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Peru Plans Tramway to Fabled Ruins
August 28, 2013

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An aerial tramway is planned to make one of Peru's fabled relics a reality for most travelers.

The ruined city of Choquequirao is far less well-known than the famous Machu Picchu, yet the two are remarkably similar. Choquequirao is much harder to get to: Visitors must fly into Cuzco (the former Inca capital), drive four hours over mountain roads that often have floods or landslides, and then, at the end of the road, hike for at least 12 more hours. The number of visitors to this ruins, called the "cradle of gold" is a small handful.

The city is 9,950 feet high and ringed by steep dropoffs. Archaeologists think that the city was once a refuge for Inca who fled Cuzco after victory by Spanish conquistadors.

The government of the state, Apurimac, plans a $45 million tramway to bridge 400 people an hour along a 3-mile cable over a deep canyon that contains the Apurimac River. When the tramway opens in 2015, it is projected to carry 3,000 visitors a day. (Current estimates for Machu Picchu are 2,500 a day.)

Already, construction companies from Andorra and Switzerland have expressed interest.

The tramway is part of a national plan put forward by President Ollanta Humala. The plan to boost tourism calls for other projects in each of the other 23 states in Peru.




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