Discovering the Inca Treasure: Choquequirao in Detail
In the majestic heart of Cusco, Peru, hides an archaeological treasure that rivals the fame of its “big sister”, Machu Picchu. We are referring to Choquequirao, an Inca jewel that captivates those who venture to discover it. We go beyond superficial comparisons and explore this fascinating site in depth.
What is Choquequirao and why should you visit it?
Choquequirao, translated as the “Cradle of Gold” in Quechua, stands as an Inca urban center with remarkable similarities to Machu Picchu.
Its strategic location in the foothills of the Salkantay mountain, at 3,103 m.a.s.l., stands out as a key element. This point is fundamental to understanding Inca engineering and planning.
Architecture that Resists Time
Unlike its better known counterpart, Choquequirao reveals only 30% of its grandeur. Its main buildings, meticulously carved in quartzite, bear witness to its splendid architecture. Although the clay that once adorned its walls has given way to the passage of time, the grandeur of its architecture can still be glimpsed. It is similar in splendor to Machu Picchu.
Trek to the Unknown: Is it worth it?
The trek to Choquequirao is a 32-kilometer odyssey, a challenge that separates the adventurous from the crowds. From the village of Cachora to the heights of Choquequirao, the hike reveals breathtaking landscapes, from the Capuliyoc viewpoint to the depths of the Apurimac Valley.
The Enchantment of the Lesser Known
Choquequirao, in its isolation, offers visitors an intimate experience. The absence of trains and buses means that those who arrive do so on foot, a sacrifice that translates into the reward of having this archaeological site almost to themselves.
Common Questions Answered
How much does the adventure really cost?
- Going to Choquequirao can be done with or without a tour. Options range from $400 to $600, depending on the agency and amenities offered. However, those with an independent spirit can opt for the more economical but equally rewarding self-guided route.
Is it possible to visit Choquequirao without a tour?
- Unlike other routes, Choquequirao allows adventurers to explore on their own. Organizing the hike and paying the entrance fee at the site are the requirements for those who choose to be their own guides on this trek.
Beyond the Ruins: Curious Facts
- Night Pearls in the Heights: During the hike, tourists can find campsites every three hours, offering a unique nighttime experience.
- Alternative Route to Machu Picchu: Looking for a longer adventure? There is a route that links Choquequirao with Machu Picchu, an 8-day, 7-night odyssey that promises unforgettable views.
- Future Simplified Access: Soon, a cable car will connect Choquequirao with a nearby village, facilitating access and preserving the authenticity of the site.
In summary, Choquequiraoo is not just the “little sister” of Machu Picchu. It is a unique and unforgettable destination in itself. From its imposing architecture to the challenging hike, every aspect of this Inca jewel deserves to be discovered. Are you ready to explore the unknown and immerse yourself in the grandeur of Choquequirao? The adventure awaits!