Choquequirao Trek to Machu Picchu

The mystery of the flames of the sun and the cult of the apus

Choquequirao, is an important Inca city located in the Valley of Vilcabamba, to 3100 m. This archeological center is considered the sacred sister of Machupicchu, and was the last city where the Incas escaped from Cusco took refuge and resisted the Spanish invasion for 4 decades.

The journey begins in the city of Cusco. After a 150km trek through the Panamericana Sur, we reach the town of Cachora, where the trek begins surrounded by imposing landscapes, along the route we can also appreciate the flora and fauna of the Apurimac Canyon, one of the deepest canyons in the world (3535 m.), Until reaching Choquequirao, which in the Quechua language means the “Cradle of Gold” of the Incas. For the traveler who is passionate about history, adventure and sport, this route is extremely attractive and interesting. It is necessary to have a good physical condition to complete this itinerary, because to reach these places, still today is complicated.

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Itinerary

DAY 1. CUSCO-CACHORA- PLAYA ROSALINA

Very early we will leave the city of Cusco towards the town of Cachora, in a journey of 4 hours. In the town of Cachora we will meet the people who will accompany us throughout the tour, cooks, porters, muleteers. After a short rest we will begin our walk towards the first camp in Playa Rosalina (1468 m). During our tour we will have the opportunity to observe magnificent and beautiful landscapes, warm climate, glaciers of the mountain range of the Vilcabamba and the impressive abyss of Apurímac.

Hours of travel: 6 hours

Distance: 16 km

DAY 2. PLAYA ROSALINA – CHOQUEQUIRAO

After a good breakfast, we will start walking uphill, towards the Archaeological Complex of Choquequirao. We will stop for lunch near the rural community of Marampata, where we can rest and eat something delicious prepared by the local people. We will have a massage session with native healing plants that will comfort our legs to reach our camp around 5:00 pm. Tonight, we will sleep on an Inca terrace, from which we will have the opportunity to contemplate a beautiful sunset.

Hours of travel: 7 hours

Distance: 13 km

DAY 3. CHOQUEQUIRAO – DAY OF REST

We will have a well-deserved rest to enjoy the wonderful Inca town of Choquequirao (3100 m) in the abrupt slopes of the Apurimac River and surrounded by a dense and lush vegetation. In the morning, we will enjoy a guided tour of 2 hours of the entire archaeological complex (of almost 2000 ha of surface). Day to relax and contemplate the Cradle of Gold of the Incas.

DAY 4. CHOQUEQUIRAO – RÍO VICTORIA – MAIZAL

After having refilled the batteries with a good breakfast, we will continue our journey, since today we will face the heaviest part of the walk, walk downhill, passing through the archaeological sector of Pincha Unuyoc, interesting agricultural Inca terraces with similar shape to the Coliseo Romano, and we will descend to the Victoria River (1500m), where we will have lunch and refresh ourselves in its cold waters before facing the most demanding part of the whole route, the ascent to Maizal (3100 m).

Hours of travel: 9 hours

Distance: 18km

DAY 5. MAIZAL – MINAS VICTORIA- YANAMA

From Maizal, the ascent to Yanama, passing through the Victoria mines, in this sector you can see a spectacular change of ecosystem, before arriving at the Victoria mines (3500 m) where you can see the spectacular transit of typical vegetation from the humid forest to high Andean grassland in a single step.

Following the ascent we pass by the San Juan open at 4200 m, from where you can see the town of Yanama surrounded by snow, you will think that you are in Switzerland but it is a Peasant Community of Santa Teresa, where we spend the night savoring the native potatoes of many colors and flavors in addition to being organic (3650 m).

Hours of travel: 8 hours

Distance: 18km

DAY 6. YANAMA – COORDILLERA – TOTORA

A day with views of high mountains, this day is preferable to start walking early to appreciate the mountain range of glaciers that nature offers us. We ascend moderately to the highest point of our walk, the passage of Mariano Llamocca 4656 m. After descending for 3 hours until reaching the community of Totora (3610 m)

Hours of travel: 7 hours.

Distance: 12 km.

