The classic Choquequirao trek to Machu Picchu, 9 days

Code: 13CHOQ09
9 DAYS - 8 NIGHTS
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One of most recent discoveries in Peru is Choquequirao.  This hike is one of the most beautiful that exists in South America – located in Cusco Peru.

The “Archeological site of Choquequirau” is now becoming a more recognized trekking route compared to the “Machu Picchu Trek”, because it hasn’t been excessively marketed, yet it’s larger and some even say that it’s superior to the Archeological site of Machu Picchu.

This incredible trek to CHOQUEQUIRAO is indeed for the more fit and experienced hikers, since it’s harder to reach compared to Machu Picchu.  However, it’s worth every penny because you’ll experience a whole package of microclimates and extraordinary sceneries Peru has to offer.

CAUTION:     Please allow a minimum of two (02) days to acclimate before considering to begin your adventure package to Ausangate.

DEPARTURE/RETURN LOCATION Your hotel in Cusco
DEPARTURE TIME Early in the morning.

INCLUDED:
• Choquequirao Machu Picchu Hiking Tours 9 days
• Trek briefing with your guide
• Professional guide
• All entrance tickets to the attractions
• Private transport and professional driver (round trip transfer from hotel to the starting point of trek)
• 1 train ticket service from Hydro to Machu Picchu Pueblo
• 1 train ticket service from Machu Picchu Pueblo to Ollantaytambo Village (Expedition Tourist Train)
• 2 bus tickets from Aguas Calientes Village to Machu Picchu.
• 7 nights camping/1 night hotel
• Choquequirao guided tour
• Machu Picchu guided tour
• Spacious tent/Sleeping mat.
• Horses or mules and indigenous horsemen to carry camping equipment: client tents, dining and cooking tents, table, stools, cooking gear, stove, gas container, cutlery, plates, food and fresh vegetable
• Personal items to carry: 10 kg/22 lb. (So you just need to carry your day backpack with everything you will need during the day.)
• We provide a duffle for personal items.
• One cook, and assistants
• Excellent meals: 8 Breakfasts, 7 Lunches, 7 Dinners
• Food includes pancakes, omelets, soups, fresh fruit, avocado, pasta, chicken, fish, meat, and rice, foods which are rich in carbohydrates and suitable for trekking. (Vegetarian, vegan or special diet meals upon request)
• Tea time before dinner (tea, coffee, coco, biscuits, popcorn).
• Boiled water provided from 2nd day (for drinking)
• Wake up to coca tea in your tent
• Buckets of hot water for washing in your tent every day
• Biodegradable soap and hand cleaning gel
• Oxygen Tank & First aid kit

IMPORTANT NOTICE:

The travel times indicated in our itinerary are approximate.

The trekking times depends on group size and Trek Leader/Tour Guide who can change the lunch locations and the camps, depending on the progress of the group. Each guide has its preferred route and may not correspond exactly to the route described here.

The conditions of the walk vary according to the season. That is, in the dry season the road can be dusty, in the wet season it can be slippery and muddy. “Go Treks Peru” is not responsible for the conditions of the trail, as it is directly related to the weather, but our experienced guides will turn the weather conditions into an exciting adventure.

This is an adventure trekking trip.  We recommend to keep an open mind, be flexible and keep a sense of humor. This trek is not recommended first time hikers, good physical conditioning is required (Read our guide for travelers).

In our trek, we’ll be exposed to high ways, along white waters and crossing the creeks, rivers, that may not be in optimal conditions and can be dangerous during heavy rains. We do not recommend this hike in December through March.

This region is not visited frequently by the tourists.  Thus, the infrastructure is limited. Our trekkers should be aware of changes to the weather conditions.  Be expected for changes to the itinerary based on the weather conditions. All this is part of the adventure and we will ensure that you have the best experience.

  • To cross the Apurimac River you will take an oroya, or small cable car since there is currently no bridge.

 

DISCOUNTS

  • Students with ISIC CARD: US$30. Please send us a copy of your ISIC card at time of booking.
  • Under 18 years old: US$40. Please send us a copy of your passport at the time of booking.
  • Group of 5 people or more: US$30. All you need is to book the trek together at the same time.

