Choquequirao, the “Cradle of Gold”
Choquequirao is located in the district of Santa Teresa, province of La Convención, Cusco, Peru but geographically, it is more comfortably accessible through the department of Apurimac. It is at an altitude of 3,033 meters above sea level. Choquequirao Archaeological Park is sure to impress with the majesty of its Inca architecture with terraces, plazas, chambers, imposing walls with niches, and other structures.
Choquequirao is home to a variety of animals and birds. In addition, like Machu Picchu, there is a great variety of orchids.
According to biologists, ecologists, and experts, the wildlife in the environment of Choquequirao is one of the richest in biodiversity, but in this area, no one knows exactly how many species of plants and animals that exist, despite this deficiency and some scarce scientific studies, it has been possible to determine the existence of various forms of life.
The Condor is one of the largest flying animals in the world, with a nearly 11-foot wingspan. Since they fly so high, the Incas thought condors were God’s messengers. The condor, symbolizing righteousness, was considered the most sacred bird by the Incas. It was thought to be the messenger between the earth and the heavens. Inkayni Peru Tours has designed a tour that takes to Chonta, the town where you can watch the Flight of the Condor. We guarantee you would love the experience.
Taruca or Andean deer:
The Andean Deer inhabits Andean Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, Chile, and Argentina. In the Andes, they are found from 12 to 28 degrees South latitude. It is in danger of extinction
The vizcacha is an agile and graceful rodent that is very similar to the rabbit, both in its posture and its elongated ears. This mammal, which belongs to the Chinchillidae family, lives in Peruvian mountains, as well as in other South American countries such as Bolivia, Ecuador, Chile, and Argentina.
It is between 30 and 50 centimeters long and can weigh up to 17 pounds. It has an abundant, soft, thick coat, and the Incas time the fur of this little animal was valued highly, as it was used to produce fabrics for the nobility.
It is also known as Culpeo Fox. The Culpeo Fox is native to the western side of South America, from Ecuador to Peru to the southern regions of Patagonia and Tierra del Fuego. They are not found on any other continent. The foxes’ ideal terrain lies on the western slopes of the Andes, where they can inhabit both open country and deciduous forests. The dense forests are ideal for resting and taking cover, while the open country is optimal for hunting.
Q´ente in the Quechua language. The hummingbird is beautiful and iridescent as it goes from flower to flower. In Peru, there are more than 150 species, each with its own characteristics.
It is called “ukumari” in the Quechua language. The name “spectacled”, given to the bear, is widely embraced due to the creamy-white colored line of fur encircling its eyes. The Spectacled bear is completely black in color, with light-colored patches of fur on its chest and around the eyes. The light-colored fur doesn’t always encircle the eyes completely, but when it does, it looks like the bear is wearing spectacles. Every bear has a different pattern of these light-colored patches on their body.
- The spectacled bear population in The Andes is under great threat. The extinction of an important animal like this can destroy the entire ecology of the Andes, which in turn will only affect humans.
- The Cock of the Rocks: It is the national bird of Peru. It has a brightly-colored plumage. Its main color is a brilliant orange-red with a prominent rounded crest, black wings and tail and a pale gray lower back. It is known as “Tunki” in Quechua.
Flora: Discovering Choquequirao beauty is an exciting, exhausting and unforgettable adventure in which we go through a road passing by a sight with far snow mountains and endless greenness.
It is an erect and bushy grass with leaves or ‘gray hairs’ ranging from 25 to 90 centimeters long. The tender stems are green, while the dried stems are golden or brown and can be very sharp. The plant grows year-round and is considered to be one of the most characteristic plants of the high Andean plains.
It is estimated that Peru has around 3000 species. They grow at altitudes from 100 meters above sea level up to 4,800.
Inkayni additional Note:
It has been said that from 1532, year of the arrival of the Spanish conquer, until 1572, this was the last bastion of the called Vilcambamba Incas, who resist to the Spanish domination, where Manco Inca and his people recluse in this place, until 1572, year of the capture of the last Inca, Tupac Amaru the first.
FAQ: When is the best time to visit Choquequirao?
Inkayni Peru Tours recommends visiting Choquequirao during the dry season (From April to October). The Choquequirao trek is a 5-day hike. We guarantee the best trip ever!
What to bring?
- Original Passport
- Current University Card (if you are a student and want to qualify for the discount)
- Walking boots
- Waterproof jacket/rain poncho
- Warm jacket
- Hat and gloves
- Swimwear and slippers (for showers and hot springs).
- Comfortable Trousers
- Sun hat
- Sun cream (factor 35 or higher)
- Insect repellant
- Toiletries and hand sanitizer
- Personal medication
- Camera and film
- Torch with spare batteries or Headlamps.
Remote, spectacular, and still not entirely cleared, the ruins of Choquequirao are often described as a mini–Machu Picchu. The Peruvian government has already approved some plans to make this remote attraction more accessible to more tourists.
For now, you can still go without the crowds. Inkayni Peru Tours has designed a 5-day tour that can take you there.
