Trek to Choquequirao and Machu Picchu – 8 Days / 7 Nights
- Duration: 8 days / 7 nights.
- Starting point: Cusco
- Ending point: Cusco
- Group Size: Small Group Max 8, Avg. 5
- Travel Style: Hiking, Trekking, Archaeological and Cultural trek.
- Trek Rating: The Trek to CHOQUEQUIRAO and MACHU PICCHU is one of the most beautiful routes in Peru.
- Difficult Level: Moderate to Challenging.
- Altitude: 2,800 masl to 3110 masl (Highest point).
- Travel distance: 115 km. or 71 miles.(including some parts by bus)
- Departure Dates: Daily departures
- Discover the best Ancient Inca Cities, Choquequirao and Machu Picchu in one trip.
- Explore the ruins and learn about the mysteries of the ancient Inca Culture visiting these incredible archaeological sites.
- Hiking alongside to beautiful landscapes and see natural bridges, Andean valleys, snowcapped mountains, cascades and cloud forest
- Ideal for couples, group of friends, nature lovers, and for all the family.
- Informative Trip led by a friendly and expert local guide
- All entrance tickets and permits are includes
- All necessary equipment included
- Complimentary pickup and drop off from all Cusco hotels
- Complimentary luggage storage while hiking.
- Once-in-a-Lifetime Experience
What you can expect
The Inca Cities of CHOQUEQUIRAO and MACHU PICCHU were gorgeous and very important places in the Inca civilization, both were the nexus between the Amazon jungle and the Cusco City. Discover their secrets, admiring its magic and charm, so you will see their large old buildings wrapped of a great history.
This trek combines beautiful mountain scenery and unbelievable panoramic views, lush cloud-forest, a subtropical jungle of splendid natural surroundings, with these amazing Archaeological Sites, which have magnificent work of the Inca masons such as an outstanding mix of Inca paving stones placed over trails, temples, Inca houses, agriculture terraces, warehouses, water channels, fountains and much more, whole this can be visited currently.
Finally, before you discover this fabulous trek for yourself, we invite you to join us on a virtual tour over Peruvian Andes, on one of the most beautiful treks of South America… Now, take a breath, imagine and dream, you are almost in CHOQUEQUIRAO and MACHU PICCHU…Welcome!
Day 1: CUSCO – CACHORA – CHIQUISCA
We will pick you up from your Cusco hotel at 5.00 am in our transport, and then drive for 3 hours to CACHORA (2909 m. / 9543 ft.), village where we will have breakfast and we will prepare our bags before we begin the hike. We start our path around 9:00 am. From here, the first 2 hours hike will be along a beautiful, descending path, there are spectacular views of the valley and river. The path is surrounded by lovely flowers and plants such as begonias, orchids, cactus and you can see some local birds, and we arrive to nice view point called CAPULIYOC (2915 m. / 9561 ft.), from here, we will have the privilege to see spectacular views of Padrayoc and Wayna Cachora snowcapped peaks (mountains over 5400 m.). At this point we will have some time to enjoy our snacks and we take some pictures of the breathtaking views of the river and the canyon stretching down the valley. From here we will descend through a unique zigzag path for 2 hours more to reach our place for lunch. Finally around 1 pm. we will have lunch. You have time to relax, put your feet up and have some refreshing tea, before we get ready to hike again for 2 hours more descending, so, we will reach our campsite located at CHIQUISCA (1836 m. / 6023 ft.) around 5 pm. where we will spend the night.
Hiking time: 6 hours
Walking distance: 19 km.
Altitude: from 2909 m. down to 1836 m.
