Inevitably, it’s been called the “sister” of Machu Picchu. But while Peru’s poster girl is surrounded by the paparazzi crush of up to 2,500 visitors a day, Choquequirao (the Quechua name means “cradle of gold”) is almost entirely deserted. It’s not hard to see why: at least two days of mules, sweat, and wild camping separate these ruins from the nearest road or hot shower. The reward for those adventurous enough to make the trek is an Inca sanctuary that still feels, in Rudyard Kipling’s phrase, like “something lost behind the ranges”. But it won’t stay that way for long. In what may be the most ambitious tourism project in the world, the regional government is investing $50m in a mile-high cable car that will glide up to Choquequirao in 15 minutes.
So, its done!!! It was an absolutely spectacular route, really hard, tons of vert (and just really steep technical trails down into the canyon, back out, and then the same thing back again.) We had conflicting info on how long the route was going to be, so to keep things simple (and costs down) for other folks doing this route, our starting point was the Plaza de Armas of Cachora, turnaround point was the gate where you pay to get into the ruins.
We actually got a tiny bit lost leaving town. We took a wrong turn that cut through some switchbacks and ended up on the other side of the river. With the distance we cut out going across the switchbacks and then the addition of our getting lost, the actual out and back distance was the same, but you'll see on the GPS track that there was a little confusion at the beginning.
Starting point: Plaza de Armas (central plaza) of Cachora, Turnaround point: Choquequirao gate (registration and payment) 57km 3837m+ elevation Start time: 5:32am 4, August Finish time: 3:08pm 4, August Total time: 9 hours, 36 minutes, 10 seconds (There
If anyone wants the GPX file, we're happy to share it, as well as any tips and beta on the course (like how not to get lost leaving town). It is SOO worth doing, and this time can certainly come down - it'll just take a chunk of training and some dedication
Follow us both on IG for photos and videos coming out in the next few days/weeks @liamonthetrail @abe_andres