SPY THE GLO­RIES OF THE INCA

Wanderlust Travel Magazine (UK) - - Travel Secrets -

You know… Machu Pic­chu, Peru

At­tempts to slash vis­i­tor num­bers at the Inca site have had lit­tle ef­fect. In 2016, a record 1.4 mil­lion peo­ple (over 5,000 a day in sum­mer) ar­rived, geed on by ev­ery lis­ti­cle, guide­book and (ahem) magazine declar­ing it a Peru­vian icon.

But what about… Cho­que­quirao, Peru

Whereas Machu Pic­chu is wrongly called a ‘lost city’ (it was more likely a royal es­tate), Cho­que­quirao is a true ci­tadel, nearly three times the size of its more fa­mous cousin. To­day, just half has thought to have been un­cov­ered, and from its set­ting, high above the thrash­ing wa­ters of the Apurí­mac River, it re­ceives only a trickle of vis­i­tors.

One rea­son is that the only way up is by foot, on a jour­ney that more than ri­vals the Inca Trail for views. Around four days is re­quired to hike the Apurí­mac Val­ley and back, ris­ing up past Ca­puliyoc, through lit­tle-seen vil­lages and into the thin air of its high-al­ti­tude jun­gle. But it’s worth it, es­pe­cially with what’s on the hori­zon. Plans for a new road and ca­ble car (fer­ry­ing up to 3,000 peo­ple a day) to the site have been mooted for years, but for now it’s still that rare and won­der­ful thing – minibus free!

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