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Choquequirao Trek (7D/6N)


The Choquequirao trek To Machu Picchu is an adventure in the truest sense of the word. The Choquequirao archeological site sits quite high on Quriwayrachina with steep valleys on all sides. Start into the valley on this Inca Trail alternative

Duration 7 days and 6 night
Season From January to December except February for maintenance
Departure Daily
Return Back Packer Train

The archaeological site of Choquequirao is known as 'The Sacred Sister of Machu Picchu' because of the similarity between both Inca sites.

Currently, the only way to get to this place is through an amazing trekking route.Know all the information you need to visit Choquequirao.

Visit this new archaeological site, as incredible as The Lost City: "Machu Picchu".


Day 1: Cusco - Cachora - Playa Rosalina (Apurimac River)

Let's start the adventure with Let's go Inca Trail!!!

At 5 am we will pick up from your hotel, to then transfer you by our private van to Cachora (4 hours). Once be there, we will meet the rest of our team (muleteers) we will begin trek go uphill, passing through the high pass of Capuliyoc, where we might see condors and the great view of the Apurimac Canyon. Finally, we will descend through the incredible Cactus forest to playa Rosalina on the banks of the Apurimac River, the main tributary of the Amazon River. Camping at Playa Rosalina (1550m.).

Day 2: Playa Rosalina - Maranpata - Choquequirao (Golden Cradle).

Ready for the challenge?

After an early breakfast, we will have a strenuous 5 hours of uphill trek through a long and narrow trail, surrounded by beautiful vegetation with several varieties of orchids. Halfway up we will stop fo our lunch at Maranpata, then we will continue hiking a few more hours to our destination: Choquequirao!!! Also known as thee Golden Cradle, Choquequirao is consider the sister city of Machu Picchu, because of its several similarities, Choquequirao hang above the Apurimac Canyon, and Machu Picchu hangs above the Urubamba canyon. The view of the canyon is spectacular; it is also possible to see Andean Condors soaring in the mountains. Camp site near of Choquequirao (3050m).

Day 3: Choquequirao - Choquequirao Pass - Rio Blanco - Maizal

Wake up surrounded by nature!!!

We will take our breakfast at 7 am. and then start our trek, passing the Choquequirao ruins, up hill through a cloud forest, mountains, and valleys to reach to the Choquequirao pass. After 5 hours of trekking the trail continue through agricultural terraces called Pinchinoyoc which means (water jumping forward - 2750m). There we will observe different species of birds, different varieties of orchids, and local coca plantations. We will have our lunch near the White River; we stop here for a refreshing swim in the clean and cold waters of the river. We will cross the river as there are no bridges. After our rest, we will restart the long walk uphill to Maizal, high on the river near the sacred Apus of the Incas. From White River, we will go up to Maizal for about 3 hours. Camp at 3000m.

Day 4: Choquequirao - Victoria Pass - Yamana

Early in the morning we will walk around the Corihuarachina glacier,it is important due to some archaeological remains such as Inca channels. From here we will start walking uphill passing by the impressive Inca mines called "Minas Victoria" and towards the Victoria Pass. Again a long climb, but we walk in amazingly beautiful area - first with cloud forest and then over Andean Puna with the well known Ichu grass. Then we pass through Minas Victoria, a place that during the colony, silver was extracted from a mine. Almost on the top, we can appreciate original Inca trails. We take our box lunch at the pass in 4200m with view of the mountain Choquetakarpo, while we had lunch we will be able to appreciate the flight of the condors depending on the climate, and finally we descend to our campsite at Yamana, a small isolated settlement at the bottom of a long valley surrounded by mountains (3800m).

DAY 5: Yamana - Mountain Range - Totora

Feel the nature my friends!!!

After early breakfast, we will trekk uphill to the highest pass in this trek, named Yamana. Again the view will be amazing from here we will be surrounded by mountain range of Saqsarayoc and Pedreyoc. Once again we have the chance to see condors, and this mornings smooth climb bring us through new landscapes - especially the wet grass fields under the snowline that distinguish from everything else seen on the tour. In the pass we might walk in snow, and the descent is a long foggy hike through grassy fields and bush areas and crossing small poor wood bridges on the way towards the community of Totora, where we will spend the night in tents in a indescribable beauty, surrounded by pure nature.

