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 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)
  • Dietary needs: able to cater to any dietary preference/need
  • 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, time to explore on your own
  • Private transport back to your hotel in Cusco at the end of the trek
NOT INCLUDED ON THE TRAIL
  • Flights
  • Hotel before/after the trek
  • Dinner on the last day (back in Cusco)
  • Items of a personal nature and souvenirs
  • Sleeping bags and walking poles (poles must have intact rubber bottoms)
  • Travel interruption & travel medical/evacuation insurance (required)
  • Tip for your guide(s) and trek staff are optional but highly encouraged if you enjoy your trek
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.

DIETARY NEEDS

Yes, we do cater to any dietary restriction. We have had many people join our trips who are vegan, vegetarian, gluten free, dairy free, and have various other intolerances and/or allergies. Just inform us well in advance of your specific needs!

WHAT TO CARRY - DAYPACKS

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. A recommended packing list is sent after you book the trip and can be found below under the “what to pack for your trek” tab. 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. Yes we do offer luggage storage and most hotels/hostels in Cusco also offer this service.

WEATHER & WHAT TO BRING ON YOUR TREK

Weather on the trek and in Cusco

The weather varies a lot across Peru, having 28 climates and 84 of the worlds 104 ecosystems. Cusco is set high up (3,380 mts, 11,089 ft) in the Andean Mountain Range and the dry season (winter) is from Mar/April to October/November with the wettest part of the year (summer) being December through March. The weather for trekking is pretty much the same year round, with the main difference being the amount of rainfall. During the dry season, most days are dry and clear, but high-altitude mountains always have the potential for rain and/or snow so it is essential to come prepared for all types of weather regardless of the time of year. 

The Choquequirao trek is not as high altitude as others in the region, therefore the weather is warmer overall. The nights on this trek are usually around 50F/10C. During the day it can get quite warm if the sun is out; anywhere from 60-80F/15-26C. Keep in mind if the weather is rainy or cloudy it will be colder. As with any high-altitude trek you’ll want to bring plenty of layers to adjust to the fluctuating temperatures and appropriate sun/rain protection. 

Cusco weather: Cusco is always very cold at night due to the high altitude. It is regularly around 40F/4.4C at night so bring a nice warm jacket for nighttime walking in town. It is warmer in Machu Picchu and the Sacred Valley and Aguas Calientes as these areas are lower altitudes than Cusco and the trek.

What to bring: for your trek

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 40F for this trek
  • 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 with good, grippy tread
  • Hiking pants (or shorts) 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 (USD or Peruvian Soles are fine), cooks, horsemen, guides, buying items along the trail, for in town, emergencies, etc. Note: Cash should be in perfect condition (ripped, damaged bills of any kind are NOT accepted anywhere in Peru)
  • Swim suit, flip flops, towel for any hot springs you may visit (not every trek/trip has this) if you wish to go
  • Sandals
  • Torch/flashlight/headlamp (and batteries)
  • Insect repellent – essential for this trek
  • 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/need
  • Camera, extra memory cards, batteries and solar panel/power bank 
  • Water bottle or water bladder to refill
  • Passport (must be valid 6 months past your final travel dates for most countries)
  • Copies of passport (keep copies separate, give to travel friends to keep, etc)
  • Power plug adapter 
  • 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 compostable 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
  • Medication for prevention of altitude sickness (requires a prescription from your physician and has contraindications for certain people and potential side effects)
  • Anti-inflammatory medication (some people find this is useful for prevention of altitude sickness as well. Speak with your physician for more information)
  • 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)

We have blogged about what we bring and you can use it as a general guideline if you wish: What To Pack For Peru Trekking

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 consider visiting 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.

PAYMENT & PASSPORT INFO

Deposit: A 250 USD (changing to 400 USD starting 2020) deposit will be charged to your card when you book the trek. This allows us to purchase time sensitive items such as train tickets and entrance fees. This is non-refundable.

Payment of Balance: The balance of the trek is due 30 days (changing to 60 days prior starting 2020) prior to departure and will be auto-debited via the booking software system on that date. If you wish to pay early, or use a different card to the one you have on file, you may do so by clicking on the reservation number in your confirmation email and entering the pin that was provided to you in the original confirmation email. If you wish to make other arrangements (e.g. pay cash in Cusco), please contact us. Please note if you book your trip within 30 days of departure, the balance of the trek will be auto-debited the next day. If you do not wish this to happen please contact us.

Passport: For this trek we do NOT need a photo of your passport bio page. However, as this involves international travel, please note that each traveler is responsible for knowing the re-entry rules for their country of residence/citizenship. Some countries require 6 months of passport validity beyond the final date of travel. Please ensure that your passport is up to date and meets your country and residency requirements.

Visa’s: Most countries are allowed to obtain a visa upon entry at immigration. Very few countries require a visa to be granted in advance. Please note that each traveler is responsible for finding out and obtaining a visa prior to entry if required. Please also note that tourist visas are for 90 days or less (typically) and you must show proof of return travel. 

