Choquequirao Trek

Intro & photos
Choquequirao trek view of the Apurimac river

This adventure will take us from the snowcapped mountains and the Apurimac River to the hidden city of Choquequirao. Enjoy breathtaking views of the Apurimac River and the surrounding landscapes as we ascend to the archaeological site of Choquequirao. We start our trek in Huanipaca, making this an attractive itinerary that avoids the cumbersome return over the same trail when the program starts in Cachora.
This lost city fascinated 19th-century explorers, and Hiram Bingham visited it two years before he discovered Machupicchu. This site is difficult to reach, the ruins are rarely visited by travelers. In recent years, the ruins have been partially cleared by Peruvian archaeologists, but it is estimated that only 30% has been excavated so far.

Number of days:
5 days - 4 nights
Activity:

Trekking, flora and fauna; archaeology

Best season:
April - October
Trek grade:
Moderate - Difficult
Altitude:
from 3937 to 10170 feet / from 1200 to 3100 meter
Reservation code:
CHA-CQ5D-S
Destinations:
Apurimac, Choquequirao

My favorites

Day by day
  • Day 1: Choquequirao Trek 
    Cusco – Cachora – Santa Rosa

    We depart early in the morning heading northwest of Cusco (3,300mt/10,800ft) in the direction of Cachora (2,909mt/9,543ft) for a 3 hour drive. In Cachora you will have the opportunity to stop and stretch or a rest room stop. Continue our drive to Capuliyoc (2,915 mt/ 9,561ft) with lovely views of the Apurimac Valley stretched out in front of us. Here we meet the Mule handlers with their mules that will carry all the camping equipment during the expedition. From here, we will walk down a steep trail to the Apurimac Canyon taking in spectacular views as we descend to Chiquisca (1,836mt/6,023ft), with breathtaking views. After an hour we arrive at the roaring Apurimac River (1,550mt /5,084ft) where we begin to climb to Santa Rosa (2,200m/7,215ft.), our next campsite.
    Driving time: aprox 4 hours
    Hiking time: aprox 7 hours
    Meals: lunch and dinner included

  • Day 2: Santa Rosa – Choquequirao

    After an early breakfast we start our early hike to avoid the hot sun. Our walk starts with a tough uphill climb from Santa Rosa to Maranpata (3,110m/10,120ft), which will take about 3 hours. We will take a break here and have our first view of the Choquequirao ruins. From here we hike another 2 hours to the archeological site and to our campsite (3,110m/10,120ft) nearest to the ruins where we will have lunch.
    Meals: Breakfast, lunch and dinner included

     

  • Day 3: Full Day Choquequirao

    After breakfast we head to the Choquequirao complex. We will begin to explore the area, and then see the sunset and keep our fingers crossed for the chance to see condors. Only around 40% of the Inca remains of Choquequirao have been excavated. What can be seen today however, is most impressive and very much worth the challenging trek to get here. The stonework in Choquequirao is not as sophisticated as that found in Machu Picchu, because the stone found here is very difficult to carve, but the buildings are impressive and suggest a site of high status. Choquequirao evokes a sense of awe simply because of the sites’ surrounding beauty and isolation and condors can be seen frequently soaring the skies.
    Return to our campsite for dinner and to relax under the many stars above us.
    Today's focus is on the exploration of Choquequirao. Waking up early we head out on a guided tour of the site, which shows you the most important and interesting sections of the city and the opportunity to learn about the Inca culture and the close relationship between Choquequirao and Machu Picchu. Compared to Machu Picchu little is known of Choquequirao although the people where aware of its existence. Originally discovered in the 17th century by the Spaniards but abandoned and forgotten until a few years ago, when tourism raised the profile of the city and began exploring it. Walk down the side and be amazed by the series of enormous agricultural terraces, each decorated with a llama motif. After our intense visit we will walk back to Santa Rosa and continue to La Playa Rosalina (1,550m/5,085ft) about a 4-hour hike down. Our camp tonight is at La Playa Rosalina.  
    Hiking: aprox 5 hours
    Meals: Breakfast, lunch and dinner included

  • Day 4: Choquequirao -Santa Rosa – Chiquiska

    After having Breakfast we will begin to go down towards Santa Rosa, where the vegetation will become abundant and the weather hotter so then. We will continue to the sector of Chiquiska for camping.
    Meals: Breakfast, lunch and dinner included

     

     

  • Day 5 Chiquiska - Cachora – Cusco

    After Breakfast, we will ascend about 5 hours to Capuliyoc (2,915m/9,561ft) where our transport will be waiting to Cachora and continue our drive Cusco. Drop of at hotel.
    Hiking: aprox 5 hours
    Driving distance: aprox 4 hours
    Meals: Breakfast and lunch included

Included

Included:

  • Transportation, Cusco - Cachora
  • Professional guide.
  • Mules for transportation of equipment and personal luggage (max 7 kilos´)
  • Emergency horses
  • Wranglers responsible for the horses
  • Porters on the second day to carry equipment and personal luggage (max 7 kilos)
  • A cook to prepare all meals.
  • Cooking equipment, mess tent, dining tent, chairs, tables, and accommodation for the wranglers and cook
  • Mountain Hardwear tents (a 3-person tent for every 2 individuals)
  • Thermosrest inflatable mattress 
  • Meals: 5 breakfasts, 5 lunches and 4 dinners; food suitable for trekking and rich in carbohydrates.
  • Boiled water, provided at meal times to refill your waterbottle
  • Entrance fee for Choquequirao
  • Entrance fee for Sayhuite
  • Private transportation, Cachora - Cusco
     

Not included:

  • Rental Sleeping bag and/or Walking Poles
  • Tips for the porters, wranglers, cook and guide
  • Extra porter
  • Water purification tablets
  • Hotel accommodation before and after trek
     
Hotels