CHOQUEQUIRAO TREK

5 Days 4 Nights

The CHOQUEQUIRAO TREK is a challenging, adventurous, and exciting hike through high jungle and the Vilcabamba range of the Andean mountains.

The Choquequirao Ruin site is one of the ancient lost Inkan Cities that Hiram Bingham discovered in 1909. Considered the last Inca refuge that resisted the Spanish invasion for decades, Choquequirao is located in the canyon of the Apurimac River at an altitude of 3,050 m/10,006 ft. The ruins are positioned in a strategic geographical area between Andean mountains and the edge of the jungle.

This is an excellent alternative trek to see a spectacular Inca Ruin site that is larger than Machu Picchu. Just like on the Ausangate trail you will run into few other trekkers. The 5D/4N trek to Choquequirao is 64km/39.76miles and ascends to 3,050m/10,006ft. We also offer an 8D/7N package trek that combines Choquequirao with part of the Salkantay trail, ending in Machu Picchu.

Minimum trekkers necessary for trek departure: 2 people (1 person or private/custom treks possible with extra fee). Maximum trekkers per group: 10 people (special, private party groups can exceed maximum).

Meters

Kilometers

Days

Nights

The Nitty Gritty Trek Details

Highlights

Off the beaten path, glacial mountains, tropical landscape, pristine wilderness, Inca Ruin

Location/Terrain

Glacial, snow-capped peaks, multiple high passes, high jungle, plateaus, rock

Acclimatization

3 day acclimatization and multi-day trekking experience recommended

Duration

5 Days/4 Nights

Distance

64 km/40 miles

Altitude

1500m/4,921ft to 3050m/10,006t

Adventure Rating

★★★★★
Strenuous, lengthy, high altitude

Solitude Rating

★★★★★
Quiet, remote, off the beaten track

When to Go

Year Round, but best from March to November

Departures

Daily departures with 2 or more people

Prices USD

6-10 trekkers: 750, 3-5 trekkers: 790, 2 trekkers: 850 USD per person

Customizable

Yes! Private, custom, add-ons all available.

DAY 1: CUSCO – CACHORA – COCA MASANA – CHIKISKA CAMP

We leave Cusco at 6:00am for the 4 hour drive to Cachora in our private transportation. On the way we will stop to have breakfast admiring the wonderful Limatambo Canyon and the Salkantay and Humantay Mountains. We then continue to the little village of Cachora. After meeting our expedition support crew know as arrieros we start a gentle hike through this historically rich territory. It is a 3 hour hike to Capulichayoc (2915m/9,564ft) from where we have our first beautiful views of the Apurimac valley and river below, as well as the snow-capped peaks of Padrayoc and Wayna Cachora Mountains. We then descend toward Coca Masana (2330m/7,644ft) where the climate becomes noticeably warmer and the flora and fauna begin to change. Finally we arrive at Playa Rosalina (Rosalina Beach) at 1550m/4,954ft beside the raging “The Speaker God” Apurimac River, famous for Class 5 rafting rapids. Here we will set up camp and spend the night. Walking poles or wooden sticks are highly recommended and insect repellent a must. Walking distance approximately 17km/10.5mi (7-8 hour hike).

DAY 2: PLAYA ROSALINA – MARAMPATA – CHOQUEQUIRAO

After an early breakfast we will walk for approximately 1 hour to arrive at Playa Rosalina near the Apurimac River (1500m/4,921ft), where we will cross a typical local bridge and hike through a forest of cactus, agaves, and exotic local fruit trees. Here we start a gentle, gradual 3-4 hour climb (1,400m/4,593ft gain) from the shores of the Apurimac river to Marampata (2900m/9,514ft) where we have lunch. At the end of this path we will see the archaeological complex of Choquequirao for the first time. It is an easy 2 hour hike to the Choquequirao ruins (3035m/9,957ft), and on the way we will see a variety of plants and flowers. As soon as we arrive to this Inca complex we will visit the farming terraces of Paqchayoc and the house of the waterfall, after which we return to our camping site near Choquequirao. Here you can taste “cambric,” a local cognac made from sugar cane. Walking distance approximately 14km/8.7mi (7-8 hour hike).

