Machu Picchu vs Choquequirao. Machu Picchu citadel is known elsewhere in the world, but very few people know that on the far end of the Apurimac river valley In Cusco, just out of sight, there is another citadel very similar to Machu Picchu. It is called Choquequirao, which in English refers to the cradle of gold.
At the beginning of the twentieth century, an American academic named Hiram Bingham let the world know about Machu Picchu, and so he did with the Choquequirao site. Although Choquequirao is also in Cusco, it receives fewer visitors. It is only fit for more adventurous hikers because of its remoteness and grade 5 hike difficulty.
See if you can challenge it at Machu Picchu vs. Choquequirao.
Machu Picchu is open all year, so there is no day when visitors do not visit it, not even in the rainy season. The best season to visit Machu Picchu is in the “intermediate seasons,” from April to May and from September to November. These months offer days of good weather and a reasonable number of visitors. See more about the best season to visit Machu Picchu.
The best months to hike to Choquequirao are from about May to November. These months promise better weather conditions and clearer views of the way and landscapes of the valleys and mountain green vegetation. Most important is dry soil around the trail because as it goes down the steep canyon, there might be mudslides during the rainy season.
There are many possibilities to get to Machu Picchu: from full-day tours to multiday hikes. Train rides are quicker and more comfortable. On the other hand, hiking companies operate tours, hiking and by car; these may be more strenuous or even tough, but ok for adventurous people on the mountain hiking and all the biking stuff.
The only way to get to Choquequirao is by hiking, from a 4-day tour to Choquequirao and up to a 12-day tour from Choquequirao to Machu Picchu. What is even more intriguing is that visitors hike almost 1 500 m down the Apurimac River and the following day back up the 1 600 m on the other side of the valley.
The farthest the cars get is Capuliyoq hamlet, 6 Km from Cachora district Abancay – Apurimac.
Machu Picchu visitors should know that there is a local medical establishment in Aguas Calientes town, and a new hospital was being built for locals and tourists now in 2021. Whenever medical assistance is needed, the help is quick. Depending on the situation, injured people are transported to clinics in Cusco first by train and then by car.
To take out someone in case of an emergency would be very difficult. The depth of the canyon makes it hard to walk up, and there is no car access or ambulance; instead, one has to employ mules or donkeys for help. The nearest hospital from Choquequirao is in Abancay.
Since Machu Picchu sits between the Andes mountain range and the Amazon rainforest, the moving fog appears at any moment. This will vanish quicker during the dry season, May through October more or less, and not kind of that in the wet season.
The average day temperature range in the dry season is around 64 ° F / 18 ° C, and after sunset, it drops 50 °F / 10 °C. When it comes to the wet season, the temperature fluctuates roughly from 64 ° F to 18 ° C, and at night it drops only a few degrees and is well-tempered.
Choquequirao is also located on the forested fringes of the Amazon basin, and the weather varies quickly as fog rises from the valley and shrouds Choquequirao. Besides that, major rain downpours occur in the rainy season; hence any rain or bad weather during rainy months will pass fast.
The average temperature at Choquequirao ranges more or less from 50 °F / 10° C to 68 ° F / 20° C, and at higher elevations, in the early morning, it drops to a low 5 °C / 41 °F.
Machu Picchu regulation forbids hiking poles inside the citadel unless the visitor is disabled and needs to have one; then, he can use a rubber bung hiking pole.
As for hiking Choquequirao, make sure you carry your hiking poles because you will need them. If you don’t have them, you will likely kill your knees. Please don’t do that, and pack your hiking poles and use them properly.