EXTRAS 

  • Good, clean and warm -10° sleeping bag : US$25. This is for the whole trek.
  • Vistadome up-grade train for the way back: from US$57 per person.
  • Entrance to Huayna Picchu Mountain – US $25

1

Day 1: CUSCO-CACHORA-CAPULIYOC-PLAYA ROSALINA

Our transportation will pick you up at your hotel (4:30 a.m.- approx.).  Then drive north bound through different herding and farming villages (3 hrs.) to reach the “Lookout”, where you’ll enjoy a delicious concentrated soup.  Afterwards, we’ll continue towards the Village of Cachora (a pre-Hispanic village) where you can take photos.

After driving an additional hour, we’ll finally arrive to our starting point of our trek.  While we regroup for the trek, you’ll be enjoy the lovely vista of the Apurimac Canyon.  We’ll begin our trek descending to the “Condor Lookout” point and if we’re lucky will be able to see Condors soaring.  Also, at this same Lookout, we’ll see, from afar, the archeological site of Choquequirau.

After trekking for 3 hours we’ll reach “Cocamasana” for lunch where you’ll find our experienced chef preparing a hot nutritious meal.  After resting for a bit, we’ll continue our hike to reach a small hunting community called “Chikiska”.  You can buy drinks and snacks here.  You’ll also have time to take in the different flora and fauna.

Finally, after trekking for about an hour and half, we’ll arrive to our first campsite called “Rosalina”.  You’ll have time to organize your sleeping area, while our staff prepares hot drinks and snacks.  At dawn, we’ll have dinner and tuck-in for the night.

 

DETAILS:

  • Accommodations:       Campsite “Rosalina”
  • Hiking Distance:            10 km
  • Approx. Hike Time:      5 hours
  • Weather:                         Warm and Dry
  • Level of Difficulty:        Arduous
  • Trail conditions:            Rocky, dusty, and some slippery sport. Trekking shoes are definitely required.

2

Day 2: PLAYA ROSALINA- MARAMPATA-Y BASE CAMP CHOQUEQIRAU

We recommend an early start (wake-up call 4:45 a.m.) and breakfast at 5:15.  We’ll start with a 2 hour trek reaching our rest area called “Santa Rosa” (purchase drinks/snacks, if needed).  Then we continue hiking (2:30 hours) arriving to our mid-point for the day “Marampata” a small farming village.  It is here we’ll have a delicious lunch and 45 minutes to rest and re-energize.  Later, we’ll continue ascending until reaching our campsite “Choqeuquirau”.  We’ll have hot fusion drinks and a delicious meal for dinner.

DETAILS:

  • Meals:                              Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
  • Accommodations:        Choquequirao campsite
  • Hiking Distance:            11 km
  • Approx. Hike Time:      7-8 hours
  • Level of Difficulty:        Arduous

3

Day 3: CHOQUEQUIRAU FULL DAY TOUR

In order to witness and marvel on the extraordinary feats of architecture of “Choquequirau”, we’ve set aside an entire day tour.  Our staff will provide a wake-up call by serving you hot coca tea at your tents (of course we’ll knock first!)

At approximately 6:30, we will have breakfast and start towards the Incan site (50 min.).  You’ll be surprised to know that only 30% has been excavated.  Archeological Scholars have estimated that “Choquequirau is 5 times bigger than Machupicchu.

Our guided tour includes visiting; temples, homes, warehouses, and many water channels.  At 2:00 p.m., we’ll break for a ‘picnic’ (lunch) at the same Archeological Site.

After lunch, we will descend to the lower section of Choquequirau to take in the beautiful waterfall and the incredible handmade experimental agricultural terraces.  At 3:30 p.m., we return to the camp for dinner and hot fusion drinks.

DETAILS:

  • Meals:                              Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
  • Accommodations:        Choquequirao campsite
  • Level of Difficulty:        Easy

4

Day 4: CHOQUEQUIRAU-RIO BLANCO-MAIZAL

Wake up call at 6:00 a.m. with a hot coca tea served at your tent (of course with prior announcement).  We’ll have breakfast (6:15 a.m.) and then begin our trek for 1 hour towards a lookout.  You’ll take a short break to observe from a distance Choquequirao and our new sight towards Machu Picchu.

