Choquequirao Trek – History and Background
Choquequirao Trek—Choquequirao whose meaning is the cradle of gold is perched in the mountains of Vilcabamba range and high above the Apurimac canyon which is deeper than the Grand Canyon reaching a depth of 4,691m/ 15,390ft. The area of Choquequirao could have been already inhabited before the arrival of Incans because pre-Incan archaeological pottery was found during the research. The ninth Incan emperor whose name is Pachacuteq was the one who brought a lot of changes for the empire, providing great public works and enlarging the empire to take advantage of each conquered province, it’s how, he started the campaign to conquer the tropical jungle side of Cusco, this place was suitable for him for the Coca production, extract the gold from the river’s banks, and tropical fruits production.
To have a total control of this area he was setting up big cities which later on would become the last inhabited cities and strongholds for the Incan empire to resist the Spaniard’s collision. The constructions at Choquequirao were finished by the tenth Incan emperor Tupac Yupanqui, although this place was never finished in being built, as the Incans were still building more to keep enlarging the city. The last inhabitants who were still living in were moved due to reduction law to San Pedro de Cachora a Spaniard foundation village between 1590 – 1596 by viceroy Garcia Hurtado de Mendoza.
The First Steps at Site by White Explorers
Choquequirao became forgotten by the foreigners, but not for local indigenous people who were even under control of the Spaniards still had this last city in their minds, it’s how the indigenous people became enslaved by Spaniard landowners and were used to get information about some lost cities of the Incas where the would find gold of the Incans. In 1710, Juan Arias Diaz Topete was able to reach the area of Choquequirao, which was already abandoned in absolute and the city had been already covered by the shrubs and trees of the cloud forest. 1865 the Italian geographer explored the areas of Vilcabamba and Choouequirao, mapping the whole explored area.1909 Hiram Bingham arrives Choquequirao through the invitation of prefect Nuñez of Abancay a closest main modern city to Choquequirao to explore this area, it’s how Bingham was arriving, during the excavations they made, they did not find anything except some human skeletons and many pottery shards.
The First Proper Inhabitants Who Immigrated This Area – Our First Generation Who We Came From!
In the mid-century 20, two brothers were arriving at a place called Santa Rosa due to the country was in conflict with other neighbor countries, This Santa Rosa whose name comes because the day these brothers were reaching this place was the day of Santa Rosa de Lima, in honor on her the place was called this way. Located very close by to Choquequirao where they decided to settle down and start with farming labors, from this place they used to go to Cachora to get some goods for the week and at the same time they were meeting with their future wives, years later the formed proper families in this area of Choquequirao, once they had large families they decided to move forward to the site of Choquequirao, where they became the first explorers of the area and the ones who gave the importance to the forgotten Incan city again, they started to repurpose some Incan contructions for the wellness of them, they even reused the Incan terraces to plant some crops for their nourishment, we are talking about the Covarrubias family and I’m writing this piece in memory of my great grand parents, and grand parents, and in honor to my parents who still live in the place called Santa Rosa on the trail to Choquequirao, my mother Euphemia who is the 3rd generation of this proper families who arrived to inhabit this isolated area, she is very proud to tell her annecdotes and lots of stories about the Choquequirao, and me, I learned from my parents all the genuine stories about this wonderful place and that’s how we became with the idea of Peru Summit Adventures, a truly local family enterprise from Choquequirao to offer authentic trips with a local touch for experiences of a lifetime. If you are reading this small article about this cradle of gold of the Incans and thinking to explore, you are on the proper hands, we will be glad to organize that long waited adventure for you.
Saida & Carlos, Founders of Peru Summit Adventures