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Choquequirau Inca Trail - 2007

On 2007 we started with our One Earth Peru expeditions. This time we chose the Choquequirau fortress which is located in the Vilcabamba region, where the Incas from the Manco dynasty held back the Spanish conquerors for 36 years, who had to admit their defeat and could never conquer it.

The construction of Choquequirau is attributed to the followers of the Inca Pachacutec, Tupac Inca Yupanqui (1471- 1493) or Wayna Capac (1493 – 1527). Here domestic and ceremonial pottery was used from the classic style from Cusco and also some other styles, which came from the population who moved here to permanently inhabit this place. This population was probably full of experienced agricultures who knew how to exploit the Andes in their favor. Located at 3050 meters over the level of the sea, on the limit of the department of Apurimac, this archaeological finding was not constructed in order to have an easy access, and getting here demands a two day hike which is rewarded with the beautiful scenery which we are able to see along the way.

The way started in Cachora (2800 meters over sea level). This is a small town of the Apurimac department to which we traveled through Lima. We spent one night in this beautiful town staying at the Tres Balcones hotel which is property of close friends whom we work with ever since.

It is believed that Choquequirau could have been one of the checkpoints to enter the Vilcabamba region, and therefore an administrative, social, economic and political center point. It shows a similarity to the basic symbols of the Incan empire like shrines to the Sun God, to their ancestors, to the Earth, to water and other sacred believes. It also has royal residences, homes for the administrative staff and for craftsmen, some warehouses, and huge buildings to sleep in called “kallancas” and agricultural levels (“andenes”) for the Inca and for his people. The ceremonial area extends through 700 meters witnessing up to a 65 meter difference between the main square and the more elevated terrains.

The participants of this expedition besides our business partners were:

  • Andres Morales
  • Patricio Sassarini
  • Juberth Uribe
CHOQUEQUIRAU'S WILDLIFE / Possible species to see:
Andean Condor (Vultur gryfhus)   Andean Cock of the rock (Rupícola peruviana)
White-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus)   Torrent Duck (Merganetta armata)
Andean Fox (Pseudalopex culpaeus)   Quetzals
Montane Vizcacha (Lagostomus maximus)   Tanagers
Puma (Puma concolor)   Hummingbirds
Spectacled Bear (Tremarctos ornatos)   Ferns
Cat Mount (Herpailurus jacobita)   Orquids
South American Coati (Nasua nasua)   Bromelias
Emerald Toucanet (Aulachorynchus prasinus)   Ichu

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