The Andean weather can be unpredictable, despite the sharp divide between dry and wet seasons. The dry season runs from May to October or November; the rainy season goes from December through April. Nevertheless, Choquequirao lies in the forested fringes of the Amazon basin, where showers can occur at any time of year. Therefore, even in the “dry” season, your daypack should always include full rain gear (both jacket AND trousers). Daytime temperatures can vary greatly, with daytime highs ranging from 10ºC/50ºF to 32ºC/90ºF and nightime lows ranging from 10ºC/50ºF to a cold 4ºC/40ºF, though seldom much lower. The floor of the Apurimac Canyon gets very hot during the day. Bring your swimsuit for a delicious dip in the river.
This is a good hike for almost anyone with overnight hiking experience. The well-tramped trail is steep — but relatively easy if you hire pack animals. Those with chronic knee, ankle or back injuries should choose another hike. There may be rough & muddy sections. Evacuation is difficult.
We expected the 1800+m (ft) climb from the Apurimac River up to Choquequirao to be excruciating.Yet for us it did not seem difficult. (Perhaps it was the excitement of finally arriving at the ruins.)
If you hike one of the longer routes, the day following your visit to Choquequirao may well be the most difficult.
It is a great idea if you are doing one of the longer routes. Keep a record of your route. We could post it on this website.
Yes, it is possible to get lost between Choquequirao and Machu Picchu. This is good reason to hire an arriero or guide.
If you are only hiking Cachora to the ruins, return — no problem. There is more signage here than on any trek in the world! Two competing series of coloured distance markers, both inaccurate, may confuse you.
- Toilet paper
- Waterproof jacket
- Sufficiently warm clothing
- Lip protection from sun and wind
- Disinfectant alcohol gel
We recommend disinfectant gel (sometimes called instant hand sanitizer) which you use to clean your hands before snack breaks & after toilet stops in the woods. Alcohol gel is essential hiking gear.
You want to wear what fits you best & what works for you. No blisters!
Most experts recommend hiking boots. Modern boots are remarkably light & comfortable. A pair of good boots & gaiters make you feel invincible in the mud.
Some arrieros, by the way, hike in recycled-tire sandals!
hiking boot abandoned on the Trail
You definitely must treat water. Much of the trek is in grazing land.
Some make a distinction between these two:
-Water filter removes protozoa & most bacteria
-Water purifier removes protozoa & bacteria and deactivates viruses
-Viruses are too small to be filtered so purifiers add something to disinfect them.
Make sure your purifier is well maintained & frequently cleaned.
You must either filter, boil, use iodine or water purification tablets.