The ultimate adventure for altitude junkies with a love of history, this challenging 8-day journey snakes its way between the most incredible Inca sites in Peru. Conquer a mind-blowing trek to the mountaintop fortress of Choquequirao – free of tourist throngs – before continuing onto Santa Teresa, the backdoor to Machu Picchu. With guided tours of the Sacred Valley, Choquequirao and Machu Picchu, you'll gain a greater appreciation of the Inca Empire after the conquest by the Spanish. Manco Inca and his successors dominated the region of Vilcabamba. It included several centers, temples and settlements built to honor the last dynasty of the Incas as:
Manco Inca, Sayri Tupac, Titu Cusi Yupanqui and Tupac Amaru I. According to customs and traditions of other pre-Inca cultures, a Neo Imperial State was created to preserve all knowledge in religion and astronomy. The Choquequirao trek to Machu Picchu is the place where you will discover the great citadel of the last inca kings and also you will have the opportunity to enjoy the beautiful ecosystems, aside the Choquequirao & Machu Picchu trekking.
Choquequirao Trek Overview
Altitudes: 1,550 - 4,670m./5,085 - 15,321ft.
High Season: The whole year.
Duration: 8 days - 7 nights.
Level of difficulty: Moderate.
* A minimum of 2 persons is needed for this trek.
Choquequirao Trek to Machu Picchu 8 days itinerary:
1st Day: Cusco – Cachora – Chiquisca
We will leave Cusco early in the morning at about 5:30. First, we will head for the little village of Cachora (2,850m/9,350ft), a nice place surrounded by beautiful mountains and the majestic glacier Padreyoc (5,571 m./ 18,278 ft). Here, we will also meet our horsemen who will accompany us during the trip. After having passed the overlooking Capuliyoc (2,800 m./9,186 ft.), we will continue descending to our campsite called Chiquisca (1,930 m./ 6,332 ft).
Hiking time: Approximately 6 hours.
2nd Day: Chiquisca – Playa Rosalina – Marampata – Choquequirao
After breakfast, we will first descend to La Playa Rosalina (1,550m./4,921ft) and then climb up to the village of Marampata (2,850m./9,350ft). From here, we will have a nice view of the archaeological complex of Choquequirao (3,033 m./9,951 ft). If we are lucky, we will even see a condor flying at nightfall. Our camping site in Choquequirao is about 25 minutes from the complex at 2,950 m/9,678 ft.
Climate: both warm and cold.
Hiking time: 7 hours.
3rd Day: Choquequirao – Choquequirao pass – Río Blanco
At dawn, we will first head for the citadel of Choquequirao (3,033 m/9,950 ft) called "Cuna de Oro" (the 'Cradle of Gold') and enjoy the quietness at this place. Beyond, we will explore this archaeological site, of which only 35% is restored in more detail; we will visit the section of the palaces, the liturgical fountains, the temple of the high priest, the section of the llamas and the Ushnu. Thereafter, our trek continues towards the pass of Choquequirao at 3,270m/10,728ft and passes by the archaeological site of Pinchaunuyoc (2,450m/8,038ft). Finally, we will head down to the deepest point of the small canyon known as Río Blanco (1,900 m./ 6,234 ft) or Río Silvestre, where our camping site is situated.
Climate: warm with mosquitoes.
Hiking time: 6 hours.
4th Day: Río Blanco – Maizal– San Juan Pass - Yanama
Due to the ecosystem's constant changes, this day is both the most ardous and the most spectacular one. In Maizal (3,000 m/9,843 ft) we will have a short break to catch some breath and to enjoy the view of the beautiful landscapes. Since the Inca Trail in this region is not in good condition during the rainy season, we ask you to watch your step carefully. In San Juan (4,170 m./ 13,681 ft.) we will enjoy the beautiful views of the valleys, the mountains and the glaciers, from which some of the latter tops more than 5,000 m/16,404 ft. Our camping place will be in the little village of Yanama at 3,530 meters / 11,581 feet.
