Hidden gems of Peru

08:50 M.K.Orange 0 Comments

Peru has many sites that you can visit like Machu Picchu, Cusco and Lima however, there are many hidden gems within a county and I wish to give you some insights of these places below.


If you travel to Amazonas in Peru, you cannot miss Kuelap the ancient ruins of a fortress that once inhabited by the Chachapoyas (7th or 8th century) an Andean culture going back before the Incas however, they would be conquered and ruled by the Incas and by the 18th century they would be completely devastated.
The Kuelap is situated 3000 metres above sea level and in some parts of this ancient fort the walls can reach 19 metres high and beyond these limestone walls lies the inner city that contains around 400 stone structures most of which are now destroyed and only the bases of the contracts can be seen.



The purpose of this structure is still being asked and some suggest it was to protect from hostile outsider, a place of refuge or a place of aristocracy.
Kuelap was brought to the world’s attention in 1843 by Juan Crisosotomo Nieto, this place like Machu Picchu was already know to the indigenous people of the area.
To get to this place it is best that you travel to the town Chachapoya and from there Kuelap is 3 hours away by road additionally this place can be reached from Chiclayo however, this is an 11-hour road trip along bumpy roads.


Another place that is not well known or exploited by tourists is the Pre-Incan ruins of Marcahuamachuco which is locate in the La Libertad region of Peru. Built in 400 AD to 1000 AD no one really knows what civilization built this and it is said it had a profound influence on the Huari and Inca cultures especially in architecture.  The function of the site, although not fully clear, was as a religious and political center, including turning into a burial site in its later stages. 



This place is full of distinctive double-walled circular structures and large stone structures.
Due to the deterioration of this place the Global Heritage Fund with the aim of restoration, preservation, and sustainable tourism.
You can get to this place you first need to go to Trujillo and from there you can take a taxi or a bus that will travel three and half hours to the location.



Now, everyone may have seen Machu Picchu or plan to go to it however, there is an another place
that is similar known as Choquequirao located around the Willkapampa mountain range in the La Convención Province of the Cusco Region above the valley of river Apurímac. This is also an Incan site and is located 3,000 m above sea level. This place is also significant because it was the last refuge of Manco Inca Yupanqui when his siege on Cusco failed in 1535.
Like Machu Picchu this place contains many stone buildings and terraces but due to the remoteness of this place it is largely forgotten about.
The site was probably first visited by Juan Arias Díaz in 1710 but the first written reference to the site was made by Cosme Bueno in 1768 but was largely ignored.  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. It was in the 1970´s when excavation of the site began.
Treks to Choquequirao start from the village of Cachora, which is a 4-5 hour drive west of Cusco city. The route usually goes from Cachora through the Apuramic Valley to Chiquisca where most trekkers overnight. From Chiquisca the trail continues along the Apurimac River before ascending to Santa Rosa and then onto Marampata. 


Choquequirao is a little way on from Marampata. The trail to Choquequirao is unpermitted and can be completed unsupported, however most trekkers join organised tours that include a guide, camping equipment, mules and muleteers to carry gear and a cook to prepare food. From Choquequirao it is possible to continue hiking to Machu Picchu. Choquequirao trek itineraries to Machu Picchu vary. Most treks range from 7-day to 11-day hikes, and involve going over the Yanama Pass, which at 4,668m is the highest point on the trek. You will need to be well acclimatized for this trek to avoid altitude sickness.
It was revealed that the regional government is planning to invest $50m but is yet to be finalized.


Definitely there are much more sites to visit than the ones you already know :)  

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