Choquequirao, meaning Cradle of Gold, is an Incan City built during the late 15th and early 16th century. It is thought that Pachacuti, the Incan Emperor responsible for commissioning Machu Picchu, founded Choquequirao, which was then passed on to his son, Tupaq Inka Yupanki, who then extended and remodelled it.
The site is located above the valley of Apurímac river, 98km from Cusco and in the Willkapamba mountain range, and covers an area of 6 square kilometres.
Restoration of the site began in the 1970s and still continues today. As of 2014, nearly 50% of the site had been excavated.
Choquequirao can only be reached by hiking 2-3 days from the towns of Cachora, Huanipaca or Yanama. Almost all commercial treks start from Cachora.
The construction of a cable car that will carry tourists to the city’s Citadel has been prioritised by the Apurímac Regional Government, and 220 million Peruvian Soles ( million) has been ear-marked for the project. Government proponents believe the cable car plan will result in over 200,000 visitors coming to the site a year, and generate million p.a.
For now though the site remains largely hidden from tourist hordes, and provides a unique and quiet experience for rugged trekkers willing to hit the trail.