Choquequirao Trek to Machu Picchu

Machu Picchu citadel

Retrace the footsteps of the Incas on this exclusive nine-day Choquequirao Trek to Machu Picchu with our English-speaking local tour guide. The trek is dotted with countless unexplored Inca sites. You will discover the indispensable connection between humans and nature on this epic trek to Choquequirao and Machu Picchu.

Choquequirao in Quechua means Cradle of Gold. To the Incas, it was the sacred sister city of Machu Picchu. Both Choquequirao and Machu Picchu have a similar architecture. They were built in the same era by the ninth Inca emperor, Pachacutec. 

Unlike Machu Picchu, Choquequirao is remotely located. You will need to hike for two days each way from the nearby village to reach there.

When the Spanish invaded the Inca capital, the Incas abandoned Choquequiro and fled to Vilcabamba, the Incas’ last refuge. Due to its remote location, the Spanish could not invade Coquequirao and it was left abandoned. 

In 1710, the complex was rediscovered by Spanish explorer Juan Arias Diaz. However, they began excavating in the 1970s. Only a third of the complex is excavated and is open for tourism. 

Choquequirao Machu Picchu Trek

On this Choquequirao Machu Picchu Trek, you will be passing through stunning landscapes and get captivating views of highland communities snuggled amidst the snowcapped peak at every turn. You will also get an insight into the Andean traditions and customs.

In 2015, National Geographic Travel Magazine recognized this as one of the most beautiful treks in the world. 

During the first part of the trek, you will be away from the touristic crowds and will have most of the sites to yourself.

Please note that this is a high-altitude experience. The highest point of Choquequirao Machu Picchu Trek is Yanama Pass at 4575 meters above sea level. We highly recommend that you spend a few days acclimatizing in Cusco before the trek to avoid altitude sickness.

We operate this trek in small groups and all camping equipment is included in the price. Do take a moment to check our reviews on Tripadvisor

PROGRAM CHOQUEQUIRAO – MACHUPICCHU
LENGTH 09 DAYS – 08 NIGHTS
AVAILABILITY March to December
ACTIVITY TYPE CULTURAL/ECOLOGICAL/ADVENTURE
DIFFICULTY EASY-MODERATE.
CODE APMS 005

DAY 1:CUSCO – CACHORA – CHIQUISCA.

At 0600 AM, we will be picking you up from your hotel in Cusco We will then embark on a drive to Cachora village. It nestles amidst the snowcapped peaks at 2850 meters above sea level (9351 feet). 

We will be meeting our support crew (muleteers and chefs) here. After a short safety briefing, we will begin the first day of our Choquequirao to Machu Picchu trek with a hike to Capuliyoc. It is a viewpoint at 2800 meters above sea level.  You will be able to relish stunning views of the Apurimac river snaking through the canyon here.

We will be stopping for lunch near the canyons. Our Andean chef will demonstrate his expertise. Apurimac Canyons’ geological features are the result of the erosion caused by the nearby Apurimac River. 

After lunch, we will hike to Chiquisqa. It will be our campsite for the night. Choquisqa is a small Andean community popular for Papaya, Orange, and Custard Apple plantations. We will be reaching the campsite by 0600 PM.

Our crew will welcome you with a freshly brewed cup of tea or coffee and snacks. This will be followed by dinner.

MEALS: Lunch, Dinner

DAY 2: CHIQUISCA – CHOQUEQUIRAO

You will wake up early in the morning to a freshly brewed cup of Peruvian coffee or infusion. Our crew will set up breakfast at 0500 AM. We will begin the second day of the Choquequirao Trek to Machu Picchu with an hour’s downhill hike to Playa Rosalinas Bridge. 

Here we will be crossing the Apurimac River and continue hiking for another two hours to Rosa Baja. Our chef will be serving lunch here. Rosa Baja is a small community. You can find a small store here and buy some essentials you may need. 

After lunch, we will be hiking for another two hours, up the hill to Marampata. It is another small community overlooking the lost Inca City of Choquequirao. 

We will be setting up tents here. After a short rest, we will enter the Incan city where our local expert will e giving you a guided tour of the complex. We will be visiting the main sites like the plaza, ceremonial sites, and farming terraces among others. 

After the tour, we will be returning to the campsite where our chef will be serving you a traditional dinner.

MEALS: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 3: CHOQUEQUIRAO – PINCHIHUNUYOC.

After relishing a traditional breakfast in the camp overlooking one of the remarkable ancient ruins of South America, we will be heading back to the complex. We will be visiting the llama sector. The Incas decorated the stone steps with geometric representations of llamas.