Day 2: CHIQUISCA – MARAMPATA – CHOQUEQUIRAO RUINS
After our breakfast, we will leave early, throughout the day we will see a wide variety of bromeliads, orchids and stands of bamboo; we’ll also hope see birds such as Andean Quetzals, Toucans an a variety of hummingbirds. From our campsite we walk around 1 hour in order to descend to the bottom of the Canyon, called PLAYA ROSALINAS and the magnificent APURIMAC RIVER (1550 m./ 5084 ft). From here we will begin probably the hardest section of the path due to the ascension; 2 hours steep climb to SANTA ROSA (2095 m. / 6873 ft.) where We will have time to take a refreshing break. From SANTA ROSA we will continue uphill for another 2 hours towards MARAMPATA (2913m / 9557ft), a flat ground where we can have a break and enjoy the views of Apurimac Canyon and the famous Inca site of Choquequirao. Here We’ll have lunch and take advantage of the facilities (toilets and wash room).After lunch We will continue to hike for another one hour to reach our campsite which is located just outside of the Great Inca Site CHOQUEQUIRAO (3110 m. / 10120 ft.) and We will spend the late evening in the ruins, where we will see a very nice sunset over mountains, and if we may be lucky enough to spot Condors soaring nearby over the valley below. Camping at CHOQUEQUIRAO campsite (bathrooms and cold water showers are available).
Hiking time: 7-8 hours
Walking distance: 14 km.
Altitude: from 1836 m. down to 1550 m. and from 1550 m. up to 3110 m.
Day 3: CHOQUEQUIRAO RUINS – CHOQUEQUIRAO PASS – MAIZAL
After our early breakfast we will visit the mysterious Inca site of CHOQUEQUIRAO, where our professional Tour Guide will explain about the history of this magnificent Inca site. Originally discovered in the 17th century by the Spanish, it lay abandoned and forgotten until recent years when tourism raised the profile of the city and exploration began. Even with this increased interest only 25% of the city has been explored and many of its secrets still wait to be discovered. Actually we can visit the most important zones such as the main plaza, the inca houses, the granaries, the ceremonial sector and its altars, the famous terraces, and the great Llama sector where Incas represented this sacred animal on their buildings. After our guiding visit, you have extra time to explore and enjoy the place by yourselves, after this, we continue with our trail, we will begin walking uphill until the highest point for this day called CHOQUEQUIRAO PASS located at 3,300 masl. or 10,890 ft., then we will descend until to the deepest point of the small canyon known as White River or Río Blanco (1900m/6234f), On the way we will pass by Pinchiunuyoj, a small archaeological site. From Rio Blanco we will climb up for about 3 hrs. and during this time we will observe different species of birds, different varieties of orquids, and local coca plantations, we continue hiking until our campsite at the place called MAIZAL (3000 masl. / 9900 ft.).
Hiking time: 4-5 hours
Walking distance: 10 km.
Altitude: from 3110 m. up to 3300 m. and from 3300 m. down to 3000 m.
Day 4: MAIZAL – SAN JUAN PASS – YANAMA.
Today after a very good breakfast we will start a superb day’s hike on a path surrounded by vegetation and flowers climbing by 3 ½ hours along the way you will see evidence of mines that at one time were exploited, but are no longer used. As we continue and ascend, the weather will become a little colder and we will find the remains of an Inca trail. This trail will take us toward the pass called SAN JUAN PASS (4200m/13,780ft). From this beautiful place you can see a great landscape with a grand chain of mountains such us Sacsarayoc, Pumasillo and Choquetecarpo, from which some of the latter peak more than 5000m/16404 feet. You will also see glaciers and many mountains that surround it. After some pictures and a break at the San Juan Pass, we’ll head down and in the distance another recently discovered Inca ruin, Corihuayrachina and the equally interesting old silver mines of Mina Victoria, and we continue Descending by 3 hours to the north into the River Yanama Valley, we follow a high trail which traverses steep slopes and provides another excellent opportunity to spot condors. We camp beside the river at the little Andean village of YANAMA (3530 m / 11,581 ft.). In the afternoon once again our cook will prepare a tea time for us and after a delicious dinner.
