- Hiking / Trekking
- Archaeological Site
- Off the beaten track
Accessible only by foot or on horseback, I recommend the ruins of Choquequirao to all hikers who like to get off the beaten track. This archaeological site, far from being completely cleared, is still very well-preserved. It has escaped mass tourism (quite the opposite of Machu Picchu), and this makes it all the more enjoyable and gives it a certain wild charm.
Rather than the ruins, what I preferred were three days walking in breathtaking landscapes in the middle of the Cordillera of the Andes. If you are afraid of not being able to keep up, there is always the possibility of taking a horse, which will help you on the steepest slopes. This authentic trek is therefore a good alternative to the very busy Inca Trail, for which you sometimes need to make reservations months in advance!
Choquequirao is an incredible site to visit, despite the fact that only thirty percent of it is exposed. It goes without say, therefore, that it still has many secrets to reveal. As well as the economic factor involved in undertaking the clearing process, the work can only be carried out in the dry season, making it a practically endless task. I really enjoyed the "wild and untamed" aspect of the site. It makes you feel like you're just one of a handful of people privileged enough to get to see it.
With no roads suitable for four-wheeled vehicles leading to the site, getting to it is not easy. If you do intend to come here when you visit Peru, you'll need to have your best walking boots on and plenty of energy and determination. Because – and as you'll often hear it described – this is not an easy trek (but nor is it impossible), though it is a wonderful one. I've been lucky enough to have had the chance to come here twice (doing both the short and the long versions of the trip), and on both occasions I found myself simply stunned by the scale of this wild, isolated and remote site. Terraces and irrigation canals actually make up most of the constructions. As for the views, they are simply incredible, as I'm sure you can imagine!