The construction of the cable car to the ancient Inca citadel of Choquequirao has been declared a priority by the Apurimac Regional Government, which are destined to receive 220 million Peruvian Soles (US$ 82.7 million) to fund the project. The project has generated great enthusiasm with businesses linked to the Peruvian travel industry, which have already made calculations on what this will mean to the region. Paul Jones, a Peru travel expert takes a closer look at the exciting new developments of the Choquequirao cable car.
Dubbed Machu Picchu’s sacred sister, Choquequirao, located in the Apurimac Region of Peru is a relatively unknown Inca citadel. Due to its remote location it has remained largely un-visited by mainstream foreign tourists, only accessible on foot by hardy hikers. Sitting in the saddle of an Andean mountain ridge, Choquequirao is situated 3,000 meters (9,840 feet) above sea level. Surrounded by snow-capped mountain peaks and flanked by plunging dense jungle slopes, the citadel was constructed between 1471 and 1527 under the rein of Inca rulers Tupac Inca Yupanqui and Huayna Capac.
Carlos Canales, president of the National Chamber of Tourism (Canatur) believes that in the first year of operation the Choquequirao cable car will receive 200,000 tourists, which will generate an income of US$ 4 million, with the average visitor paying US$ 20 per ticket. Revenue projections for 2018 state that the Choquequirao cable car will carry 600,000 tourists, generating an income of US$ 12 million per year.
Canatur believe that not only will the Choquequirao cable car generate significant income for the region, the increase in tourism will also lead to development of new local business like hotels, restaurants and other tourist facilities.
To achieve these projections Canatur are considering re-working the original plans. Originally planned to start from the view point of Kiuñalle in the town of Abancay, it is now thought that the village of Saywite is a better location for the Choquequirao cable car. “What we are proposing is better as this would connect Choquequirao and Machu Picchu in about 3 hours,” Carlos Canales recently told El Comercio News Paper.
The cable car will travel from the Santa Teresa district (close to Machu Picchu), across the Apurimac Jungle, where it will connect with the road between Abancay and Cusco.
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