If you are one of those people who prefer their sights off the beaten path, then a visit to Choquequirao or the Cradle of God will be the ideal alternative to the tourist-packed Machu Picchu. This amazing historical complex, which remains only partially uncovered, contains remains that date back to 15th century. Even though getting to the “cradle of god” isn’t exactly a walk in the park due to its remote location, you can rest assured that a trip to Choquequirao will be infinitely rewarding for adventure-seeking travelers and history buffs alike.
- The terraces located at the lower levels of the site contain over twenty examples of semi-naturalistic rock art. The stone figurines depict llamas, humans and other motifs important for Incan tradition.
- Ceremonial Center represents the heart of Choquequirao ruins. It features a massive staircase that climbs up to a platform framed with irrigation structures.
- The most elevated portion of the site contains five constructions which sit on varying altitudes. Two of them are believed to have been warehouses, while the rest were used as residencies for priests.
- The lower plaza, located just below the Ceremonial Center, contains several constructions that were likely used as water shrines and baths.
- For now, the only way to reach Choquequirao is via foot. For most visitors, the Choquequirao trek starts in the village of San Pedro de Cachora, which is about a 4-hour drive from Cusco. The standard trek duration from Cachora to Choquequirao is four days. Bear in mind that this is a challenging trek with few trekkers on the trail but it is one of the best treks in Peru — we absolutely recommend it!
- Since Choquequirao sits at about 3,000 meters above sea level, you are advised to acclimatize before setting off to see the ancient ruins. Most people do so in the town of Cusco, which represents the main gateway for exploring Incan ruins.
- Even though it’s possible to hike to Choquequirao all year round, if you want to avoid muddy and slippery terrain, it’s best to do so during the dry season, which lasts from April to October.
If you are hunting for more then please have a look at the best things to do in Peru that we have curated. Peru enjoys seasonal weather, do read the best time to visit Peru before planning your dream vacation.