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Choquequirao Trek to Machu Picchu – 9 Days

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  • Large Group Service(Group Size: 02 Min - 16ppl Max)Start Time: 04:00
  • Small Group Service(Group Size: 02 Min - 08ppl Max)Start Time: 04:00
  • Private/Closed Group Service(Group Size: Upon Request)Start Time: 04:00

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  • Duration: 9 Days
  • Difficulty: 9/10
  • Pick up: Hotel Cusco
  • Drop off: Hotel Cusco
  • Availability: March - November
  • Tour type: Adventure, Off The Beaten Path

Choquequirao Trek to Machu Picchu – 9 Days

The Choquequirao trek to Machu Picchu – 9 Days is one of the most challenging trekking routes in Cusco, combining unique and classic landscapes of the Andes of Cusco. It goes along the fascinating path, free from the usual tourist masses, you will be able to explore two sister Inca sites. Those are two of the best last Inca Citadels located in the cloud-forest. Taking the Choquequirao trek, travelers will walk across two deep Canyons, high mountain passes, lush cloud forest, Authentic remote villages, sensational valleys and you will visit 2 amazing Inca sites of Choquequirao and Machu Picchu in a great challenging trip.

This adventure Choquequirao Trek starts at Cachora town, following the regular foot-path for the classic Choquequirao trek. But instead of coming back the same trail, you came. You will continue towards more remote places, and finally, you will be connecting to the last section of the popular Salkantay trek, which leads you to Machu Picchu. Due to all types of weather conditions expected on this journey, travelers are suggested to have a pre-trek meeting with the guide before going on the Choquequirao trek. So they can have an accurate preparation for this fascinating trip. This fantastic hike is available from April to November.

Departure & Return Location:

Hotel Cusco.

Departure Time:

Pick up from your hotel (4:00am – 4:30am).

Choquequirao trek to Machu Picchu – 9 Days highlights:

  • Trek to the hidden Incan site that not many people dont go to.
  • Like Machu Picchu, Choquequirao has structures that mark solar events such as solstices and equinoxes.
  • You will be practically alone with an archeological site very spectacular like Machu Picchu.
  • The few tourists in the world who visited Choquequirao agree that it was worth it.
  • Learn a lot about the Inca culture.
  • Discover the second lost city of the Incas.
  • The Choquequirao ruins receive less than a dozen visitors a day.
  • Explore Choquequirao more deeply
  • Chance to see local flora and flora including the Andean condor.
  • You will savor the Peruvian cuisine which will be prepared by our master chef.

Acclimatization:
We recommend you to be in Cusco at least 2 days prior to your trek to be acclimatized to Cusco’s altitude so that during the tour you won’t have a problem.

About us:
Peru Tripper is a direct local tour operator in Cusco – Peru; we never share our tours with other companies as most of them do to minimize operating costs. We don’t work with intermediaries or have hidden prices; we have the best local guides and professionals. We guarantee that your travel expenditures will support the local economy, and improve the lives of local Peruvians, due to the simple reason we are a local business!

Itinerary

Day 1: Cusco - Capuliyoc - Chiquiska - Playa Rosalinas.

This incredible adventure begins at 4:30 am when your guide will pick you up at your hotel and drive for the next 4 hours in our private van to Capuliyoc (2,850m/9,407ft). Along the way, there are picturesque views of villages, spectacular valleys and snow-capped mountains. Once at Capuliyoc, we meet our horse riders and pack all our equipment onto the horses. 

You will only carry a small daypack with the essentials you need on the trail. From here, we can enjoy the spectacular view of Choquequirao Inca ruins, the Apurimac canyon and the stunning snow-capped mountains like Padreyoc (5,571m/18,387ft). 

Then we hike down for 3 hours to Chikisca for lunch. After lunch, we continued downhill for two more hours to our first camp at Playa Rosalinas (2061m/6762ft). Hot drinks and appetizers will be waiting for you, and you’ll have time to settle into your tents, which are already set up, before dinner.

Accommodation: Tent (4 season tent, 4 person made tent for 2 people which allows greater comfort).
Meals: Lunch, Tea and Dinner.
Hiking time: 4 – 5 hours aprox.
Hiking distance: 8.5 km / 5.28 miles.
Highest elevation: 2,760 m / 9.055 ft.

Day 2: Playa Rosalinas - Marampata - Choquequirao Campsite.

After an early breakfast, we cross the bridge and hike for the next 4 hours up to Marampata, where we will have lunch enjoying the view of Choquequirao Inca ruins. After lunch, we walk to our second evening’s campsite, just 20 minutes from the ruins. 

