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.
|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|
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
This beautiful independent hotel with 18 rooms is quiet yet central in the arty San Blas area.
A beautifully restored colonial building that once made up part of a market.
This hotel is a blend of classic styles and recycled materials.
This is a welcome sanctuary after the hustle and bustle of Aguas Calientes.
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
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.