Choquequirao Hike this unique trek features two of the finest examples of Inca architecture: Choquequirao and Machu Picchu. Choquequirao is larger than Machu Picchu and there is not much known. It is more reclusive and you will feel as you are the first to discover it. Due to its remote location, Choquequirao (“cradle of gold”) receives fewer visitors.
Nestled on a prominent ridge overlooking the chasm created by the Apurímac River, this mythical city must have rivaled Machu Picchu in terms of beauty. It was explored briefly by Hiram Bingham in his search for Vilcabamba. After a fantastic time continue to one of the Seven Wonders of the World, Machu Picchu. This is a perfect alternative to the Inca Trail but a tough one. If, you are an experienced hiker in fit condition, then this is the trek for you.Less
We will leave Cusco early in the morning at about 5:30 am. after we will head for the little village Cachora (2850m/9350f), a nice place surrounded by beautiful mountains and the majestic glacier Padreyoc (5571m/18278f). Here, we will also meet our horsemen who will accompany us during the trip. After having passed the overlooking Capuliyoc (2800m/9186f), we will continue descending to our campsite called Chiquisca (1930m/6332f).
Hiking time: Approximately 6 hours
After breakfast, we will descend to La Playa Rosalina (1550m/4921f) and then climb up to the village of Marampata (2850m/9350f). From here, we will have a nice view of the archeological complex of Choquequirao (3033m/9951f). If we are lucky, we will even see a condor flying at nightfall. Our camping site in Choquequirao is about 25 minutes from the ruins at 2950m/9678f.
Climate:both warm and cold
Hiking time: 7 hours
At dawn, we will go to the citadel of Choquequirao (3033m/9950) called “Cuna de Oro” - the ‘Cradle of Gold’ - and enjoy the quietness at this place. Beyond, we will explore this archeological site, of which only 30 % is restored, in more detail: we will visit the section of the palaces, the liturgic fountains, the temple of the high priest, the section of the llamas and the Ushnu. After, our trek continues towards the pass of Choquequirao (3270m/10728f) and passes the archeological site of Pinchaunuyoc (2450m/8038f). Finally, we will head down to the deepest point of the small canyon known as Río Blanco (1900m/6234f) or Río Silvestre where our camping site is situated.
Climate: warm with mosquitoes
Hiking time: 6 hours br
Due to the ecosystem’s constant changes, this day is both the most ardous and the most spectacular one. In Maizal (3000m/9843f) we will have a short break to catch some breath and to enjoy the view of the beautiful landscape. Since the Inca trail in this region is not in good conditions during the rainy season, we ask you to watch your steps carefully. In San Juan (4170m/13681f) we will enjoy the beautiful view of the valleys, the mountains and the glaciers, from which some of the latter peak more than 5000m/16404f. Our camping place will be in the little village of Yanama (3530m/11581f).
Climate: warm and cold with mosquitoes
Hiking time: 5 hours
Early in the morning, we will head for the highest pass of this trip - Yanama (4670m). 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 Salkantay (6264m) and Pintuyu (5450m). Our camping place will be in the valley of Totora pampa (3200m).
Climate: warm with mosquitoes.
Hiking time: 8 hours
In Totora pampa 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, bromelains and other plants. We will also see some plantations for coffee, papaya, passion fruit and avocado. Our camping site will be in La Playa (2100m/6890f) or in Lucmabamba (2020m/6627f).
Note: According to the group’s whishes, it is possible to change the itinerary a bit and visit the hot springs in Santa Teresa (1830m/6004f) this day.
Climate: warm whit mosquitoes
Hiking time: 7 hours
Our journey starts early in the morning. First, we will follow the Inca Trail to Llactapata (2650m/8694f). This archeologic site is situated amidst a bizarre vegetation and offers an exceptional view of the mountain Machu Picchu. Our trek continues towards the hydroelectric station (1950m/6398f) from where we will take the train to Aguas Calientes (2050m/6726f). In Aguas Calientes we will spend the night in a hotel.
Hiking time: 6 hours
Waking up early we'll take the first bus back up to Machu Picchu to enter the site as it opens. We'll have a 2 hour guided tour of the site during which you'll learn about the Incas and visit all the most important areas of the citadel. After your tour you'll have free time to explore the site by yourself and if you have permits to climb either Huayna Picchu or Machu Picchu mountain. In the afternoon you will take the train back to Ollantaytambo from where you will carry on by bus back to Cusco.
Climate: moderate warm
Hiking time: 02 hours