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Archeological sites in Cusco

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In the same architectural and geographical style as the wonder of Machu Picchu, despite their similarities, they also offer different landscapes, have their own stories, and are packed with histories and traditions with ancestral customs inherited from their ancestors. Now let’s tell you about these archaeological sites.

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Machu Picchu vs Choquequirao

We'll start this blog by commenting a bit about Machu Picchu and Choquequirao in Peru. One, the lost city of the Incas, now a world wonder. The other, Choquequirao, is said to be Machu Picchu's cousin, somewhat less known but equally important. One of the best archeological sites in Peru.

Location of Choquequirao

At 3,033 meters above sea level, this archeological site is said to have a strategic location as it is located on the edge of the Apurimac River, in the middle eyebrow of the jungle, belonging to the district of Santa Teresa, province of La Convención in Cusco.

Location of Machu Picchu

The Machu Picchu Sanctuary is over 400 meters above sea level. To access this archeological site, it is necessary to take a train to Aguas Calientes and then a bus to the wonder of the world.

Best time to visit

In reality, there is never a bad time to enjoy these natural and architectural wonders. However, it is advisable to do so during the "dry" season from May to October. After these months, the weather tends to be rainy and cloudy, so its great beauty may not be fully appreciated.

How can we reach these archeological sites?

Definitely, being separated from each other, there are different types of access to both archeological sites. Here we tell you.

How to get to Choquequirao from Cusco?

To get to Choquequirao, you will have to take a car or transportation to Curahuasi or Abancay, then another to Cachora, then to Capuliyoc to start the hike.

How to get to Machu Picchu from Cusco?

Instead, to get to Machu Picchu, you will have to take a direct train from Cusco to Aguas Calientes or take a car from Cusco to Ollantaytambo and then a train to Aguas Calientes.

Climate in the archeological sites

Although both are in part of the jungle eyebrow, each has its characteristics: The climate will vary according to the season of the year in which they are located.

Climate in Choquequirao

Almost during most of the months the temperature is 16°C, in the dry season. During the day it reaches almost 25°C and at night it drops to 4°C, for the rainy season the climate is from 23°C to 6°C.

Climate in Machu Picchu

Generally, the climate is warm with daytime humidity and cool at night, between 12°C and 24°C.

In the dry season, from April to October, humidity levels are low, it can reach 25°C and in the early mornings they drop.

In the rainy season, from November to March, it usually rains constantly, reaching a maximum of 22°C and a minimum of 8°C.

Why visit Machu Picchu?

  • Experience stunning landscapes on a train journey from Cusco to Aguas Calientes.
  • Explore the iconic archeological site with an expert guide, uncovering its mysteries of amazing nature.
  • Have a taste of Peruvian flavor in a local restaurant.

Why visit Choquequirao?

  • Explore an ancient Inca citadel comparable to Machu Picchu, less crowded and offering a sense of discovery of virgin sites.
  • Immerse yourself in breathtaking natural landscapes, just into the mountain range.
  • Encounter Inca history and culture through terraces, plazas, and ceremonial spaces, offering samples of the ancient civilization's.
  • Discover the Apurimac Canyon, a perfect gift from Mother Nature formed thousands of years ago.

Alternative Archeological Sites

Kuelap

Kuelap is one of the most outstanding archeological sites in Peru. This is located at the top of a mountain over 3000 meters above sea level. This wonderful archeological site offers us a privileged view of the valley, combined between the dense jungle and the fluffy clouds. According to historians, Kuelap is three times older than Machu Picchu, therefore, it has been determined that it would belong to the Chachapoyas culture. This is one of the several pre-Inca cultures of Peru. Its extension covers almost 6 hectares that include 400 round houses and a defensive wall 20 meters high and 1.5 km long. Some of these vestiges have not been fully discovered, due to the density of the jungle that protects them.

How to get there: To know the ruins of Kuelap, we have to travel to the city of Chachapoyas. If we are in Lima (which is the most popular route) we have to take a flight from Lima to Chiclayo and then take a bus to Chachapoyas. From Chachapoyas, it takes 2 hours to get to Kuelap, where you have to walk half an hour to reach the ruins.

Isla del Sol

It is known that the Inca Empire encompasses more territory than Peru, it also extended to territories such as Colombia, Chile, Bolivia, or Ecuador. Thus, the Island of the Sun is located between Bolivia and Peru, in Lake Titicaca, the highest navigable lake in Peru. Without a doubt, people who visit Puno take a tour of this enigmatic place. Touring this Bolivian island is peaceful, there is no noise, and not being as visited as Machu Picchu, it is the ideal place to connect with nature.

How to get there: To reach this Island, it is necessary to take a boat from Copacabana for almost two hours. If you want to go from La Paz to Copacabana, you can choose buses.

Discover Vilcabamba, the lost city of the Incas

Did you hear of Vilcabamba? In a district of Peru, called Vilcabamba, located in the province of La Convención. This is a city full of mysteries, almost like Machu Picchu. This is known as the lost city of the Incas because of all the enigmatic stories they possess. Many visitors claim that time has stopped here, it is located at an altitude of 2,650 meters above sea level, and it is ready to welcome travelers to show them the best of the ancient Inca culture.

The history of this archological site dates back to the arrival of Hiram Bingham in Cusco in 1911. This historian was seeking the true city of the Incas, known as Machu Picchu in our days, but he did not realize that he had arrived at Vilcabamba. During this time, this center was known as Espíritu Pampa. However, Hiram Bingham did not pay much attention to it, so it was not studied in a better way since Machu Picchu was his main objective.

Years later, in the 1970s, an explorer named Gene Savoy arrived in the area. This discoverer was able to witness Vilcabamba again, this time giving it the respective importance. He confirmed that it was Espíritu Pampa, as this was the city where the last Incas escaped and took refuge.

How to get there

To visit this archeological site, it is necessary to leave Cusco, then take a bus to Vilcabamba, a district of La Convención. Vilcabamba is located approximately 118 kilometers from the capital. To reach the lost city, the traveler must take a bus to Kiteni, a town found along the route to Quillabamba, and from Kiteni to "Azul Mayo."

As you can see, there are different archeological sites that you can visit in Peru, ranging from the most crowded and visited like Machu Picchu to the less recognized like Vilcabamba. The options are multiple, but the decision is yours, grab your backpack and dare to explore the jewels of Peru.

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