9 Days / 8 Nights
Our Choquequirao Trek to Machu Picchu takes you to two of the most impressive Inca archaeological sites in South America. Machu Picchu, of course, is one of the most famous archaeological sites in the world, a true wonder that everyone has heard about, and the main attraction in Peru. But this trek also takes us to Choquequirao, a stunning site that is equal to Machu Picchu, but receives far fewer visitors.
The Inca archaeological site of Choquequirao is very similar to Machu Picchu, both in structure, intricacy and geographical setting. But unlike the world-famous Machu Picchu, Choquequirao has only started to open up to tourism in recent years. It’s a challenging trek to get to Choquequirao, but the route passes through some of the most spectacular scenery in Peru. And with plans afoot to build a cable car to Choquequirao, making it far more accessible, now is the time to visit this stunning Inca complex, before it becomes one of Peru’s next tourist hotspots.
Combining these two incredible sites gives you the chance to see far more than you would if you only took the classic Inca Trail trek or the Choquequirao trek individually. It also offers a true trekking experience that will take you off the grid for days, trekking through remote locations that encompass a wide spectrum of geographical landscapes and varied ecosystems. It’s a physical challenge, that’s for sure, but we’ll be with you every step of the way, with our guides, porters and cooks. The Choquequirao hike is a true adventure, and one you’ll never forget.
Our adventure starts when we pick you up from your hotel in Cusco. We’ll first drive for about four hours to the village of Cachora, where we begin our trek. We will load our gear onto horses and climb for two and a half hours to the Capuliyoc pass, which sits at 2,750m (9,020 ft) above sea level. We’ll then descend the other side of the pass, heading into the beautiful Apurimac Valley, where we have spectacular views of snow-capped peaks in the distance and the valley spr...
We’ll have an early breakfast on Day 2 before setting off in the cool air of the morning. First we’ll descend for one hour to Playa Rosalina, where we’ll cross the Apurimac River. Next is a steep climb of about two hours. It's quite tough going, for sure, but you’ll be constantly rewarded with the spectacular views from the trail, as well as the wide variety of flora and fauna you’ll find on this side of the valley. We’ll make our way passed beautif...
All our tough trekking will be rewarded on Day 3 when we wake up early to explore the archaeological site of Choquequirao. Your guide will take you around the site, showing you all the most important sections and explaining the history of Choquequirao. You’ll learn about the Inca Empire, its traditions and culture, as well as the close relationship between Choquequirao and Machu Picchu.
Choquequirao has not been explored or studied as comprehensively as Machu Picch...
Day 4 begins with a hearty breakfast, after which we will begin the ascent from our campsite up to the Choquequirao pass, at 3,250 m (10,660 ft). As we walk, we’ll enter the cloud forest, where polylepis trees, epiphytes and bromeliads grow. On the other side of the pass, we’ll descend towards the Yuracmayo River, passing some Inca agricultural terraces that once supplied Choquequirao. After a few hours of trekking, we’ll reach the river, which we’ll cross. Hea...
After breakfast, we’ll set off on a steeply-climbing trail up towards Mina Victoria, an old silver and copper mine used by the Incas and later the Spanish colonials. From here we’ll hike along a hill called Qoriwayrachina, an Inca site that was discovered relatively recently, and which few people have visited. Probably connected to the nearby mines, the hills around Qoriwayrachina are covered with stones from more than 200 structures built at this Inca outpost.
Today will be a solid day of trekking as we make our way the Yanama Valley, passing through fields where farmers grow groups and tend their livestock. We then have a challenging trek up to the Quiswar pass, which sits at around 4,700 m. As we cross over the pass, we’ll have sublime views of the Salkantay and Humantay mountains, especially if it’s a clear day. From here we’ll take a winding trail down to the Totora Valley below, where we’ll camp near a tradition...
After the high-altitude trekking of the previous day, Day 7 will feel like a fairly breezy trek as we hike along the path of the Salkamayo River. As we go, we’ll pass through an area of increasingly lush vegetation, where we’ll find a paradise of crystalline waterfalls, plentiful passion fruit and coffee plantations. In the afternoon we’ll reach our campsite at the village of La Playa, where you’ll have plenty of free time to relax and take a swim in the river ...
Today will be our final day of trekking, taking us within easy reach of Machu Picchu. After breakfast, we’ll the cross the river and start climbing up through coffee and fruit plantations until we reach El Mirador, a wonderful spot at 2,860 m (9,381 ft) with exceptional views of Machu Picchu.
We’ll then continue on towards the Inca site of Llaqtapata, which was discovered by Hiram Bingham in 1912, but only extensively explored and mapped in 2003. Llaqtapata&r...
To best appreciated Machu Picchu, we’ll wake up early in the morning so we can get to the citadel in good time. You’ll have time for breakfast first, and then your guide will pick you up from the hotel at around 5:40 a.m. We’ll then walk to the bus departure point for the short but zigzagging ascent up the road to Machu Picchu.
We’ll then pass through the gates into the Machu Picchu archaeological site. Here you’ll begin your guided walking ...
Now featuring our exclusive Atmos Foam to further reduce weight and boost compressibility, the ProLite is the lightest and most compact three-season mattress available. Self-inflation keeps set-up super-easy and its die-cut foam packs small, easily fitting inside the most ultralight packs. It's ideal for high-mileage, high-speed journeys where every gram counts. Stuff sack included.
Those in search of a true once-in-a-lifetime experience can choose to make their pilgrimage to Machu Picchu in comfort with our sure-footed horses as their ideal traveling partners. Guests on horseback may choose to use along a uncrowded route that led early Incas to the great city of Machu Picchu.
Duffle bags for packing on cargo horses on relevant trips
Experienced Quechua Wranglers (muleteers) to look after all stock
No include Riding helmets (you may bring your own if you want)
Note that our sleeping bags are feather for those that are allergic
These poles are designed to help you endure long treks into rugged, remote areas with a heavy pack. If you need a little extra support when walking, an adjustable folding walking stick is ideal. It has an aluminium body with plastic handles and base, it folds away neatly for easy storage when not in use.
Inca Trail Porters Protection Law No. 27607(Dec 6th 2001). Decreed Laws Numbers 19990 and 25897 Article 3 Conditions of work:
QUESTION IS, WHO ARE THE PORTERS?
Porters are indigenous Cusqueñian people who have lived in Cusco, at 4,000 meters high, all of their lives relying on the land of the Andes. Due to economic problems, it is important for these local indigenous people to continue working in the mountains they know so well, rather than give up their jobs in the country to move to the city. They prefer to stay in their local villages and support the education of their children by working as porters on tours.
Sadly, many tour operators don't give them the recognition they deserve. Often tour operators do NOT provide porters with adequate clothing or gear for carrying things while paying them very low salaries. Because of this, you will see thirsty, hungry porters with a low morale along the Inca Trail. Our government has created the Law of the Porter, which requires tour agencies to treat porters better and provide necessary resources for them, but sadly, many of these regulations are not met. Please make sure that the agency you book through respects the Porter Law and be sure to ask for proof of this. Otherwise you could be contributing to the ill treatment of these hard-working porters.