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Choquequirao in 2024: What You Need to Know if You’re Planning to Visit this Amazing Archaeological Park this Year

Start the new year on a high note!

With uncontainable excitement, we are delighted to announce that The New York Times has featured the Archaeological Park of Choquequirao in its exclusive list of the “52 Best Destinations to Visit in 2024.”

This recognition is a momentous achievement for Peru and its rich cultural heritage. It also presents an excellent opportunity to inspire more individuals to uncover and experience the awe-inspiring Inca citadel, a sibling to the renowned Machu Picchu.

Choquequirao: Peru’s Hidden Gem

Dubbed a hidden treasure of Peru, the New York Times said that Choquequirao was a gem that has yet to be ultimately revealed to the world, with less than 10,000 tourists visiting the majestic Inca fortress. Its distant access makes it unpopular to travelers and trekkers—getting only less than 10,000 visitors annually.

This city was concealed atop a mountain in the shadow of the majestic Salcantay snow-capped peak for nearly four centuries. Nevertheless, it has captivated people, from archeologists and researchers to simply inquisitive tourists.

It was only during the reign of the Inca Empire, around 1536, that this site was constructed. This verdant wonder is a mesmerizing sight, situated at the Peruvian Amazon and the Andes meeting point. There are more convenient spots, but the vista is worth the effort. 

Embark on a tour that will bring you face-to-face with nature and encourage you to rediscover your inner self at every turn.

Machu Picchu vs. Choquequirao: Similarities and Differences

Although Choquequirao is known by locals as Machu Picchu’s Sacred Sister, due to their striking similarities in structure and design, they are as different as day and night if you look at both structures closely. Let’s explore their uniqueness.

  1. Path

Due to Machu Picchu’s popularity among tourists, it has since created a well-maintained path that has transformed so that many visitors can easily visit the attraction. On the other hand, the Choquequirao Trail is more of a daring adventure waiting to be conquered due to its demanding trail. 

  1. Exploration by Foot

Choquequirao has a different route to it than Machu Picchu. But, instead, you can get to this fantastic spot on foot. However, only if you’re emotionally and physically ready for this thrilling adventure.

According to the New York Times, in their article, “52 Places to Go in 2024,” the only way to reach the destination is by zigzagging over steep terrain for 28 kilometers (17.4 miles), rising to an altitude of 3,048 meters (3,280.84 feet), and being suspended between the Andes and the jungles below.

However, just like any other set of sisters, Machu Picchu and Choquequirao are unique—each has its special allure, and seeing either one is like no other. You will not only experience the adventure of a lifetime but also become more knowledgeable about nature and the culture surrounding it by the time you reach the destination of your adventure.

The “Perfect” Moment to Explore Choquequirao’s Wonders

If you want to immerse yourself in the awe-inspiring experience of the wonder of Choquequirao, look no further. One of the most essential parts when trekking is knowing the trail and the weather. After all, you don’t want to travel in bad weather.

That said, if you want to visit Choquequirao, it’s best to see it during the dry season, which stretches from April to October. During this season, the weather is at its best, allowing you to relish every moment of this remarkable adventure.

Uncovering the Path to Exploring Choquequirao

The classic route is the way to go if you want to do the most popular one among travelers, although there are two more ways to reach Choquequirao. This choice is more convenient because it is a day longer and more comfortable. You can learn more about the classic route below:

Day 1:  CUSCO I Cusco – Capuliyoc – Chiquisca

The trip starts with a 4 ½ drive from your hotel to Capuliyok (2,915 meters/9,564 feet) through our private transport.

As we start our journey, get ready to feast your eyes on the breathtaking views of the charming villages, valleys, and majestic snow-capped mountains. Once we reach Capuliyoc, indulge yourselves with a delightful brunch prepared by us.

We’ll then hike for three to four hours down to our campsite nestled in Chiquisca (1,900m/6,270ft).

Day 2: Chiquisca – Maranpata – Choquequirao

On our second day, after having breakfast, we’ll trek to the Apurimac River (1,550 m/5,117 ft) and then walk uphill to Maranpata (2,850 m/9,350 ft), for lunch with stunning views of Choquequirao. Afterward, we’ll explore the archaeological site with a private guided tour, checking out palaces, temples, and more. Finally, just 20 minutes away from the ruins of  Choquequirao, we’ll return to our campsite for dinner, surrounded by beautiful canyons and snow-capped mountains, with a chance to spot condors.

Day 3: Choquequirao – Chiquisca

For our third day, a thrilling adventure awaits as we uncover the breathtaking wonders of the Choquequirao ruins. After immersing ourselves in the stunning sections of the ruins, we’ll embark on a journey back towards the Apurimac River (1,550m/5,117ft), where we’ll spend three hours exploring its mesmerizing surroundings.

After a moderate hill trek to our campsite in Chiquisca (1,990m/6,270ft), experience the beauty and tranquility of this remarkable location to conclude our day.

Day 4: Chiquisca – Capuliyoc – Cusco

For our last day, fill yourself up with our delicious breakfast before trekking up a moderate hill to reach the Capuliyoc pass, where you can soak in the stunning mountain views and the majestic Apurimac Canyon. Then, our private transport will be ready to take us to the

Saywite for some exploring before finally heading back to Cusco. From here, you’ll be dropped off at your hotel in the evening.

Other Options You Could Consider

If you want a Choquequirao adventure according to your preferences, go on a shorter or grander trail. In addition to the traditional route, there are two shorter ways to travel to Choquequirao: First is a thrilling 4-day option, and the Second is a 9-day exhilarating adventure. 

If you’re an experienced trekker looking for a more challenging and rewarding trip, these shorter routes are perfect. They offer an intriguing twist but also add an extra challenge.

Meanwhile, you want an even more exciting and grander trail of Choquequirao and the world-renowned Machu Picchu. In that case, you can enjoy longer itineraries that include both locations’ historical and ecological wonders throughout 7, 8, or 9 days. These extended tours offer a more relaxed pace, perfect for seeing these remarkable archaeological sites at your speed and immersing yourself in their beauty.

With an array of exciting options at your disposal, you hold the reins to design a one-of-a-kind adventure ideally suited to your tastes and schedule.

Sights to See in Choquequirao

If you embark on the route to Choquequirao, there are plenty of sights and treasures to uncover, including the following:

  • Main Plaza: A two-storey stone building that divided the enclosure in half.
  • Colcas: Often used as storage space for food, apparel, and more projects.
  • Andenes: Choquequirao is home to a plethora of terraces that are specifically reserved for growing crops.
  • Kallankas: These structures had multiple uses throughout the Inca period, including workshops, administrative headquarters, and gathering places.
  • Ushnu: Perched atop a mountain, this oval-shaped structure is thought to have served a sacred religious purpose for the Incas. 
  • Inca Cemetery: Each culture has different ways to honor the dead; the Inca Cemetery is where 17 coffins and a water channel were discovered.

What You Should Know Before the Trek

Your safety and enjoyment are our top priority. Which is why we have compiled a few recommendations to help elevate your experience and savor every moment of your trek to Choquequirao.

  1. Condition

If you want to visit Choquequirao, it’s recommended that you have the physical and mental condition that comes with it and that you are well-experienced with hiking. 

  1. Clothing and Trekking Essentials

Preparation is critical when it comes to going on trips. It’s important to pack essentials like food, water, and clothing for the number of days you intend to hike and the necessary camping gear.

  1. Best Time to Visit

Like any other tropical country, Peru only has dry and rainy seasons. If you want to hike to Choquequirao, you want to hike during the dry season. After all, you would want to avoid rain as much as possible. 

Please be aware that if you ever choose to take the risk, the trail may become more treacherous due to landslides and rain during the wet season, typically from December to March.

  1. Climate

Choquequirao’s climate, like the trek itself, is dynamic and depends on the  altitude.

In the lower valleys, be prepared for temperatures ranging from 25°C to 40°C, while higher altitudes and colder seasons may bring about a cooler ambiance with temperatures fluctuating between 0°C and 19°C.

As such, get ready to embrace the ever-changing climate as you journey through this captivating landscape.

Trekking Choquequirao Alone: Can I Do It?

You absolutely can! Since you only need to follow the schedule mentioned above, you can do it alone if you want to. However, we recommend hiring a local Cusco tour operator so that you won’t have to worry about a thing and can relax and enjoy the hike.

Planning to Trek Choquequirao in 2024? Book Action Peru Treks!

At Action Peru Treks, our team of enthusiastic local guides has the experience and expertise in trekking the majestic Choquequirao. Or local guides are all native Cusqueñans, and they can surely outline the route and narrate fascinating Inca history along the way. Our goal is to make your trip a one-of-a-kind and unforgettable experience.  

Contact our certified tour operator if you want your hike to Choquequirao to be as memorable as ever. Let us uncover Choquequirao’s hidden charms with our tailor-made excursions crafted to delight your senses. 

Get set to dive into the Choquequirao adventure of your lifetime. 


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