Choquequirao is build during the last days of the Inca empire during the government of the Inca Pachacutec, by Tupac Inca Yapanqui, and probably after the Spanish invasion in 1532. Almost 40 years the Inca's held stand against the Spanish conquerors (between 1536 - 1572). The construction of the different levels of temples, palaces, canals and aqueducts is really fantastic. As one guide stated "Choquequirao is the city which demonstrates the inspiring example of an elite Inca ceremonial centre. A city dedicated to the worship of the mountain gods, the river and the elements of nature."
Choquequirao finally burned down and left deserted. This happened probably after the execution of the last Inca, Tupac Amaru, in 1572. By this occasion, the plaster covering the walls, carbonized and disappeared for the most part. At the east side of the complex more then 110 terraces with houses and squares are being revealed. At the west side another 170 terraces are hidden and covered by the forest. Until now only 25% is put to overdraft and conserved. With this Choquequirao is the largest Inca-town of the continent and much larger then Macchu Pichu.
For the first time in 1710 the existence of Choquequirao was mentioned. The first drawings of the structure of the ruins were made about 1836 by the Frenchmen Léonce Angrand. Only in 1986 there was made a structured plan of Roberto Samanez and Julinho Zapata for the restoration and conservation of Choquequirao. In 1993 the archaeologists Percy Paz and Eulogio Aucacóndor brought Choquequirao under the Copesco Plan. A final breakthrough in accessibility and conservation came when Miss Eliane Karp, Belgium from origin, decided to consider the preservation and conservation of the cultural inheritances in Peru as her works of life. Thanks to her in 2004 the Inca Trail has been made safer and new ruins has been explored and conserved. By this works, and the better access, Choquequirao in short time, has become a primary sightseeing in Peru.
From Casa de Salcantay, Choquequirao is in reach within two days. The ruins are not easily accessible because of the altitude. There is a difference in level of 1600 meters in altitude. First a descending to the river Apurimac followed by an ascending from the valley to the ruins. The landscape is spectacular and more then worthwhile the effort.