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Peru’s Hidden Inca Gems: 5 Sites Beyond Machu Picchu (2024)

Machu Picchu is the most spectacular ruins set on the earth in Peru. However, there are other Ancient Inca sites in Peru that are no less majestic in natural beauty. UNESCO listed Machu Picchu as the world heritage site in the historic year of 2013.

Since then, it has been a much loved destination for millions of people every year. In case you are travelling to Peru to visit Machu Picchu alone; you might need to reschedule your plan if you haven’t pre-booked your trip.

However, there are a number of Inca and Neo- Inca ruins scatter around Peru. Most of them date back to Moche, Huari and Nazca civilizations. Also, they are unique like Machu Picchu. Some are even more impressive and superbly preserved site within proximity of Cusco.

In Today’s Blog Post, We Will Look At Top-Five Ancient Inca Sites in Peru Other Than Machu Picchu. These Render A Quieter And A More Relaxed Hiking Experience At Its Archaeological Sites. So, Let’s Have A Look Without Much Ado:-

1) Chinchero

Chinchero is a small town between Cusco and Urubamba in the Sacred Valley of Incas. It was a country retreat for Inca ruler Pachacuti’s son, Tupac Yupanqui.

Here you can come across terraces and aqueducts built for agricultural purposes during Inca reign, the same like those in Machu Pichhu. What is more, these structures are still in use today.

Also, located here is the centre of the Peruvian weaving industry. This makes it a great site to buy beautiful handmade textiles as souvenirs.

Sacred Valley of Incas, 5 Cool Peru Inca Sites That Aren't Machu Picchu (See Them in 2021)

2) Chan Chan

The adobe city of Chan Chan is the largest urban architectural complex in America. Furthermore, it is spread across 20 km². It is located at the mouth of the Moche Valley in northern Peru.

The name means ‘Sun Sun’, and it was a Chimú Sun worshipping city.

In additon to this, it is good to be aware of that the city got its name as its climate is sunny. Also, it is the hub of extravagant architectural masterpieces known as Ciudadela. It features plazas, Staterooms and royal burials.

It is the UNESCO world heritage site comprising of several walled compounds.

5 Cool Peru Inca Sites That Aren't Machu Picchu (See Them in 2021)

3) Choquequirao

Choquequirao is an Inca settlement located at the distance of less than 40 miles from Machu Picchu. It is known as its ‘scared sister’. It attracts more than 1.2 million tourists from all over the world every year.

The ruins here can be dated back to the 15th and 16th centuries. It is located 3000 m above the sea level on a flattened hilltop, bordered with boulders.

You would have to plan a challenging multi-day hike from Cusco to get to this site. It is a checkpoint for entry to Vilcabamba, ‘The lost city of the Incas.’

Used as ceremonial functions venue then, the architecture and the terraced landscape of this site is similar to Machu Picchu.

The Peruvian government is taking the initiative to double the number of tourist to this site to 7 million by 2021.

5 Cool Peru Inca Sites That Aren't Machu Picchu (See Them in 2021)

4) Kuélap

According to the studies, known As ‘Machu Picchu of Northern Peru’, Kuélap site located 3000m above the sea level hilltop is a fantastic destination for view genuinely majestic nature.

You can conveniently get here, thanks to the new cable car that complies in this area. The site surrounded by cloud forest and massive walls deserve a must visit.

Especially if you are a true fan of archaeological ruins exploration trip. It was once home to the Chachapoyas people, called ‘Cloud Warriors’ by the Incas.

Maybe you get a chance to meet archaeologists trying to excavate human remains from the ruins of conical houses and hibiscus trees here.

5) El Paraiso

El Paraiso is the oldest archaeological site near Lima. It dates back to 4000 years. You might not have the information till now that it is the largest and the earliest example of the monumental structure in the New World.

It was both a religious as well as the administrative centre during the Inca reign.

5 Cool Peru Inca Sites That Aren't Machu Picchu (See Them in 2021)

And the List Continues….

Also, there are sites such as Cajarmarca, Caral, Chavín de Huantar, Moray, Sipán, Vilcabamba to count a few more – and you will definitely love visiting them too.

So, pack your backpack and visit Peru. Bet Peru Inca sites will fascinate you for sure!

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