The Llama sector lies some 20 minutes away from the archaeological site of Choquequirao. We will then hike up the hill for 40 minutes. You will have a panoramic view of the remains of the farming terraces and Inca ruins of Pinchayunuyoc.

Our tour guide will be sharing some interesting information and the prominence of these places during the Inca civilization. We will then hike down the hill for three hours to Pinchayunuyoc.

We will be leaving the belongings at our campsite and will be visiting the ruins here. Our Andean chef will be serving you a traditional dinner as we return from the tour. We will be camping here for the night.

MEALS: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 4: PINCHIHUNUYOC – MAIZAL

We will begin the fourth day of our Choquequirao Trek to Machu Picchu with a traditional breakfast. After breakfast, we will be embarking on a downhill hike to Rio Blanco (1950m/6398 ft).

From here, we will be hiking up the hill to another remarkable place on this nine-day trek, Maizal (3050m/10006ft). You will have plenty of time to soak in the awe-inspiring views. View from here is often considered one of the highlights of the Choquequirao to Machu Picchu trek.

We will be camping here for the night under the clear skies.

MEALS: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 5: MAIZAL – VICTORIA PASS – YANAMA

Another epic day on this nide day Choquequirao Trek to Machu Picchu. We will be leaving the campsite at around 0700 AM after a traditional breakfast. We will be hiking through much distinct flora and fauna.

Then we will be hiking on a section of the original Inca Trail to the abandoned colonial mines. We will then hike up the hill to Victoria Pass (4150m/13610ft). You will be getting beautiful views of Andean Condors flying above you.

We will be right in the heart of Peru’s most imposing mountains, Vilcabamba Mountain Range. It will be a three hours hike down the hill to another untouched Andean village of Yanama (3650m/11,970ft). 

We will be stopping for lunch here and spending the rest of the day relaxing and enjoying the scenery.

MEALS: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 6: YANAMA – COLLPAPAMPA

This is the longest yet most interesting day of the Choquequirao Trek to Machu Picchu. After breakfast, we will be hiking along the local road. We will be passing through a flat trail and will be gradually hiking up the hill to Yanama Pass at 4660m/15285ft). This is the highest point of the Choquequirao Trek to Machu Picchu.

The view from here is unmissable. You will witness the serene villages and farmlands snuggled by snow-capped peaks while the Andean condors soar high up in the clear sky.

We will hike gradually down the hill to our lunch camp in Pucara. After lunch, we will be hiking for three hours to Ccolpapampa. 

On this part of the Choquequirao to Machu Picchu Trek, you will witness a change in ecology as we will be descending from the Andes Mountain Range to the Subtropical jungle of the Amazon.

Ccolpapampa is possibly the most remote village we will be visiting on this trek. It is also the campsite for those hiking the esteemed Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu. 

After a traditional Andean dinner, we will be camping here at our exclusive campsite.

MEALS: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 7: COLLPAPAMPA – LA PLAYA –SANTA TERESA.

This will be the easiest day on the Choquequirao Trek to Machu Picchu. We will begin hiking after breakfast. We will be hiking on flat terrain for five hours. The weather will be warm and humid, so you may want to dress accordingly. 

We will hiking through many stunning waterfalls, and coffee and fruit plantations. Our local expert will be giving you a tour of different plantations here. You will also have the opportunity to taste different farm-fresh fruits and coffee here.

For lunch, we will be stopping at La Playa (2100m/6889ft). After lunch, we will be embarking on our van to Santa Teresa. It is a beautiful village and home to the hot springs of Cocalmayo. 

You can take a refreshing dip in the thermal waters while our crew will prepare your dinner. We will be camping in Santa Teresa for the night. 

MEALS: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 8: SANTA TERESA – HIDROLECTRICA – AGUAS CALIENTES

After breakfast, we will be hiking up the hill for three hours to the archaeological complex of Llactapata. It is quite an extensive and well-preserved remains of the Inca settlement that will intrigue you. Our local expert will be giving you a guided tour of the complex.

We will then hike down the hill for two and a half hours to Hydro Electrica. Here we will be stopping for lunch. After lunch, we will be bidding goodbye to our support crew.

We will then embark on three hours picturesque hike along the railway tracks to Aguas Calientes. You will be retracing the footsteps of Hiram Bingham who rediscovered Machu Picchu. 

The route offers stunning views at every turn. You will be spotting many tropical plantations. Once in Aguas Calientes, we will be accommodating you in an ensuite hotel room.

Aguas Calientes gets its name after the natural hot springs. You can spend the evening taking a refreshing dip in the hot thermal waters. You can also enjoy sauntering on the cobble-stoned streets rimmed with shops selling different souvenirs.

