Discover the 2 great architectural wonders of the Incas on a 9-day trek that will challenge your physical and mental limits to renew yourself from head to toe. If you’re addicted to physical activity, you love nature, and you’re passionate about the history of ancient civilizations, this route is perfect for you. Due to the archaeological importance of Choquequirao and Machu Picchu — the largest and best preserved Inca sites that exist in all of South America— and its impressive natural beauty, this route was chosen in 2015 by National Geographic as one of the most beautiful in the entire world. The difficulty of this excursion is comparable to the trek to Mount Everest base camp.
Prepare yourself for a journey through time, leaving modernity and worries behind as you walk through the stone streets of Choquequirao and Machu Picchu. Imagine a lifestyle where great importance was given to the community and where there was a deep love and respect for Mother Nature, or Pachamama. This intense and important connection between human beings and nature allowed the Incas to carry out true wonders of architecture and engineering. Anti-seismic stone cities high up on the mountain. Aqueducts that bring fresh and clean water for 500 years. Agricultural platforms on the steep mountain sides. Be amazed at what the Incas were able to do on this magical tour. In addition, you’ll be able to visit part of the world famous Classic Inca Trail heading to Machu Picchu.
An amazing route in one of the most impressive tourist destinations on the planet.
We’ll start our adventure very early in the morning. We’ll pick you up at your hotel at 4:30 a.m. and will travel for 4 hours in our private mobility to Cachora. We will stop along the way to enjoy a nutritious and delicious breakfast (price not included) while we contemplate the impressive snow-capped mountains of Salkantay and Humantay in the distance. In Cachora we’ll meet the rest of the team of assistants as well as the animals who’ll carry our belongings and after defining some details we’ll begin the walk. 4 hours downhill awaits us to the lunch point in Chikiska, a beautiful town full of fruit fields. Along the route we’ll be able to contemplate the impressive landscape that the Apurímac Valley offers, as well as two other gigantic snow-capped mountains: Padreyoc and Wayna Cachora. We’ll continue the descent for 2 more hours until we reach the bottom of the valley where you’ll find the fast moving Apurímac river, whose name in Quechua means “speaking God”, which is ideal for canoeing thanks to its class 5 rapids. Then, we’ll make a 2-hour ascent until you reach the Santa Rosa camp (1,800 masl / 5,906 fasl) where a delicious dinner and an incredible night of rest await you.
After savoring a delicious breakfast, we’ll continue our journey and start the walk at 5:30 a.m. A 3-hour zig-zag climb awaits us, up to Marampata (3,100 masl / 10,170 fasl) where you can capture impressive photographs of the canyon and the snow-capped peaks. Then a gradual descent of 3.5 hours will begin that will take you to the very archaeological complex of Choquequirao where you’ll enjoy lunch. Our camp will be set up near there. Contemplate your surroundings, feel the energy that this place has stored for 5 centuries, and take advantage to stretch your muscles as we will briefly visit the most important places in Choquequirao. At sunset, enjoy a beautiful sunset that will flood the endless valleys and white glacial mountains with its orange light. When it begins to get dark we will return to the camp to enjoy a dinner that will comfort your stomach and restore your energy.
We’ll take the day to explore in great detail this incredible Inca site that’s located on the mountains and very close to the deepest canyon in the entire American continent. You can already imagine the incredible landscapes that surround this colossal Inca construction. A 14-minute walk will take us to the Main Square of Choquequirao and then we will visit the most impressive corners of this fascinating place. Much larger than Machu Picchu, Choquequirao shows squares, food stores, temples, and impressive platforms that will make you constantly ask yourself: how were the Incas able to build this on top of the mountains? Don’t miss the famous white stone flames that adorn the platforms practically built on the hillside and that are located in the direction of the mountain that protects that sector the Apu Qoriwayrachina. In many ways, Choquequirao remains a mystery. According to experts, for now, only about 50% is visible. At the end of the day, we will return to our camp and enjoy a delicious dinner.
Today we recommend waking up before the sun come up to appreciate the magnificent sunrise. See how the flashes of Father Sol or Tayta Inti fill all corners with colour and life. Connect with the closest star of fire and feel his deep affection. Take the opportunity to thank the sacred mountains that surround you and the powerful Apurímac River. In this way we’ll say goodbye to Choquequirao. After breakfast, we’ll begin our ascent towards the cloud forest. We will arrive at the Choquequirao pass (3,300 masl / 10,826 fasl) to descend to the archaeological site of Pinchaunuyoc (2,750 masl / 9,022 fasl) that will surprise you with its agricultural platforms suspended over the abysses of the White River canyon. We’ll continue descending to enjoy our lunch near the river where you’ll be able to appreciate various species of birds, different orchids, and plantations of the sacred coca leaf. Many of our travellers take advantage of this opportunity to take a dip in the cold and crystal clear waters of the river. It will be a pleasure to take a bath after 3 days of trekking! We’ll cross the river and begin a challenging ascent to our camp in Maizal. This will be the most difficult day.
