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Corihuayrachina (Qoriwayrachina)

Location: Rediscover Machu Picchu > Peru & the Andes > Corihuayrachina (Qoriwayrachina)





Another Machu Picchu?


British photographer, Peter Frost has sighted some ruins in the Vilcabamba region in 1999. The area is remote, not available for tourism yet and will not be for many years after the discovery.

In 2010 they are still conducting archaeological work and the inadequate infrastructure doesn't permit the visiting of the site.


An expedition to Corihuayrachina was launched in 2001, 2 years after its sighting.


Corihuayrachina is inaccessible, located at a height of 3.900 m. One has to go through valleys and climb steep slopes and cut through dense wild vegetation.


So far, Corihuayrachina is one of the highest-located Inca sites.


According to experts, the city could have been an Inca resistance place against the Spanish occupation forces. Even though, if it was probably discovered by the Spaniards, it has remained relatively well-preserved. There are some signs of destruction, looting, but no massive damage.

The looting could have happened as late as the 1940s - 1950s. Someone did discover the place, but didn't let the scientific community know about it.

Treasure hunters or people living in the area could have been the ones who have arrived to Corihuayrachina earlier than the 2001 expedition.


Corihuayrachina is at approximately 40 km (25 mi) from Machu Picchu.


An ancient silver mine was located close to the site. This gives another reason to treasure hunters who are looking for the lost Inca treasures.


Treasures were not, but stone tools from 2 different periods were found at the site.


Choquequirao is often confused with another site:  Choquequirao. Which is called "The Sacred Sister of Machu Picchu". But the two are completely different.




The Complex of Corihuayrachina


Over 100 dwellings compose the city of Corihuayrachina: pyramids, storehouses, towers, temples, homes etc. There is a cemetery and plantation terraces and waterways too.

Surface area is 6 km².


Explorers have come across a water canal, which is about 8 km (5 mi) long.


According to the specialists, Corihuayrachina was constructed at around 1200 and was abandoned. After that it was repopulated and abandoned again at the time of the Spanish conquest.


The original construction purpose of Corihuayrachina must have been similar to that of Machu Picchu's construction. Meaning that Corihuayrachina is a religious site.

Of course, when Pizarro's forces arrived, the Incas used it as a fortress.


The location was carefully chosen by the Incas.

High mountains surround it and is hardly accessible.


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