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, 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 by the name of Hiram Bingham let the world know Machu Picchu and, so he did with the Choquequirao site as well. Although Choquequirao is also in Cusco, receives fewer visitors. The fact is that 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
  • It is easy to get to when compared to Choquequirao. 
  • It is the world’s wonder, and standing in front of Machu Picchu is something special.
  • Below Machu Picchu citadel, there is a comfortable small city where to stay and eat.
  • You can book a full-day Machu Picchu tour from Cusco or multi-day hikes such as the Inca Trail or the alternative hikes.
  • Also, Machu Picchu boasts extra hike routes like the Inca bridge or sun gate.
  • There is an option to hike the famed Huayna Picchu or Machu Picchu mountain. 
  • It is much bigger than Machu Picchu that you would spend days exploring.
  • From the main lookout, it gives sweeping views down the river and distant glacier peaks. 
  • It connects to Machu Picchu following off the beaten paths and Inca trails in part.
  • Stay more time without check-out time pressures and can have snacks at the place.
  • See the herds of llamas designed with white rock on the wall of the terraces. (24 in all)
  • Meet the local people in every campground and feel free to interact if you wish to.


  • Machu Picchu

Machu Picchu is open year-round; hence there is no one day in which visitors don´t visit it, not even in the rainy season. The best season to visit Machu Picchu is in “shoulder seasons” from April to May and from September to November. These months offer good weather days and a reasonable amount of visitors. See more about the best season to visit Machu Picchu.

  • Choquequirao

The best months to go hiking 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 and there might be mudslides during the rainy season.


  • Machu Picchu

There is a bunch of possibilities to get to Machu Picchu: from full-day tours to multiday hikes. Train rides are quicker and more comfortable, whereas, on the other hand, hiking companies operate tours, hiking and by car; and these may be more strenuous or even tough, but ok for adventurous people on the mountain hiking and all the biking stuff.

  • Choquequirao

The only way to get to Choquequirao is by hiking, from a 4-day tour only 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, which is 6 Km from Cachora district Abancay  – Apurimac.


  • Machu Picchu

Machu Picchu visitors should know that there is a local medical establishment at Aguas Calientes town, and a new hospital is 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.

  • Choquequirao

To take out someone in case of an emergency would be very difficult. It is the depth of the canyon that 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.


  • Machu Picchu

Since Machu Picchu sits between the Andes mountain range and the Amazon rainforest, the moving fog appears at any moment, with the difference that 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 / 18 ° C, and at night it drops only a few degrees and is well-tempered. 

  • Choquequirao

Choquequirao is also located in 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 out of 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, drops to a low 5 °C / 41 °F.


Machu Picchu

Machu Picchu regulation forbids the use of hiking poles inside the citadel unless the visitor is disabled and really 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 carry them, you will be likely killing your knees. Don’t do that, and pack your hiking poles too and use them properly.

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