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.
What to bring
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.