Choquequirao is one of the famous alternative treks through the Peruvian Andes. It is the perfect route for all adventure lovers, resisting the passage of centuries in the midst of the mountain sharp boulders and wild vegetation. The panoramic view during the hike is simply majestic, imposing the glamorous snow peaks-mountains and the hills covered with lush vegetation. Choquequirao is located over 9000 feet, between intensely green landscape and the famous Apurimac river which is also considered as a canyon. According to Peruvian scientists this was the lost city of Incas and the place where the last Inca’s escaped to, after leaving Cusco. This refuge lasted 40 years of Spanish invasion after Manco Inca was defeated in Cusco.
Choquequirao was an important Inca site. The buildings around its central plaza represent an extremely fine and high status of ceremonial and residential architecture. There is a chain of ritual baths and enormous curving banks of fine terraces. Numerous intriguing outlier groups of buildings were discovered buried in forest on a ridge spur below the main site during the 1990s. Choquequirao was a religious and political center where the last descendant of the Inca Empire continued performing their great rituals.
Early pick up from your hotel and ride by minivan to our trailhead at Capuliyoc. From here we start to walk downhill for 3 hours until Chiquisca. Along the way we will see the amazing snowcapped mountain of Pedrayoc. Once arrived at Chiquisca we will enjoy an organic buffet lunch, and then continue gradually descending towards Playa la Rosalina (1000m/3280ft). There we will have the chance to see the impressive Apurimac river, one of the largest tributaries of the amazon. We will cross a bridge and climb up for two more hours to our campsite called Santa Rosa, where you will enjoy some hot drinks and a delicious organic buffet dinner.
We will wake up early in the morning. Once enjoyed an energy buffet breakfast, we start to climb up for 3 hours until we reach the village of Marampata (2900m/9514ft). After this challenging hike we will have a break and enjoy the glamorous views. We can already see the Choquequirao Inca citadel and follow its trail until we reach our campsite near Choquequirao. Here we will have our second delicious organic buffet lunch. In the afternoon, around 1:00pm, we will visit the impressive citadel of Choquequirao where our guide will teach us about this amazing Inca city. After, we return to our camp site to spend the night in this intense vegetation.
We wake up early in the morning to have an energetic buffet breakfast. From the campsite of Choquequirao we climb up a trail that ascends through the forest, for 2 hours, until Choquequirao pass (3300m/9842ft). From there we have the last chance to enjoy an amazing view of Choquequirao as well as an impressive view into the Apurimac gorge. Then we descend until Rio Blanco (1920m/6299ft), where we will have our third organic buffet lunch. Once enjoyed our lunch we continue to Pinchiunuyoc, where we can appreciate original Inca farming terraces. We will follow all the way up for two more hours to reach our campsite in Maizal where we set up our tents. Along the way we enjoy different views over the surrounding valleys.
We wake up early in the morning and enjoy an energetic breakfast while the sun rises above the mountains. Then we start climbing up a dusty rocky path for four hours. On our way we will go through green valleys and pass arid mountain peaks, on the top of pass over (4200m/13779ft) we will have a delicious buffet lunch and enjoy the amazing view on the snowcapped mountains surrounding us. With a bit of luck, we will see flying condors. After lunch, we hike downhill until we reach our campsite at the village of Yanama. There we will have plenty of time to visit local families and learn about their traditions, which they still keep from their ancestor until today. And then finish the day with some tea and a delicious dinner.
We wake up early in the morning to have our delicious healthy breakfast and then start to hike for five hours all the way up to the pass of Mariano LLamoja (4700m/15419ft). From here we will appreciate the Vilcabamba mountain range, one of the most famous range in Cusco region. The Spanish invaders found the last Inca dynasty here and nowadays it is considered as the lost city of the Incas. Here our master chef will provide us a delicious organic buffet lunch. Once we have satisfied our stomach, our guide will give us information about the nearby snowcapped mountains of Sacrachayoc and Pedrayoc, and then We will continue hiking to our campsite called Totora. On the way we will have the chance to see two waterfalls at both sites of the valley. Once arrived at the Totora camp we will enjoy delicious hot drinks and dinner.
You will be woken up with a hot drink, followed by breakfast and the magical sunrise over the mountains and then start our hike with destination “La Playa”. The trail continues down the valley into the forest, where we will appreciate tall trees, groves of bamboos and lush passion fruit plantations. Then we arrive at Collpapampa, the point where the Salkantay and the Choquequirao trek meet. This spot is where we stop for our organic buffet lunch. Then we will continue for five more hours until we reach and set up our campsite at “La Playa”. This hike is very beautiful and you will be able to appreciate orchids, birds, waterfalls and fruit plantations. Our campsite is located in the high jungle (tropical forest /1800m/5905ft), perfect spot to enjoy coffee crops and avocados trees.
