Choqekiraw, meaning “Cradle of Gold”, is a magnificent archaeological complex located in the Vilcabamba mountain range in the Cuzco area. It is thought that this mountain range was the last refuge of the Inkas resisting the conquest; led by Manco Inka II.
The Lares Valley is famous for the textile art produced in the communities using techniques and tools which date to pre-Inka times.
The tools used to make the weavings have been inherited from the time when textiles appeared in the Andes (approx. 4000BC). The colours used to decorate their textiles come from plants, oxides, earth and minerals which enrich the finished product. The iconography represented in their textiles serves to transmit basic knowledge through oral means, as it has been done for thousands of years.
The legendary Inka Trail or Qapaq Ñam crossed South America from Quito in Ecuador all the way to La Paz in Bolivia, traversing the Andes mountain range. The section of this trail that we will cover will take us to the magnificent sacred city of Machu Picchu, in a trip where history, geography, local flora and the environment will fill our senses and take our breath away. With each step we will appreciate the ingenuity of the Andean people, to survive in this harsh environment and to work the granite rock forming this incredible path through the mountains. Leaving behind them evidence of their greatness.
The archaeological complex of Choqekiraw (3,061 masl), which means “Cradle of Gold”, is located on the north-eastern divide between the Cuzco and Apurimac regions, in the Vilcabamba mountain range.
Choqekirau was possibly built by the Inka Tupac Yupanqui, as an important ceremonial centre, and it became the last refuge of the Inka rebels, led by Manco Inca II, in their escape from the invaders across the Vilcabamba range.
The Apu Salkantay (6,264 masl / 20551 ft) is a sacred mountain in the Vilcabamba range, located to the south of the Sacred Citadel of Machu Picchu.
This mountain, together with the Southern Cross, served as a point of reference for astrological observation developed by the Incas (from Machu Picchu), especially during the June and December solstices. Its location supports the concept of “sacred geography”, under which the Incas developed Andean civilisation.
The Cordillera Vilcabamba is a mountain range which houses a range of both historical and natural attractions of great importance to the development of Andean civilisation.
The trek we propose is one of the most remote that we have experienced. We have to consider that this cordillera served as a refuge to the last rebel Inkas fleeing the invasion; led by Manqo Inka II for about forty years.
Within the Cosmo vision developed by the Incas, the Apu Ausangate is the most important sacred mountain in the area surrounding the city of Cusco, indeed in all of the altiplano, which is also home to Lake Titicaca, the place of origin of the Incas, according to the legend of Manco Capac and Mama Ocllo. This sacred mountain is located to the south east of the city of Cuzco, capital of the Inca Empire.
The Inka Trail to the sacred city of Machu Picchu will take us on a journey through Inka history, with the geography and environment providing a spectacular backdrop to this exceptional trek.
The ingenuity of the Andean people is demonstrated by each step carved out of the granite rock following the steep geography of the Andes mountains in the Peruvian south-east. Surrounded by Apus or guardian mountains, the Inka Pachakuteq built this magnificent Inka city, which was forgotten upon the arrival of the Spanish, until it was rediscovered by the explorer Hiram Bingham at the beginning of the last century.
A five day breathtaking trek in the Cordillera Vilcanota, on a route we call the “Camino del Apu Ausangate” located in close proximity to the highest, sacred mountain in the Cusco region. The “Apu” is the bearer of life and the guardian of one of the most pristine mountain ecosystems in the world.
Within the Cosmo vision developed by the Incas, the Apu Ausangate is the most important sacred mountain in the area surrounding the city of Cusco, indeed in all of the altiplano, which is also home to Lake Titicaca, the place of origin of the Incas, according to the legend of Manco Capac and Mama Ocllo. This sacred mountain is located to the south east of the city of Cusco, capital of the Inca Empire.
Following the Inca trail towards the Vilcabamba mountain range, the Incas, lead by Manco Inca II, saught refuge from the eastern invasion of this area. The resistance lasted approximately 40 years, with the fall of the Inca Empire taking place in 1572.
When faced with the Spanish invasion, Inka rebels lead by Manco Inka II travelled to the Vilcabamba mountain range, using it as their last hiding place during the resistence, and staying hidden for almost 40 years. The site of Choqekiraw was possibly used by this last Inka dynasty.
The Inka trail used by Manco Inka II and his rebel army, in their escape from the Spanish, passes by these two magnificent archaeological sites located in the Vilcabamba mountain range. This trek covers ancient pathways through spectacular scenery. Ecological levels such as quechua, puna, and high jungle will make us enjoy our adventure, among beautiful scenery and little known history.
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