DAY 7. TOTORA – RAIN FOREST – BEACH – LUCMABAMBA

The hike today is more downhill, continuing along an original Inca trail in the forest to appreciate the depth of the jungle. We head for the heat of the jungle to harvest some fruit while descending to the River Totora. We will observe wildlife such as hummingbirds, woodpeckers, and many species of orchids and begonias. Then we will take a path 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 stop in small waterfalls where we can freshen up. You will feel, as the weather and vegetation are very different here than on the other days of our trek. Sahuayaco Beach is the largest town on the way, here we will have lunch, there are also small shops to buy snacks and water or use the bathrooms. After lunch, we will take a small van to Santa Teresa (40 min). In the afternoon, we recommend visiting the magnificent hot springs of Cocalmayo in the city to regenerate after the hard trip. We will return to our camp to spend the night.

Hours of travel: 10 hours.

Distance: 18 km

DAY 8. LUCMABAMBA – LLACTAPATA – HYDROELECTRIC – AGUAS CALIENTES

Today we have a quiet day and we can get up later. We will visit the interesting archaeological site of Llactapata, if we have a favorable climate we will have a view of the Inca city of Machupicchu. After knowing the history of the area, we will go to Hidroeléctrica, where we will begin to walk to Aguas Calientes by a path where we will be able to appreciate many types of orchids and birds. For weary travelers, there is an optional train ride to Aguas Calientes (US $ 32.00). Deserved rest after 8 days of hard walking. We will spend the night in a hotel, which will have hot water, wi-fi and comfortable beds. To rest well, because tomorrow awaits us Machupicchu!

Hours of travel: 5 hours

Distance: 10 km

DAY 9. AGUAS CALIENTES – MACHUPICCHU – CUSCO

Very early we will take the bus to Machu Picchu to admire the sunrise in this magical place. Enjoy the tranquility of the Lost City of the Incas during a guided tour (approximately 2½ hours). Then you will have free time to walk around the citadel. You can also visit the Temple of the Moon and the fabulous Inca Bridge. In the afternoon we will go by bus to Aguas Calientes, from where we will return by train to Ollantaytambo, and then we will continue by private bus to the city of Cusco. Overnight at Hotel

Included/ not Included

  • Briefing the day before with the guide.
  • transportation from Cuscol to the beginning of the walk (Cachora).
  • Professional guide (English and Spanish) throughout the trip.
  • Tickets to visit Machu Picchu and Choquequirao.
  • Bus round trip from Aguas Calientes to the citadel.
  • Return train Aguas Calientes – Ollantaytambo Tourist service “Expedition” or similar.
  • Transportation by bus from the train station from Ollantaytambo to Cusco.
  • Camping equipment (tent, kitchen, dining chairs, tables and mats).
  • First aid kit.
  • Meals: Breakfast, 8 lunches and 8 dinners
  • Cook and muleteers.
  • Horses (that will carry all the equipment of camping and feeding).
  • Accommodation for guides, cooks and riders.

NOT INCLUDED

  • Optional entrance to the thermal baths of Cocalmayo (15 soles).
  • Lunch and dinner of the last day (Arrival to Cusco is approximated at 8.00 in the afternoon).
  • Drinks and services of extra charge.
  • Money for additional services and tips.

One way hydroelectric – Aguas Calientes (32 dollars).

Recommendations

  • Extra porter to carry personal equipment
  • Entrance to the mountain Huayna Picchu (Confirm this rent at the time of booking, subject to availability of spaces, cost is US $ 35.00).
  • Extra horses to carry your personal luggage (US $ 230.00 If you need to bring personal items, you can hire a porter who can carry up to 25 kilos).
  • WHAT BRIG?
  • The weight of the luggage to take to route per passenger is limited, the specifications in this respect will be given in the briefing.
  • A light backpack for everyday use, clothes for all different periods of the walk. Prepare for all weather changes.
  • Jacket waterproof an extra poncho for rain. Plastic Ponchos can be purchased in Cusco for $ 1 US.
  • Good hiking shoes we recommend you bring water resistant shoes.
  • Sandals, towel and swimsuit to have a shower in the hot springs and to rest your feet after each day.
  • Warm clothes including jackets, gloves, scarves, chullo we recommend that you bring thermal clothes, especially for sleeping.
  • Lantern, binoculars and walking sticks (can be rented in Cusco)
  • Camera, rolls and extra batteries (batteries are consumed very fast in the weather conditions)
  • Hat to protect you from heat, sun block and sunglasses.
  • Important to bring insect repellent.
  • Toilet paper
  • Refreshments: such as chocolates, cookies, dried fruit, raisins, etc. also purifying tablets for water and own bottle.
  • Enough cash for lunch on hot waters, tips and to buy some gifts for the family.
  • Original passport.

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