Being so close to the archaeological site, we can enjoy our view of the ruins into the late evening and watch for condors soaring on the winds from the canyon.

Accommodation: Tent (4 season tent, 4 person made tent for 2 people which allows greater comfort).
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Tea and Dinner.
Hiking time:  6 – 7 hours aprox.
Hiking distance: 14 km / 8.7 miles.
Highest elevation: 2,950 m / 9,676 ft.

Day 3: Exploration of Choquequirao (Full Day).

After breakfast, we will visit the magnificent archaeological site of Choquequirao for the entire day. There is so much to see! These ruins are three times the size of Machu Picchu, and new sections, hidden under the dense jungle, are constantly being discovered. Enjoy the private guided tour and explore the beautiful temples, terraces, palaces, the llamas’ area, and much more.

Choquequirao means “Cradle of Gold” in Quechua Inca’s language, although this is probably not its original name. Another “Lost City of the Incas” was rediscovered officially late in the 20th century. It is located high on a ridge spur almost 1750 metres above the raging glacier-fed Apurimac River and is surrounded by the towering Salkantay and Humantay snow-capped peaks.

Every day archaeologists are finding new things.
After our thorough explorations, we will return to the same campsite. Drinks and appetizers will be waiting for us, and we can relax before dinner.

Enjoy your last night next to these magical ruins, under an incredible sky of the southern stars.

Accommodation: Tent (4 season tent, 4 person made tent for 2 people which allows greater comfort).
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Tea and Dinner.
Hiking time:  2 – 3 hours aprox.
Hiking distance: 4 km / 2.4 miles.
Highest elevation: 3,050 m / 10,006 ft.

Day 4: Choquequirao - Maizal.

After a delicious breakfast, we will leave the Incan city of Choquequirao to first gently hike for 3 hours up to the Choquequirao Pass (3,300 m/10,890 ft) to then start descending to Rio Blanco (White River; 1,900 m/6,270 ft) to enter to the cloud forest. There, we can appreciate polylepis trees (native mountain trees with shredded, multi-layered bark), epiphytes, bromeliads, orchids, diverse bird species as well as water fountains.

The lush vegetation of the cloud forest still covers a part of the Inca farming terraces of Pinchiunuyoc (2,487 m/8,160 ft). After our Tour Guide explains this Inca site, we keep descending, passing through coca plantations and gradually changing nature into a dry Andean forest. After having lunch there, we will climb for another three hours towards the village of Maizal (3,000 m/9,900 ft), where we set up our next campsite. From this natural viewpoint, we can appreciate imposing views of the gorges of Yanama and Yurahmayo that later join the Apurimac River Canyon! Also the sunsets there are stunning!

Accommodation: Tent
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Tea, and Dinner.
Hiking time:  8-9 hours approx.
Hiking distance: 18 km / 11 miles.
Highest elevation: 4,000 m / 13,123 ft.

Day 5: Maizal - Minas Victoria - Yanama.

We start ascending after early breakfast towards the Victoria Pass (4,150 m/13,695 ft). After a 4-hour steep ascent, we reach the Minas Victoria, an Incan and later colonial silver mining center that is abandoned nowadays. Then, we hike along a hill called Qoriwayrachina, a place where archaeological explorations have been done recently. Closer to the Victoria Pass, we start following an incredibly well-preserved authentical Inca trail with stone steps in its middle! When we reach the Victoria Pass, we enjoy a breathtaking view of the snow-capped mountains of Humantay (5,700 m/18,700 ft) and snowy Salkantay (6,271 m/20,574 ft), considered by local people as the “guardian spirit of the jungle”! Finally, we descend to the village of Yanama (3,800 m/12,540 ft) where we overnight in another campsite with views of the Yanama River below us and Pumasillo Mountain above us.

Accommodation: Tent
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Tea, and Dinner.
Hiking time:  7-8 hours approx.
Hiking distance: 12 km / 7.5 miles.
Highest elevation: 4,130 m / 13,546 ft.

Day 6: Yanama - Totora.

We start hiking in the morning towards the Yanama Valley passing farmer’s fields and lush vegetation to later overcome the highest pass of the trek – Yanama Pass (4,668 m/15,315 ft). This causes today´s trek is harder and the day is challenging! However, it offers spectacular views of a chain of snowy peaks such as the Sacsarayoj and Padreyoc Mountains! If we are lucky, we can also spot majestic condors flying above surrounding cliffs. When reaching the pass, we are able to observe a pile of stones that have been added by visitors to thank Apus (a mountain god) for a safe journey and good luck! Then, we descend to the Totora Pampa where our next campsite is situated near the village of Totora (3,630 m/11,979 ft).

