A Cable Car to the Remote Inca City of Choquequirao?

Update from the field by Crooked Trails Co-Founder, Tammy Leland

Choquequirao Peru rock detailChoquequirao roughly translates to ‘the cradle of gold’, but I have been there, and I am certain that it was meant to mean ‘the cradle of the gods’; a place where great Inca royalty were born from Inti, the Incan sun god.

I knew that I was not the only one to feel the strong presence of the Inca around me as I walked the terraces below the mountain top.  A young Andean man played his flute so softly in the warm summer breeze it was as if he was calling the two condors that magically appeared overhead. I knew that it wouldn’t be long before this mystical place was discovered by more curious explorers.

In 2009 I made my first trip to Peru’s lesser-known Inca site of Choquequirao with a friend, and in 2014 when I heard of plans to build a cable car to the site, I went back – this time with a local boy who had grown up on the edge of Choquequirao.  It hadn’t changed.  It was still peaceful, mysterious and felt unexplored.  But the looming threat of the cable car, destined to bring 3,000 visitors a day, most certainly will bring change to the area.

The cable car, approved in 2012 for building to begin in 2015, has not yet happened.  But locals say the 58-million dollar project is back on again and is slotted to begin next year (2016).

This year was an amazing year for Crooked Trails and our custom travel programs to Choquequirao.   Juan Carlos, the son of the local family who lives on the edge of Choquequirao, used to make one trip a year to see his family, but this year he has returned nearly 12 times.

You still have to hike into Choquequirao on a challenging 5-day trek, but this access has prevented a flood of tourists from coming each day.  The incredible views, the crooked trail, the wildflowers, the rushing Apurimac River, the grueling ascents and descents and the local families, all make the trek one of the hardest and most beautiful I have done in Peru. Hike on for 3 more days and you arrive at Machu Picchu.  A once in a life time adventure!

2016 will be another successful year of trekking to Choquequirao.  If you want to go to this magical place, make your reservations with us early.  Juan Carlos and his brother Samuel are coveted guides and you will know why if you come.


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3 Comments on “A Cable Car to the Remote Inca City of Choquequirao?”

  1. I would hate to see Choquequirao spoilt , however saying that, the tram would give to those physically unable to do the hike, a chance to see the Inca city..myself included.

    1. Michael, that’s a very good point! Certainly, improving access to this amazing site is a positive outcome. Also, with Peru’s recent efforts to preserve other sites like Machu Picchu by limiting the number of daily visitors it is heartening to think that Choquequirao may be more sustainably managed. But, a marked increase in visitors to the site is sure to be a big change.

  2. do you have any idea when the cable car project will be completed? We wanted to hike it before that happens – and are trying to plan. Any info would be appreciated!

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