This whopping, 12 day trek takes you on a less traveled path from Choquequirao, onto the sacred Salkantay mountain (6.271m/20569ft), one of the highest and most stunning in the Peruvian Andes, passing through Quechua speaking communities and lesser-known Inca ruins, to finally join the 4-day Classic or Traditional Inca Trail to Machu Picchu. This trek combines the best of all treks – stunning high mountain trekking and also the ruins of the Classic or Traditional Inca Trail. This is a trek for the passionate Incan history enthusiast or simply the person that likes to do challengin and amazing things!
12 day trek Choquequirao, Salkantay and Inca Trail to Machu Picchu hike – detailed Itinerary
All kilometers and altitude gains & loss cited are approximate and considered a guide only.
|PROGRAM||CHOQUEQUIRAO – SALKANTAY – INCA TRAIL – MACHUPICCHU|
|LENGTH||12 Days /11 Nights|
|AVAILABILITY||March to December|
|DIFFICULTY||DIFICULT – MODERATE.|
Day 1: CUSCO- CACHORA- CAPULIYOC- CHIQUISCA- PUENTE ROSALINAS.
We depart Cusco at early in a private car for a 4 hour drive to the charming village of Cachora, and half an hour more to Capuliyoc, situated on the edge of the Apurimac canyon from where we have our first beautiful views of the Apurimac valley stretching below as well as the snow-capped peaks of Padrayoc and Wayna Cachora. and surrounded by impressive snowcapped peaks. After lunch in Capuliyoc, it is a 3 hour hike to (Chiquica (1950 meter 6435 feet) or ( puente Rasalinas next to the river Apurimac 1550 metres/ 4950 feet) Our total hiking time today is about four or five hours. all the way down.
11 km descending 1300m in altitude – Capuliyoc – Puente Rasalinas.
Day 2: Puente Rosalinas – Choquequirao
Departing early, we beginning our climb to Santa Rosa and then onto Maranpata afther this place the trail is more Andean flat (up and down), to Choquequirao Camping site, where we will have lunch. The climb from the river takes about 4 hours and is tough. from Maranpata we will start to see the arqueological site, where after the lunch, we have 30 minutes more hike to the ruins. (3110 metres/ 10120 feet) We will spend the late evening in the ruins, where we will watch the sunset and have the chance to see condors. Accommodation: Camping at Choquequirao campsite 3033m not in the arqueological place. is prohibited.
07 km ascending 1600 m in altitude –from Maranpata to Choquequirao 04. 1/2 km Up an down
DAY 3: CHOQUEQUIRAO RIO BLANCO, OR PICHIHUNUYOC.
We have a chance to more fully explore the ruins and have a little rest in the morning. In the afternoon we will climbing over a ridge hike to Choquequirao pass, and then down to the ruins Pinchinuyoc, where we will camp the night. This is definately the easiest day of the trip! Accommodation: Camping at Pinchinuyoc about 3000m/ or depending on the group at Rio Blanco, a further 1.5 to 2 hours descent.
10 km descending 1450 m in altitude – Choquequirao to Rio Blanco. the river is better.
DAY 4: PINCHIHUNUYOC – RIO BLANCO – MAIZAL.
If we spend the night, Pinchihunuyoc, we have a chance to more fully explore the ruins and have a little rest in the morning. IF NOT, if is rio blanco the camping site, we have chance to swiming in the river in the afternoon, and day four, have to be definitely the easiest day, we will climbing from rio blanco to Maizal. over a ridge hike, to maizal, where we will camp the night, with the local family, This is definitely the easiest day of the trip! Accommodation: Camping at Maizal about 3000m/ a further 3 to 3.5 hours ascent.
10 km descending 1450 m in altitude – Choquequirao to Rio Blanco. the river is better.8km ascend 2000 m in altitude – Rio Blanco to Mina Victoria
DAY 5: MAIZAL – YANAMA.
