Discovered long time ago and constantly visited by explorers, only in 1968 the citadel of Choquequirao was included in the Official Register of Archaeological Monuments by Peruvian authorities.
Almost twenty years later, in 1986, PLAN COPESCO (Special Commission to coordinate and supervise the Peru-Unesco Tourism-Cultural Plan) hired the Architect Roberto Samanez Argumedo to prepare a project for the restoration and enhancement of the Archaeological Complex of Choquequirao.
Only in 1993, by agreement with the National Institute of Culture of Cusco (nowadays, Cusco Culture Decentralized Direction), COPESCO begins the planned interventions for the valorization of the monument.
During the years of work that culminated on 2005, COPESCO formulates an interesting "Master Plan of Choquequirao" (1999), with the idea of converting to the Archaeological Complex into a tourist product of international value.
Unfortunately, this document rested like dead letter.
On 2002, the Regional Direction of Culture of Cusco elaborates the technical file for the delimitation of the Archaeological Park of Choquequirao - initially denominated "National Archaeological Park of Vilcabamba" – with the objetive of preserving the conspicuous amount of archaeological sites, investigated and to investigate, which encloses the area.
Through a "Supreme Resolution" dated October 1, 2003, it is resolved: "To declare Choquequirao Archaeological Park to the area of 522,878.30 hectares, with a perimeter of 367.09 kilometers, located in the provinces of La Convención, Anta and Abancay, in the departments of Cusco and Apurimac”, according to Plan No. V-01 July 2002 prepared by the National Institute of Culture.
Politically, the delimited area includes part of the districts of:
- Echarate, Vilcabamba, Santa Teresa, Quimbiri, Santa Ana and Maranura of the province of La Convención, department of Cusco;
- Limatambo and Mollepata of the province of Anta, department of Cusco;
- Curahuasi, Huanipaca and Cachora of the province of Abancay, department of Apurímac.
At the end of 2002, peruvian Government stipulated with french Government a treaty "Debt swap for sustainable development".
The agreement of both governments was to jointly invest in Choquequirao's infrastructure (infrastructure, tourism promotion and scientific cooperation) through a "Peru-France Counterpart Fund" (with assets of up to 5 million Euros).
The "golden years" of Choquequirao began: the road access infrastructure was improved on the routes of Huanipaca and Cachora; three "tourist inns" and several blocks of baths were built along the aforementioned routes; new archaeological investigations were initiated; a book about Choquequirao was published, reporting on the progress of research in recent years.
Unfortunately, embezzlement of money belonging to the Peru-France Fund provoked the anger of the french Government, which decided to withdraw its support.
This marked the end of the impulses dedicated by the peruvian national Government to the tourist value of the monument; the promotion of Choquequirao was abandoned in the hands of the few providers of tourism services in the area, who had to continually struggle with the lack of commitment of local authorities.
On 2011, by initiative of the Regional Government of Apurimac, was launched the idea of installing a cable car to connect Huanipaca with Choquequirao and offer to tourism a faster and more modern connection.
The project was supported by the National Government and, after viability studies, was inserted in the portfolio of national projects by PROINVERSIÓN.
At the eve of the international tender, immediately to a judicial action filed by the Mayor of the Province of Anta, the process was paralyzed, and the file was definitely cancelled.
It is necessary to inform that the ever more tourist importance than the C.A. of Choquequirao has been acquiring has fueled selfishness and rivalries between the Districts of the sphere of influence of the Monument (Huanipaca, Cachora, Santa Teresa, Mollepata).
As a result of this, a scandalous dispute is currently taking place between the Cuzco districts of Mollepata and Santa Teresa, where the former claims the property of Choquequirao, claiming part of the territory of the neighboring district.
With the priority objective of "unlocking" Choquequirao and being able to develop it as a new Tourist Destination, the authorities of the Ministry of Tourism of the Peruvian Government in charge (management 2016-2021) set up a dialogue table to solve this complicated situation.
In January of 2017, MINCETUR and all the Authorities involved with Choquequirao, came to subscribe two fundamental "Acts":
- The first Act, signed by those involved in the Cusco Region, states that disputes over territorial demarcation and the valorization of Choquequirao go "by separate ropes";
- The second, jointly signed by the people of the regions of Cusco and Apurímac, is related to the integration of both departments within the framework of a bi-regional development plan for the Choquequirao tourist destination.
The Acts establish agreements for the construction of road rings, development of cable cars and improvements of roads, supposedly giving carte blanche to the national government, regarding the necessary interventions for the tourist operation of Choquequirao.
Although an important step has been taken, we sense that it will not be easy for the Government to comply with the works indicated in the Acts without jealousy being revived among the municipalities involved; however, we are waiting with patience and faith.