Day 6: Totora - Hidroelectric - Aguas Calientes

Go my friends we can do it!!

Today the trekking will be 7 hours, descending 2000m into Totora River. We will observe the natural wildlife, such as hummingbirds, woodpeckers, many species of orchids and begonias. Then we will descend the trail on the left side of the Santa Teresa River where we will see small plantations of bananas, passion fruit, and coffee. On the way we will stop at small waterfalls and get a refreshing natural bath. The area also has a several species of birds, the climate and vegetations have changed totally. The Playa is the biggest village on the way, where we can find some small shops to buy snack, etc. In this area, we can see small plantations of coffee and bananas. Alter a good breakfast we will take transport that takes us to the town of Santa Teresa, we cross a river of the Vilcanota. Where we will take transport to Hidroelectric, place where we will have an excellent view of a different angle of Machu Picchu and the Aobamba canyon, where another Inca trail can be seen, also here we will have our last lunch. After good rest we walk 3 hours to reach Aguas Calientes. We will spend the night in Hostel.


Day 7: Aguas Calientes - Machu Picchu - Cusco

The Great day is here!!!

After an early breakfast from Aguas Calientes we walk or take the bus to Machu Picchu, there, we will have a guided tour for all the Archaeological Site, then we will have free time to be on our own in Machu Picchu, maybe to climb the Huayna Picchu anc visit the moon temple. At the mentioned time you will meet the guide and then come back to Aguas Calientes  to catch the train back to Cusco arriving at 8 pm approx.

What is included?

  • Bilingual guide (two guides per group of more than 8 people).
  • Private transportation from Cusco to Cachora
  • Entrance to Choquequirao and Machupicchu (one day)
  • Horses to load food and camping equipment.
  • Horses to load personal luggage
  • Experienced chef
  • Kitchen equipment
  • tea time every day
  • Tents with capacity for 4 people but double occupancy.
  • 2 persons per tent, space for backpacks.
  • Colchonewtas double thickness of foam
  • All meals on the walk (7 b - 6 L – 6d)
  • Water (boiled) after each breakfast and dinner
  • train ticket from Aguas Calientes to Cusco
  • Bus ticket Aguas Calientes - Machu Picchu - Aguas Calientes
  • Dining tent with tables and chairs.
  • Kitchen tent
  • The price of the walk includes taxes
  • First aid kit and oxygen bottle.

What is not included?

  • Entrances to the thermal baths in Aguas Calientes
  • Sleeping bag that can be rented at our office
  • Breakfast the first day before picking you up from the hotel, if your hotel does not have the service we stopped on the way in a village to have breakfast for an additional cost, Lunch on the last day in Aguas Calientes before boarding the train back to Cusco.
  • Tips for the guide and field staff.
  • Additional night in Aguas Calientes can be organized, with prior notice.

What you should need to bring

  • Rain jacket or poncho (plastic poncho can be purchased in Cusco)
  • Extra T- shirt
  • foot wear, ideally trekking or sport shoes
  • Warm clothes
  • Camera, film
  • Hat or cap protect you from the sun, rain or cold.
  • Sun block
  • Toilet paper
  • Snacks: Energy bars, biscuits, chocolate, etc.
  • Water bottle
  • Cash in soles and/or dollars
  • Optional: Walking sticks or poles.

Choquequirao, interesting information:

What does Choquequirao mean?

Choquequirao is a Quechua word that means 'Cradle of Gold'. The name comes from the nomination of a hill near the archaeological site.Also this incredile archeological remain is known as the sister of Machu Picchu, because both are so similar.


Where it is located?

Choquequirao is located in one of the fringes of the snowy Mountain Salkantay, north of the Apurímac River. It is currently located in the district of Santa Teresa, province of La Convención, department of Cusco, Peru.