Today our hike will only take six hours. We will wake up at 5:00 a.m in the morning and enjoy our last breakfast. Then we will start walking for three hours uphill. Along the way we will have spectacular views on the Santa Teresa valley, the Machu Picchu citadel in distance and the snowcapped Salkantay mountain. After three hours of hiking we will reach the small but impressive archaeological site of Llactapata, where you will get a first glimpse on the mountains of Machu Picchu and Huayna Picchu. Our tour guide will teach us about Llactapata Inca site. Then we will descent for 3 more hours until Hydroelectric, where we will have our last organic buffet lunch. This is the moment to say good-bye to our master chef and porters who accompanied us on our trip. After lunch we will catch the train to get to the town of Aguas Calientes town. After 30 minute driving the train to Aguas Calientes, you will be taken to your hotel for a hot shower. Where you will stay in a 3 stars hotel and you can take good rest for next day.
After 7 days of hiking, we finally reached our destination Machu Picchu, one of the new seven wonder of the world. Our tour guide will pick you up at 5:00 a.m in order to get to Machu Picchu early and enjoy the sunrise. We will start the day with a tasty breakfast at your hotel and then head to the bus station to catch up our bus where will take us (25 minutes) to the main entrance of Machu Picchu. At 6:00 am Machu Picchu opens its doors and we will go straight to the view point (the postcard picture) where you will take the classic postcard pictures of Machu Picchu. After that the guide will start a guided, 2 hours tour and teach you all the information you will need about Machu Picchu, visiting the most important areas of the citadel. Then you will have free time to explore the site by yourself.
Longest Day - Days 1 and day 6, approximately 18km / 11.2 miles
Overall Difficulty - Difficult
Tour Guides: All of our tour guides are professionals who studied tourism at University and come from around the Cusco region. They also all speak Quechua the language of Cuzco region. All of them are extremely knowledgeable and fun to be around.
Master Chef: Your master chef is an important person, preparing you delicious, buffet-style organic meals throughout the trek. If you have any dietary requests, such as vegetarian foods, please let us know.
Asemilas: In this case we do not provide porters, in CHOQUEQUIRAW TREK we provide mules, horses will carry our cooking and campimg equipment and up to 7 kg of your personal belongings.
Note: we will give you your duffle bags (for the mules to carry) at your briefing the night before we start the trek. This sholud be filled with the things you need for the night and the next days. You will not have access to your duffle until you reach the campsite. we will have also mules, horse’s drivers which they will help us for two days and our cook he will going on cooking until Hydroelectric.
Transportation: We will go by bus to Capuliyoc, where we will start our hike. After we end our hike in Aguas Calientes, and finally back to ollantaytambo by train, and by van to cusco hotel.
Tents: Made especially for trekking, our tents are professional and very comfortable. We use 4-person, Eureka Timberline tents that only need to be shared by 2 people.
Choquequiraw & Machu Picchu Permits: A permit is required for entry to CHOQUEQUIRAW TREK and Machu Picchu. As soon as we receive your details and deposit, as long as permits are still available with the government office (please check our CHOQUEQUIRAW TREK Availability link), we will purchase your permits for you. These permits are in your name for a specific date and can't be changed once confirmed. Only your passport number may be updated.
Oxygen and First Aid: On this trek, the highest point is at the first pass (4650m/15,255ft). The guide will have oxygen and first aid them at all times. However, if you have any prescriptions from your doctor, please bring them with you. All our guides have received training from a medical doctor.
Pre - Briefing: Prior to your trek you will have a briefing in your hotel. Please let us know where you are staying and what time is good for you. We typically suggest around 6:00 pm, but you may choose another time if you prefer. At briefing time, we will give you the details of the trek and provide the Machulas Journey duffel bags that will be with the porters while you hike. And finally, you will have the opportunity to ask your guide any questions you might have.
Water: We will supply water every morning, at lunchtime, during our afternoon hike, and at night. The water will be boiled, filtered, and then cooled down before distributing. You just need to bring a container for water on the trek and let our master chef know how many liters you will drink so that he knows how much water to prepare. Our recommendation is to drink a lot of water while you hike, especially when we are at higher elevations.
Sleeping Bags: Your sleeping bag is not included in your trek, so hikers will need to bring their own or rent one from Machulas Journey. Machulas Journey will provide you with a regular mattress. If you want to sleep well, you may want to bring an inflatable air mattress as well. They are also available for rent: (sleeping bag 20 USD, and inflatable air mattress 20 USD).
Walking Stick: Walking sticks are very helpful on this trek. If don’t have your own, you can rent them from our office for 15 USD.
The Last Lunch: After our amazing experience on the CHOQUEQUIRAW TREK, many of our clients want to go to one of the restaurants in Aguas Calientes to have a local meal. This last lunch is not included in your journey.
Huayna Picchu and Machu Picchu: Huayna Picchu and Machu Picchu the mountains that stand next to Machu Picchu citadel offer spectacular views. Huayna Picchu takes 45 minutes to get to the top and then 45 minutes back down. Machu Picchu takes 1 hour to summit and another hour back down. This is done after your tour of Machu Picchu Inca city. If you want to climb either of these mountains, please let us know so we can better organize your tour. The cost for Huayna Picchu is 60 USD per person and 55 USD per person for Machu Picchu Mountain. Note: Don’t confuse Machu Picchu Inca citadel with the Machu Picchu mountain.
A light day pack with a change of clothes for the whole period of the Journey - prepare for a vast range of changes in temperature.
Rain gear (jacket and pants if available) or rain poncho. Plastic ponchos can be bought for about $1 in Cusco.