Due to recent mudslides on the Inca Trail, the main route used to reach one of the Ancient Wonders of the World, is closed until futher notice. The whole region of Cuzco is on alert now to the weather and possibility that such a mudslide could happen again, washing out homes and access to Peru’s most sought after destination. If you already have a flight to Peru, don’t think about canceling it, there are plenty of other sights to see and places to visit other than Machu Picchu.
The Incas did leave behind more than one hidden city. Discover instead Choquequirao, a great alternative to Machu Picchu that is located just south of Cuzco. This place is far less busy and is just as historically interesting. Its safe to assume that visitors will now flock to this hidden gem now that Machu Picchu is closed, making it a more and more popular spot to visit for years to come.
Choquequirao has many of the same characteristics that made Machu Picchu famous. It is situated at about 3000 meters altitude and the layout of the city is very typical for Inca civilizations (temples, terraces, aqueducts for example). The architecture is strikingly similar. The only downfall is that this place is far less accessible than Machu Picchu. You have to go to Cachora by bus on to Aguas Calientes and then for Choquequirao. And then make the 30 kilometer trek by foot or by horseback. It is entirely worthwhile once you arrive and you will be left breathless (from the climb and the beauty!) once you arrive.
Why not also check out Pisaq. It is 32 kilometers from Cuzco and is known to be one of Peru’s most beautiful regions. This is the sacred valley of the Incas, a magical places with markets and a Mestizo town to discover.
The market is definitely the best place to visit here, that is certain. It is open on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays. Definitely Sunday is the best day to discover this place. Imagine buying corn in every colour imaginable, flowers, Peruvian cheeses, herbs and fresh baked treats. Its the few souvenir stands that remind the visitors that this is also a tourist destination and that many local Peruvian families make their living from the visiting tourists.
Pisaq is also know for its Inca terraces. They are beautiful to discover and you can be sure to find yourself on the edge of the mountain with a great view, small narrow streets and steep staircases.
Thinking of heading to Peru for vacation? Check out the offers for flights to Peru listed in our flight section.
The latest news from Peru have said that the weather in the area has calmed down but if you are travelling to Peru and to know more about the situation on Machu Picchu you can check out the latest travel warnings for the area from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Find more ideas for travel in our Travel Destinations section. Don’t hesitate to add some of your own ideas of what to see in Peru in the comment section!