We continue our descend (one and half hours) until we reach an Incan site called “Pinchihuiniyoc”, where you’ll observe a variety agricultural terraces at different altitudes used for experimental crop production output.

You will be provided ancestral Incan history by your trek leader, all the while, enjoying the spectacular view of the “Blanco River – White River”.  Afterwards, we trek along for (1 hr. and half) until arriving at our lunch area next to the crystal clear river where you can see trout and other wild-life.

Trekking on uphill (2:30 hours), we’ll reach our camp called “Maizal”, a small herding and farming community.  At this isolated pueblo, you’ll relish a serene peaceful rest  (be sure to get as much rest as possible, you’ll need it for tomorrow’s hike).

  • Accommodations:       Camping
  • Walking distance:        14 km
  • Approx. Hike Time:      7 hours
  • Highest point:                3,270 m
  • Campsite Altitude:       3,000 m – “Maizal”
  • Level of Difficulty:           Arduous

5

Day 5: MAIZAL-SAN JUAN PASS-YANAMA

The hardest trekking day of the tour.  Wake up call at 6:00 am.  You’ll have breakfast while viewing the two beautiful rivers called “Rio Apurrimac” and “White River”.  Finishing breakfast, we begin our 4 hour uphill climb towards an old abandoned silver mining spot.  Passing the mining caves, we’ll reach the highest elevation of the day, a place called “Abra de San Juan”.  Hopefully, we’ll have an opportunity to observe condors soaring round the mountains and take photos.  We continue by descending towards our campsite (Approx. 2 and half hours).  During our hike down we’ll get a chance to see wild birds, and flowers, like “Tarwi”.   Tarwi is a wholesome wheat that provides essential nutrition and energy throughout the dya.

Reaching camp at Yanama, we will sit down for lunch.  You’l have the rest of the afternoon for “R & R” and exploring.

Dinner will be served with hot fusion drinks.

DETAILS:

  • Accommodation:         Camping
  • Hiking Distance:            14 km
  • Approx. Hike Time:      5 hours
  • Highest Altitude:          San Juan Pass 4,200 m/12,779 ft.
  • Campsite Altitude:       3,522 m/11,555 ft. – “Yanama”
  • Level of Difficulty:        Arduous

6

Day 6: YANAMA-COLLPAPAMPA

We start off with a 4 hour upward climb.   The first part of the trek will be smooth.  However, it begins to increase in difficulty.  Please let the trek leader know, if necessary, to slow his pace down.  Reaching the top part of the climb, we’ll have a 3 hour downhill hike to camp at “Qolpapampa”.

Our campsite is near a small town.  Hence, you’ll be able to take a shower, if you choose.  You’ll be able to purchase cold drinks such as; beer, wine, and soda.

Dinner will be served with hot fusion drinks.

DETAILS:

  • Accommodations:       Campsite “Collpapampa”
  • Hiking Distance:            18 km/11.16 miles
  • Approx. Hike Time:      9 hours hike
  • Highest Altitude:          4,660 m/15,288 ft.
  • Campsite Altitude:       2,900 m 9, 514 ft.
  • Level of Difficulty:        Arduous

7

Day 7: COLLPAPAMPA-LUCMABAMBA CAMPISITE

Unlike the previous day, today you’ll have a relatively easy hike (from 2,900) to reach your next campsite called “Lucmabamba” (at 2,000 m).  Along the way, you’ll see many fruit plantations such as; banana, avocado, passion fruit and more.  The weather in this area is conducive (jungle climate) for coffee plantations too.

After six hours of hiking, we’ll reach our campsite to have lunch.  Afterwards, you are free to explore the area or just rest until 4:00 p.m.  We have an activity planned for you at one of the coffee plantations in the area that exports the coffee to Europe.  Finishing our activity, dinner will be waiting for you at camp.

DETAILS:

  • Accommodations:       Camping
  • Hiking Distance:            17 km
  • Approx. Hike Time:      7 hrs.
  • Campsite Altitude:       2,000 m
  • Difficulty:                         Moderately Easy

8

Day 8: LUCMABAMBA-LLACTAPATA INCA SITE-MACHUPICCHU TOWN

After breakfast, we’ll gradually descend for 45 minutes until reaching the connection point of the Inca Trail, built in 1,300 (from Vilcabamba to Machu Picchu). Here you’ll appreciate the stone path leading to “Llactapata” Incan site.  Just in front of you, you’ll have the wonderful vista of Machu Picchu.  And along the way, you’ll see coffee and yucca plantations. Once you arrive in Llactapata, your guide will describe the geography and re-telling of the Incan history.

