Choqolaqa: Stone City of Arequipa
The capriciousness of nature and wind made shaped the gigantic rocks, that resemble figures of every conceivable form, which made this place an interesting destination for those who like to explore nature, and why not… a little bit of an adventure.
If you start from Arequipa the journey will go toward Tisco town, which is the closest village to the “Choqolaqa Geopark” and the drive takes approximately 5 hours. Tisco village has about 1850 inhabitants and is located at 4188 meters above sea level.
The village is a fascinating “journey into the past” where you can interact with the local vicuña breeders, walk through its traditional streets with their thatched-roof houses, or visit its beautiful colonial church dating back to the year 1650.
The hike to the stone city “Choqolaqa” from Tisco takes about 2 hrs, however if you are with a transport it is possible that you drive closer to a view point from which the walk to the stones will be about 1 hr.
According to ancestral stories told by the locals, Choqolaqa was a city of large palaces, streets, avenues and zoos. But the locals also say that this city and its inhabitants disobeyed the “Apus” (The Gods) who therefore turned this whole city into pure stone.
The “Geopark” extends over an area of 25 hectares. Once there the landscape takes us to another world! The area invites to the imagination and mysticism as every rocky formation reveals stone figures with forms of women, angels, animals like seals, elephants, or condors; as well as castles, towers, streets and more.
Until now local people use Choqolaca as a religious center for different ancestral rituals, where you can appreciate the local traditions and way of life.
Please don’t forget that this is a natural territory with great ancestral traditions protected by their villagers.
For this reason, we ask you to take the tour with a Responsible Tour Operator or, if you go by yourself, please follow all instructions from the locals. It is important that you are very respectful of the religious and cultural traditions of the communities that live in this wonderful place.
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Bonus: Choqolaqa Video
Video Source: Autocolca