CHOQUEQUIRAO TREK +
MACHU PICCHU PACKAGE

8 Days 7 Nights

The CHOQUEQUIRAO + MACHU PICCHU TREK PACKAGE is a challenging, adventurous, and exciting hike through high jungle and includes a hike on part of the Salkantay trail, an original Inca trail and two amazing Inca Ruin sites (Choquequirao and Machu Picchu)!

The Choquequirao Ruin site is one of the ancient lost Incan 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. The trek takes 8 days/7 nights, is 101km/63 miles, ascends to 4500m/14,764ft, and is far less touristy than other treks. Just like on the Ausangate trail you will run into few other trekkers. We also offer just the Choquequirao Trek for 5d/4n without Machu Picchu if you prefer that trip.

Minimum passengers 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

Glacial peaked mountains, lush/tropical landscapes, pristine wilderness, two Inca Ruins!

Location/Terrain

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

Acclimatization

3 day acclimatization and multi-day trekking experience recommended

Duration

8 Days/7 Nights

Distance

101 km/63 miles

Altitude

1500m/4,921ft to 4500m/14,764ft

Adventure Rating

★★★★★
Strenuous, lengthy, high altitude

Solitude Rating

★★★★★
Quiet, off the beaten path

When to Go

Best from March to November

Departures

Daily departures with 2 or more people

Prices USD

6-10 trekkers: 1300, 3-5 trekkers: 1350, 2 trekkers: 1550 (per person)

Customizable

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

DAY 1: CUSCO – CACHORA – SANTA ROSA

We leave Cusco very early, at 4:30am, 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, known as arrieros, we start our amazing hike through this historically rich territory. It is a 4 hour downhill hike to reach the lunch stop at Chikiska-Chikiska. This is a small village with fruit plantations, and along the way 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 further and the climate becomes noticeably warmer and the flora and fauna begin to change. We continue hiking until we arrive at the bottom of the valley where we meet up with the raging “The Speaker God” Apurimac River, famous for Class 5 Rafting rapids. We have another 2 hour uphill hike until we reach our campsite at Santa Rosa (1,800m/5,906ft). Walking poles or wooden sticks are highly recommended and insect repellent with DEET a must. Walking distance approximately 18km/11.2mi (7-8 hour hike).

DAY 2: SANTA ROSA – MARAMPATA – CHOQUEQUIRAO ARCHAEOLOGICAL COMPLEX

After an early breakfast we continue our trek with a 2 hour uphill hike until you reach Marampata (2900m/9,514ft) that has beautiful views of the canyon and snow-capped peaks. This uphill climb consists of lots of switchbacks/zigzags. 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 enjoy lunch. After lunch we will enjoy a guided tour of this large ruin site, visiting the most important areas (religious, observatory, llama terraces, and more) and watching the sunset over the mountains. We then return to our campsite nearby. Here you can taste “cambric,” a local cognac made from sugar cane. Walking distance approximately 10km/6.2mi (5-6 hour hike).

DAY 3: CHOQUEQUIRAO – CHOQUEQUIRAO PASS – MAIZAL

After an early breakfast we begin our hike for the day. It’s approximately 40 minutes uphill to reach the first Choquequirao Pass at 3,500m/11,483ft. This is a great place to look through the dense vegetation for the famous orchids and flowers, which bloom here year-round. It is a further 30 min flat hike before we descend along the switchback for 1.5 hours to the Inca site of Pinchauniyoc. Pinchauniyoc was used as an agricultural site by the Incas, as well as a rest stop when they traveled on their expeditions to Machu Picchu. After a brief explanation by the guide, we continue walking downhill for another 1.5 hours until we reach the river called Rio Blanco (white river 1750m/5741ft) where we will have lunch. Make sure you bring a good mosquito repellent, especially for this segment of the trail. After lunch we hike 4 hours uphill until we reach our campsite at Maizal (3000m/9,843ft). Here we’ll see amazing views of the Andean mountains! Walking distance approximately 14km/8.7mi (8.5-9.5 hour hike).

