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CHOQUEQUIRAO

 

Choquequirao means "cradle of gold" in Quechua although this is probably not its original Inca name. It is another "lost city of the Incas" located high on a ridge spur almost 1750m above the raging glacier-fed Apurimac River and surrounded by towering snow-capped peaks.

 

The US explorer Gary Ziegler suggests that Choquequirao treks may have been the place where the last Inca, Tupac Amaru, was raised among Inca Priestesses. The abundance of many double jamb doorways and niches indicates that the place was held in high status.

 

The ruins were first visited and described to the western world by a French explorer during the 18th century. Hiram Bingham visited the site in 1910.

   

The remoteness and inaccessibility have discouraged visitors until fairly recently when COPESCO constructed a footbridge over the Apurimac River below the ruins. Even today the ruins are still rarely visited although, with the enforcement of new regulations on the Inca Trail, Choquequirao treks is destined to replace the traditional hike as the serious trekker’s alternative. 

 

Choquequirao sits in the saddle of a high Andean ridge, 3000m./10,000 ft. above sea level and 1,500m./5,000 ft. above the roaring waters of the Apurimac River. Ringed by spectacular snow-capped peaks and flanked by plunging, thickly forested slopes, the city is an inspiring example of an elite Inca ceremonial center, dedicated to the worship of the mountain gods, the river and the elements of nature.

Choquequirao has been called “Machu Picchu’s sacred sister”, because of the striking similarities of design and ceremonial architecture to its famous counterpart above the Urubamba Gorge. Yet it remains an enigmatic place whose history is a matter of speculation. One theory of its origins holds that it was a royal estate built for the emperor Topa Inca, perhaps in an attempt to rival his father Pachacuti’s spectacular domain at Machu Picchu.

For centuries Choquequirao lay shrouded in obscurity, protected by its remoteness. Unlike Machu Picchu, people knew it was there – it was first mentioned in a Spanish document of 1710, later visited by various explorers and treasure hunters, and roughly surveyed in the 19th century by the French consul in Lima, Leonce Angrand. Finally, in 1909, the indefatigable U.S. explorer Hiram Bingham –the future scientific discoverer of Machu Picchu -- explored and mapped the site.

 

 

Today we can trek to Choquequirao via a modern footbridge across the Apurimac River. The journey is as awe-inspiring as ever, taking us through an astounding range of ecological zones, from Andean farming valleys, descending through a hot and arid canyon environment featuring kapok trees, cactus and agaves, and climbing again to a region of lush cloud forest, beneath the dizzying snowcaps of the Cordillera Vilcabamba.

 

Itinerary  choquequirao  4 Days / 3 nights

 

Cusco - Cachora - Playa Rosalina

 

Leave from Cusco at o’clock in the morning by bus arriving at Cachora town approximately at 8:00 am in the morning where we will have walk and here after we arrange the equipment on mules and horses. From this place we cam observe the Majestic Padreyoq snow-covered peak 5,482 masl the hike on this firs day is 21.50 Km. 3 hours flat from Cachora to Mirador Capuliyoq and 4 hours down hill until camp site 1580 masl.

 

Playa Rosalina – Choquequirao

 

Early in the morning 6:00 am after breakfast, we continue our hike going up to Choquequirao. We will arrive to archaeological place Choquequirao after 6 hours, good time to enjoy that majestic place, we will observe tree levels the excavated ruins, we will appreciate houses, terraces and other part of this Inca town (depending of the weather we observe the fly of the Condors).

 

Choquequirao– Chiquisqa

 

After an early breakfast we pack and start walking back to Chiquisqa, on the way we can observe again Apurimac canyon.

Here we maybe lucky to appreciate the flight of the Condor.

The exuberant vegetation and its variety of flower and orchids.

 

Choquequirao Chiquisqa – Cachora – Cusco

 

Early in the morning after breakfast we continue to climbing 4 hours more aproximately until Mirador Capuliyoq.

After that we will continue to arrive to Cachora town on hike we can appreciate again the majestic Padreyoq snow that decorate the Apurimac Canyon.

* Departures and ariival times are approximate.

 

Choquequirao What is Not Included:

Lunch and dinner on the last day.

Sleeping bag.

 

Choquequirao What is Included:

Pick-up from your hotel in the morning and transfer in private bus to Cachora, the starting point of the trek.

Igloo tents. 2 people in each 3 people capacity tents to allow for higher comfort and a safe keeping of backpacks.

 

One Mattress Per Person:

English speaking professional guide.

Cook and cooking equipment.

Horseman and horses (to carry tents, food and cooking.

 

Choquequirao Equipment:

1 horse for emergency.

Acommodation for our guides, cook and horseman.

Meals (03B, 03L, 03D tea time and snack service every day).

First-aid kid including emergency oxigen bottle.

 

 

http://www.choquequirao-treks.com/

 

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