Today you’ll wake up with the unanimous song of the birds that will greet the sun. After recharging your energy with a delicious breakfast, we’ll head down an uphill path covered by lush vegetation. The snowy mountains will surround us once again reminding us of their power and beauty. In case the sky is not clear, you’ll see how the clouds cover the valley below us. In one way or another, the landscape will be extraordinary. 7 hours of ascent await us. This sector of the route is of great historical importance because several archaeological sites are scattered along the way. In addition, you’ll be able to observe some ancient Inca silver mines called Minas Victoria and then ascend to the Victoria pass (4,200 masl / 13,773 fasl). It will be quite a long climb, but the beauty of the route is so great that you won’t even notice the effort. We’ll walk through the Amazonian cloud forests and then we’ll go up to the puna that is known for its grasslands or ichhu. Near the top we’ll begin to see cobbled sectors of the road that are original constructions of the Incas. We’ll have lunch observing the immensity of the snowy mountains of Choquetakarpo and Padreyoc. If we’re lucky and the weather allows it, it’s very likely that we can appreciate the flight of the condor whose spread wings reach 3 meters in length. For this reason it’s the largest flying bird in the world. Finally we will make a decent to the Yanama camp (3,500 masl / 11,482 fasl) a small town located at the bottom of a huge valley.
The people of Yanama have known how to preserve the ancestral traditions of the Andes to this day. It’s an excellent place to make new friends and perhaps give some things to the children who’ll come to greet you. You’ll wake up to the relaxing sound of a waterfall and the countless voices that the jungle hides. After breakfast, we will begin a 5-hour ascent to the highest point of the entire trek, the Yanama pass (4,700 masl / 15,419 fasl). On our walk we’ll observe the people of the place lovingly working the land in the potato fields. Along the way, the snowy mountain ranges of Saqsarayoc and Padreyoc will appear with their gigantic bodies of snow. Depending on the season, we may be able to walk on the snow at this point of the trek. In addition, you’ll see, for the first time, the imposing sacred mountain Salkantay, one of the main deities of the region. Later, we’ll descend through a long and mysterious fog-filled path towards the community of Totora. After dinner, enjoy a restful night amid the tranquillity of the place and its indescribable beauty.
After a delicious breakfast, we’ll start with a 3-hour descent to Ccolpapampa where you’ll begin to see the trekkers from the Salkantay Route. From here we’ll be able to observe beautiful rivers, impressive waterfalls, wild orchids, and coffee, banana, and avocado plantations. The place is so fertile that it’s full of fruit. Try the delicious flavour of passion fruit and granadilla! If luck is with us, we can see the intriguing national bird of Peru, the “Cock of the Rocks”. We’ll have lunch at approximately noon at La Playa and then we’ll walk for 1 more hour to our camp in Lucmabamba (2,400 masl / 7,874 fasl). We can explore the tropical jungle a little and visit a coffee growing field. If you’re a coffee lover, this place will be heaven for you. Feel the aroma and powerful flavour of one of the best coffees in all of Peru that’s exported to the United States, Asia, and Europe. Since you’ll have free time in the afternoon, we recommend you visit the relaxing thermo-medicinal waters of Cocalmayo (price not included) that are close to there. It’s the best way to recover after so many days of walking!
The last day of walking has arrived. We’ll walk 3 hours uphill on a section of the original Inca Trail. From there you can see the incredible landscape of the Santa Teresa valley and some coffee and passion fruit plantations. Once we reach the top of that mountain we’ll find the fabulous Inca site of Llactapata from where you can already distinguish the location of the citadel of Machu Picchu. Then we’ll descend for 3 hours to the Hydroelectric train station. Here we’ll enjoy our last lunch on the route and say goodbye to our support team. You’ll receive your luggage inside the duffle bags and embark on a train trip to the miniature city of Aguas Calientes (2,000 masl / 6,562 fasl) where you’ll stay in a comfortable hotel. Before or after dinner, you’ll have the option of visiting the thermo-medicinal waters that exist in the place (price not included). Then, a night of well-deserved rest awaits you because the next morning, very early, we’ll go to the fantastic archaeological complex of Machu Picchu.