DAY 3: CHOQUEQUIRAO ARCHAEOLOGICAL COMPLEX – RAQAYPATA

Today is dedicated to exploring the incredible Inca ruins of Choquequirao. Your guide will explain the history and importance of the site. After the tour you will have free time to visit the many sectors of the complex. Late in the afternoon we will start the return trek and camp the night at Raqaypata (2,190m/7,185ft). Walking distance approximately 4km/2.5mi (3-4 hour hike).

DAY 4: RAQAYPATA – COCA MASANA

After breakfast we continue our return trek with a steep descent towards the Apurimac River where we will stop and have lunch. In the afternoon we will climb for approximately 4 hours to our final campsite at Coca Masana. Walking distance approximately 15km/9.3mi (7-8 hour hike). 

DAY 5: COCA MASANA – CACHORA – CUSCO

After breakfast we start a 3 hour climb to Capuliyoc. From there it’s a fairly flat trail back to the village of Cachora. We will say goodbye to our arrieros (expedition horse guides) and take our private transport back towards Cusco. Along the way we will stop at the archaeological site at Saihuite to explore and have lunch. A further 4 hours by private transport brings us back to your hotel in Cusco.
INCLUDED ON THE TRAIL
  • Pre-Trek briefing the night before the trek to go over the itinerary, meet your guide(s) and answer any questions
  • Collection from your hotel in the morning or our departure point (your choice) Plaza Regocijo
  • Private bus transport to starting point of the trek
  • Personal porter to carry your overnight gear up to 8kg/17.6lbs
  • Dry bag in which to put your overnight gear so it won’t get wet or dusty on the trail
  • 3 person, 4 season tents (2 people in large and comfortable Mountain Hardwear Expedition tent)
  • One-inch-thick foam mattress sleeping pad to put under your sleeping bag
  • English speaking professional guide
  • Full meals on the trek (3 meals per day, tea time every afternoon, snacks on the trail)
  • First-aid kit including emergency oxygen tank and emergency horse
  • Dining tent with tables and stools
  • Cook, cooking tent, and cooking equipment
  • Toilet, toilet tent and toilet paper
  • Horsemen and horses (to carry tents/food/cooking equipment)
  • Hot water every morning/evening for hand washing purposes
  • Boiled water to fill water bottles every morning/afternoon
  • Entry ticket to Choquequirao Archaeological Complex
  • Entry ticket to Saihuite Archeological site
  • Guided tour of Choquequirao ruins, plenty of time to explore on your own
PRICE AND NUMBER OF TREKKERS

A minimum of 2 trekkers required for this trek. Maximum of 10 trekkers in a group. Price for 6-10 trekkers: 750 USD per person. Price for 3-5 trekkers: 790 USD per person. Price for 2 trekkers: 850 USD per person.Private treks, single trekker, custom treks, large groups, and packages welcome, Please email us to customize.  

WHEN TO GO AND DEGREE OF DIFFICULTY

Year round but best from March to November. This trek is rated as a moderate to strenuous hike considering the high altitudes, multiple passes, and length of walking especially on the 2nd Day. It is recommended that you acclimatize in Cusco for at least 2-3 days before trekking.

NOT INCLUDED ON THE TRAIL
  • Flights
  • Hotel before/after the trek
  • Dinner on the last day (back in Cusco)
  • Sleeping bags and walking poles (poles must have intact rubber bottoms)
  • Travel/medical insurance
  • Tip for your guide(s) and trek staff are optional but highly encouraged if you enjoy your trek
ON THE TRAIL

On the trail you should carry a day pack with your camera, water bottle or bladder, snacks, cold weather clothing and rain gear or poncho in case of rain (unlikely in dry season – May to October) and anything you will need before dinner as horses do not walk alongside you. Your bag will be waiting for you at every campsite. We will provide you with a duffel bag for extra luggage to be carried by horses.

