Peru Choquequirao mist
Peru Choquequirao terraces
Peru Choquequirao view

Machu Picchu 2.0: so rave visitors to 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.

  • Lima

    Lima

    Peru's unfairly overlooked capital
    Peru's sprawling capital city is often overlooked by time-poor visitors en route to more photogenic locations, but dwell a while and you'll find a complex city with onionskin layers of history and excellent museums, a proud contemporary culture, genuinely diverse neighbourhoods, and a world-leading food scene...
  • Cusco

    Cusco

    Capital of the Inca
    Seat of the Inca Empire, Cusco is the epicentre for Peru's tourism industry, drawing millions of visitors en route to Machu Picchu and adventures in the Sacred Valley...
  • Sacred Valley

    Sacred Valley

    Peru's spiritual heartland
    As the Urubamba River descends from Cusco, eventually connecting with tributaries of the mighty Amazon, it has carved out a sweep of valley whose beauty defies imagination...
  • Machu Picchu

    Machu Picchu

    Peru's archaeological rock star
    If you're coming to Peru you'll almost certainly visit the ruins that have come to define the entire country...
  • Arequipa

    Arequipa

    Peru's elegant White City
    Peru's second city is an elegant, refined counterweight to Lima's unbridled freneticism...
  • Colca Canyon

    Colca Canyon

    Flight of the condor
    Twice as deep as the Grand Canyon but a fraction of the width, the Colca Canyon cuts a dramatic scar across Peru's southern Andes...
  • Lake Titicaca

    Lake Titicaca

    Shimmering heart of the Andean universe
    A tranquil expanse of turquoise water seemingly at the roof of the world, Lake Titicaca was revered as the birthplace of Peru's original civilisations and the centre of the indigenous cosmos...
  • Puerto Maldonado

    Puerto Maldonado

    Accessible Amazonian adventures
    Puerto Maldonado, in Peru's southern Amazon, is the most accessible entrance to the jungle...
  • Iquitos

    Iquitos

    The jungle city
    Famous for being accessible only by air or boat, Iquitos lies in Peru's distant north-eastern Amazon with a distinct frontier vibe to match...
  • Manú National Park

    ...
  • Chavín de Huántar

    Chavín de Huántar

    "Birthplace of South American culture”
    If you have an interest in Andean civilisation, Chavín de Huántar is vastly more significant than the famed Machu Picchu, but with a fraction of the crowds...
  • Trujillo

    Northern historical heartlands
    ...
  • Chiclayo

    ...
  • Huaraz

    ...
  • Arica

    ...

Things to do in Choquequirao

Our recommended experiences and activities

Hike to Choquequirao
Choquequirao

Hike to Choquequirao

Machu Picchu’s quieter and much harder to reach “sister city” in the rugged Vilcabamba region. Indeed, if any Inca ruin can give the more celebrated site a run for its money, it’s this one.

Where to go in Peru

Our recommended places

Lima

Lima

Peru's sprawling capital city is often overlooked by time-poor visitors en route to more photogenic locations, but dwell a while and you'll find a complex city with onionskin layers of history and excellent museums, a proud contemporary culture, genuinely diverse neighbourhoods, and a world-leading food scene.

Cusco

Cusco

Seat of the Inca Empire, Cusco is the epicentre for Peru's tourism industry, drawing millions of visitors en route to Machu Picchu and adventures in the Sacred Valley. With layers of archaeology built on top of each other (often literally), Cusco and its surroundings can keep you occupied for several days. Ignore the tourist traps and see Cusco for the living, breathing, contemporary city it is.

Sacred Valley

Sacred Valley

As the Urubamba River descends from Cusco, eventually connecting with tributaries of the mighty Amazon, it has carved out a sweep of valley whose beauty defies imagination. Little wonder then that the Inca chose this stunning and fertile location as their spiritual and agricultural heartland. Scattered with ruins, towns and villages where Quechua is still commonly heard, the Sacred Valley is much more than a mere stop-off before Machu Picchu. Spend some time here and get a real understanding for Peru's origin story.

Machu Picchu

Machu Picchu

If you're coming to Peru you'll almost certainly visit the ruins that have come to define the entire country. Despite now drawing millions of visitors a year, the crowds can't dent the ruins' sheer scale and undeniable magnificence.

Arequipa

Arequipa

Peru's second city is an elegant, refined counterweight to Lima's unbridled freneticism. A colonial-era city constructed from white volcanic stone, Arequipa is home to some outstanding architecture, fantastic cuisine, and a fiercely independent spirit. The year-round sunshine makes it very tempting to linger.

Colca Canyon

Colca Canyon

Twice as deep as the Grand Canyon but a fraction of the width, the Colca Canyon cuts a dramatic scar across Peru's southern Andes. Well known as a habitat for the condor, indigenous settlements and remote trekking and whitewater rafting. Most visitors make a flying visit from Arequipa, but stay a while and get to know a different side of Peru's Andean civilisation.

Lake Titicaca

Lake Titicaca

A tranquil expanse of turquoise water seemingly at the roof of the world, Lake Titicaca was revered as the birthplace of Peru's original civilisations and the centre of the indigenous cosmos. Puno, on the lake's western shores, is a functional but pleasant enough city and makes a good springboard for the islands that dot the shimmering waters. Some of these islands are overdone tourist traps, but get further afield and explore the birthplace of an entire civilisation.

Puerto Maldonado

Puerto Maldonado

Puerto Maldonado, in Peru's southern Amazon, is the most accessible entrance to the jungle. The town itself is nothing to write home about, but it's the best way of reaching one of the many lodges found deeper in the interior. Some lodges are more luxurious than others but all include guided nature and bird-spotting excursions, delicious meals and the unforgettable experience of drifting asleep to the cacophonous sound of the jungle at night.

Iquitos

Iquitos

Famous for being accessible only by air or boat, Iquitos lies in Peru's distant north-eastern Amazon with a distinct frontier vibe to match. The city itself is a lot of fun to explore, particularly the floating markets and ramshackle neighbourhoods. But its main draw is as the departure point for trips to remote jungle lodges and luxurious river cruises on the mighty Amazon River .

Chavín de Huántar

Chavín de Huántar

If you have an interest in Andean civilisation, Chavín de Huántar is vastly more significant than the famed Machu Picchu, but with a fraction of the crowds. Situated in Peru’s Cordillera Blanca, some 160 miles north of Lima and within easy reach of the trekking hub of Huaraz, the site was once the most important pilgrimage destination in the Andes. Due to their extreme age, with portions dating as far back as 1,000 BC, the ruins don't look like much from the outside. But get inside -- and underground -- and you'll discover an eerie world of subterranean passageways, sunken courtyards and carvings that help explain the origins and rituals of the original Andean civilisation.

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