Later in the evening, we will be meeting at a local restaurant to relish a celebratory dinner. 

MEALS: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 9: AGUAS CALIENTES – MACHU PICCHU – CUSCO

Early in the morning, after breakfast, we will be taking the 25-minute ride up the hill on a tourist bus to the Inca Citadel, Machu Picchu. You will witness the golden rays of the morning sun beaming on the Inca walls of the lost city. 

Our local expert will be giving you a two hours immersive tour of the complex. You will be visiting the remains of the main plaza, ceremonial sites, royal quarters, and more.

After the tour, you will have the option of exploring the citadel. If you have booked to climb Huayna Picchu or Machu Picchu mountain, our local expert will be guiding you to the respective trail head. 

Please note that you will need a permit to hike these mountains. Often permits are sold five to six months in advance. Do let us know at the time of booking the tour if you intend to hike them. 

Alternatively, you can hike to the Sungate. You will need no permit to hike and it is free of cost. This is the point of entrance to Machu Picchu for those hiking the esteemed Inca Trail to Machu Picchu. You will be getting a panoramic view of the citadel from there.  

Once you have had your fill of the Inca complex, we will be taking the bus back down to Aguas Calientes town. You will have some free time here so you can stop at a local restaurant for lunch if desired.

Later in the evening, we will be taking the tourist train to Ollantaytambo in the Sacred Valley of the Incas. Our representative will be meeting you on arrival and will be transferring you to your hotel in Cusco. We will be reaching by 0900 PM. 

Meals: Breakfast (In the hotel)

IMPORTANT NOTES

The time of hiking will depend on the group. The guide can change the places for having lunch and camping according to the physical condition of the group.

Each guide has his own way of leading his group but always his decisions will be for the benefit of the tourists. • If you would like an extra night in Aguas Calientes please let us know at the time of your reservation so that we do not have problems with your return train tickets.

CHOQUEQUIRAO. This is an adventure tour that we must enjoy, to the maximum with good weather or, if not, always we must have an open mind, a positive attitude, and a good sense of humor.

INCLUDED:

  • An explanation two days before departing
  • Tranport in private bus to the start of the trek
  • 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
  • Camping tents for 2 and 4 persons depending on the requirements
  • Camping equipment, dining tents, kitchen, tables, chairs
  • Cook and assistant cook
  • Kitchen/eating utensils
  • Pack animals (mules and horses) to carry the baggage and equipment
  • Emergency horse
  • Wranglers to care for the pack animals
  • Professional guide who speaks English, Spanish, and Quechua
  • Assistant guide for groups larger than 8 people
  • Entrance tickets to Choquequirao
  • Last night’s celebration dinner in Aguas Calientes in a restaurant
  • Entrance into Machu Picchu
  • Bus up to and back down from Machupicchu
  • Return train ticket to Cusco
  • Hotel in Aguas Calientes with private bathroom and hot water
  • First aid equipment and oxygen tank
  • Dinner on the last day in Aguas Calientes.
  • Entrances to hot springs
  • Transport from la playa to Santa Teresa.
  • Transport to the hot springs.

NOT INCLUDED

  • Breakfast on the first day.
  • lunch the last day.
  • Tips for personnel: guide, cook, wranglers (according to their job)
  • Sleeping bags (they can be rented in the office).
  • If you would like to rent an additional horse, the cost is $10 per day.

WHAT TO BRING ON THE TREK

  • 1 small 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 wool (they can be bought during your trip)
  • 3 or 4 short-sleeved shirts (preferably “dry fit” that don’t retain water)
  • 2 pairs of shorts such as the Bermudas.
  • Socks: 4 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

OPTIONAL

  • Heated sleeping mat
  • Sleeping bags which can be rented in the office for $5 per day and are good for – 10°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. 2010 Prices Choquequirao to Machu Picchu 9 days / 8 nights – if you are interested in trekking for 8 days / 7 nights, you can write to us for the prices.
  • If you wish to travel alone, you need to ask for a private tour, letting us know which date you wish to leave, and you must make your reservation a week ahead of time so that we can organize your tour.
  • 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 DISCOUNTS
  • 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)

2017 Prices Choquequirao to Machu Picchu 9 days / 8 nights

if you are interested in trekking for 8 days / 7 nights, you can write to us about the prices.

Number of People 2 3 4 5-6 7 or more
Price per person in $ $ 1255 $ 1120 $ 985 $ 890 $ 850

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

DISCOUNTS

Students: $30 U.S. (only for students who have a current international student card (ISIC card)
Children: $30 U.S. (minors of 16 years with proof of passport

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