Climate: Cold and warm with mosquitoes.
Hiking time: 5 hours.
5th Day: Yanama – Yanama Pass – Totorapampa
Early in the morning, we will head for the highest pass of this trip - the Yanama (4,670 m). If we are lucky, we will even see a condor flying. During the day, we will enjoy frequently the view of snow-capped mountains such as the Salkantay (6,264 m) and Pintuyu (5,450m). Our camping place will be in the valley of Totorapampa (3,200 m).
Climate: warm with mosquitoes.
Hiking time: 8 hours.
Note: According to the group's wishes, it is possible to change the itinerary a bit and visit the hot springs in Santa Teresa (1,830 m/6,004 ft) this day.
6th Day: Totorapampa – La Playa
In Totorapampa, we will get the chance to meet Quechua-speaking Andean people who live from agriculture and cattle breeding. The vegetation on our way gets more and more bizarre and reveals its diversity of orchids, bromeliads and other plants. We will also see some plantations of coffee, tea, papaya, passion fruit and avocado. Our camping site will either be in La Playa (2,100 m./ 6,890 ft) or in Lucmabamba (2,020 m./ 6,627 ft).
Climate: warm with mosquitoes.
Hiking time: 7 hours.
7th Day: La Playa – Llactapata – Hidroeléctrica – Aguas Calientes
Our journey starts early in the morning. First, we will follow the Inca Trail till Llactapata (2,650 m./ 8,694 ft). This archaeologic site is situated amidst a bizarre vegetation and offers an exceptional view of the mountain of Machu Picchu. Our trek continues then towards the hydroelectric plant station (1,950 m./ 6,398 ft) from where we will take the train to Aguas Calientes (2,050 m./6,726 ft). In Aguas Calientes, we will spend the night in an hotel.
Hiking time: 6 hours.
8th Day: Aguas Calientes – Machu Picchu – Cusco
We will leave our hotel after breakfast at 5:30am and head for Machu Picchu (2,400 m./ 7,874 ft.) by tourist bus. We will arrive at the citadel around 6:00am. After a guided tour around the archaeological site, including information about life and culture of the Incas, you will have enough time to enjoy Machu Picchu and Wayna Picchu (2,750 m./ 9,022 ft.) on your own. We will leave Aguas Calientes by train either at 2:55pm or at 6:10pm. Until then, you will have time to have lunch in one of the nice restaurants. Moreover, you can visit the hot springs in Aguas Calientes to relax a bit.
Climate: moderate warm.
Hiking time: 02 hours.
Choquequirao to Machu Picchu Trek 8-day (Private)
- Private transport from your hotel in Cusco to the town of Cachora.
- Transport from La Playa to Santa Teresa and the hydroelectric plant station (for all camping & personal luggage).
- Train from the hydroelectric plant station to Aguas Calientes.
- Bus up and down from Aguas Calientes to Machu Picchu.
- Tourist train from Aguas Calientes to Cusco or train from Aguas Calientes to Ollantaytambo and then bus to Cusco.
- Basic hotel in Santa Teresa.
- Hotel in Aguas Calientes (MachuPicchu, Continental, Backpackers or similar).
- Dinner in Aguas Calientes.
- Entrance fees to Choquequirao.
- Entrance fees to the Sanctuary of Machu Picchu.
- Professional bilingual guide (Spanish and English).
- High-quality camping equipment (we use professional tents: Doite model Kailas 3, extra light/4.5kgs and Doite model Himalaya, extra light/4.5kgs; both are big enough for 2 persons. Mattresses, eating tent with table and chairs, bathroom tent).
- Meals during the excursion (breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks/optional vegetarian at no cost).
- Cook and cooking equipment.
- Horseman and mules, for all camping equipment and customer's luggage (up to 10 kg).
- Emergency horse.
- First-aid kit and Oxygen bottle.
- Sleeping bag (if you don't have a sleeping bag, there is the possibility of renting/buying one).