Accommodation: Tent
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Tea, and Dinner.
Hiking time:  8 – 9 hours approx.
Hiking distance: 14 km / 9 miles.
Highest elevation: 3,398 m / 11,445 ft.

Day 7: Totora - Colpapampa - La Playa.

Our destination today is the village of La Playa, approximately 18km down the valley from Totora. Our route will take us along the Totora River through an area that is teeming with life. We will be able to see various tropical fruit plantations like passion fruit, avocado, bananas, lemons, and a lot of coffee plants. Tonight, we will spend the night at the village of La Playa (2400m / 7874ft.), camping on the property of one of the local families; it is our chance to try the organic coffee produced on the local farm.

Accommodation: Tent
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Tea, and Dinner.
Hiking time:  8 – 9 hours approx.
Hiking distance: 14 km / 8 miles.
Highest elevation: 3,398 m / 11,445 ft.

Day 8: La Playa - Llactapata - Aguas Calientes.

We wake up early today to start a pleasant uphill walk, providing some fantastic views of the valley. After a 5 hour hike, we enjoy our last lunch at the recently restored Incan ruins of Llaqtapata (2,650 m/8,694 ft), from where we can view both Machu Picchu and the Salkantay Mountain! Then our Tour Guide shows us around the ruins! From there, we are allowed to see the main highlight of South America – Machu Picchu, from an exceptional point of view that most tourists will never see!! Then, we descend quickly for 3 hours to the Hydroelectric Plant (Hidroelectrica; 2,050 m/6,726 ft). There, we follow trails and the Vilcanota River leading us to Aguas Calientes (2,042 m/6,700 ft), located at the foothill of Machu Picchu Citadel! We will sleep in a comfortable hotel and get ready to visit Machu Picchu on next day.

Accommodation: Hotel
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Tea, and Dinner.
Hiking time:  7 – 7 hours approx.
Hiking distance: 13 km / 8 miles.
Highest elevation: 3,100 m / 10,170 ft.

Day 9: Aguas Calientes - Machu Picchu - Cusco.

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 tour with an experienced and highly knowledgeable guide.

Our tour of Machu Picchu will last about two hours and will take you to all the most famous and most spectacular parts of the extensive archaeological complex. These include the House of the Guardian, Intihuatana, Temple of the Sun, Sacred Plaza, and other vital locations. And as we walk around, we’ll have spectacular views across the agricultural terraces of Machu Picchu and across to the surrounding mountains and plunging gorges. After the guided tour, you’ll have time to explore Machu Picchu as you please, perhaps walking to some less visited parts such as the Inca Bridge.

Once we’ve finished our tour of Machu Picchu, we’ll take the bus back down to Aguas Calientes, where you can relax and have lunch (not included) before we board the train back to Ollantaytambo and Cusco. Upon arrival at the station, we’ll be waiting to take you back to your hotel in Cusco, where you can think back to your incredible tour of one of the world’s most famous and most impressive attractions.

Meals: Breakfast.
Hiking time:  3 hours approx.
Highest elevation: 2,440 m / 8,052 ft.

Inclusions

Price Includes for Choquequirao trek to Machu Picchu - 9 Days:

  • Pre trek Briefing (briefing at the Hotel/Office).
  • Pick up from your hotel in Cusco.
  • Transportation from Cusco to the trailhead at the beginning of the hike by private car.
  • English / Quechua / Spanish professional guide speak.
  • Second Tour Guide for groups over 12 people.
  • Tents – 2 people. 4 person tent which allows for greater comfort, and also storage of backpacks
  • Thermarest air-inflate Comfortable sleeping Mattress.
  • Cook and assistance of the Cook.
  • Cooking equipment.
  • Snacks.
  • Daily tea service.
  • Dining equipment including chairs and tables.
  • Portable environmental Biodegradable toilet.
  • Foodservice in the campsites (8 breakfasts, 8 lunches, 8 dinners, 8 snacks) – nutritionally balanced menu. You will savor the Peruvian cuisine which our master chef will prepare.
  • Vegetarian and free gluten food for no extra cost.
  • Horseman and Horses. (To carry our camping equipment, food and 8 kilos of your personal stuff like sleeping bag and mat as well as clothes) We Never overload our Horses (well Animal Welfare).
  • Entrance fee to Choquequirao and Machu Picchu (Huayna Picchu US$ 80 extra).
  • Camping spots fees.
  • First-aid kit.
  • Emergency oxygen bottle.
  • Private transportation (Tambobamba – Cusco).
  • Visit to Machupicchu on the last day (2 hours guided tour to explore the whole incan sites).
  • 1 night accommodation in Aguas Calientes (twin bed room with private bathroom and hot shower).
  • Transportation from Playa Sahuayaco to Hidroelectrica the 4th day (for our staff).
  • Tourist Expeditions Train ticket from Aguas Calientes to Ollantaytambo.
  • Private transportation from Ollantaytambo to Cusco.

