Choquequirao is an archaeological complex on the rise, every year attracting more tourists from around the world. For this reason and for its structural similarities, it’s being called the “new Machu Picchu.” It’s located at an elevation of 3,0ee m.a.s.l., north of the Apurimac River Valley. Learn more about this up-and-coming tourist attraction below.
Meaning of the word Choquequirao
The name Choquequirao comes from the Quechua words chuqi, meaning gold, and k’riaw, meaning cradle, therefore its translation is “cradle of gold.” Choquequirao is the remains of an ancient Inca city located at the foot of the snowy Mt. Salkantay in the district of Santa Teresa.
If you wish to visit, there’s a trek to Choquequirao that will take you through different landscapes and finish at Machu Picchu. Contact Explorandes for more information about this trek.
Choquequirao, The “Sacred Sister of Machu Picchu”
Today, Choquequirao is coined the “Sacred Sister of Machu Picchu” because of its similarity in structure and architecture. The Peruvian government is currently working to recover the entire complex and convert it into a set of destinations to be visited by tourists along with Machu Picchu, packaging the tour as “The Trek to Choquequirao / Machu Picchu”, a 9-day adventure trekking route through these monuments of Cusco.
The Importance of Choquequirao to the Inca Empire
It is presumed that Choquequirao was a cultural and religious center. Additionally, it is thought that it once served as a sort of checkpoint for controlling access to areas in the Vilcabamba, an area very important to the Inca Empire since it was connected to the jungle and other religious centers like Pisac and Machu Picchu. Therefore, Choquequirao served as a link between the Amazon Jungle and the city of Cusco.
The Biodiversity of Choquequirao
The biodiversity that surrounds Choquequirao is some of the richest in Peru, with species that have adapted to the varying temperatures present at Choquequirao. Among the species found at this site are condors, Andean deer, chinchillas, foxes, skunks, pumas, hummingbirds, spectacled bears, and the national bird of Peru, the Cock of the Rock. As far as flora goes, giant ferns and the ichu exist, as well as a variety of orchids.
The trek to Choquequirao will introduce you to the great natural wonder of Machu Picchu as well as it’s increasingly popular sister citadel, Choquequirao. Since Choquequirao is still shrouded in mystery, now is a great time to visit it before the masses catch on to its wonder. For more information about Choquequirao and the trek, visit explorandes.com.