Choquequirao (Cradle of Gold in Quechua) is a mysterious lost city where the Incas took refuge from Cusco in 1536 after retiring from the attacks of the Spanish conquerors. The Choquequirao inca site, built by the Inca Tupac Yupanqui in the second half of the 15th century, was of fundamental importance for control of the trade between the imperial capital Cusco and the Amazon Jungle. It was also an important religious centre, and rare to find such a large ceremonial centre at Choquequirao.
Surrounded by breath-taking landscapes at an altitude of more than 3000m, Choquequirao consists of several levels. It was strategically located and very difficult to conquer, so the Inca Manco Yupanqui decided to take refuge here.
The first report of the citadel of Choquequirao was in 1710 by Spanish explorer Juan Arias Days. But the site gained more importance after the visit of archaeologist Hiram Bingham who described it in more detail.
The archaeological Choquequirao complex is enormous, stretching over an area of approximately 18 square km and today it’s estimated that only 30% of this area has been rescued.
Choquequirao is structurally very similar to her sister Machu Picchu. Houses, irrigation and water supply and the typical terraced platforms are really fantastic.
The Choquequirao inca ruins are in the valley of Vilcabamba, altitude 3033 meters, latitude 13°32’ S and Longitude 72°44’ W in the province of Cusco. There are extreme temperature changes between day and night due to the altitude, especially in the months of June and July. The rainy season is from December to April.
At the beginning of the Choquequirao Trek and for the first 10km our clients can admire the surrounding pine and eucalyptus on the road to Choquequirao. As we near the Apurimac (Speaking God in Quechua) the vegetation will change significantly. Pines and eucalyptus trees (trees that originate from other continents) make way for native Tintinpa trees like Molle Molle and Pathi.
It is very common to see the typical fauna of the Apurimac Canyon. Condors, hawks, deer and partridges are usually spotted on the Choquequirao trek. A rare sighting but by no means impossible is the Andean Bear who also resides in this area of the Andes.