Inca city of Choquequirao

4 days 3 nights

Difficulty: Demanding

Customizable tour? Yes

Trek through the high Andes to one of Cusco’s most remote archaeological sites, Machu Picchu’s sister city.

Trek to one of Peru’s most remarkable Inca sites. Choquequirao is as impressively located as its more famous sister city Machu Picchu, but this route through the remote Vilcabamba triangle is less well-known than the Inca Trail. This is a fascinating trek through spectacular scenery and a vivid regional history. Machu Picchu is situated on the eastern slopes of the Cordillera Vilcabamba, while Choquequirao is located on the western slopes at about the same parallel, forming what could almost be described as Machu Picchu’s mirror image. Choquequirao is perched a magnificent 1,600 meters (one mile) above the Apurímac River, surrounded by densely forested mountain slopes, beneath huge, snow-capped peaks.

Included
Private transport from your hotel in Cusco to the trailhead, round trip.
Entrance tickets to Choquequirao
4-person tents for every two participants, Single tents (upon request)
Air mattresses
Kitchen utensils, complete tableware, chairs, and tables
Dining tent and kitchen tent
Latrine tent
First aid kit and emergency oxygen bottle
Duffle bag
English-speaking tour guide
Cook
Mule drivers, camp assistant(s).
Pack animals: Mules carry up to 8 kg of each participant’s personal gear.
Delicious meals as mentioned in the itinerary.
Drinking water to fill your water bottle regularly (from natural sources, filtered and boiled)
Snacks in the morning and afternoon (fruit, biscuits, chocolate and energy bars, candy)
Hot drinks such as tea and coffee
Not included
Sleeping bags (we offer sleeping bags for hire at an additional cost)
Travel insurance
Meals not mentioned in the itinerary.
Personal items, including personal medical supplies.
Tips to guides and to the staff.
Note: Tipping of our guiding staff is acceptable, at your discretion, when you feel they have gone beyond their normal job requirements and should be compensated by you for it. Tipping for guides, cooks and porters may vary, depending on the type of service, length of trip and group size. Tipping is not compulsory.
What to bring
Passport
Day pack for personal items (to be carried personally)
Warm clothing (for the Andean sections of the trek)
Rain jacket
Long sleeved shirts (cotton)
Shorts for walking (optional)
Cap and sunglasses
Sunblock
Camera
Binoculars (for birdwatching enthusiasts)
Hiking boots
Walking poles (Make sure they are not metal tipped, to protect the Inca Trail’s original stone steps)
Swimwear and sandals
Flashlight
Trekking Rates and Group Sizes

Explore with us!

  • Price for 2 travelers USD 815 (per person)
  • Price for 3 – 4 travelers USD 790 (per person)
  • Price for 5 – 6 travelers USD 750 (per person)
  • Price for 7 – 10 travelers USD 710 (per person)

Minimum 2 people for this trek.

Whether you’re trekking alone, in a group, or seeking a custom adventure, we’ve got you covered. Let’s create your perfect journey – just drop us an email!

Tour plan

Day 1
Cusco – Cachora - Capuliyoc – Apurímac River

From Cusco we will travel by road to the typical Andean village of Cachora. From Cusco it is a 150-kilometer drive to Cachora along an asphalted road, with the final 10 kilometers to the village completed via a dirt road.

During the drive from Cusco there will be time to stop and visit the Saywite stone, a limestone outcrop around four meters in diameter which the Incas carved into a 3-dimensional representation of the territory of their empire, Tawantinsuyo. The stone is carved with images of the flora, fauna and geography of the empire and was employed in ceremonies associated with the worship of water.

From Cachora we continue by car to the pass at Capuliyoc (3,010 meters / 9,875 feet;), and it is where our trek will begin, there are fine views of the Apurímac River and the forested slopes on the other side of the canyon.

It is at this pass that our steep descent into the canyon begins, as we trek through a semi-arid landscape dominated by cacti, contrasting with the verdant slopes on the other side of the canyon. After around three and a half hours we will arrive at our first campsite, at 1465 meters (4806 feet), on the riverbank close to the racing waters of the Apurímac River.

Traveling distance/ time:

Cusco – Cachora – Capuliyoc 175 kilometers / 108.75 miles 3.5-4 hours

Trekking distance: 

9.50 kilometers / 5.9 miles (steep descent); total 3.5 hours

Altitude: 

  • Cusco: 3,400 meters / 11,154.8 feet.
  • Cachora: 2,892 meters / 9,488 feet.
  • Capuliyoc pass: 3,010 meters / 9,875 feet.
  • Campsite: 1,465 meters / 4,806 feet

Meals: Lunch, dinner

Day 2
Apurímac River – Inca ruins

Today we will set off just after dawn, crossing the bridge over the Apurímac River (1,460 meters / 4,790 feet) and beginning the steep ascent to Marampata. This is a tough day’s trekking, but our efforts will be rewarded by imposing scenery as we hike through cloud forest inhabited by many bird species. We will climb through this tropical ecosystem to our second campsite at 2,870 meters (9,416 feet), and in the afternoon there will be time to visit the extensive Inca agricultural terraces of Phaqchayoc.

Trekking distance: 

6.3 kilometers / 3.9 miles (steep ascent).