Hiking time: 6-7 hours
Walking distance: 10 km.
Altitude: from 3000 m. up to 4200 m. and from 4200 m. down to 3530 m.
Day 5: YANAMA – YANAMA PASS – TOTORA-COLPAPAMPA
After early breakfast, we make our way out of the Yanama valley, as we ascend we return to a more barren environment where only the local grasses and hardiest plants can survive. we will start climbing slowly to the highest point of the whole trek, this pass is known as YANAMA PASS (4670 masl. or 15410 feet), again the view will be amazing from here, we will be surrounded by snowcapped mountains as the Sacsarayoj mountain and the Padreyoj mountain and if we are lucky we will even see a condor flying., After a small stop, from this pass we make our way down in to the valley and back in to warmer climes. About 1hour beyond the pass we arrive to a small community called TOTORA at 3,630 masl. or 11,979 ft. where we will have our lunch. After lunch, during the afternoon, we will enjoy frequently the view of snowcapped mountains such as Salkantay (6264 m.) and Pintuyu (5450 m.) and we continue going down for another 2 hours to COLPAPAMPA (2750 m.) which is where we’ll be camping for the night; when we arrive you’ll notice a change – now that we’re nearly to Machu Picchu the communities are larger and more well supplied, there are also more tourists whom came from the route of the Salkantay trek and they converge at this point.
Hiking time: 8 hours
Walking distance: 18 km.
Altitude: from 3530 m. up to 4670 m. and from 4670 m. down to 2750 m.
Day 6: COLPAPAMPA – PLAYA SAHUAYACU – SANTA TERESA (HOT SPRINGS)
Around 6:00 am. we wake up with a coca tea; and After our breakfast, we will begin our walk through the high Inca jungle and after a few minutes walking from breakfast, you will notice that the microclimate changes immediately from cold and glacier views to the warmer forest with green lush jungle with beautiful waterfalls, rivers, and again, interesting flora and fauna, . If you are a fan of orchids, there are many different species to view and amazing ferns and begonia flowers as well. Humming birds will be above, into the down valleys is clearly to see the cedar tree very useful for the local people on the economic, and is very common to see the local people farm cultivation of coffee, passion fruit, papayas, oranges and avocados. After 5 hours hiking down, we will stop at the place known as SAHUAYACU or LA PLAYA (2250 m.s.n.m. or 7381 feet) for lunch; this place is an small Town with the basic facilities (toilets, electricity, shopping and souvenir), later, following with our plan we will take a little bus that will bring us for around 1 hour to SANTA TERESA Town (1900 m.s.n.m. or 6233 feet.) to get early at this base camp, on the afternoon optional driving 15 minutes to the hot springs, which is highly recommended after these hard journeys on the mountains, then we get back at the campsite for tea time and a delicious dinner. Hiking time: 5 hours
Walking distance: 16 km.
Altitude: from 2750 m. down to 1900 m.
Day 7: SANTA TERESA- HYDROELECTRIC STATION – AGUAS CALIENTES TOWN
We will have breakfast at 8 am. and after we leave from our campsite Santa Teresa. We will cross the Santa Teresa Bridge and we follow along the riverside of Vilcanota River or Sacred River, we continue walking, passing a variety of crop plantations such as coca, coffee, tea, banana, avocado, papaya, etc. by 2 hours we will see the waterfalls from the Central Power Station, These falls are about twelve meters high and are fed by the crystal clear melt waters of the sacred Mount Yanantin. After some pictures of the waterfalls we continue our trek for about 1 hour until we reach the HYDROELECTRIC POWER STATION (1900 m.), where we will have our lunch. and after the lunch we keep going walking about two and half hours along the train track, close to the bank of Urubamba river, from there is appreciate the sacred peaks as Huayna Picchu and Machu Picchu Mountains. The trail cuts into the old coffee plantation of Mandorpampa and enters to the cloud forest, this zone is covered with bromeliads and many varieties of orchids, some of which have only recently been identified by biologists. and finally we arrive to AGUAS CALIENTES TOWN (2000 m.) where we spend the night in a confortable hotel, our dinner will be at the tourist restaurant which is included. During dinner our tour guide will provide you very important information about your next day, so you’re fully prepared for your visit to Machu Picchu on the last day. After, it is advisable to go to sleep at a reasonable time in order to wake up in the early hours of the morning to get to Machu Picchu. Hiking time: 6 hours . Walking distance: 18 km.