- Lunch on the last day in Machu Picchu.
(1) From the first to the 7th day: (from Cachora to La Playa) we are accompanied by horsemen and mules that will carry all camping equipment and the customer's private luggage (up to 9 kg). On the seventh day, all luggage (included your own bags) will be transferred to the hydroelectric plant station by car.
(2) Visit to Huayna Picchu: For Huayna Picchu mountain it is required to be booked some time in advance, however we charge additional $ 15.00 and then we'll guarantee your entrance for Huayna Picchu as well (this new State Law began since the 18th July, 2011).
(3) Tips for porters, cooks and guides are always welcomed. The porters are also very grateful for a small donation, for example: clothes, electronics or school equipment for their children.
What do I need to bring ?
- Backpack with rain shelter.
- Sleeping bag.
- Clothing for warm and cold climate like a waterproof jacket.
- Rain pants and lightweight pants.
- Trekking shoes.
- Slippers or sandals (for showers and hot springs).
- Woolen or synthetic socks and a sweater.
- Long- and short-sleeved polos/T-Shirts.
- Rain poncho and a hat.
- Bathing suit (for the hot springs in Aguas Calientes).
- Sunscreen, insect repellent, disinfecting alcohol and Gel, water bottle and sterilizing tablets, toiletries & toilet paper.
- Camera (wrapped in plastic bag), a flash light and some extra batteries & memory cards.
- Some snacks like chocolate bars and dry fruit.
- Original passport, original ISIC student card and extra money in Soles.
- Since the weather can be very cold and moist, your clothes (once gotten wet) won't dry at night. So take some extra clothes to change.
Conditions & Terms:
1) We require an immediate deposit of US $ 150 for all bookings.
2) For all tours & treks the balance can be paid up to 48 hours prior to the start of the program. In case of paying the balance in Qeros Tours office we only accept cash payment. Failure to pay the trek balance will result in tour cancellation.
3) If a participant decides to cancel during the briefing 2 days prior to departure, he or she has to pay the full amount of the trek. Qeros Tours however, will cover the expenses (hotel and train ticket) made by that participant to visit Machu Picchu. This offer of ours must be confirmed at the briefing itself.
4) The Client may cancel the Package booking at any time provided that the cancellation is communicated to:
Period before departure written notification is received>>>Cancellation fee as a percentage of the holiday price
15-10 days ------------------------------------------------------------ 50%
9-7 days ------------------------------------------------------------ 80%
6 days or less ------------------------------------------------------- 100%
5) The Choquequirao Trek is non-transferable, non-reimbursable and the participant cannot change the date of departure.
6) If during the length of the program the traveler abandons the excursion as a decision made by him- or herself, no reimbursement will be made and no claim will be accepted. Qeros Tours does not cover the expenses made by the traveler for an hotel and the transport back to Cusco or to Aguas Calientes, as well as an hotel in Aguas Calientes. Also, the traveler will be accompanied by a co-worker of Qeros Tours back to the train station.
7) Certain services might be interrupted or even cancelled due to weather conditions, natural disasters or other disturbances. These are out of the control of hotels, service suppliers, Qeros Tours or its partners and therefore, no refund will be given.
8) For the student discount of 5% we require a copy of a valid ISIC student card. In the event that we don't receive the scanned copy of the card along with your reservation form, we will process your reservation with the adult price.
9) If Qeros Tours doesn't confirm the reservation, the deposit will be refunded.
10) In case of force majeure, when a trek cannot start or be completed, Qeros Tours will find an alternative to go to Machu Picchu. If this alternative is of lower value than the originally booked excursion, Qeros Tours will refund the difference.
11) It is compulsory that all clients have personal travel insurance. This insurance must cover personal accidents, medical expenses, loss of effects and all other expenses which might arise as a result of loss, damage or injury occurring to the client. Qeros Tours cannot be considered responsible for any accident or loss of personal belongings the customer caused by his/her acts or omissions.