Inca City of Choquequirao

Inca City of Choquequirao 4 days 3 nights

Trek through the high Andes to one of Cusco’s most remote archaeological sites, Machu Picchu’s sister city. Trek to one of Peru's most remarkable Inca sites. Choquequirao is as impressively located as its more famous sister city Machu Picchu, but this route through the remote Vilcabamba triangle is less well-known than the Inca Trail. This is a fascinating trek through spectacular scenery and a vivid regional history. Machu Picchu is situated on the eastern slopes of the Cordillera Vilcabamba, while Choquequirao is located on the western slopes at about the same parallel, forming what could almost be described as Machu Picchu’s mirror image. Choquequirao is perched a magnificent 1600 meters (one mile) above the Apurímac River, surrounded by densely-forested mountain slopes, beneath huge, snow-capped peaks.

YOUR DAY-BY-DAY ITINERARY AND SERVICES:

Day 1: Cusco – Cachora – Apurímac River

From Cusco we will travel by road to the typical Andean village of Cachora. From Cusco it is a 150-kilometer drive to Cachora along an asphalted road, with the final 10 kilometers to the village completed via a dirt road. Cachora is situated at an altitude of 2892 meters (9488 feet), and it is here that our trek will begin, as we hike along a gradually descending trail for just around 2 hours to the pass at Capuliyoc (2987 meters / 9800 feet), from where there are fine views of the Apurímac River and the forested slopes on the other side of the canyon. It is at this pass that our steep descent into the canyon begins, as we trek through a semi-arid landscape dominated by cacti, contrasting with the verdant slopes on the other side of the canyon. After around three and a half hours we will arrive at our first campsite, at 1465 meters (4806 feet), on the riverbank close to the racing waters of the Apurímac River.

Day 2: Apurímac River – Inca ruins

Today we will set off just after dawn, crossing the bridge over the Apurímac River (1475 meters / 4839 feet) and beginning the steep ascent to Choquequirao. This is a tough day’s trekking, but our efforts will be rewarded by imposing scenery as we hike through cloud forest inhabited by many bird species. We will climb through this tropical ecosystem to our second campsite at 2870 meters (9416 feet), and in the afternoon there will be time to visit the extensive Inca agricultural terraces of Phaqchayoc.

Day 3: Inca ruins – Apurímac River

You will have the morning to explore the Choquequirao Archaeological Park, both accompanied by our guide and independently. This Inca city is composed of administrative, residential and religious sectors, a ceremonial platform, a main square and a series of buildings originally used to store harvests. After exploring Choquequirao and the surrounding cloud forest we will begin our descent from the ruins to the Apurímac River, where those who wish will have time to refresh themselves in the cold waters of the river. 

Day 4: Apurímac canyon – Cusco

After breakfast, we will cross the Apurímac River once again and begin the ascent towards Cachora, passing through semi-arid landscape and contemplating the forests on the other side of the canyon and the snow-capped peaks above them, while stopping often to rest and take photographs. Finally, with the river far below us once more, we will hike through the farmland around the village of Cachora, where our bus will be waiting to take us back to Cusco.

EXTENSIONS: DO YOU HAVE MORE TIME TO SPEND IN PERU?

Other travelers added the following extension to this Peru itinerary...

CUSCO CITY TOUR Half day 
Explore historic Cusco and its major attractions during a half-day excursion: Colonial-era Cusco, with its cathedral and the Inca Temple of the Sun, or Qorikancha. The enormous Inca temple complex of Sacsayhuaman, located at the top of the hill overlooking Cusco’s main square, and other archaeological sites in the hills around the city. 

CHECK TO SEE WHAT'S INCLUDED AND WHAT YOU NEED TO BRING...

