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3. Choquequirau
Trek to Machu Picchu’s Cool Kid Sister

Choquequirau is the Quechua word for "Inca ruin without hordes of tourists arriving by train." (Actually, it means "cradle of gold.") Machu Picchu’s sister city, tucked into the saddle of a 9,950-foot cloud forest ridge in the Andes, is nearly as impressive in size, stonework, and design. Outsiders discovered Choquequirau more than 300 years ago, but restoration began only in 1993. Even today, just a third has been excavated. Getting there is tough, but that means the site sees just a tiny fraction of Machu Picchu’s visitation and that permits can be arranged on the fly. The two-day trek starts in the town of Cachora, five hours from Cusco by bus. From there, a 20-mile trail plummets 5,000 feet to the Apurímac River, then climbs 4,000 feet to the ruins, where you can pitch camp outside—without another tourist in sight.

Vitals: Amazon Trails Perú offers a four-day camping trek ($490, including luggage transport by horses; amazontrailsperu.com).

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