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Mar 19, 2024



If you have an adventurous soul wandering to visit one of Peru’s most outstanding and lesser-known archaeological sites, Choquequirao in Peru should be at the top of your list. This ancient settlement, often known as the “twin City of Machu Picchu” is an instance of the incredible engineering and architectural knowledge of the great Inca civilization. Let’s dive into the world of Choquequirao and uncover its fascinating secrets.

Where is it located?

Choquequirao is located in the western Cusco Province among the Vilcabamba mountain range. It is one of the largest archaeological sites in Peru, covering 522,878.30 hectares with a perimeter of 367.09 km.  Due to its vast territory, the Choquequirao archaeological site is spread across several districts, including Echarate, Vilcabamba, Villavirgen, Inkahuasi, Santa Teresa, Quimbiri, Santa Ana, Maranura, Limatambo, and Mollepata throughout the Cusco province. Additionally, it includes Curahuasi, Huanipaca, San Pedro de Cachora, and Abancay within the Apurímac province.

Meaning of Choquequirao

The name “Choquequirao” derives from the Quechua word “choqek’iraw”, translating to “Cradle of Gold.” Due to its former role as an important administrative and religious center for the Incas, where gold and other precious metals were likely processed and stored.

By the way, current research indicates that this settlement was occupied by the Antis civilization before Inca times. During the 15th century, the Inca ruler Tupaq Yupanqui decided to build a royal settlement there, improving the buildings and adding farming lands and terraces.

Best Time to Visit

The ideal time to visit Choquequirao is during drying season, which commonly runs from April to October. Within these months, the weather is generally more stable, with clear skies and lower chances of rain, making the Choquequirao trek more enjoyable. However, keep in mind that June, July, and August can be quite chilly, especially at night. During September, flowers bloom all around, covering the mountains with colorful layers.

What to expect in Choquequirao Peru

Upon arrival at Choquequirao, visitors are greeted by an unforgettable sight: a large archaeological complex covering the mountainside with intricate stone work, terraces, plazas, and religious structures. Perhaps you did not get to know that Machu Picchu and Choquequirao remain relatively untouched by the modern world, allowing to truly immerse themselves in the Inca legacy.

The site’s most impressive features include the Ushnu (a ceremonial rounded platform), the house of priests, warehouses, and the incomparable Llama Terraces (Andean terrace’s walls bearing white stones in a llama shape). While you explore the buildings, you will notice the precision of the stonework and the ingenuity of the Inca masters.


Choquequirao in Peru is not only a cultural landmark but also a haven for nature lovers. The surrounding Vilcabamba mountain range is home to a diverse array of flora, including 196 species of orchids and 482 species of trees, as well as a variety of fauna, such as 46 species of mammals, 314 species of birds, 12 species of amphibians, and more. Keep your eyes open for elusive wildlife such as spectacled bears and the iconic Andean condor soaring overhead.

Other attractions on the way to Choquequirao

While Choquequirao is undoubtedly the main draw, the region offers several other fascinating attractions to upgrade your adventure. Consider visiting the nearby Saywite stone, the gorgeous Tarawasi archaeological site or the temple of the moon in Killarumiyoq. If you need more info about these options just click here!

Frequent Questions about Choquequirao

How long does the trek to Choquequirao take?

There are different options to reach this cultural marvel but there is only one safe way that starts from Capuliyoc. Therefore, you can ask for the classic 4-day Choquequirao, which is the shortest journey. However, some travelers opt for a longer trek such as 5-day choquequirao trek to enjoy the archaeological complex for 1 whole day or extend their journey to 6-day choquequirao trek to visit another stunning settlement as well.

Can Choquequirao Peru Trek include other Inca sites or treks?

Absolutely! Many passengers choose the exclusive 7-Day Choquequirao trek to Machu picchu, the 8-day option or the 12-day itinerary that connect with Machu Picchu and Inca Trail.

Do I need a guide to visit Choquequirao?

While not strictly required, it is highly recommended to hire a licensed and experienced guide for the Choquequirao trek. The route can be challenging, and guides can provide valuable insights into the history, culture, and logistics of the journey.

Please note that regardless of the tour you choose, a professional tour guide will be provided.

What is the difficulty level of the Choquequirao trek?

The Choquequirao trek is considered moderate to challenging due to steep ascents and descents, high altitudes, and rugged terrain. It is essential to be in good physical condition.

Are there campsites or accommodations available at Choquequirao?

Basic campsites with toilets and showers are available near the remains. Our tour operator offers the option of staying in these place or camp zones for a more comfortable experience.

What fees are required to visit Choquequirao?

All visitors to Choquequirao must purchase an entry ticket, which can be obtained at the access points or through us. Additional fees may apply for additional services.  

As you have read in our blog “Choquequirao: The twin of Machu Picchu”, This trek is a new way to get an experience into the Inca world. With its original buildings, stunning natural beauty, and rich cultural heritage, this destination is sure to leave a lasting impression on any intrepid traveler. So, pack your good vibes, embrace the adventure, and get ready to uncover the secrets of Choquequirao with us! Click here.

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