How high is it?

Choquequirao is located 3,033 meters above sea level (m.a.s.l.). Due to its location, it is presumed that this Inca enclosure served as a checkpoint between the main Inca sites such as Pisac, Cusco and Machu Picchu.


What can I see Choquequirao?

Choquequirao has only been excavated by 30%. Despite this, it already has several important Inca constructions:

  • Main square: The main square or Huaqaypata divided the site into two. It is a two-story stone construction. Next to it, there are other buildings connected to each other.
  • Colcas: Typical constructions of the main Inca centers. In Choquequirao, these platforms have internal subdivisions. The purpose of these deposits was to store products for food, clothing and others.
  • Platforms:Choquequirao has an important number of platforms for cultivation. In the western sector there are 22 engravings in the shape of a llama arranged on 15 platforms. These figures are known as the 'Llamas of the Sun '.
  • Housing: In the highest part of Choquequirao, there are up to 5 buildings whose end was probably housing for the priests of the enclosure. It is believed that this Inca site was an important ceremonial center.
  • Inca Cemetery: Also known as the 'Triumphal Wall'. There were found 17 funerary bales and a gutter of water called "The house of the fall of water".
  • Kallankas: These rectangular buildings had multiple functions such as workshop, administrative center, meeting space, etc. In Choquequirao there are 2 Kallankas in whose walls there were gutters that supplied water.
  • Ushnu: This oval platform construction is located on the top of a hill. Due to the wall that surrounds it and the privileged view of the snow-capped mountains, the river and the entire enclosure; it is believed that it had a religious purpose.

How to get to Choquequirao?

The only way to get to Choquequirao is by land. Currently, the main route is going to the town of Cachora (2,903 m.a.s.l.), 3 or 4 hours by road from the city of Cusco (2 hours from the city of Abancay). There, start the hike to the Inca archaeological site. The route crosses important points such as Capuliyoc, Maranpata and Sunchupata. It is estimated that from Cachora, after 32 kilometers on foot you will reach Choquequirao.

What about the weather?

The archaeological site of Choquequirao is 3,033 m.a.s.l. The climate is mild with cold at night. However, you will not remain in the Inca site until after sundown. However, the road that leads to the summit of Choquequirao is hot due to the proximity of the Apurímac canyon. It is estimated that the temperature at the archaeological site varies between 5º C and 25º C. So it is recommended to keep light clothes.


So, when is the best time to travel to Choquequirao?

The best time to travel is between April to October. Choquequirao has two stations:

  • Rainy season (from November to March): it is characterized by frequent fluvial rainfall. The sun is not so intense but the rain can harm the walk.
  • Dry season (from April to October): it is characterized by the lower frequency of rains. The days are hotter and the nights are colder. However, the low possibility of rain, favors the walk.

Choquequirao on its own and without a tour?

Be careful, this trek is a little harder than other treks, that is why many tourist who already done the trek, recommend to do it with a specialist tourist operator. It is also possible to do it on their own. To achieve this, you must follow the usual route and pay the entrance price at the entrance to Choquequirao.


Important information to get to Choquequirao on your own:

  • You can start the trip by bus to the town of Cachora from the city of Cusco or Abancay. You can use public transportation services at low cost from both cities.
  • From the village of Cachora, the trekking route begins through well-marked paths.
  • When walking on your own it is important to calculate the weight of the backpack. The food should last at least 5 days but should not weigh more than necessary.
  • The normal tour lasts 4 days and 3 nights. By doing it on your own, the visitor may take more or less time.
  • Once in Choquequirao, you must pay the entrance price (tours include the entrance). With that ticket, the visitor can spend the night in the surrounding camps to the Inca archaeological site.


Choquequirao Trek Facts:


Inca Trail Programs

We organize tours for small groups, including families, friends, students and volunteers. Our tour leaders speak English, Spanish & Quechua (Andean Language) and will dedicate themselves to giving you the best independent tours in Cusco as well as Machu Picchu.

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