Price Excludes for Choquequirao trek to Machu Picchu - 9 Days:

  • Extra expenses.
  • Breakfast – on 1th Day.
  • Lunch and Dinner – on 9th Day.
  • Pillows.
  • Not detailed meals.
  • Travel and health insurance (bring copies with you).
  • Sleeping bags (it can be rented from us for US$ 30 for the entire trip).
  • Walking sticks (it can be rented from us for US$ 20 for the entire trip).
  • Tips (optional).

Items to bring for Choquequirao trek to Machu Picchu - 9 Days:

  • Original Passport.
  • Original Student Card (if you book as a student).
  • Travel insurance card is essencial.
  • Sleeping bag.
  • Walking sticks.
  • Rain gear (jacket and pants) or poncho.Plastic ponchos can be purchased for about $ 2 in Cusco.
  • Strong footwear, waterproof trekking boots recommended.Extra socks are a must.
  • Sandals or plastic slip thongs are also good to give your feet a chance to breathe at night if you want to take them.
  • Flashlight and extra batteries.
  • Camera, films, and batteries.
  • Hat or cap to protect you from the sun.
  • Sunblock.
  • Insect repellent – minimum recommended 40% DEET – although no malaria risk has been reported.
  • Toilet paper.
  • Snacks: biscuits, energy bars, chocolate, raw fruits, muesli, etc.
  • Non-disposable canteen (Nalgene type) and water for the first morning.
  • Your own special medicines you may need, paracetamol, second skin blisters, etc.
  • Small towel.
  • Cash – sufficient for snacks, tips, and souvenirs.
  • Eager and adventurous spirit to enjoy your hike.

Would you like Choquequirao trek to Machu Picchu - 9 Days in a private service?

We also offer a special service only for you or your group; you have the power to choose the size of your group and the date of departure; we will never add other people since it will be organized only for you.

Our Choquequirao trek to Machu Picchu – 9 Days private service, includes additional items such as:

  • Extra Emergency Horse to ride and horse Controller.
  • North Face 4 season tents.
  • Sleeping bag / Silk Liner included.
  • 02 Waking Poles per person.
  • 1 Duffel Bag to carry all your sleeping bags, self-inflating pad, as well as your clothes.
  • Private round trip transportation.
  • Tour Guide to explore Choquequirao and Machu Picchu all day. And of course, we pay a little more to our Staff and Guide.

Prices

We offer 3 kinds of service, each with different price ranges and you can book in any of these services according to your convenience, we just need you to be a minimum of 02 people to organize your trip on the date that suits you, all our services are 100 % guaranteed.

We are a direct TOUR OPERATOR that never passes clients to other agencies as most agencies do it here in Cusco to save operating costs with poor quality.

We will make the trip even if there are only 02 people in your group.

LARGE GROUP SERVICE

(Group Size: 02 Min - 16ppl Max)

USD
1350
Per Person

SMALL GROUP SERVICE

(Group Size: 02 Min - 08ppl Max)

USD
1400
Per Person

PRIVATE GROUP SERVICE

(Group Size: Upon Request)

USD
1640
Per Person

Video

FAQs

Can I be picked up from the Sacred Valley?
Yes, let us know in advance to organize your pick-up time (there is an extra cost).

Is there a cable car in Choquequirao?
The project to make a cable car that connected the town of Cachora to Marampata was not completed due to the frequent presence of landslides, and this plan was gradually lost.

What is Choquequirao?
Choquequirao is named after Quechua Chuqi K’iraw, the cradle of gold. Located just over 3,000 meters high, they are Inca terraces and buildings, very similar to the citadel of Machu Picchu, in terms of its architecture. Some even call it the “Sacred Sister of Machu Picchu” or “Second Machu Picchu.” The site is not as large as Machu Picchu, but it is much less crowded by travelers, since it can only be accessed on foot, with a tour operator, it is the longest and most complete road in Peru.

Why travel with Peru Tripper?
  • High quality services
  • Best price guarantee!
  • Local 100% Peruvian Tour operator (Based in Cusco).
  • We never pass you to another operator.
  • 100% satisfaction guaranteed!
  • TripAdvisor recommended!
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