Lonely Planet Writer

Explore the ancient ruins of Peru’s Choquequirao with virtual reality

The amazing ruins of Choquequirao in Peru are often compared to the country’s main attraction of Machu Picchu, but without the massive crowds of visitors that flock to the Incan site each year.

A new app will take travellers to Choquequirao, Peru. Image by Christian Declercq/Getty Images

Lonely Planet named it the top region in the world to visit in 2017, and now the local government is trying to convince more travellers to make their way to the lesser-known site with the launch of a new VR app. Choquequirao 360 is available for download on smartphones, taking users on a virtual tour of the historic site, and potentially sparking their wanderlust enough to plan a visit in real life.

There’s good reason that Choquequirao fails to draw in as many tourists as Machu Picchu, despite being much larger in scale – it is currently only accessible by a four-day round-trip trek. On the other hand, Machu Picchu is closely accessible by train, though many travellers do opt to hike the Inca Trail. With the app, users can take a test run of the trip to Choquequirao from Capuliyoc to Yanama using 360-degree video or a virtual tour. Learn more about the app here.

In recent years, there has also been talk of building a cable car to the site, and reducing the four-day trek to a 15-minute ride would likely bring the number of visitors from just dozens each day into the thousands. If you want to get out and trek to the ancient ruins yourself – before the crowds arrive – read all about how to make the journey to Choquequirao.