We depart at 7am, and walk uphill for about 3 hours through semi-jungle, to the Victoria Mines. We visit the ancient mines and some Inca Ruins before climbing an hour more to the pass of Abra Victoria. (4130 metres/ 13 546 feet). The newly discovered Qoryhuayrachina ruins are between Yanama and Maizal and we do follow well-constructed inca steps at an area that we call “Mina Victoria” (we started calling it this because that’s what the muleeteers called it)
the newly discovered ruins of Qoryhuarachina are nearby
There are spectacular views from the pass as we descend to the charming village of Yanama. (about 2 hours walk). Accommodation: Camping at Yanama 3800m
12km 500m descend and ascend 600m in altitude – Mina victoria to Yanama
DAY 6: YANAMA – QOLPAPAMAPA.
A day of mountain peaks. In this day we walk for seven hours, preferably rising early to appreciate the chain of snowpeaks (Pumasillo, Salkantay) that we can see from there. We lightly ascend to the second pass which is the second highest point of our trek at 4800 metres/ 15908 feet. After the pass we descend for three hours to the Valley of Qolpapampa, where will spend the night. Accommodation: Camping at 2900m.
It is one of the most difficult days.
17km 1000 m ascend and descend 2000m in altitude – Yanama to
DAY 7: QOLPAPAMPA – ICHUPATA.
A day of botany and glaciers. Today´s hike is mostly up, as we will climb from Qolpampa, upwards, to the Salkantay pass (4600m). You will clearly note the changing scenery as you pass through different varieties of plants typical of the high jungle – known in Spanish as the “eyebrow of the jungle”. You finally arrive at the pass after 5 hours of hiking. This is the second highest point of the trip. (4,600 metres/13451) All day you will have been going “against the flow” as this is a popular trekking route, but in reverse. So expect to meet a lot of people along the trail during this day. From the pass you will descend about 2hours to Salkantaypampa (4100m) where the group may camp, depending on how well you have progressed during the day. You might continue onwards to Ichupata.
18km 1700m ascend, and descend 500m Colpapampa to Ichupata
DAY 8: ICHUPATA PAMPACAHUANA.
Alter a cold night, we continue our hike to start the 3-4-hour steep climb towards the Incachiriasca pass (4850m/15908ft), the equal highest of the entire route, offering impressive views of the Salkantay snow peak. After a celebratory rest on the pass we will then descend towards our lunch spot at Sisaypampa, a flat area from which one can observe the Salkantay´s neighboring valleys (it is possible that you will see condors in this area). After lunch we continue towards the Pampacahuana community, located next to an original Inca canal, where we set our second camp and spend the night.
DAY 9: PAMPACAHUANA – AYAPATA OR TRES PIEDRAS ( INCA TRAIL). – Ayapata. 12 km. Approx.
In the morning you will see that the valley begins to narrow and the river becomes a canal. The Incas frequently cut canals through valleys to increase the agricultural land. From Pampachuana it’s a 3 hours hike down the narrow, steep valley to the Inca fortress of Inkaracay (also known as Paucarcancha). This is a site well worth exploring and little known to the vast majority of visitors to Peru.
It’s about another ½ to 1 hours walk down to the small village of Wayllabamba which is the point that we join the Traditional (or Classic) Inca Trail to Machu Picchu. As mules are not allowed on the Traditional Inca Trail, at this point we say goodbye to our mules and muleteers and welcome our porters who will accompany us for the next few days
In the afternoon, we leave Wayllabamba behind to start our way up the Warmihuañusca mountain pass (Dead Woman’s pass) through an abrupt and steep ascent that stretches for 9 km. We only climb part way up the pass, stopping at Ayapata, where we camp and spend the night. (also known as Yuncachimpa)
DAY 10 : AYAPATA CHAQUICOCHA.
Today we continue our trek up to the highest point in the Inca Trail (but not on this trek), reaching the mountain pass of Abra Warmihuañusca (4200m/13776ft) after about 2 hours. Immediately after the pass, we descend into the Pacaymayo valley (3600m/11808ft), from which we then continue to climb to the second pass, the Abra Runkurakay (3970m/13022ft), stopping halfway to visit the very impressive archaeological complex Runkurakay. This site, located at 3800m/12464ft, consists of a small oval structure that is believed to have served the purpose of a watchtower. After going over the pass, we descend towards Yanacocha (Black Lagoon) and enter the cloud forest to finally arrive at Sayacmarca (3624m/11887ft). This is a beautiful complex made up of a semicircular construction. Only 20 minutes away is Chaquicocha – 3400m (dry lake in Quechua), where we will camp.
