Trek to Choquequirao, Inca Golden Cradle

Choquequirao known as Machu Picchu’s Sacred Sister lies at 3,000 m.a.s.l. in the Apurimac Canyon, one of the deepest on earth. Currently only 30% of the complex has been explored and excavated. The rest of it lies in silence under the vegetation that has covered it for centuries. It is here where our guests can wander through courtyards untouched for hundred of years. On your way in this challenging and exciting trek to Choquequirao you will discover great mountains, terrifying cliffs, impressive peaks and the spectacular Apurimac river canyon.

Trip Name: Trek to Choquequirao, Inca Golden Cradle
Location: Apurimac River Canyon, Cachora Community, Cusco
Duration: 9D/8N
Season: March to December

Difficulty: Challenging trek
Experience: Not required but good physical condition is essential
Total trek distance: 55 km.
Highest altitude: 3,085 m.a.s.l./10,121 ft.
Average temperature: 15°C

Wander Cuzco’s atmospheric streets
Browse Pisac market for traditional handicrafts
Feel the magic of Choquequirao, Inca site nestled in the rugged high forest
Feel the vegetation crack as you walk along magnificent agricultural terraces
Be dazzled by extraordinary Andean landscapes

DAY 1 – Lima

You will be meet at Lima’s airport and transferred to the hotel where you are free to relax and wander around at your own pace. If you want we can go for a trip to the heart of Lima’s historic center and visit some of the most important architectural icons such as the Main Square, Government Palace and the Cathedral. We will be very happy to suggest you some of the most renowned restaurants in Lima so you can taste the gourmet seafood specialties offered by the rich Peruvian cuisine. In the afternoon you will be able to enjoy a great view of the Pacific Ocean.
Meals: none

Day 2 – Lima / Cusco

Early morning wake up call for breakfast and short drive to the airport to take your 55 minutes flight to the city of Cusco. If possible try and get a seat on the left side of the aircraft as some of the best views of the Andes can be seen by this side of the aircraft. Once in Cusco airport you will meet one of our representatives and will be transferred in private shuttle to your hotel. The morning will be free to acclimatize and lunch will be on your own. After lunch you will have a walking city tour along ancient streets visiting the most important places such as the Cathedral and Koricancha “Temple of the Sun”. Next we will drive to the magnificent ruins of Sacsayhuaman and its impressive rocky constructions. You can decide visiting some other Incan ruins such as Kenko and Tambomachay or going back to Cusco and relaxing in the Main Square.
Meals: breakfast

Day 3 – Sacred Valley / Cusco

After breakfast, you will meet one of our guides who will take you on a tour through the Sacred Valley of the Incas. You will visit the Inca archaeological complex of Pisac and have free time to wander around the colorful market, where you will be able to buy a variety of handicrafts. After this, we will drive you to Urubamba for a delicious buffet lunch, followed by a guided tour through the giant Ollantaytambo fortress, which was the scene of one of the most famous battles between the Incas and the invading Spanish conquerors. Overnight in a hotel in Cusco. We highly recommend going to bed early to be prepared for the challenging trekking the next days.
Meals: breakfast-lunch

Day 4 – Cusco / Cachora / Apurimac River

You will leave Cusco, heading north on the main highway towards Lima leaving the city behind and crossing into Antapampa with breathtaking views of mount Salkantay and Humantay at first. As you leave this high meadow area, the Pitusiray, Chicon and Veronica snow capped mountains come into view. Once you begin to go down into Limatambo you will visit the Inca site of Tarawasi located in the outskirts. The road continues until you reach the Apurimac River, where you will cross its impressive gorge. Past the village of Curawasi, you will find the stone of Sayhuite and its carved map, believed to be of the Inca empire. A small side road over a ridge brings us down to the village of Cachora, where you will start today’s hike. Taking our day-packs, you will start walking along the edge of the mountain Capuliyoc, where you will get our first view of the Apurimac canyon and the trail that lies ahead. You will begin your way down and camp near the river at 2,450 .m.a.s.l. (Distance: 8 km, length of trek: 4-5 hrs).
Meals: breakfast-lunch-dinner

