Whether you are a beginner or fairly experienced traveler, surely you have heard of the wonder of the world known as Machu Picchu. It is one of the most famous main tourist attractions within the Andean country. In itself visiting Peru and not going through Machu Picchu is a journey that is not complete. Despite how spectacular these Inca ruins are, there are other equally incredible and impressive alternatives. You can complement your trip with a tour of the following ruins or in case you have not booked your tickets on the time you can go through the following alternatives. That is why together with Machu Travel Peru we have prepared an article about the best alternatives to Machu Picchu.
THE BEST 5 ALTERNATIVES TO MACHU PICCHU
This is the best alternative to Machu Picchu, it is practically the “younger brother” of Machu Picchu, although it is considerably triple its size. It is not as crowded by tourists because it is not usually as popular as the Wonder of the World. It is accessible only by a rather laborious three to four-day hike, but comparable to the “Inca Trail”, even considered by many to be one of the best hikes in Peru.
Choquequirao is located at an altitude of 3,050 meters above sea level. It is an ancient site that rises above the Apurímac River and is located on a flat hill. Practically built at the same time as Machu Picchu. Choquequirao does not usually attract more than 20 people per day, guaranteeing a quiet visit. This is the most suitable alternative to Machu Picchu, the ruins are very similar and will give you a related feeling that you get from the Wonder of the World.
The mysterious ruins of Kuelap are located high in the hills of northern Peru, and these were formerly inhabited by the “cloud people” belonging to the Chachapoya culture. The Kuelap ruins are one of the archaeological treasures in Peru and are made up of three levels which were built between 400 BC and 1470 AD approximately. These ruins are quite unusual due to their circular constructions and contain over 550 structures. In their excavations, archaeologists found different blonde mummies, which were pre-Inca. Within it, all Kuelap is quite affordable and a perfect opportunity to explore ruins of great magnitude. The only downside is that they are located a bit far, but still, the different tours include transportation, guide, lunch, and admission. The accommodations in Chachapoyas are usually quite cheap making it a very good alternative to Machu Picchu.
The Sacred Valley is another great alternative for those looking to complement their trip. Inside it, you will find other ruins such as Ollantaytambo, Sacsayhuaman, and Pisac. Although it must be borne in mind that these ruins compared to Machu Picchu are usually smaller and more dispersed. You will have enough excuses to visit the wonderful Sacred Valley and its incredible landscapes. The many tours in Peru usually make small excursions at these points, but if you want to explore them in-depth it would be good to devise a private or personalized tour. With a Tourist Ticket, you can visit up to 16 Inca ruins within the 10 days of validity that it usually has. To get to the Sacred Valley, you will have to first go through Cusco. To get to the Imperial City, you can go by bus or a local flight. Usually, everyone chooses to take a flight because it is the best way to travel in Peru. After your arrival, different buses will take you to the different points of the Sacred Valley for a small price.
Chan Chan was one of the largest cities in the Pre-Columbian era within all of South America. It was the ancient capital of the Chimor Empire, this incredible city was home to approximately 40,000 to 60,000 people and its influences spread throughout the Peruvian coast. The Chimú were defeated by the ascending Inca Empire that would later build the well-known Wonder of the World, within the many Machu Picchu facts, you will find more reasons to visit it, although Chan Chan is an excellent alternative. One of the most interesting features of the city is its amazing ornamental reliefs on the walls, with geometric patterns, as well as figures of local flora and fauna. Today these ruins are a few hours away from the city of Trujillo.
Chavín de Huantar is considered an important place for religious pilgrimage. It consists of a large central square and a temple with several tunnels and underground chambers. At the bottom of the underground labyrinth is the most important relic of the Chavín cult, a carved monolith about 5 meters high, representing the most important deities. One of the best alternatives to Machu Picchu.
“I AM NOT THE SAME HAVING SEEN THE MOONSHINE ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE WORLD”
We hope together with Machu Travel Peru to have encouraged your future visit to these wonderful ruins that can complement your trip. Remember: not everything in Peru is Machu Picchu, although this is an important part of the Andean country, you can always visit other wonderful ruins.