It is a fascinating hike which goes into the Apurimac canyon. During the tour, you will appreciate beautiful landscapes and mountain, remote ancient villages celebrated in the last century by the ranchers, an exceptional Inca town built on the top of the hills by the Mitimaes of Chachapoyas to honor the great Pachacutec. The route offers biodiversity of flora and fauna, so that along the trail you will experience different microclimates and ecosystems. It is currently a hidden gem that is not easily accessible to visitors but not impossible either.
Read below a detailed 5-day itinerary:
- Day 1: Cusco – Cachora – Chiquiska (L)(D)
- Day 2: Chiquiska – Rosalina’s Beach – Choquequirao (B)(L)(D)
- Day 3: Choquequirao (B)(L)(D)
- Day 4: Choquequirao – Cocamasa (B)(L)(D)
- Day 5: Cocamasa– Conoc – Cusco (B)
Day 1: Cusco-Cachona-Chiquiska
Today, Inkayni Peru Tours will pick you up from your hotel early in the morning at approximately 05:30 a.m.; we will travel around 4 hours to reach the town of San Pedro de Cachora, the place where we’ll have our breakfast. As well we will meet our muleteers who will take the mules. In the zone called Capuliyoc, we will begin our two-hour walk to the “Capuliyoc pass” (2894 m.a.s.l. / 9,495 ft.) where we will have lunch.
We will continue with the descent of approximately 3 hours towards Chiquiska (1,900 m.a.s.l.), the place of our first camp where we will enjoy our dinner.
Min. Altitude: 1,900 m.a.s.l. – 6,270 ft.
Max. Altitude: 2,902 m.a.s.l. – 9,521 ft.
Distance: 7 km – 4.34 miles
Day 2: Chiquiska – Rosalina’s Beach- Choquequirao:
All meals are included today: Breakfast Lunch, and Dinner
After taking our nutritious breakfast, we will hike for 5 hours towards Maranpata to have lunch and enjoy the beautiful view of Choquequirao. After that, we will walk two more hours to reach the archaeological complex of Choquequirao and spend the night near it. In the afternoon, we will have tea time, then dinner.
Min. Altitude: 1,477 m.a.s.l. – 4,840 ft.
Max. Altitude: 3,150 m.a.s.l. – 10,397 ft.
Distance: 19 km – 11.81 miles
Day 3: Choquequirao:
This day is essential as we will tour the entire archaeological complex of Choquequirao and explore some places that are covered by the lush vegetation of the cloud forest. Our guide will be responsible for providing you all the relevant information about the site, its history, and the importance it had in the past. After this, you will have free time to explore the complex on your own. Lunch and dinner will be served in our camp, after nightfall, we will rest in the same place as the night before.
Inkayni Additional Note:
After the guided tour, you will have some extra time to explore the ruins on your own.
Min. Altitude: 2,950 m.a.s.l./ 9,676 ft.
Max. Altitude: 3,150 m.a.s.l./ 10,397 ft.
Day 4: Choquequirao – Cocamasana:
We will start the long descent towards the Apurimac River, where we will stop for lunch. After this, we will begin to ascend gradually around 3 to 4 hours towards our last camp that is Cocamasana (2300 m.s.m.) to have our dinner, where we will have spectacular views of the Choquequirao route.
Min. Altitude: 2,950 m.a.s.l. / 9,676 ft.
Max. Altitude: 3,150 m.a.s.l./ 10,397 ft.
Distance: 10 km – 14.29 miles
Day 5: Cocamasana – Conoc – Cusco:
After having obtained a delicious breakfast, we will walk around two hours to reach the Apurimac canyon and get amazing photos. Here ends our trek, which we will continue our trip by bus back to Cusco. On the way, we will stop to observe the enormous stone of Saywite, carved by the Incas in the representation of their empire.
Saywite stone from Apurímac
Inkayni Interesting Info:
The 8th coin of the series, the “Piedra de Saywite” (Stone of Saywite), has been put into circulation on March 21st, 2012.
After 2 hours, we can enjoy the thermal waters of Conoc to relax and have a delicious lunch. Finally, we will arrive in Cusco. The site is regarded as an important center of religious worship focusing on water.
Min. Altitude: 1,500 m.a.s.l./ 4,921 ft.
Max Altitude: 2,902 m.a.s.l./ 9,521 ft.
How to get ready for the Choquequirao Challenging trek?
You need to have some trekking experience to hike Choquequirao. It is a challenging trek, more challenging than Inca Trail to Machu Picchu.
Why should you choose Inkayni Tours?
- You should book with Inkayni Peru tours because we value the importance of revealing the truly historic, cultural and spiritual legacy left by our ancestors.
- We guarantee personal attention for our clients through the elaboration of innovative services and products, tailored for each customer using the latest technologies. We are a well-trained team, highly motivated and fully identified with our company.
“Life is what we make of it. Travel is a traveler. What we see isn’t what we see but what we are”. – Fernando Pessoa