusco, José Maria Tejada went to Choquekirao, because he heard some stories about the gold that were lost in this place, and also Leonce Angrand made a cartography of the structures, but they all forgot about him and his plans. In the year that Hiram Bingham arrive to CUSCO, is just when the place acquire notoriety of the Historians, Archeologist and tourist.
The Manco Inca dynasty resisted the Spanish conquerors during 40 years (1536 to 1572) from this fortress in the Vilcabamba area. The Spanish conquerors were never able to dismiss them from it.
The building of Choquekirao is the work of Inca Pachacútec successors Túpac Inca Yupanqui (1471 – 1493) and Wayna Cápac (1493 – 1527). Household and ceremonial pottery has been found here that bears both the classic Cusco style and also from other populations who came to live here to build and permanently populate the area. Most likely, they were experienced farmers who knew how to build and use farming terraces in high Amazon forest areas.
How get there?
To Arrive to Choquekirao you must start in the city of Cusco, from where you’ll drive for four hours to the town of Cachora or plus 40 minutes to the zone of Capuliyuc; then walk through the Apurimac Canyon. You’ll pass over a pedestrian bridge to cross the Apurimac River. From here the trail begins upwards until Choquekirao. After three hours, you will arrive at the town of Santa Rosa, where you can rest and then restart the road to reach, in two hours, the Marampata farmhouse. The journey is steep and the temperature is high.
From this hamlet the road that follows is flatter and advances from east to west, bordering the mountain. One hour after walk, you will arrive at Choquekirao. The only way to reach for the Choquekirao complex is by walking,
Special Treks to Choquekirao
Let us be your Inbound Tour Operator for Choquekirao
Choquekirao Trek Machu Picchu 8 Days
Choquekirao Trek to Machu Picchu is the best trekking program to Machu Picchu; it’s a great introduction to Inca culture and its traditions.
Trek 7 days and 1 day you’ll explore Machu Picchu … View Detail
Choquekirao Imperial Trek 5 Days
Choquekirao Imperial Trek is a great option for customers interested in natural and cultural highlights in the region of Cusco; near Machu Picchu in Peru. The Inca settlement of Choquequirao, the wild and tranquil landscape of Apurimac Canyon has made it a superb tourist destination in Peru. This wonderfll Choquequirao Imperial Trek takes you… View Detail
Choquekirao Classic Trek 4 Days
Choquekirao Classic Trek is an exciting adventure package in the region of Cusco; that takes you to explore the stronghold of the Incas; where you’ll admire the grandeur of its natural and cultural highlights. Relish the glory of the mighty Vilcabamba mountain range; and savor the beauty that lies in the tranquil mountains. Here… View Detail
Choquekirao Trek Challenge 3 Days
Choquekirao Trek Challenge is an excellent adventure package which lets you explore; the breathtaking Apurimac Canyon and the Inca building of Choquequirao; the most importan Inca settlement in Cusco after Machu Picchu. American Hiram Bingham the first who visited the region in 1909 and since then; the Inca site of Choquequirao has turned out… View Detail