Peru Trekking on our Choquequirao Trek is way off the beaten track. Choquequirao is an amazingly preserved Inca outpost, only accessible by a tough trek. It is comparable in size to Machu Picchu and dramatically located on a promontory nearly 1,700m above the roaring Apurimac River. This mule-supported hike to Choquequirao and beyond takes in high passes, perfectly preserved Inca Trails and awesome Andean peaks. As if this Peru trekking trail wasn’t stunning enough in itself, the trek ends with a spectacular and rarely seen view of Machu Picchu. You will also have the chance to explore the famous Incan site for yourself with a fully guided tour of these incredible ruins.
Choquequirao is an amazingly preserved Inca outpost
This is a long, spectacular and strenuous hike, crossing the entire Vilcabamba mountain range from the Apurimac to the Urubamba watershed. It is approximately 75km long with almost 5,000m of both ascent and descent. The passes on the Choquequirao trek reach altitudes of up to 4,100m and river crossings are as low as 1,450m.
This is your chance to be amongst one of the few adventurers to visit this incredible Incan site and complete this rewarding trek to Machu Picchu. The trek starts and ends in Cusco so you will also be able wander around the Incan capital to soak in the history or simply enjoy the markets and coffee shops.
This Peru trekking trip will operate with just 2 people. You will be joining clients from other countries on this trek and will be led by a local Peruvian guide.
Extensions are offered for this trip: Visit Lake Titicaca, the Colca Canyon or the Amazon rainforest. Alternatively, add on some extra days in Cusco to explore the area after or before your Peru trekking trip. Please see the Trip Dossier download tab for further details.
Days 1 and 2 Depart UK on an overnight flight. On arrival in Cusco, we transfer you to your hotel and start acclimatising to the rarefied air of this beautiful city. In the afternoon, we take a short walking tour of the centre of Cusco to familiarise you with the main sights, restaurants and a chance to stretch your legs and experience hiking at 3300m. At a convenient time you guide will arrange a full briefing for the days ahead.
Day 3 After an early departure from Cusco, we drive on good tarmac road until turning off to the beautiful village of Cachora high above the River Apurimac canyon. Near the roadhead, we meet our trekking team, have an early lunch and start our 1600m descent into the Apurimac canyon. A short climb follows an extended descent with spectacular views of snow-capped mountains in the distance and the mighty River Apurimac deep in the canyon below. We stop by the small settlement of Chikiska and set up camp for the night.
Distance & Heights – 10km, all down 2950m to 1550m
Day 4 We continue our descent into the Apurimac canyon, cross the roaring river and climb steeply up, passing the small settlement of Santa Rosa and Maranpata. This is a long tough day requiring an early start but the scenery more than makes up for the hardships endured. We set up base camp just short of the Choquequirao ruins.
Distance & Heights – 12km, down 650m up 1415m
Day 5 We arrive early at the amazing ruins of Choquequirao with time to explore and marvel at this dramatic location nearly 1700m above the roaring Apurimac River. The vast size of these extensive ruins covers an area far bigger than Machu Picchu. There is an enormous curving bank of fine terracing, a chain of ritual baths and a central plaza surrounded by fine ceremonial and high status residential architecture. Large areas still remain covered in the thick cloud forest, giving an insight into how the first explorer’s felt arriving at this deserted city. Its purpose is also still largely unclear; despite being the largest of the outlying sites, it is unmentioned in the chronicles and remained uncharted until the 18th century.
After plenty of time to explore, we return to base camp below to ponder our own theories for the evening.
Distance & Heights – From 0-15km undulating depending on how extensively you explore.
Day 6 Leaving at the crack of dawn, we bid farewell to Choquequirao, visiting en route another interesting ruin called Picha Unuyoc – the “water shrine”. A short sharp climb is followed by a descent of 1400m into the Rio Blanco canyon, famous for its nasty biting sand-flies called pumahuacachi by the locals (literally “makes the puma cry”). This is followed by another tough climb of 1,200m up to the small campsite of Maizal at an altitude of 3000m. This is probably the toughest day of the trip but allowing all day and using the support horses where necessary, it is manageable by fit trekkers
Distance & Heights – 19km up 1380m, down 1280m
Day 7 Starting early again we climb to the Abra San Juan pass which, at 4000m, affords spectacular views of the Cordillera Vilcabamba mountain range (when not in cloud). We then follow the trail past Corihuayrachina and the interesting old silver mines of Mina Victoria, thought to have been worked for over a thousand years. We camp at the charming Andean village of Yanama.
Distance & Heights – 14km up 1300m, down 550m
Day 8 Today we say goodbye to our team of “arrieros” and enjoy a spectacular drive on a brand new road over the Totora pass and down to the small hamlet and Inca terraces at Lucmabamba. Our final day of hiking takes us through the lush vegetation of coffee and tropical fruit plantations, into pristine cloud forest. We follow an ancient Inca Trail to Llactapata, an Inca site that has only recently been excavated. We will also have a truly amazing view of Machu Picchu that few tourists get to see from the back. We descend sharply to the Urubamba valley and the hydroelectric plant train station. From here we have the option to either wait for the short but spectacular train journey, or hike the two-three hours up the railway to the bustling tourist town now known as Machu Picchu Pueblo. Here we check into our hotel and enjoy a shower before heading out to sample one of the many restaurants and bars.
Distance & Heights – 14km up 800m, down 980m
Day 9 Returning first thing in the morning we have Machu Picchu virtually to ourselves for a full guided tour, with time to climb Huayna Picchu (due to permit restrictions, please let us know when booking if you want to climb Huayna Picchu or Machu Picchu mountain) or else just wander through the ruins, soaking up the amazing atmosphere. In the afternoon, we board the train for an exhilarating ride along the Sacred Valley of the Incas. Here our waiting bus whisks us back to Cusco and our hotel. Then if we have the energy we can explore Cusco’s excellent nightlife.
Day 10 Spend the morning exploring Cusco. Whether your interest is exploring Inca ruins, visiting Colonial churches, bargain hunting in artisan markets or just relaxing over a cappuccino on a terrace overlooking the Plaza de Armas, Cusco has it all. In the afternoon, transfer to Cusco airport in time for your overnight flight home.
Day 11 Arrive home.
It is vitally important that you have adequate travel insurance for your trip with Adventure Peaks. We recognise the complexity and variety of choice in the insurance market and know that many of you either have your own preferred insurer or have annual multi trip cover in place already. If this is the case, please ensure that your insurer is aware of your Adventure Peaks itinerary and can agree to cover the activities being undertaken.
Adventure Peaks do not provide any advice on travel insurance, although it is a requirement of our booking conditions that you have travel insurance which covers the activities which you are likely to be undertaking on your holiday. Cover must include emergency medical, helicopter evacuation, repatriation and rescue expenses.
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