What is Choquequirao? Archeological Site
Where is it? 33km trekking from Cachora, Peru
How long do I need? 4 days
How much does it cost? The Choquequirao entrance fee is S/.55.00 soles (2017)
While Machu Picchu is awfully impressive, it does have one major problem. Everyone knows it’s great. With an estimated 2,500 visitors per day, you can get there early, take the last bus, be the first through the Sun Gate, visit in low season, go in the rain, or go on Christmas, and still any semblance of solitude is a distant memory. How are you supposed to imagine an ancient civilization while you’re stuck behind a tour group chasing llamas with their iPhones?
By all means, go to Machu Picchu. Go for the perspective, and for a glimpse at one of the world’s most iconic, best preserved sites. But if you’re seeking a quieter more adventurous experience, there’s only one alternative to Machu Picchu as far as we’re concerned. High on a hill in the Vilcabamba mountain range is the overwhelming Choquequirao ruins.
Choquequirao vs Machu Picchu
The 15th century ruins of Choquequirao sprawl more than 18km though presently just 30% excavated (take that, Machu Picchu!). The complex is divided into 12 sectors, and closely resembles Machu Picchu with features like terraces, temples, plazas, and aqueducts. But very unlike Machu Picchu, Choquequirao sees an average of 20 visitors per day. With nothing but the setting sun and sporadic rains to distract you, you’re free to explore the park in absolute peaceful silence.
The Choquequirao trek may have been a real ass kicker, but having seen it, we both agree it is one of our most powerful travel experiences ever. Go for the adventure, go for the experience, and most importantly, go before they build the damn teleferiqo. Here’s our guide to exploring Choquequirao.
all things ancient at the Choquequirao ruins
planning to visit Choquequirao? Be sure to check out our post on the Choquequirao Trek!
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