CHOQUEQUIRAO TREK 5 DAYS
The Choquequirao Trek is a challenging, adventurous and exciting hike through the high jungle and the Vilcabamba of the Andes mountain range.
The site of the Choquequirao ruins is one of the ancient lost Inkan cities discovered by Hiram Bingham in 1909. Considered the last Inca refuge to resist the Spanish invasion for decades, Choquequirao is located in the Apurimac River canyon at an altitude of 3,050 m/10,006 ft. The ruins are located in a strategic geographical area between the Andean mountains and the edge of the jungle.
This is an excellent alternative to see a spectacular Inca ruins site that is larger than Machu Picchu. As on the Ausangate trail, you will meet a few other hikers. The 5D/4N hike to Choquequirao is 64km/39.76m and climbs to 3,050m/10,006ft. We also offer an 8D/7N trekking package that combines Choquequirao with part of the Salkantay trail, ending at Machu Picchu.
The minimum number of trekkers needed for the start of the hike: 2 people (1 person or private or personalized hikes possible with an extra fee). Maximum number of walkers per group: 10 people (special, private groups can exceed the maximum).
DAY 1: CUSCO – CACHORA – COCA MASANA – CHIKISKA CAMP
We leave Cusco at 6:00am for the 4 hour trip to Cachora in our private transport. On the way we will stop for breakfast admiring the wonderful Limatambo Canyon and the Salkantay and Humantay mountains. Then we will continue to the small town of Cachora. After meeting our expedition support team, known as muleteers, we begin a gentle walk 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 the river below, as well as the snow-capped peaks of the Padrayoc and Wayna Cachora mountains. We then descend to 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 at 1550m/4,954ft next to the furious Apurimac River “The God Who Speaks”, famous for its class 5 rapids. We recommend the use of canes or wooden sticks and the use of insect repellent is essential. The walking distance is approximately 17km/10.5mi (7-8 hours walk).
DAY 2: ROSALINA BEACH – MARAMPATA – CHOQUEQUIRAO
After an early breakfast we will walk for about 1 hour to get to Playa Rosalina, near the Apurimac River (1500m/4,921ft), where we will cross a typical local bridge and walk through a forest of cactus, agaves and local exotic fruit trees. Here we begin a smooth and gradual 3-4 hour climb (1400m/4,593ft gain) from the banks of the Apurimac River to Marampata (2900m/9,514ft) where we will have lunch. At the end of this trail we will see for the first time the archaeological complex of Choquequirao. It is an easy 2-hour walk to the ruins of Choquequirao (3035m/9,957ft), and on the way we will see a variety of plants and flowers. As soon as we arrive at this Inca complex, we will visit the Paqchayoc farming terraces and the waterfall house, after which we will return to our campsite near Choquequirao. Here you can try “cambric”, a local brandy made from sugar cane. The walking distance is approximately 14km/8.7mi (7-8 hours walk).
DAY 3: CHOQUEQUIRAO ARCHAEOLOGICAL COMPLEX – RAQAYPATA
Today he 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. At the end of the afternoon we will start the walk back and camp the night in Raqaypata (2,190m/7,185ft). The walking distance is approximately 4km/2.5mi (3-4 hours walk).
DAY 4: RAQAYPATA – COCA MASANA
After breakfast, we continue our walk back with a steep descent to the Apurimac River where we stop for lunch. In the afternoon we will climb for about 4 hours until our last campsite in Coca Masana. The distance of the hike is approximately 15km/9.3mi (7-8 hours walking).
DAY 5: COCA MASANA – CACHORA – CUSCO
After breakfast we start a 3-hour climb to Capuliyoc. From there there is a fairly flat road back to the village of Cachora. We will say goodbye to our muleteers (expedition horse guides) and take our private transport back to Cusco. Along the way we will stop at the Saihuite archaeological site to explore and have lunch. Another 4 hours in private transport will take us back to your hotel in Cusco.
- Pre-trek briefing the night before the walk to go over the itinerary, meet your guide(s) and answer any questions.
- Pick up at your hotel in the morning or at our starting point (your choice) Plaza Regocijo.
- Private transport to the starting point of the trip.
- Personal goalkeeper to carry your equipment at night up to 8kg/17.6lbs.
- A dry bag to put your gear in at night so it doesn’t get wet or get dusty on the way.
- Tents for 3 people, 4 seasons (2 people in a large, comfortable Mountain Hardwear Expedition tent).
- A one-inch thick foam mattress to put under your sleeping bag.
- Professional English-speaking guide.
- Complete meals on the hike (3 meals per day, tea time every afternoon, snacks on the way).
- Dietary needs: able to satisfy any dietary preference/need.
- The first aid kit includes an emergency oxygen tank and an emergency horse.
- Dining tent with tables and stools.
- Cook, kitchen tent and cooking equipment.
- Toilet, tent and toilet paper.
- Riders and horses (to carry tents/food/kitchen equipment).
- Hot water every morning and night to wash your hands.
- Boiled water to fill water bottles every morning/evening.
- Entrance to the Archaeological Complex of Choquequirao.
- Entrance to the archaeological site of Saihuite.
- Guided visit to the ruins of Choquequirao, time to explore on your own.
- Private transportation back to your hotel in Cusco at the end of the trek.
- Hotel before/after the trip.
- Last day dinner (back in Cusco).
- Items of a personal nature and souvenirs.
- Sleeping bags and walking sticks (sticks should have an intact rubber bottom).
- Travel insurance (mandatory).
- Tipping for the guide and staff is optional, but highly recommended if you enjoy the hike.
Prices may vary according to your needs and preferences, contact us through the following options of your preference or send us a reservation to answer your questions. We will be happy to help you with your trip.
What to bring
- Day pack.
- Your passport.
- Warm clothes: layers for variable temperatures, especially at night
- Comfortable trousers
- Sun hat
- Sun screen
- Good hiking gear: hiking boots, warm jackets, gloves, hat warm fleece and socks
- Sleeping bag
- Walking boots
- Waterproof jacket/rain poncho
- Hat and gloves
- Insect repellent
- Re-usable plastic/metal water container, or camel bags
- Water for the first four hours of the trek, then we will provide you with drinking, previously boiled water
- Personal medication
- Camera and films
- Flashlight with spare batteries
- Walking stick
- Bathing suit for the hot springs
- Extra money for souvenirs, drinks and tips
You can do a trek all year round, but best months are from March to November.
This hike is classified as a moderate to strenuous hike considering the high altitudes, the multiple steps and the duration of the hike, especially on the 2nd day. It is recommended that you acclimatize in Cusco at least 2 or 3 days before the hike.
Tickets to Choquequirao are 18 USD per person.
If you wish to volunteer or donate, we can put you in touch with various communities in Cusco, who need help in various aspects, our main contact is:
Cristo Rey Tikari School: Located in Ocongate distric, close to Ausangate Mountain. They need some basic things like: clothes, toys, books, pens, pencils, brushes, etc.