DAY 4: MAIZAL – MINAS VICTORIA –YANAMA

During breakfast we watch a magical sunrise over the mountains. We begin our trek today with a 4 hour uphill hike along a rocky path, with some great views of the surrounding mountains, lush, green valleys, and arid mountain peaks along the way. Once you reach the top of the pass (4200m/13,780ft) you will enjoy a packed lunch provided to you by your trekking chef. The views are stunning from the pass: snow-capped peaks, valleys, and if you’re lucky a rare condor (the largest bird of the Andes). After snapping a few fantastic pictures, hike downhill for 3.5 hours until we arrive to our campsite at Yanama-Yanama (3800m/12,467ft). This is a small, indigenous village where, if time permits, we can visit some local family homes to learn about how people here still live their lives according to ancient traditions. Walking distance approximately 15km/9.3mi (7.5-8.5 hour hike).

DAY 5: YANAMA – TOTORA

Today we will begin hiking through the famous Vilcabamba mountain range (Vilcabamba was the last city of the Incas). We hike for 5 hours until we reach the Yanama pass (4500m/14,764ft) with stunning views and plenty of rest stops and explanations along the way. Once we reach the pass we will enjoy a packed lunch provided by your chef. Since this is the last leg of the journey to Machu Picchu, you will enjoy being in the highlands for the last time and the views of Salkantay & Humantay – grandfather glacier peaks are really something special! It will be 5 hours until we reach the campsite and the paths can sometimes be a bit slippery in the rainy season, or dusty and rocky in the dry season. Along the way you may expect to see some black bears, amazing Andean birds – falcons, eagles, hawks, condors, and geese. Finally we arrive at the campsite and enjoy hot drinks and a delicious dinner. Walking distance approximately 16km/10 miles (10 hours)

DAY 6: TOTORA – LA PLAYA

After breakfast we start the day with a 3 hour downhill hike to Ccolpapampa where our Choquequirao trail now joins the Salkantay Trek trail. At Ccolpapampa we’ll enjoy lunch and then say farewell to our horsemen, as it is time for them to go back home. After lunch we continue our adventure, hiking 5 more hours until we arrive at our campsite at La Playa (2400m/7,874ft). Along the way you will see waterfalls and fruit plantations as we descend from cloud forest and high mountains into the more tropical forest of the high jungle. Today we can also visit some coffee plantations if time permits. Walking distance approximately 16km/10 miles (8-9 hours).

DAY 7: LA PLAYA – AGUAS CALIENTES

Today is our last day of hiking! We trek for about 6 hours total today, starting with a gentle climb along an original Inca Trail. We hike 3 hours uphill along the hillside with great views of the Santa Teresa Valley and some coffee and passion fruit farms. Once we arrive at the top of this mountain we will be at the famous Inca site of Llactapata. You will also see a distant view of Machu Picchu from this location and have amazing views of the surrounding areas (the valleys and mountains of Machu Picchu, Huayna Picchu and Machu Picchu Mountains). Then we will walk the last 3 hours, descending down to the hydroelectric train station. Here we will enjoy our last lunch and say farewell to our trekking chef and porters. At the train station you will receive your duffle bags and take the 1 hour ride to Aguas Calientes (2000m/6,562ft). Once in Aguas Calientes we will be check in to the hotel where you can relax and take a nice hot shower! If you like, you can visit the famous hot springs before or after our dinner at a local restaurant. Then rest up in order to get up early as the next day is Machu Picchu! Walking distance approximately 12km/7.5 miles (6 hours).

