Choquequirao Trek and Machu Picchu

Our Choquequirao trek to Machu Picchu is a long standing favourite of ours. It is challenging but rewards the avid trekker with incredible snow capped peaks, quiet campsites, rugged mountains and rivers and two remote Inca sites. Choquequirao is larger in area than Machu Picchu and was an important administrative centre in Inca times. Mysteriously though, it is not mentioned in the Spanish chronicles and today large parts are still hidden by dense cloud forest.

Highlights

  • Machu Picchu and Choquequirao – superb testimony to the Inca civilisation
  • Condor spotting and mountain gazing at the Yanama pass
  • Seeing Machu Picchu for the first time from Llactapata
  • The satisfaction of arriving at the end of a spectacular and challenging mountain trek
Day 1 Arrive Lima
Day 2 Fly to Cusco
Day 3 Cusco Walking Tour
Day 4 Cusco to Chikisca
Day 5 Chikisca to Choquequirao
Day 6 Exploring Choquequirao
Day 7 Choquequirao to Maizal
Day 8 Maizal to Yanama, Drive to Lucmabamba
Day 9 Lucmabamba to Llactapata and Aguas Calientes
Day 10 Machu Picchu and Return to Cusco
Day 11 Free Day Cusco
Day 12 Fly to Lima and Home
Full Itinerary

Included

  • Accommodation with breakfasts.
  • Flights within Peru
  • All tours, land transportation and entry fees.

Not included

  • International flights to and from Latin America. The price and schedule vary, we can quote a flight inclusive price according to your travel dates.

Itinerary - Choquequirao Trek and Machu Picchu

Day 1. Arrive Lima

Arrive into the capital city of Lima, private transport to your hotel.

Day 2. Fly to Cusco

Fly to Cusco and transfer to your hotel. We suggest you take it easy today to get used to the high altitude. If you do feel like a stroll there are shops, restaurants and museums within a short walk of your hotel.

Day 3. Cusco Walking Tour

A local guide will take you on a walking tour of Cusco. As well as the main Plaza and key historic sites you you will see hidden away markets and other gems that show what life here is really like. In the evening you will have a trek briefing.

Day 4. Cusco to Chikisca

An early start today to drive to the small remote village of Cachora. From here we have a gentle start to the trek, heading down towards the Apurimac river and the first night’s camp at Chikisca.

Day 5. Chikisca to Choquequirao

This morning we cross the mighty Apurimac river and then make a steep ascent on the other side of the gorge. After lunch the path is easier, Choquequirao can soon be seen in the distance, and we will have a chance to enjoy the sunset at the ruins before camping here for the night (3110m).

Day 6. Exploring Choquequirao

We include a full day at the site so you can really explore it fully and take in the fabulous views. Larger in area than Machu Picchu, Choquequirao has a main plaza, sweeping terraces and ritual baths. Head down the precarious steps to see the white llamas built into the walls. You won’t see this at Machu Picchu.

Day 7. Choquequirao to Maizal

An early short climb brings us to the pass. From here it’s downhill past the recently discovered ruins of Pincha Unuyoc to the rushing Rio Blanco. After an optional dip it’s up again to Maizal. This is arguably the toughest day of the hike so it’s best to take it slow and steady and admire the views.

Day 8. Maizal to Yanama, Drive to Lucmabamba

This morning takes us past old silver mines to the highest point on the trip, Abra San Juan (4000m). You will want time to soak up the precipitous views before carrying on. Look out for Condors here. The route down to the small village of Yanama is a delightful path. Here you are met by our transport for the drie to Lucmabamba.

Day 9. Lucmabamba to Llactapata and Aguas Calientes

Today’s hike takes you through lower, tropical scenery with banana and coffee plantations up into pristine cloud forest. Here we find the ruins of Llactapata, look carefully and you will see why the Incas built this outpost – it looks directly over to Machu Picchu. This gives you a view few people get and makes the trek even more worthwhile. On from here it’s down to the Urumamba river where we take a train to Aguas Calientes.

Day 10. Machu Picchu and Return to Cusco

An early start to take the bus up to the site (really keen trekkers may choose to walk!) for a 2 hour tour with your guide. You have some free time for personal exploration before heading back to Cusco by train and vehicle.

Day 11. Free Day Cusco

Take a day to explore Cusco at your own pace. Check out the coffee museum, take a cooking class or just enjoy the many fabulous cafes and restaurants.

Day 12. Fly to Lima and Home

This morning we take you to the airport for your flight to Lima where you connect with your homebound flight.

Accommodation - Choquequirao Trek and Machu Picchu

We work with accommodation from 3 star and upwards. Prices are based on 2 people sharing a room in a 3 star hotel. Ask us for upgrade recommendations and prices.

hotel-cusco-Casa-San-Blas-exterior

This beautiful independent hotel with 18 rooms is quiet yet central in the arty San Blas area.

El Mercado Cusco

A beautifully restored colonial building that once made up part of a market.

hotel-machu-picchu-El-Mapi-reception-lobby-area
El MaPi Aguas Calientes

This hotel is a blend of classic styles and recycled materials.

hotel-machu-picchu-pueblo-rooms-jr-suite-deluxe
Machu Picchu Pueblo Machu Picchu

This is a welcome sanctuary after the hustle and bustle of Aguas Calientes.

Expert Lowdown - Choquequirao Trek and Machu Picchu

This is without doubt Steph’s favourite route. It’s a tough trek so you need to be physically prepared but take your time, savour and enjoy the views and don’t be in a hurry.

Treat yourself after all that hard trekking and upgrade to a night at Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel. A great idea for honeymooners. The trek can also be run on a private basis, ask us for a quote.

See the real Lima with our ‘Lima detour, visit the traditional fishing village of Pucusana or try a cooking class

Take a yoga class in Cusco to unwind and stretch those hard working legs after the trek

 

Flight Information - Choquequirao Trek and Machu Picchu

Domestic flights are included in the price and we can also arrange your international flights.

Lima is Peru’s international airport and is well served by European and North American airlines. From May 2016 BA start direct flights from London Gatwick to Lima.

12 days from $3695 pp

plus international flights

Stephanie

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