Weather: Warm Altitude: from 1900 m. up to 2000 m. Accommodation: Hotel
Day 8: AGUAS CALIENTES TOWN – MACHU PICCHU – CUSCO
We will start our last and amazing day very early in order to get Machu Picchu before even the Inca Trail Trekkers and tourist trains arrive and to have the opportunity to enjoy the sunrise at Machu Picchu. After breakfast we will leave from our hotel at 5:30 am. and we will walk towards Bus Station (2000 m.), from here we ascend in tourist bus for 30 minutes by a zig zag way to Inca Sanctuary of MACHU PICCHU (2400 m.). We will see this amazing place and starting our guiding visit, which will be last approximately 2 hours with our professional Tour Guide, where he will explain about the history, visiting magical and interesting places that have made Machu Picchu one of the Wonders of the World. After the tour you will have enough free time to take photos, walk or explore the site by yourselves and there is the possibility to climbing up to Huayna Picchu Mountain according availability. Then in the afternoon, after enjoying Machu Picchu, we will caught the tourist bus, going down for about 25 minutes to Aguas Calientes Town, here you will have time to have lunch in one of the good restaurants. At 6:00 pm. We will board the return train to take us to Ollantaytambo Town arriving at 7:50 pm, here our transfer will be waiting for you, who will bring you in tourist bus back to Cusco arriving at 9: 30 pm. approximately, and finally we will leave you at your Cusco hotel.
Hiking time: 2 hours with the group visiting Machu Picchu + 4 hours exploring by yourself.
Walking distance: It depend the area you want to explore at Machu Picchu.
Altitude: from 2000 m. up to 2400 m. (By Bus).
INCLUDED IN YOUR TOUR:
- Pre meeting and briefing of preparation with your tour guide 1 or 2 days before the trek at our Cusco Office.
- Safe storage for your belongings at our office in Cusco while you are hiking.
- Pick up from your Cusco hotel.
- Transport from Cusco until Cachora (trailhead) in private car.
- Professional English speaking Tour Guide.
- A second Tour Guide (for groups of 9 or more trekkers).
- Cook and cook assistant to prepare all feeding.
- Entrance fees to Choquequirao Inca Site and the campsite fees.
- 2 hours guided tour in Choquequirao Inca site.
- Entrance fees to Machu Picchu Inca Site.
- 2 hours guided tour in Machu Picchu Inca site.
- All meals during the trek(08 breakfasts, 08 lunches, 07 tea times, 07 dinners)There is the possibility of preparing vegetarian or special diets according to your requirement.
- Boiled water to refill your water bottle and hot water for washing purposes.
- Horsemen and horses to carry all camping equipment, personal items, food, sleeping tents and kitchen equipment.
- We carry until 8 kg. of your load, so you’ll only walk with your daypack with water (For this load, we will provide duffel bags at your briefing for your personal items).
- One emergency horse which can be ridden if you are feeling ill or too tired.
- The best camping equipment to enjoy a good night’s sleep:
- Dormitory Tent (High Quality Mountain Tents for 4 people, it will be used only for 2 people for your better comfort) and enough space storage for your backpacks.
- Inflatable Mattress Thermarest.
- Dining Tent + camp tables + chairs + gas lamp for the evenings.
- Kitchen Tent and full cooking gear for preparing all meals.
- First Aid Kit and emergency Oxygen balloon.
