Choquequirao means "cradle of gold" in Quechua although this is probably not its original Inca name. It is another "lost city of the Incas" located high on a ridge spur almost 1750m above the raging glacier-fed Apurimac River and surrounded by towering snow-capped peaks.
Choquequirao means "cradle of gold" in Quechua although this is probably not its original Inca name.
The US explorer Gary Ziegler suggests that Choquequirao treks may have been the place where the last Inca, Tupac Amaru, was raised among Inca Priestesses. The abundance of many double jamb doorways and niches indicates that the place was held in high status.
The ruins were first visited and described to the western world by a French explorer during the 18th century. Hiram Bingham visited the site in 1910.
This was his first experience of "lost cities" prior to his discovery of Machu Picchu in 1911.
The remoteness and inaccessibility have discouraged visitors until fairly recently when COPESCO constructed a footbridge over the Apurimac River below the ruins. Even today the ruins are still rarely visited although, with the enforcement of new regulations on the Inca Trail, Choquequirao treks is destined to replace the traditional hike as the serious trekker’s alternative.