CityPeruSouth America

Choquequirao

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HISTORY

It is the sister city of Machu Picchu in Cuzco, Peru. It was carved in stone by the Incas, at an altitude of 3,085 meters. It was important for political and religious worship and filled with the riches of the ancient world. One of the most sought-after destinations in the world, the ruins of Machu Picchu receive around 1.4 million visitors a year. But what if there was another similar archaeological site, practically deserted, in the Andes? No queues, agglomerations, or ticket office at the entrance? This place exists and is called Choquequirao - a city that must be conquered and not just visited. In the past, it was so hidden in the jungle that even Spanish colonists were slow to find it.

WHY THIS PLACE

Choquequirao was an important administrative and religious center, built in the 15th century (perhaps in 1445), covering about 18 square kilometers. It passed through the centuries as something of a legend for explorers, who confused it with the mythological lost city of El Dorado. The rediscovery took place only in 1909, two years before its sacred sister, Machu Picchu. The site is divided into 13 different zones, with agricultural, residential, and ceremonial sectors. The central point of the city, the Plaza Mayor is home to the best-preserved buildings - including a temple and the royal residence. In this part of Choquequirao were mostly administrative buildings. Near the square, two-story residential houses, with space for up to eight people, were privileges for the elite. The common residents, in turn, were in a more remote area. The agricultural system was quite complex, with aqueducts that took advantage of the snow waters from Salkantay peak to supply crops. The temples celebrate the gods of the Sun, Earth, and Water. One of the symbols of Choquequirao is the drawings of white llamas excavated in the rocks of an enormous staircase.

CURIOSITIES

Labeled as an "exclusive" archaeological city, the Peruvian government has plans to make better use of the city's tourist potential. in 5 days through the Archaeological Park of Choquequirao. To get there, you have to descend almost 1,500 meters to a valley and then climb 1.5 meters on a very steep path to the site. Choquequirao is still partially excavated and much remains to be discovered.

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