A city once known as the “cradle of gold” was once resting peacefully atop a mountain and was a refuge for the Ican royalty. The city held elegant halls and breathtaking walkways through pristine streets just as those that can still be seen in the famed Machu Picchu only 30 miles away. However, there are only a handful of those who visit the second city, as the two-day hike proves to quite often be too much for many. However, all that is about the change.
Recently the national government approved the first ever aerial tramway in the region. The system will be used to bridge the deep canyon that separates the two cities and the Apurimac River that runs between them. It will make the city of Choquequirao reachable within just 15 minutes when accessed from the nearest road.
There will be a 3-mile long cable that is designed to take over 400 individual an hour in either direction above the river. President of the state government, Elias Segovia, stated he understands the tram to be able to bring in over 3,000 tourists and upwards of $45 million following its opening in 2015.
“This is going to generate tourist services. It will generate great investment” in hotels, restaurants and other amenities, he says.
The some may think splitting the tourists attraction that could be spent toward Machu Picchu, in fact the Peruvian government believes the shifting focus toward the new city will help ease some of the burden on the famed ruins. The site already has a limit of 2,500 daily visitors, and reservations are currently required to make the hike on the Inca Trail.
The lack of tourists interest to Choquequirao is the difficulty in making the trek. As of now, it is a four hour drive and a 12 to 16 hour hike. It’s little wonder Choquequirao gets only about five visitors a day.
“When we went there it was the two of us and the two rangers,” said Jeff Widman, a 27-yearold Internet entrepreneur from Menlo Park, California, who trekked there with his wife, and continued on to Machu Picchu.
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