DAY 8: AGUAS CALIENTES – MACHU PICCHU – OLLANTAYTAMBO – CUSCO

Breakfast is very early in order for us to take first (5:30am) bus directly to Machu Picchu (2,400 m/7,875 ft). Once we arrive at Machu Picchu you will show your entrance ticket and passport. If you are a student you must bring your ISIC card to the entrance or you will not be permitted entrance. You are allowed to take in a small backpack (under 20L). From the entrance it is a 15 minute walk to the famous views from the South Zone of the farming terraces at the end of the Inca trail. Enjoy the early tour of Machu Picchu with your guide who will unfold the mysteries of this magical site, explaining the history and flora/fauna. Your guide will spend about 2 1/2 hours relating interesting and amazing stories, explaining temples and special sectors. Your tour of Machu Picchu will finish between 9 and 9:30am after which you will have free time to take photos and explore before the 10:30 crowds arrive. After you are done exploring the ruin site take the bus down to Aguas Calientes. There are many restaurants to choose from and your guide can also help find a nice place for lunch. NOTE: there are no bathrooms in the ruin site. There are bathrooms right outside the entrance, cost is 1 sol per entrance, and they provide a little toilet paper. You will be provided with a report to fill out about your trekking experience. Please fill it out honestly and realistically.

 HIKES WITHIN MACHU PICCHU

There are hikes within Machu Picchu that you can do on your own if you wish. The hikes that do not require an entrance ticket are The Inka bridge and the Sun Gate (where the Inka Trail ends with a view of Machu Picchu city). Wayna Picchu Mountain and Machu Picchu Mountain hikes both require a paid ticket and there are a limited number of spots (200 at 7am and 200 at 10am). If you want to hike one of these please let us know well in advance as these spots fill up very quickly. Price per hike is 25USD. Please note we cannot guarantee you a spot for the mountains requiring tickets and that the trail is very steep and slippery and not for those afraid of heights or with vertigo).

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, Plaza Regocijo (your choice)
  • Private bus transport to the starting point of the trek
  • English speaking professional guide
  • 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 pad
  • Dining tent with tables and stools
  • Chef and cooking equipment and kitchen tent
  • Full meals on the trek (3 meals per day, tea time every afternoon, and snacks on the trail)
  • First-aid kit including emergency oxygen tank and emergency horse
  • Horsemen and horses (to carry tents, food, cooking equipment)
  • Hot water every morning and evening for hand washing purposes
  • Boiled water to fill your water bottle every morning and afternoon
  • Toilet tent, toilet, and toilet paper
  • Entry ticket to Choquequirao Archaeological Complex
  • Guided tour of Choquequirao ruins, plenty of time to explore in your own
  • Hydroelectric Train to Aguas Calientes
  • Round trip tourist train from Aguas Calientes to Ollantaytambo
  • Entrance fee to Machu Picchu Archaeological Complex
  • Round-trip bus tickets from Aguas Calientes to Machu Picchu and back
  • Guided tour of Machu Picchu, plenty of time to explore on your own
  • Hotel (double room) in Aguas Calientes
  • Private Transport back to hotel in Cusco
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.

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: 1300 USD per person. Price for 3-5 trekkers: 1350 USD per person. Price for 2 trekkers: 1550 per person. Private treks, single trekker, custom treks and packages, large groups, and packages welcome! Please email us to customize.

WHEN TO GO AND DEGREE OF DIFFICULTY

Year round. This trek is rated as a very challenging or advanced hike considering the high altitudes and length of walking. It is recommended that you acclimatize in Cusco for at least 3 days before trekking and have multi-day trekking experience.

NOT INCLUDED ON THE TRAIL
  • Flights
  • Hotel before/after trek
  • Lunch and dinner on the last day
  • Sleeping bags and walking poles (poles must have intact rubber bottoms)
  • Entrance to hot springs (10 soles)
  • Wayna Picchu or Machu Picchu Mountain Hike (25USD each) – advanced booking essential
  • 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.

HELPING LOCAL PEOPLE

Helping Local Children or Andean People (Optional) Along certain treks we may encounter some local children and Andean people.  If you wish to lend a helping hand you may bring some clothes, toys, books and school equipment (used or new), toiletries and other essentials, and new/sealed medication for a variety of ailments.  You will be rewarded with their gratitude and beautiful smiles. Please do not give candy or sweets as they do not have access to dental/medical care and tooth decay can lead to serious illness. For those who wish to help but take a trek that does not pass local people or villages you can leave your donated items with a Killa Expeditions representative and we will distribute them to one of the local communities that we support.  There are a variety of other ways in which to lend a helping hand to local communities (charity events, building schools, and much more). If interested please get in touch!

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