DAY 11: CHAQUICOCHA WIÑAYWAYNA.
After breakfast we have an easy climb, to arrive at the third pass, the Abra de Phuyupatamarca (3700m/12136ft). Phuyupatamarca is one of the most complete and best-preserved archaeological complexes along the Inca Trail to Machupicchu, and is located on the highest point of a mountain. Curiously, Phyupatamarca means ¨town over the clouds¨. From here we also have impressive views of the Urubamba River valley. We descend by stone to Wiñaywayna (2650m/8692ft). At this campsite we will find a lodge with a restaurant, bar and bathrooms with hot showers. The campsite has the same name as the complex located only five minutes away from the lodge. Wiñaywayna is an impressive complex made up of an agricultural center with numerous terraces, a religious sector and an urban sector – even if you are tired and enjoying the relative luxury of this campsite, don’t miss this archaelogical complex!
DAY 12: WIÑAYHAYNA – MACHUPICCHU.
On this last day we get up at 3:30 am to leave from Wiñaywayna at approx. 5:30 am is open the last control: and climb to the Intipunku, or the Sun Gate. This will take an hour of hiking along a trail of flat stones on the edges of cliffs in highland jungle. From this fabulous spot, we may see the sunrise over Machu Picchu. From Intipunku we descend into Machupicchu, and 40 minutes later we enter this famous city. We then descend to the control point where we register ourselves and leave our backpacks. We immediately begin a complete guided tour Machu Picchu that will take approximately two hours.
After your tour you can further explore the ruins by yourself or climb Huayna (Wayna)Picchu for that classic photo of Machu Picchu. You need to buy the Huayna Picchu entry separately. Also try to fit in a visit to the Temple of the Moon or Uyna Huayna Picchu while visiting Huayna Picchu.
Normally, during high season those people who climb Huayna picchu spend a extra day at the ruins just to get in the queue for the mountain and then spend a good amount of time on this classic mountain. If you don’t get to do Huayna Picchu, other options are:
- Inti Punku (gate of the sun) this is the location where the classic inca trail arrives.
- Inca Bridge
- Machu Picchu mountain.
We return to Cusco in the afternoon by the expedition train (leaves either at 2.55pm or 6pm) and are met by a driver at Ollantaytambo who will transfer you directly back to your hotel. You will arrive in Cusco approximately 4 hours after your train’s departure from Aguas Calientes.
IMPORTANT – government regulations will not allow reservations to be made unless accompanied by full passport details of the client and full payment of the entrance fee to the Machu Picchu Sanctuary. This is to assist in the 500 people a day rule. Therefore to guarantee your place on the inca trail trek or tour you must provide a scanned copy of your passport and a nonrefundable deposit. Your reservation will only be confirmed when we have your entrance ticket in our hands. In case of passport number change this information must be relayed to us or you will lose your booking. Original Passport must be carried on trail.
- An explanation two days before departing
- Transport in private bus to the start of the trek Caapuliyoc, Cachora.
- Transfer to your hotel on return.
- Transfer from Ollantaytambo to Cusco.
- Meals according to the program (Vegetarian available)
- Boiled water on all days for your bottles
- Snacks before trekking
- igloo tents – 2 persons in each 4-person capacity tent with plenty of space for your backpacks
- Toilet tents
- Duffel bags.
- Pack animals (mules and horses) to carry the baggage and equipment in the hike before of Inca trail.
- Emergency horses before of the inca trail.
- Wranglers to care for the pack animals
- Porter to carry the camping equipment, dining tents, kitchen, tables, chairs in the inca trail.
- Cook and assistant cook
- Kitchen/eating utensils
- Porter to carry your extra duffel bags maximum 6 kilos (14 libras) in inca trail.
- Professional guide who speaks English, Spanish and Quechua
- Assistant guide for groups larger than 8 peoples
- Entrance into Machu Picchu
- Entrance into Inca Trail.
- Entrance to Choquequirao.
- Bus down from Machupicchu.to Aguas Caientes
- Return train ticket to Cusco (Train Expedition).
- First aid equipment.
- oxygen tank
- Teatime every day (tea, coffee, biscuits, popcorn)
- Breakfast the first day
- Lunch the last day in restaurant in Aguas Calientes on day 12 of the trek.