Day 5 – Apurimac River / Choquequirao

The Crossing of the river on a footbridge will set the beginning of the day. From here a half-day uphill walk will take you to Marampampa, a small meadow where you will have lunch. As you go up along the steep trail, you will start appreciating the canyon land vegetation and atmosphere on both sides of the Apurimac Canyon. The afternoon hike is not as steep as you approach Choquequirao. You will camp near the site on a plain while you get ready for the next day to explore the isolated Inca sites and the surrounding cloud forest. (Distance: 7 km., length
of trek: 7-8 hrs).
Meals: breakfast-lunch-dinner

Day 6 – Choquequirao / Marampampa

You will spend all morning visiting the central complex and some of the outlying buildings located on a ridge overlooking the Canyon, while you work your way through the terraces. You will certainly be struck by the Inca treasure showing you its aqueduct system, its stone walls and symmetric terracing. You will have lunch and in the afternoon you will go down to Marampampa where you will camp. (Distance: 2.5 km. from the campsite round-trip, length of hike: 2hrs round-trip from the campsite).
Meals: breakfast-lunch-dinner

Day 7 – Marampampa / Cocamasana

You will begin your way down towards the river basin and have lunch by the shores of the canyon. From here you will go up towards Cachora, finding your campsite on the way: a small place called Cocamasana which offers spectacular views of the canyon. (Distance: 6 km.; length of hike: 6-7 hrs).
Meals: breakfast-lunch-dinner

Day 8 – Cocamasana / Cachora / Cusco

A last ascent to Capuliyoc; from here it’s relatively even until you reach the village of Cachora. Here your shuttle will be waiting to take you back to Cusco, arriving in the evening and driving back the same road you took at the beginning. (Distance: 4 km. ; length of hike 3-4 hours). Drive from Cachora to Cusco: 4 hours.
Meals: breakfast-lunch-dinner

Day 9 – Cusco – Lima

You will be transferred to the airport for your flight to Lima. If flight time allows you will depart for international flight today otherwise you will overnight in Lima as need.
Meals: breakfast

Flights

Internal flights in Peru (Lima-Cusco-Lima) valued at US$260

Accommodation

01 night accommodation in Lima
03 nights accommodation in Cusco
04 camping nights

Transport

All transfers between airports, hotels, train station, tours and any other activity mentioned in the program. All transportation is included in private cars.
Transfer to starting point of the trek and back to Cusco

Meals

All breakfast are included
All balanced meals during the trekking (4D/3N), including 03 snacks
Buffet lunch in the Sacred Valley
Cook, kitchen crew and commissary gear

Equipment

All common camping gear: Mountain tent for two, mattress, kitchen dishes, kitchen tent, dining tent, toilet tent, table and chairs.
First aid kit with oxygen
Shortwave radios
Sanitary equipment (disinfected dishes, filtered water, etc)
Environment care (all the garbage goes back to Cusco, portable toilet treatment)

Guides and porters

Orientation meeting in Cusco (previous to departure date)
Pack animals for all the camping gear and luggage. One extra horse
Muleteers and one seat horse for each three clients
Professional bilingual guide, plus one assistant for every seven clients

NOT INCLUDED

Entrance fee to the Inca city ($15 at the moment)
Sleeping bag (we can hire one if you ask for it)
Extra services not mentioned in the program
Tips and extra expenses

WHAT TO BRING

Small backpack with a change of clothes for the whole trek
Flashlight
Thermal clothing, light clothing, warm clothes
Rain gear jacket
Gloves
Small towel
Waterproof trekking shoes
Sandals or jogging shoes for a higher comfort while at camp
Sun block lotion
Sunglasses
Camera, camcorder
Sleeping bag (we can rent if you don’t have one)

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