4.15 kilometers / 2.57 miles (gradual ascent); total 7 hours

Altitudes:

  • Campsite: 1,465 meters / 4,806 feet.
  • Choquequirao campsite: 2,870 meters / 9,416 feet.
  • Choquequirao ruins: 3,040 meters / 9,974 feet

Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner

Day 3
Inca ruins – Apurímac River

You will have the morning to explore the Choquequirao Archaeological Park, both accompanied by our guide and independently. This Inca city is composed of administrative, residential, and religious sectors, a ceremonial platform, a main square, and a series of buildings originally used to store harvests.

After exploring Choquequirao and the surrounding cloud forest we will begin our descent from the ruins to the Apurímac River, where those who wish will have time to refresh themselves in the cold waters of the river.

Trekking distance: 

4.15 kilometers / 2.57 miles (gradual descent),

6.3 kilometers / 3.9 miles (steep descent); total 6 hours

Altitude: 

  • Choquequirao campsite: 2,870 meters / 9,416 feet.
  • Apurímac River: 1,460 meters / 4,790 feet.
  • Campsite: 1,465 meters / 4,806 feet.

Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner

Day 4
Apurímac canyon – Cusco

After breakfast, we will cross the Apurímac River once again and begin the ascent towards Capuliyoc, passing through semi-arid landscape and contemplating the forests on the other side of the canyon and the snow-capped peaks above them, while stopping often to rest and take photographs. Finally, with the river far below us once more, we will hike through the farmland, where our bus will be waiting to take us back to Cusco.

Trekking distance:

9.50 kilometers / 5.9 miles (steep ascent).

Traveling distance/ time:

To Cusco: 175 kilometers / 108.75 miles 3.5-4 hours

Altitude: 

  • Campsite: 1,465 meters / 4,806 feet.
  • Cachora: 2,892 meters / 9,488 feet.
  • Cusco: 3,400 meters / 11,154 feet

Meals: Breakfast

FAQ

Do you provide sleeping pads?

Yes.

What food safety processes do you have in place?

All foodstuffs are purchased immediately before departure to guarantee freshness, and they are correctly packaged and handled by our trained staff to ensure food safety. We use cloth bags when making our purchases, rather than plastic. The produce is fresh and bought directly from local farmers. Also, we pack the produce in cloth bags and hermetic multiuse containers, avoiding the use of plastic in order to make our operations as green as possible.

How far in advance do I need to book a trek or hike?

For trekking and hiking routes other than the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu, you should make your booking at least five days in advance, so we can make the necessary preparations, although we recommend that you make your booking up to 90 days in advance. Full refunds (minus administration costs) can be offered 45 days before your scheduled departure date. After 45 days, only partial refunds will be given.

I would like to trek with my friends, can I book now and my friends book later?

Yes, for trekking and hiking routes other than the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu, you can add other travelers to your group before departure. Write to us for more information on the treks, hikes and tours we have available.

What is the maximum group size? Is there a maximum?

The maximum group size is 16 persons. For more than 16 persons, a second group must be organized. A single guide travels with 8 participants. For larger groups, an assistant guide will also accompany the participants.

If I am traveling alone can I have my own tent / hotel room?

If you are traveling alone and are willing to share a tent, with a member of the same sex or partner, family member or friend, then there is no additional cost. If, however, you would like your own private tent an additional supplement will be payable. Please contact us in advance, because on some trekking and hiking routes this option may depend on the availability of spaces at campsites designated by the Peruvian Ministry of Culture.

What do we do for water?

Use of plastic bottles on the network of Inca Trails to Machu Picchu is not permitted. Other treks and hikes do not have this restriction, but we always recommend and encourage our travelers to use reusable canteens or second use plastic water bottles. Our cook will provide you with boiled water to refill your bottle at all the campsites.

What food safety processes do you have in place?

All foodstuffs are purchased immediately before departure to guarantee freshness, and they are correctly packaged and handled by our trained staff to ensure food safety. We use cloth bags when making our purchases, rather than plastic. The produce is fresh and bought directly from local farmers. Also, we pack the produce in cloth bags and hermetic multiuse containers, avoiding the use of plastic in order to make our operations as green as possible.

What do I need to carry?

You will need to carry your daypack with all the personal items you need during the day. The rest of your luggage will be transported by us (van / porters). Porters are only permitted to carry 8 kilos for each person (including sleeping bag). As a company, Andean Adventures Peru is committed to the well-being of its porters during treks and hikes, ensuring that they are properly paid, well fed, and comfortable at our campsites. On some of our trekking and hiking routes, pack animals are used.

What type of camping gear is used for treks and hikes?

We supply all the camping equipment needed for groups to enjoy the great outdoors safely and comfortably: 4-person tents for every two participants; air mattresses; complete table service; dining tent, chairs and tables; kitchen tent; latrine tent; sleeping bags on request (many travelers choose to bring their own sleeping bag; however, we also offer sleeping bags for hire at an additional cost).

What processes are in place to ensure the equipment is always in perfect condition?

Our full time logistics staff continuously maintain and/or replace all our equipment. To ensure proper use of our equipment, all gear is handled by our trained field crew during treks and hikes.

From

USD 710

4 days 3 nights

Difficulty: Demanding

Customizable tour? Yes

All elements of these itineraries can be tailored to your interests and travel style.

Tailor made

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People are saying

Brandon & Tamera Lee Taylor
Estados Unidos

We did a 13-day tour with Andean Adventures Peru and it was just fabulous, truly inspiring. We couldn’t have pulled this off without their local knowledge and planning. The trip was absolutely flawless.

Steven Broadbent
United Kingdom

Thank you, you made the Incas come to life for us. Overall, we would heartily recommend Andean Adventures. Thank you.

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