Choquequirao - The true lost city of the Inca (31 May)
Interesting Facts about Choquequirao
YOU CAN COME EARLY and leave late at Machu Picchu in the hopes of having the sacred ruins to yourself, or you can visit Choquequirao, about 27 miles (44 km) away as the condor flies, or about 62 miles (100 km) via walking path. (The latter entails a nine-day journey that many people use to explore the complex of Inca trails in the region.) Bingham discovered this ruin, too, when locals led him to Machu Picchu.
Vastly undervisited compared to its sister site, Choquequirao sometimes sees as few as 30 visitors a day. Yet it is an even larger complex than Machu Picchu, and most of it is still being excavated and cataloged. About a third of the site has been restored since serious work began on it in the 1970s.
The settlement was built in the same time period as Machu Picchu, roughly the middle of the 15th century, and is thought to have been a place of final refuge for the Inca resisting the Spanish. The site’s most iconic feature is the limestone-and-granite terrace stairway that leads to its main plaza. The steps are inlaid with white rock llamas, showing the path they took to supply workers with food and construction materials. Other buildings and structures in the complex are thought to have been planned with astrological significance.