- Tips for personnel: guide, cook, porter, wranglers (according to their job)
- Sleeping bags (they can be rented in the office)
- Entrance to Wayna Picchu mountain extra cost 55 USD
In the Inca trail in all of our tours includes our support staff, super porter, who are responsible to transport your duffel bag, which the company gives to you to bring their personal belongings for the Inca Trail. Which must not exceed 7 kilos, or 15 pounds?
Each super porter of AUQUI PERU, receives all the necessary equipment for this job, also has life insurance. And adequate salary for their work.
They are the most important people for this tour, without help, we could not provide the best the service to our customers.
WHAT TO BRING ON THE TREK
- All nylon reinforced backpack to carry the things you need for the trek (camera, drinks, etc.)
- 1 large backpack or suitcase to keep the things you don‘t need in your hotel in Cusco until you return from your trek
- Sleeping bag good for -5°C (which can be rented in Cusco)
- Small flashlight and extra batteries
- 1 water bottle (1 liter) or a small plastic throw away bottle
- Hiking boots
- Tennis shoes
- 1 jacket (of nylon with hood and water and wind resistant)
- 1 Fleece Jacket
- 1 pair of gloves and hat of wool (they can be bought during your trip)
- 6 or 8 short sleeved shirts (preferably “dryfit” that don’t retain water)
- 2 pairs of shorts such as bermudas.
- Socks: 12 pairs of wool and 4 of fiber (coolmax) for the trek (avoid cotton as these can retain water)
- 1 sun hat and sunglasses
- Personal medications and toiletries in small containers
- Sunscreen for your skin and lips
- Insect repellent
- Moisturizer lotion to avoid the drying out of the skin
- Bathing suit for the thermal baths in Aguas Calientes
- You also need to bring your original passport on the trail and your student ISIC card (if claiming a student discount)
- Hated sleeping mat
- Sleeping bags which can be rented in the office for $5 per day and good for – 15°C.
- Professional walking sticks can be rented in the office for $2 per day
- Energy foods: chocolates, granola bars, dried fruits, etc. (they can be purchased in Cusco.
- ITINERARY NOTES. Choquequirao, Salkantay, and Inca Trail to Machu Picchu 12 days
The times cited in this itinerary are approximate. Walking times depend on the group and the guide can change lunch spots and campsites, depending on the progress of the group. Each guide has their own preferred route and it might not correspond exactly to the route described here.
Allocations or Itinerary are subject to change depending on time of booking and campsites provided by Peruvian government, (institution that runs the Inca Trail).
Trek conditions vary according to the season. ie in the dry season the trail can be dusty, in the wet season it can be slippery and muddy. During the shoulder seasons the conditions depend on prior weather. Apus Peru takes no responsibility for trail conditions, as it is directly related to the weather.
This is an adventurous trip. You should be sure to bring an open mind, flexibility and a sense of humor. Most of all you should be prepared to go with the flow. Also, we do not recommend this trek for “first time” trekkers or campers.
The Choquequirao a Machu Picchu trek is an adventurous trek, crossing several high passes and the Rio Blanco which does not have a substantial bridge and can be dangerous to cross in periods of heavy rain. We do not recommend this trek during December, January, February, and March but this recommendation depends on the current weather conditions.
This region is not frequently visited by tourists, therefore tourist infrastructure is limited.Visitors should be aware that things change, or may not go to plan. This is all part of the adventure!
If you want to stay overnight in the village of Aguas Calientes the last night, have to inform us, this is an additional cost of your Hotel.
2022 Prices Choquequirao to Machu Picchu 12 days / 11 nights
if you are interested in trekking for 8 days / 7 nights, you can write to us for the prices.
|Number of People||2||3||4||5 – 6||7 – 8 more ask for price|
|Price per person in $||$||$||$||$||$|
If you wish to travel alone, you need to ask for a private tour and must let us know when you make your reservation
If you wish to go with other people, we can let you know what dates are available and you can join an existing group.
Write to us to make your reservation and we will send you the form and the payment conditions
Students: $20 U.S. (only for students who have a current international student card (ISIC card)
Children: $20 U.S. (minors of 16 years with proof of passport