Peru Choquequirao mist
Peru Choquequirao terraces
Peru Choquequirao view

Machu Picchu 2.0: at least, that’s what many visitors say about this mountaintop citadel in Peru’s rugged Vilcabamba region. And indeed, if any Inca ruin can give the more celebrated site a run for its money, it’s this one. Choquequirao is situated on a levelled hill saddle some 60 miles as the crow — or condor — flies from Cusco. The site occupies seven square miles, three times the size of Machu Picchu, with well-preserved walled terraces, plazas, and a variety of temples, halls and other buildings, all set against a backdrop of simply incredible views over the thundering Apurimac River below.

Choquequirao has received much more attention in the last few years, with far more agencies in Cusco now offering four- to nine-day treks to the site. But it’s a tough hike and not many people go there, for now at least. That could all change in the next few years, with plans being made to build a cable car to Choquequirao, opening up access to the site and bringing far more tourists. For now, at least, it’s still possible to arrive at Choquequirao and see only a handful of fellow tourists, or perhaps none at all.

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