Today this great adventure concludes and we’re sure that you’ll no longer be the same person. As we’ve done every day, we’ll start very early to take advantage of the amazing lights of dawn. Enjoy breakfast at the hotel and then choose between these 2 options: go by bus for 30 minutes to Machu Picchu or walk to the sacred citadel on a mysterious route in the company of your guide. Remember to notify your guide the night before if you decide to walk. Once you have arrived at this impressive site, you’ll take a 2-hour guided tour of the most important places. Machu Picchu is a true architectural and engineering wonder. Discover how granite chaos turns into magnificent buildings that are always in careful harmony with nature. You’ll feel a powerful energy that will finish transforming your spirit after this intense walk. Remember that Machu Picchu is an extremely sacred place. After the guided tour you’ll be able to explore this Inca citadel on your own and feel the presence of the ancient Peruvians. If you have booked the entrance to the Huayna Picchu Mountain, you’ll have the opportunity to stay an additional amount of time. You’ll reach the top after climbing some bleachers that have rock walls on one side and an endless steep face on the other. At approximately 3:00 p.m. You must take your bus back to Aguas Calientes where you can choose one of the restaurants for lunch (price not included). Then collect your bags from the hotel and go to the train station where you’ll board a wagon at approximately 4:20 p.m. After a magical trip to the banks of the Urubamba River you’ll arrive in Ollantaytambo where our private mobility will be waiting for you that will take you back to Cusco. You’ll arrive at the door of your hotel at approximately 8:30 p.m.
We want to make your trip to Peru as memorable and as easy as possible. In this section, you will find speedy answers to all those questions you had about Choquequirao Trail 9 days in one place. Please read the following information carefully – it will help you with any questions about our services.
Has another question that we haven’t answered here? Drop us a line, and we will get back to you asap!
All information meetings are held in your hotel at 6:00 p.m., one night before the tour begins. If you cannot attend, you must coordinate another time at the Peru Hike offices. These meetings last approximately 30 to 45 minutes and there you will be given a small duffel bag, in which you’ll put all the belongings you intend to bring on the trek that won’t be in your day pack.
ou’ll receive a canvas case or duffel bag during your briefing. The porters will take them on the way and will deliver them to you when you get to each camp. They measure 66 cm / 2 ft. Long x 36 cm / 1 ft. Wide.
A maximum of 5 kg is allowed for each duffel bag that includes the weight of your sleeping bag, mat, clothes and other personal items.
The trek has to be paid for in full by at least 7.30 pm two days before departure. For example, if your tour departs on a Wednesday, then you must come to our office before 7.30 pm on Monday.
It would be much appreciated if you pay the trek balance in cash US dollars or local currency. You can withdraw some money from several ATMs along Avenida Sol (either in US dollars or local Peruvian Soles). You can pay by credit card or PAYPAL online, but you will have to pay an 8% service charge, charged by VISA and PAYPAL. We do not accept bank checks or payment of the balance by traveler’s checks.
Of course! During the travel, your main luggage can be stored at our office(you can organize briefing day or by email) or at your hotel, both free of charge.
Any equipment that you are not going to need on the trek can be stored safely in your hotel. Nearly every hotel will provide this service. Don’t leave items of value with your bags, put them in the hotel safe and obtain an itemized receipt (In the unlikely case of theft many insurance companies require that you have a copy of the receipt itemizing all the items). Best put items such as credit cards inside a sealed, signed envelope for extra peace of mind.
Peru Hike can pick you up from your hotel, as long as it’s in the Historic Center of Cusco. The pickup time will be coordinated with your guide in the briefing. The pickup time may vary between 30 and 45 minutes due to traffic. Cusco is a very old city, therefore, it has many narrow cobbled streets. Some hotels and Airbnbs may be located on streets without access to cars or on long, steep slopes, making it difficult to transport luggage. We strongly recommend that you book accommodation with good access.
Returning from Machu Picchu requires quite a bit of logistics, but don’t worry. Everything is included in your tour!
Group tours are made up of different types of people. Physical conditions and ages can vary. By agreeing to be part of a group tour, you also accept that some people may be faster or slower than you. Therefore, each person can go at their own pace on the route. It may be the case that a group wishes to modify the tour; however, it will be the guide who decides, after consulting with all the participants, if said modifications can be made.
Strikes and demonstrations are usually frequent in Peru and this may interrupt some of our tours. Roads can be blocked and train tracks can be taken over. However, we will try to keep your excursion as planned, even if it means leaving the night before the scheduled date. Under these circumstances, tours may also be cancelled. In case of changes or cancellations, all situations will be coordinated with you by our operations department. Your safety is our highest priority and our decisions will be made to protect it.
You’re responsible for your objects during the tour. Please pay attention to where you leave your things and remember to take everything once you leave our trucks, tents, or restaurants.
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