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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 levelled and ringed with stones to create a 30 by 50 m platform.

Choquequirao (3050 m) is in the spurs of the Salkantay Mountain Range in the Province La Convención in the Cusco region above the valley of river Apurímac River. The complex is 1800 hectares, of which 30–40% is excavated. The site is reached by a two-day hike from outside Cusco.

Choquequirao is situated at an elevation of 3000 m above sea level on a southwest-facing spur of a glaciated peak above the Apurimac River. The region is characterized by mountain topography and covered with Amazonian flora and fauna. It is 98 km west of Cusco, in the Vicabamba Range. The complex covers 6 km2. Architecturally it is similar to Machupicchu. The main structures, such as temples, huacas, elite residences, and fountain/bath systems are concentrated around two plazas along the crest of the ridge, which encompass approximately 2 km2 and follow Inca urban design. Also there is a conglomeration of common buildings clustered away from the plaza. Excavations and surface items suggest they were probably used for workshops and food preparation. Most buildings are well-preserved and well-restored; restoration continues.


The terrain around the site was greatly modified. The central area of the site was leveled artificially and the surrounding hillsides were terraced in order to allow cultivation and small residential areas. The typical Inca terraces form the largest constructions on site.


Many of the ceremonial structures are associated with water. There are two unusual temple huaca sites that lie several hundred meters lower than the two plazas. These are carefully crafted step terraces down a steep slope are designed around water. The site also contains a number of ceremonial structures such as the large ushnu built on a truncates hill, the Giant Staircase, and an aqueduct providing water to the water shrines.



Wellcome to "Cradle of Gold" 

YawarPeru Team