We continue our trek for another two and a half hours, all downhill, until we reach the famous hydroelectric station.  Our last lunch with your cook and porters. At 4:00 p.m., you’ll have an opportunity to say your farewell to the staff and board the train to “Aguas Calientes”.  The trek leader will escort you to your hotel for a well-deserved R & R time.

If you want to visit the hot springs in Aguas Calientes, we will provide you with all the information necessary to be on your way. The cost of entry to the hot springs is ten (S/. 10.00) soles (bring your towel). That evening you will enjoy the last dinner with your trek leader at a local restaurant. You will also receive your last briefing for the following day.

Be sure to purchase snacks & water for your trip up to Machu Picchu.

DETAILS:

  • Meals:                              Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
  • Accommodations:       Hotel Aguas Calientes
  • Hiking Distance:            16 km
  • Approx. Hike Time:      5 hours
  • Highest Altitude:          3,000 m/9,842 ft.
  • Level of Difficulty:        Easy/Moderate to Challenging

9

Day 9: AGUAS CALIENTES – MACHU PICCHU – CUSCO

Our final day, we will start off early (wake-up 4:30 a.m.).  Followed by breakfast (5:00 a.m.) at the hotel. After, board the bus to Machu Picchu, which will take approx.. 25 minutes to reach (door open 6:00 a.m.). Please be sure to bring your original passport to show the Rangers (you can get a Machu Picchu seal on your passport).

Your guide will take you to the best places in Machu Picchu, while enjoy the sunrise (depending on the weather).

Then you will have a two hour guided tour.  Following, you’ll have an opportunity to explore Machu Picchu on your own.

  • If you have reserved a visit to “HUAYNAPICHHU” (tickets $ 25.00 per person/limited to 400 per day – not included), you’ll begin your hike at 7:00 – 10:00 a.m., please coordinate with the Trek Leader for your visit depending on Municipality’s programmed time.

There are many more activities that you can do.  These activities are optional (not included with package) for example: The “Puerta del Sol” (2 hours hike up and down), where you will appreciate the Inca city from a different view point.

In the afternoon, you’ll catch the train to reach the City of Ollantaytambo. Upon arrival to Ollantaytambo, we will have transportation waiting to drive you back to your hotel in Cusco.

DETAILS:

Meals:                              Breakfast

Lowest Altitude:           2,040 m / 6.691 ft

Highest Altitude:          2,440 m / 8,052 ft

Note:      If you want to stay an extra night, just lets us know and we can help book a hotel in Aguas Calientes, as well as your train ticket for the next day

Rangers don’t allow people to carry bags bigger than 25 liters when entering Machu Picchu

No trekking poles are allowed in Machu Picchu

Snacks and water are allowed – in bags.

 

IMPORTANT NOTICE:

The travel times indicated in our itinerary are approximate.

The trekking times depends on group size and Trek Leader/Tour Guide who can change the lunch locations and the camps, depending on the progress of the group. Each guide has its preferred route and may not correspond exactly to the route described here.

The conditions of the walk vary according to the season. That is, in the dry season the road can be dusty, in the wet season it can be slippery and muddy. “Go Treks Peru” is not responsible for the conditions of the trail, as it is directly related to the weather, but our experienced guides will turn the weather conditions into an exciting adventure.

This is an adventure trekking trip.  We recommend to keep an open mind, be flexible and keep a sense of humor. This trek is not recommended first time hikers, good physical conditioning is required (Read our guide for travelers).

In our trek, we’ll be exposed to high ways, along white waters and crossing the creeks, rivers, that may not be in optimal conditions and can be dangerous during heavy rains. We do not recommend this hike in December through March.

This region is not visited frequently by the tourists.  Thus, the infrastructure is limited. Our trekkers should be aware of changes to the weather conditions.  Be expected for changes to the itinerary based on the weather conditions. All this is part of the adventure and we will ensure that you have the best experience.

  • To cross the Apurimac River you will take an oroya, or small cable car since there is currently no bridge.

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