Experience the Beauty of the Andes with Choquequirao Trekking!

Where is Choquequirao – The Hidden City of Incas


Unlock the Hidden Secrets of Choquequirao – The Incan “Sister City” of Machu Picchu.

When people think of the ancient civilization of Incas, the first location that comes to mind is usually Machu Picchu. However, there is another equally remarkable structure that is often overshadowed – Choquequirao. Popularly called the “sister city” of Machu Picchu, Choquequirao is a hidden gem waiting to be explored. In this post, we will guide you through the geography and the history of Choquequirao, and help you understand why it is an important site in Incan history.

Where is Choquequirao?.

Choquequirao is an archaeological site located in the Vilcabamba range of the Andes Mountains in Peru. It sits at an altitude of 3,050 meters and covers an area of approximately 18 kilometers. The ruins of Choquequirao are believed to have been constructed by the Incas, some even believe that it may have served as a refuge for Manco Inca Yupanqui during Spanish conquest.

The only way to reach Choquequirao is via a trek that lasts up to 4 days. While this journey can be quite arduous, it offers many rewards along the way. From passing through lush valleys and stunning alpine lakes, to spotting exotic wildlife from wild cats to orchids – travelers will have their breath taken away by nature’s beauty every step of the way! In addition, the scenery will provide you with a unique insight into Peru’s geography and history – one filled with Inca legend and mystery!

The best time for Choquequirao Trekking is between May-November when skies are typically clear for better views across vast mountain ranges; however during monsoon season (December–April), where rainfall increases significantly, treks tend to be empty which presents its own benefits such as being able to appreciate your surroundings without any crowds spoiling them! Not only that but all through rain shadow valley land slides might block off sections so you need extra caution while planning your trip here!
All said and done though; this amazing archaeological wonder deserves exploration regardless if there’s rain or not afterall anyone going on such long adventures deserve well earned treats right?

The History of Choquequirao

Choquequirao, elegantly known as the “Cradle of Gold” in the indigenous Quechuan language, is steeped in profound history and cultural significance. In the 15th century, this city was meticulously constructed by the Inca Empire. It was much more than a mere city, serving as a pivotal hub for religion, politics, and culture during its time of prosperity. However, enveloped by the clouds atop the Andean mountains, Choquequirao was lost to the annals of time, becoming a relic of a bygone era. It was only in the 20th century that explorers happened upon this hidden gem, rendering it a relatively new discovery for the modern world. Historical texts suggest that Choquequirao was a stronghold during the Spanish invasion, providing a formidable line of defense for the Inca Empire. However, in the throes of the 16th century, it was ultimately abandoned, leaving behind a legacy that continues to intrigue historians and tourists alike. Throughout the centuries, Choquequirao has stood resolute, a symbol of perseverance and resilience in the face of adversity.

Choquequirao’s layout is reminiscent of other Inca cities such as Machu Picchu and Cusco. Its terraces, plazas, and intricate stone structures are a testament to the advanced engineering skills and architectural prowess of the Inca people. The city’s strategic positioning on the edge of a cliff also highlights their mastery in harnessing nature to their advantage. Each element of Choquequirao serves a specific purpose, from its grand central plaza where rituals and ceremonies were held, to its agricultural terraces that sustained the city’s inhabitants. This meticulous planning and attention to detail make Choquequirao not just a historical site, but a marvel of human ingenuity and innovation.

The Architecture of Choquequirao.

Nestled in the heart of Peru, the majestic city of Choquequirao is a testament to the architectural grandeur of the Inca civilization. Built on multiple terraces perched on the slopes of the Salkantay mountain range, the city offers a mesmerizing blend of natural beauty and human craftsmanship. The terraces, an engineering marvel of their own, were skillfully carved into the mountainside, a feature that adds an intriguing allure for visitors worldwide.
The construction materials used in Choquequirao mirror its surrounding environment, with local granite stones, limestone, clay, and mud shaping its buildings. This choice of materials not only demonstrates the Incas’ resourcefulness but also their deep respect for nature, integrating their structures seamlessly into the landscape.

Among the multitude of well-preserved structures, houses, temples, and irrigation systems stand as silent witnesses to the city’s glorious past. Intricately carved, they offer invaluable insights into the culture, beliefs, and way of life of the Inca civilization. Each carving, each stone, each terrace tells a story, making Choquequirao not just a tourist destination, but a living chronicle of a once-great civilization.

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About Choquequirao Importance.

Choquequirao is believed to have been an important religious site for the Incas. As the city remains largely unexplored, the exact purpose of various buildings and constructions is still unclear. However, many experts believe that the city was used to connect the Inca Trail and Machu Picchu. The discovery of multiple artifacts and ceramics in the ruins adds further significance to the place. Protecting and preserving the site remains important to learn and understand Inca civilization, which is why it was declared a “cultural heritage” of humanity by UNESCO in 1983.


In conclusion, Choquequirao may be less well-known than Machu Picchu, but it is every bit as important in understanding the Inca civilization as its famous counterpart. Visiting Choquequirao involves physical effort, but the effort is worth it for its picturesque setting, rich history, and well-preserved buildings. A trip to Choquequirao is a must for every history enthusiast or anyone wanting to experience the rich cultural heritage of Peru.

The best Treks to Choquequirao.

Choquequirao, often known as the ‘sister city’ of Machu Picchu, is an enticing destination for avid trekkers. It presents an equally mesmerizing, yet less crowded alternative to the iconic Incan city.
For the most immersive experience, the classic 4-day Choquequirao Trek is an excellent choice. This trek navigates through beautiful landscapes, crossing the Apurimac River and ascending into the cloud forest, offering awe-inspiring views of the Andean mountains throughout.

For the truly adventurous, the 8-day Choquequirao to Machu Picchu Trek is a rewarding journey, which not only includes the fascinating ruins of Choquequirao but also culminates at the breathtaking vista of Machu Picchu. This long-distance trek is challenging, but the opportunity to explore two major Incan sites makes it worth the effort.

Lastly, the Villcabamba Choquequirao Trek is a 7-day expedition ideal for those desiring a more off-the-beaten-path experience. While it is less travelled, this trek encompasses the majestic sights of Incan ruins, varied ecosystems and diverse wildlife.

Regardless of the chosen trek, a trip to Choquequirao promises an unforgettable journey back in time, a rich encounter with Incan history, and a stunning panorama of the Peruvian landscape.

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