Choquequirao to Machu Picchu - Peru Trekking

Choquequirao to Machu Picchu - Peru Trekking

From £2,895
Altitude 4,100m Grade: T5

Choquequirao is know as "The Cradle of Gold" with deep valleys and high passes. This trip also allows a visit of Machu Picchu and Cusco.

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 3 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.

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Dates & Prices

Show prices in
All prices in Euros are guide rates, not live rates
All prices in US Dollars are guide rates, not live rates


Flight Inclusive
With Flight
Land Only
With Flight
31st May 2024 - 10th Jun 2024 Closed11 £2,895£3,995
5th Jul 2024 - 15th Jul 2024 Spaces11 £2,895£3,995 Book Now
26th Jul 2024 - 5th Aug 2024 Spaces11 £2,895£3,995 Book Now
6th Sep 2024 - 16th Sep 2024 Spaces11 £2,895£3,995 Book Now
27th Sep 2024 - 7th Oct 2024 Spaces11 £2,895£3,995 Book Now
1st Nov 2024 - 11th Nov 2024 Spaces11 £2,895£3,995 Book Now

* A deposit of £400 will be required at checkout.


Extras can be added per-person when you book onto a date

Single supplement Choquequirao £220

* A deposit of £200 (or the full extra price, whichever is lower) will be required at checkout for each extra added per-person on this trip

What's Included

  • Estimated International flights from London (flight inclusive package
  • All road transfers in country (unless stated in 'exclusions) 
  • Accommodation - 3 nights in hotels, 5 nights camping 
  • Meals - 8 breakfasts, 6 lunches and 5 evening meals 
  • Park fees as appropriate
  • Inca site entrance fees 
  • Local guides 
  • Local trekking staff to assist (cook and porters/pack animals) 
  • All camping equipment (excl. personal kit) Adventure Peaks kitbag. A logoed top will be substituted for returning customers and non-UK clients 
  • 24hr back-up and support from our UK staff 
  • 15% off the RRP on clothing and equipment purchases from Adventure Peaks shop

What's Excluded

  • Travel Insurance
  • Meals if not indicated in 'inclusions'
  • Personal equipment
  • Drinks and personal spending
  • Tips for local staff
  • Visas (if required)
  • Other museum and monument entry fees


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 essential for a trip of this type that you are adequately insured. When researching insurance options, please ensure the policy covers you for the following:

  • Cancellation or curtailment
  • Helicopter rescue (most insurance companies will no longer cover for ‘search and rescue’ but providing you stay with the group, they will assist with ‘rescue’)
  • Repatriation
  • The altitude that you are expected to attain
  • The location especially when travelling to Antarctica
  • Grade of trek/climb/expedition
  • Medical cover

Adventure Peaks partners with Global Rescue to offer the world’s leading travel protection services. Medical and security emergencies happen. When they do, we rely on Global Rescue to provide our clients with medical, security, travel risk and crisis response services. Without a membership, an emergency evacuation could cost over $100,000. More than one million members trust Global Rescue to get them home safely when the unexpected happens. We highly recommend our clients enroll with Global Rescue, in particular for peaks over 7000m:

We are aware the following provide insurance:

For UK based clients:

Expeditions and Treks under 7000m - Campbell Irvine Direct :

HCC Medical Insurance Services: LLC Tel: 1-800-605-2282
Travelex Ins. Services: Tel: 1-800 228 9792
True Traveller Ins: Tel: 0333 999 3140 for treks including over 4500m
Austrian Alpine Club (UK) Tel: +44 (0)1929 556870
Rothwell & Towler: Tel: 0345 908 0161 (under 6400m)
J S Insurance: Tel: 0844 848 1500
Snowcard: Tel: 01295 660836
The B.M.C.: Tel: 0161 445 6111 (call and speak to Jim. Please note the BMC cannot cover Mt Damavand)
Dogtag: Tel: 0800 036 4824 (Check excess etc)

For non-UK based clients:

HCC Medical Insurance Services: LLC Tel: 1-800-605-2282
Travelex Ins. Services: Tel: 1-800 228 9792
True Traveller Ins: Tel: 0333 999 3140 for treks including over 4500m
Austrian Alpine Club (UK): Tel: +44 (0)1929 556870
AXA Worldwide Travel Ins: Tel: +44 (0)844 874 0360
Ingle International: Tel: (USA) 1.800.360.3234
Insure for Less: (Australian clients)

You do not have to use any of the above, but if you make your own insurance arrangements documentary evidence of your own policy is required.

Please forward the details of your Insurance as soon as you have it: we need the insurance company’s name, their 24 hour emergency telephone number and your insurance policy number –


Colin · 5 years ago ·

The support from the Adventure Peaks team in Ambleside before we left was great, and Edwar our guide and his team on the ground couldn't have been better. We had too much food! Lunch in particular, although always wonderful, was a three course meal. The team that looked after us was very special. Signor Domingo, who led the muleteers, was fantastic! Edwar is a genuine man, and a great guide.

Keith · 9 years ago ·

The trip organisation, equipment and guides were all good and well organised.

Ted M · 9 years ago ·

The support team of guides and cooks were brilliant and made it a relatively luxurious track. There was patience and understanding for those of us who struggled with altitude.

Having the facility to ride on mules at times was appreciated - a lifesaver. The most enjoyable part is the spirit of the group and having my eyes opened to a totally new world.

Rob M · 9 years ago ·

The trip was outstanding and supported by an amazing Peruvian guide and support team.

John H · 9 years ago ·

Views and scenery around campsites, particularly two and three simply stunning. The cooks were also excellent. How they produce such good meals in such basic conditions is amazing.

Matthew W · 10 years ago ·

Hi Mike. All the travel arrangements went without a hitch. Our guide (Dougie) met us at Cusco airport, sorted us into the hotel and met us again in the morning to set off. He was very good throughout and seemed to really enjoy getting out of the office for a week (he was a past guide who is now office based, marred to a local girl with two children)!

The Choquequirao trek was excellent and a really good introduction to Inca ruins – we could properly put Machu Picchu into context having seen much more remote outposts. I’m sure this is a much better way to get to MP that the crowded Inca Trail, more strenuous and much more remote, which is what we wanted

The difficulty of the trekking was well described – especially Days 4 & 6 - each of which included a vertical mile of climbing! We took it all at the proper pace and made the climbs without any problems.

Enrique the cook was absolutely brilliant – 3 course dinners, including dishes such as stuffed trout and a host of different way to serve potatoes. We really weren’t expecting this after Kili last year

On Day 5 it is really worth visiting the ruins below the campsite that are still being cleared – we did this in late afternoon having been round the main Choquequirao ruins already. There is also a great waterfall down there to get up close to. The Llama terraces are also well worth a look, but need a head for heights!

Day 6 is indeed the toughest – but quite do-able for us. Cooling off in the Rio Blanco was very welcome at the bottom of the descent before lunch and the tough ascent
We saw Condors flying low over us at the top of the San Juan pass on Day 7 and had lunch perched right on the top of the pass – awesome! Personally we would have rather trekked from Yanama to Lucmabamba on Day 8, putting in an extra night camping, as opposed to driving over the pass

Although more demanding than the Inca Trail, and not arriving at MP through the Sun Gate, this has to be the best way to get there – the trek gives you a real appreciation of how remote everything was in Inca times and how difficult the terrain was to travel through.

Arriving at MP was a culture shock – suddenly seeing hundreds of people, whereas we’d been largely on our own up until then!

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