Included
  • All land transport (private vehicle)
  • Entrance fee to Choquequirao
  • English speaking tour guide
  •  Camp cook, pack animals and mule drivers, camp assistant(s). Mules carry up to 8 kg of each participant’s personal gear.
  • Camping equipment: Two-person tents, kitchen and/or dining tent, and toilet tent
  • Inflatable mattress 
  • Meals: Breakfast, lunch, and dinner as mentioned in the itinerary 
  • Snacks in the morning, including fruit, chocolate, candies, etc.
  • Hot drinks in the afternoon (tea or coffee)
  • First-aid kit
Not included
  • Sleeping bag (available for hire at an additional cost)
  • Travel insurance
  • Meals not included in the itinerary
  • Tips
What to bring:
  • Passport
  • A daypack
  • Warm clothes (for the Andean highlands)
  • Rain jacket
  • Long sleeved shirts (cotton)
  • Shorts for walking (optional)
  • Hiking boots
  • Swimwear and sandals
  • Cap and sunglasses
  • Walking poles (optional)
  • Insect repellent
  • Sun block
  • Water bottle for the first day (we will refill your bottle with boiled water during the trek)
  • Binoculars for birdwatching enthusiasts
  • Flashlight
  • Camera
FAQs - Frequently asked questions

How far in advance do I need to book a trek or hike?

For trekking and hiking routes other than the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu, you should make your booking at least five days in advance, so we can make the necessary preparations, although we recommend that you make your booking up to 90 days in advance. Full refunds (minus administration costs) can be offered 45 days before your scheduled departure date. After 45 days, only partial refunds will be given. 

I would like to trek with my friends, can I book now and my friends book later?
Yes, for trekking and hiking routes other than the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu, you can add other travelers to your group before departure. Write to us for more information on the treks, hikes and tours we have available. 

What is the maximum group size? Is there a maximum?
The maximum group size is 16 persons. For more than 16 persons, a second group must be organized. A single guide travels with 8 participants. For larger groups, an assistant guide will also accompany the participants.

If I am traveling alone can I have my own tent / hotel room?
If you are traveling alone and are willing to share a tent, with a member of the same sex or partner, family member or friend, then there is no additional cost. If, however, you would like your own private tent an additional supplement will be payable. Please contact us in advance, because on some trekking and hiking routes this option may depend on the availability of spaces at campsites designated by the Peruvian Ministry of Culture.

What do we do for water?
Use of plastic bottles on the network of Inca Trails to Machu Picchu is not permitted. Other treks and hikes do not have this restriction, but we always recommend and encourage our travelers to use reusable canteens or second use plastic water bottles. Our cook will provide you with boiled water to refill your bottle at all the campsites.

What food safety processes do you have in place?
All foodstuffs are purchased immediately before departure to guarantee freshness, and they are correctly packaged and handled by our trained staff to ensure food safety. We use cloth bags when making our purchases, rather than plastic. The produce is fresh and bought directly from local farmers. Also, we pack the produce in cloth bags and hermetic multiuse containers, avoiding the use of plastic in order to make our operations as green as possible. 

What do I need to carry?
You will need to carry your daypack with all the personal items you need during the day. The rest of your luggage will be transported by us (van / porters). Porters are only permitted to carry 8 kilos for each person (including sleeping bag). As a company, Andean Adventures Peru is committed to the well-being of its porters during treks and hikes, ensuring that they are properly paid, well fed, and comfortable at our campsites. On some of our trekking and hiking routes, pack animals are used. 

What type of camping gear is used for treks and hikes?
We supply all the camping equipment needed for groups to enjoy the great outdoors safely and comfortably: 4-person tents for every two participants; air mattresses; complete table service; dining tent, chairs and tables; kitchen tent; latrine tent; sleeping bags on request (many travelers choose to bring their own sleeping bag; however, we also offer sleeping bags for hire at an additional cost). 

What processes are in place to ensure the equipment is always in perfect condition?
Our full time logistics staff continuously maintain and/or replace all our equipment. To ensure proper use of our equipment, all gear is handled by our trained field crew during treks and hikes.

Do you provide sleeping pads?
Yes.

What food safety processes do you have in place?
All foodstuffs are purchased immediately before departure to guarantee freshness, and they are correctly packaged and handled by our trained staff to ensure food safety. We use cloth bags when making our purchases, rather than plastic. The produce is fresh and bought directly from local farmers. Also, we pack the produce in cloth bags and hermetic multiuse containers, avoiding the use of plastic in order to make our operations as green as possible. 

RELATED ITINERARIES: