When you book an A2A Safaris® itinerary to Peru, discover the country's best-kept secret—the larger, untouched, and incredibly secluded sister site of Choquequirao. With only a few tourists arriving at the lost city per day, it will feel as if you have the entire Incan complex all to yourself.
Adventurous trekkers begin this challenging journey by first arriving to Cachora, a traditional agricultural town set around 4 hours west of Cusco. Set within a dense cloud forest where three rivers merge and requiring an adventurous 4-day, round-trip pursuit to reach, Choquequirao is accessible by climbing steep paths and along ancient Incan walkways that weave through spectacular scenic passes. Your ultimate reward: arriving at this wondrous, under-the- radar archaeological site, believed to be around three times larger than Machu Picchu.
Though Machu Picchu may draw the crowds, Choquequirao is the region’s most intriguing site with its maze of high-quality stonework that indicates it once housed Incan royalty. Hidden under dense tropical foliage and still not entirely cleared (under 40 percent is excavated), the site forms a vast complex of nine areas once used for religious, political, and military functions during the Incan Empire, the largest empire in pre-Columbian America that dominated the region for over a century beginning in the 1400s.
Though much of the Choquequirao remains a mystery, the Incan architecture that is currently uncovered reveals finely-built and imposing buildings, each displaying the uniquely-Incan style of adapting natural landscapes into terraces, highways, and mountaintop settlements. Because the site’s stonework has even stood the test of time so well, you’ll have the ultimate inside glimpse into what life was like during the Incan Empire, especially when you climb to the Sunch’u Pata hilltop. Here, you’ll have the best view of Choquequirao and the Apurimac Valley from above to see preserved ritual baths and temples dedicated to three central spirits of the Incas: the sun, moon, and Pachamama, revered by the indigenous people of the Andes Mountains as the ancient goddess of the Earth.