BOOKING TERMS/CANCELLATION

Booking Terms/Cancellations

  • Deposit: At the time of booking only a deposit is charged. The trek deposit is required to secure your spot on a trek and is non-refundable. It is used to purchase non-refundable items such as train tickets, Machu Picchu entrance tickets, etc. The balance of the trek is due within 30 days of departure (or 60 days prior for 2020 bookings)
  • Cancellations: Initial deposit is non-refundable. You may cancel your booking by notifying Killa Expeditions or Agent used and the applicable cancellation fees shall be determined based on when the request is received by Killa Expeditions or Agent. (a) Cancellation received 60 days or more before departure of the first Product to depart in relevant booking: 60% of the Product total shall be refunded to you (Inca Trail excepted where 25% of the Inca Trail product total shall be refunded to you). (b) Cancellation received 59-30 days before departure of first Product to depart in relevant booking: an amount equal to 25% of the total Product shall be refunded to you. (Inca Trail excepted where no refund is payable). (c) Cancellation less than 30 days before departure of first Product to depart in relevant booking: no refund shall be payable to you.
  • Travel Medical Insurance: is required to depart on any trek (including emergency evacuation coverage and high altitude hiking). We also suggest travel interruption insurance in the event of inclement weather or other unforeseen circumstances that may arise. Killa Expeditions is not responsible for losses incurred due to any travel interruption (ex: weather/natural phenomena, missed/delayed/canceled flight, acts of war/terrorism, strikes, etc.), passport, visa, family emergency, or illness/medical issues.
  • For Full Terms and Conditions please see the policy linked at the bottom of our website in the footer. It is also available to read during the checkout process. https://killaexpeditions.com/terms-conditions-peru/
WHY CHOOSE KILLA EXPEDITIONS?

ETHICAL, SUSTAINABLE, ECO-FRIENDLY  Our mission is to provide exceptional treks, tours, and adventure trips with a strong commitment to environmentally responsible, sustainable, ethical, and socially conscious travel. During our trips, we make every effort to minimize negative impacts and maximize the benefits to the local people and natural environments we visit. We pay fair, livable wages, ensuring we hire and maintain the absolute best guides and support staff. We are committed to international sustainable tourism guidelines and have developed ongoing community projects and charity events supporting 4+ local Andean communities.

EXCELLENCE We pride ourselves on providing 5 star service before, during, and after your trip. Killa Expeditions is dedicated to excellent customer service and adventure experiences. We have been awarded the 2017, 2018 & 2019 Trip Advisor Certificate of Excellence!

QUALITY When trekking through rugged mountain terrain, at high altitudes, with unpredictable weather, it is essential to have the best equipment available. We provide Mountain Hardwear 4 season tents (3 season for Inca Trail due to warmer weather), extra thick mattress pads, dry bags for your overnight gear, and more, to ensure a safe and pleasant journey.

NO HIDDEN COSTS Our treks and tours are truly 5 star and all inclusive. We do not charge extra to “upgrade” as we offer the best option included in the price already. There are no hidden meal costs, we are transparent about all inclusions, and best of all no booking fees!

SMALL GROUPS Our groups average about 8 guests per departure, and are typically a mix of solo travellers, friends travelling together, and couples, all of varying ages, backgrounds and nationalities. Come prepared to make lots of new best friends. If you book a custom/private large group we provide 1 guide per 8 travelers, ensuring a small group feel and specialized attention.

GOURMET Only the best, quality ingredients are selected from local farmers. Our chefs prepare a specially designed menu to maximize energy and facilitate acclimatization.  And the dishes, a mix of traditional Peruvian cuisine and contemporary cuisines, are delicious too! And yes, we cater to any dietary need.

PERSONALIZED We can customize any trek or tour to suit your travel, fitness, budget, and time preferences. Got a corporate or work shindig, charity group, or other major event you’d like to book a trek or tour for? Get in touch, we can arrange everything for you!

LEAVE NO TRACE Our trips leave behind nothing but smiles and footprints, as it should be.

REDUCE REUSE RECYCLE We love our planet, which is why we reduce, reuse and recycle. Our gear is reusable (no paper or plastic plates/cups/utensils), we buy local goods that do not come in paper/plastic wrapping, and we recycle everything we can. This is not the norm in Peru but we hope to help it become the norm one day soon!

PASSIONATE All of our employees are passionate about what they do. Who wouldn’t be with majestic mountains and never-ending vistas as your office! We are proud to offer our guides and staff the highest wages.

WE GIVE BACK We buy locally produced food, hire native tour guides, and book locally owned hotels and restaurants whenever possible. We hold numerous charity events throughout the year in various traditional Andean communities. Events often involve distributing food, drinks, daily essentials (such as toothpaste, toothbrushes, soap, and more), toys for the children, shoes and clothes donated by many of our wonderful guests, and we are currently raising funds to finish building a school in the Willoc Community.  Ask us about how you can help!

For further information about us please see the following links:

Equipment: learn about why we provide the best! http://www.killaexpeditions.com/our-equipment/

Our Team: meet some of our amazing guides! http://www.killaexpeditions.com/our-team/

Reviews – find us on Trip Advisor! Killa Expeditions Trip Advisor Page (Awarded 2017, 2018 & 2019 Certificate of Excellence)

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Don’t want to book online? Have a private group or want to build your own adventure? We can help you book over the phone. Give us a call at +1 (619) 736-TREK or drop us a line with your number and we will call you back!

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