WHAT TO BRING ON YOUR TREK

What to bring: for your trek: The weather varies a lot in Peru, having 28 climates and 84 of the worlds 104 ecosystems. Cusco is set high up (3,380 mts, 11,089 ft) near the Andean Mountain Range and the dry season (winter) is from April/May to October/November with the wettest part of the year (summer) being January through March. Temperatures don’t vary too much between these seasons but the amount of precipitation does. If the sun is out it can be quite warm, but in the shade it gets cool fast. Temperatures change quickly and you will need layers as you hike during the day. At night it is quite cold in the mountains (usually near or below freezing) and most people will need long underwear and layers to sleep in, nice warm socks, gloves, and a hat. Everything you need for the day should be kept in your daypack that you carry because all the items you leave with your porter will not be available to you until the evening at the campsite. It is recommended not to hike in cotton or jeans in the event of rain as cotton takes a very long time to dry. It is also recommended to bring true hiking boots or trail running shoes as regular running shoes do not get very good traction especially when it has rained

  • Sleeping bags and walking poles (poles must have intact rubber bottoms)
    • Recommend a sleeping bag rated for below freezing
  • Sleeping bag liner (for your sleeping bag if you wish)
  • Mattress pad – while we provide a mattress pad, being rested is essential for a great hiking experience and we find that sleep habits are very individualized. Therefore we recommend bringing your own pad that you know you are comfortable sleeping on, as well as any other sleep items you might want to have (camp pillow, etc).
  • Sunscreen: the sun is very strong in Cusco
  • Sun hat
  • Sunglasses
  • Lip balm
  • Hiking shoes/boots
  • Hiking pants and shirts (layers)
  • Layers – long underwear and/or warm sleep pants for cold nights
  • Hand warmers if you wish
  • Warm hat, gloves, scarf and thick warm socks (or you can buy a traditional Peruvian hat and scarf – they are beautiful!)
  • Daypack and rain cover
  • Rain gear – rain jacket and rain pants (optional for the pants), can buy an inexpensive poncho before the trek
  • Cash for tipping porters, cooks, horsemen, guides, buying items along the trail, for in town, emergencies, etc. Note: Cash should be in perfect condition (ripped, damaged soles are NOT accepted anywhere in Peru)
  • Swim suit, flip flops, towel for the hot springs in Aguas Calientes if you wish to go
  • Sandals
  • Torch/flashlight/headlamp (and batteries)
  • Insect repellent
  • Extra snacks if you wish (beyond snacks provided by us)
    • E.g. if you have a favorite protein bar as Cusco doesn’t sell items like this
  • First aid kit, including blister protection (though your guide will have one, you may wish to carry one of your own)
  • Personal medication and toiletries you might want
  • Camera, extra memory cards/film, batteries
  • Water bottle or water bladder to refill
  • Passport (must be valid 6 months past your travel dates for most countries)
  • Copies of passport (keep copies separate, give to travel friends to keep, etc)
  • Power adapter/converter
  • Travel lock(s) approved by TSA (or they cut them off – US only)
  • Tickets, itinerary, emergency contact information
  • Any medications you currently are taking or need/may need (see suggestions below)
  • Small quick-dry pak towels and/or wipes for a quick wipe down at the end of the day

What to bring: medications – medications are optional and depend on your specific needs

  • Antibiotic for travelers diarrhea or UTI
  • Antibiotic for a severe bacterial infection
  • Medication for upset stomach/indigestion
  • Anti-diarrhea medication
  • Anti-nausea medication for motion sickness/altitude sickness if needed
  • Cold/flu medication
  • General pain killer/fever reducer
  • Vaccinations – recommend bringing all boosters up to date (MMR, tetanus, etc)

View latest travel advisories and recommended vaccinations and medications for the regions you plan to visit. For Lima, Cusco, and Machu Picchu there are generally no vaccinations required. If you are going to the jungle or any other higher risk area you may need: yellow fever vaccine, medicine for malaria, typhoid vaccine, etc. Click here for updated info: http://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/destinations/peru.aspx NOTE: Please visit your doctor several weeks before your trip to discuss any health restrictions you may have, medications he/she might recommend for you personally, and to seek more information about any vaccinations or medications recommended for Peru (or any of your other destinations). Additionally: speak with your doctor before taking any over-the-counter and/or prescription medications alone or combined.

TERMS AND CONDITIONS

Itinerary is subject to change and Killa Expeditions is not responsible for loss of personal effects, interruption in your travels (from illness or other reason), or inclement weather/natural phenomena. Please see our disclosure agreement for further information. All trekkers will be required to sign an accident waiver form at time of departure and travel/medical insurance is highly recommended.

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