- Bus ticket up and down from Aguas Calientes Town to Machu Picchu Inca site.
- Return Expedition train ticket on Day 8, from Aguas Calientes to Ollantaytambo.
- Transport from Ollantaytambo train station until your hotel at Cusco.
- 01 night accommodation in Aguas Calientes Town. This will be in a basic hotel, in accommodations single, double, triple rooms according to your requirements and availability. All hotels booked by us are clean and safe with breakfast included, private bathrooms with hot showers, Wi-Fi and storage for free to leave your luggage while you are visiting Machu Picchu.
OPTIONAL SERVICES: Until the last day before your trek, at our Travel Office in Cusco, If you want, you have the option to add to your reserved trek, for an additional payment, the following things:
- Sleeping bag (you can rent it from our Travel Office + $ 5.oo USD per day).
- A pair of trekking poles (you can rent it from our Travel Office + $ 5.oo USD per day).
- Extra Activities in Santa Teresa Town such as:
- Thermal Springs with hot water swimming pools (Entrance ticket + $ 3.oo USD), or
- Zipline at Cola de Mono (2 hours zipline circuit which consists of a total 2500 m. of cables divided into 7 sections + $ 60.oo USD).
- Entrance ticket to Huayna Picchu Mountain (In this case, please require it when you book your trek because is subject to availability, just 400 spaces a day + $ 10.oo USD)
- Personal Trekking gear (please, check the Choquequirao trekking what to take page).
- Travel Insurance.
- Optional Tips for the travel team (only if you want, at the end of the trail you can give some tips for the tour guide, cook and porters).
WHAT´S TO TAKE
What to take
Many people assume that the weather is hot in South America, but in the zone of the higher altitude of the Andes, the temperature can feel quite cold, especially at night. So we provide you the full list to organize your backpack from now, if you don’t have one of them, so you can buy it with some time in advance but if you cannot do it, don’t worry there are many camping stores in Cusco City where you can hire or buy what you need.
Please, check this CHOQUEQUIRAO TREK Packing List and remember that everything is very important for the success of your trek.
- Original Passport
- ISIC Student Card, if you are student
- Travel Insurance (some copies)
- A printed voucher issued for us.
- Day pack.
- Sleeping bag.
- Water bottle.
- Purifying tablets or filter
- Some snacks such as cookies, candies, chocolates, energy bars.
- Money belt and some cash, if you want to buy some souvenirs of your visit
- Hiking Shoes and Sandals.
- Warm clothes: especially for the nights as thermal jacket, glove, scarf, wool socks, wool hat for cold nights.
- Waterproof clothing (rain jacket and poncho)
- Synthetic or cotton clothing (hiking pants, socks, trousers, short pants, 4 t-shirts)
- Sun Hat
- Personal medical kit with bandages and anti-inflammatory tablets
- Insect repellent.
- Sun block
- Small towel.
- Toothpaste and toothbrush
- Soap / body wash
- Shampoo and conditioner
- Hairbrush /comb
- Deodorant / body spray
- Toilet paper
- Flashlight (head lamp recommended)
- Photo Camera with extra memory cards and batteries.
- Walking poles with rubber-tipped (Optional).
- Pocket knife
- Some plastic bags.
- A sense of humor.
- We recommend a previous acclimatization in Cuzco City, for at least 2 days and general good health.
AVAILABILITY AND PRICES
The prices of the Trek Choquequirao excursion 8 days / 7 nights are expressed in US dollars and for each excursionist.
USD $ 1,250.00 per adult (14 years or more)
USD $ 1,230.00 per student (For this price, you must e-mail a copy of your original student card issued by the university for up to 25 years.)
USD $ 1,230.00 per child (age 3-11)
USD $ 0.00 per child (0-3 years) – Free, traveling with your parents.
IMPORTANT: Please note that this tour requires a minimum of 2 adults. The price varies according to the number of passengers.