|Period||1536 – 1572|
|Region||Santa Teresa, La Convención, Cusco|
|Elevation||3,050 m (10,010 ft)|
|Area||18 km2 (6.9 sq mi)|
Choquequirao (Southern Quechua: Chuqi K'iraw, "Cradle of Gold" or Choqek'iraw) is a ruined Inca city in south Peru, similar in structure and architecture to Machu Picchu. The ruins are buildings and terraces at levels above and below Sunch'u Pata, the truncated hill top. The hilltop was anciently leveled and ringed with stones to create a 30 by 50 m platform.
Choquequirao (3,050 m) is in the spurs of the Salkantay Mountain Range in the Province La Convención in the Cusco region above the valley of river Río Apurímac. The complex is 1,800 hectares, of which 30–40% is excavated.
The site was built by Tupac Inca Yupanqui (1471-1493) and Huayna Capac (1493-1527). It was one of the last bastions of resistance and refuge of the Son of the Sun (the "Inca"), Manco Inca Yupanqui, who fled Cusco after his siege of the city failed in 1535.
According to the Peruvian Tourism Office, "Choquequirao was probably one of the entrance check points to the Vilcabamba, and also an administrative hub serving political, social and economic functions. Its urban design has followed the symbolic patterns of the imperial capital, with ritual places dedicated to the Sun (Inti) and the ancestors, to the earth, water and other divinities, with mansions for administrators and houses for artisans, warehouses, large dormitories or kallankas and farming terraces belonging to the Inca or the local people. Spreading over 700 meters, the ceremonial area drops as much as 65 meters from the elevated areas to the main square." The city also played an important role as a link between the Amazon Jungle and the city of Cusco.
The typical Inca terraces form the largest constructions on site. A temple, some administrative buildings and the living quarters of the aristocrats are situated around the central square. On the outskirts of the site lie the living quarters of the common people grouped together in a small village. There are water channels, aqueducts and water springs. Most buildings are well-preserved and well-restored; restoration continues.
The construction of the cable car to the ancient Inca citadel of Choquequirao has been declared a priority by the Apurimac Regional Government, which are destined to receive 220 million Peruvian Soles (US$ 82.7 million) to fund the project.
Carlos Canales, president of the National Chamber of Tourism (Canatur) believes that in the first year of operation the Choquequirao cable car will receive 200,000 tourists, which will generate an income of US$ 4 million, with the average visitor paying US$ 20 per ticket.
According to Ethan Todras-Whitehill of the New York Times, Choquequirao's first non-Incan visitor was the explorer Juan Arias Díaz in 1710. The first written site reference in 1768 was made by Cosme Bueno, but was ignored at the time. In 1834 Eugene de Santiges rediscovered the site. In 1837 Leonce Agrand mapped the site for the first time, but his maps were forgotten. When Hiram Bingham, the discoverer of Machu Picchu, visited Choquequirao in 1909 the site gained more attention. The first excavations started in the 1970s.
See also 
- Lee, Vincent R. (1997) Inca Choqek'iraw: New Work at a Long Known Site. Cortez, CO:Sixpac Manco Publications.
- Choquequirao, Peru's Tourism Office, 2011
- Trail to Choquequirao, El Comercio Newspaper, Lima, Peru, May 13, 2009, [Spanish]
- Cusco travel guide, September 5, 2011, [Spanish]
- Jones, Paul. "Exciting News about the Choquequirao Cable Car". Totally Latin America S.A. Retrieved 7 December 2012.
- "Choquequirao recibiría 600 mil viajeros en el 2018 con teleférico". El Comercio. Retrieved 7 December 2012.
- Ethan Todras-Whitehill on the New York Times
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to: Choquequirao|
- The Other Machu Picchu article on Choquequirao (The New York Times, June 3, 2007)
- Debate on the value of publicizing Choquequirao as a travel destination from the author of the New York Times article
- Photos Cachora-Choquequirao Trek
- Images of Choquequirao - High Definition Video