We have the best designed itinerary by the only specialist in “trekking OFF the beaten track,” INCATRAILPERUHIKES. This itinerary combines visits to two major archeological sites: remote and seldom visited Choquequirao and legendary Machu Picchu. The trek is an adventurous and challenging experience through part of the old empire of the Incas and one of Peru’s most unspoiled wilderness areas where you cross several high passes and the Rio Blanco. For sure the Choquequirao to Machu Picchu Trek will be an unforgettable experience!!
The name Choquequirao means “Cradle of Gold” in Quechua, the indigenous language of Peru still spoken in many remote and isolated villages. Now included in many school curriculums to retain the culture and history of the Incas. This Choquequirao settlement was one of the last refuges for those Incas who continued to resist Spanish occupation after the conquest. Choquequirao is less well-known than Machu Picchu but the trek to get there is an incredible and unique experience. On this adventurous trek we will walk by inca highways, hike through high andean landscapes, descend into deep canyons where the Condors fly and pass through biologically diverse cloud forest ecosystems. You’ll also visit Inca silver mines and isolated Inca communities.
When you arrive to Machu Picchu, our last campsite is by the Llactapata Inca ruins which are located right in front of Machu Picchu. From this viewpoint enjoy the greatest angle of the view of Machu Picchu and the surrounding mountains like: Huayna Picchu Mt, Machu Picchu Mt and Salkantay Mt.
Click on the link below to explore our blog with lots of pictures and experience the trek for yourself: Choquequirao Trek
We recommend this trek for experienced trekkers or persons in good physical shape used to trekking or running frequently.
At 5:00am, we pick you up from your hotel and drive for 4hours in our private van to Capuliyoc (2,850m/9,407ft). Along the way there are spectacular views of villages, valleys and snow-capped mountains. Once at Cachora we meet our horsemen and pack all our equipment onto the horses. Here, we will enjoy the spectacular view of Choquequirao Inca remains, the Apurimac Canyon and the stunning snow-capped mountains like Padreyoc (5,571m/18,387ft). We hike down for the next 3 hours to Chikisca for lunch. In the afternoon we continue for 2 more hours down to our first camp at la Playa Rosalinas.
After an early breakfast, we cross the bridge and hike for the next 4 hours all the way up to Marampata where we will have lunch, while enjoying the view of Choquequirao Inca ruins. After lunch we walk to our second evening’s campsite, which is just 20 minutes from the ruins. There are many possibilities to see condors and enjoy the Choquequirao ruins into the late evening.
After breakfast we fully explore the ruins of Choquequirao (Cradle of Gold). We visit the temples, palaces, ritual water fountains, llamas’ section and the amazing Ushnu (ceremonial platform). In the afternoon we climb over the ridge to the stunning Choquequirao Pass (3,277m/10,814ft). Then we descend for 2 hours towards Rio Blanco (1,990m/6,567ft) and onto the third evening’s campsite, enjoying all the great canyons and the Pinchiunuyoc Inca ruins along the way.
After a late breakfast we climb up to Maisal (3,277m/10,814ft), enjoying the variety of microclimates and spectacular views of canyons, rivers and stunning landscapes. Arriving to our fourth camp site.
Beginning at 7.00am, we walk uphill for 3 hours through semi-jungle vegetation via parts of the original Inca Highway, visiting ancient silver mines including the Victorias on the way, to reach Victoria’s pass at (4,170m/13,700ft). From here you can appreciate the great canyons, the spectacular snow-capped mountains of Sacsara, Qoriwanachina, and Pumasillo. Then we descend to Yanama (3,650m/12,037ft), which is our fifth campsite.
This day, is our day of mountain peaks. We walk for 9 hours, preferably rising early to appreciate the chain of snow peaks that can be seen from the first section of today’s trek. We ascend to the highest point of our trek: Yanama pass (4,670m/15,407ft). The view from here is amazing as we will be surrounded by snow-capped mountains and impressive valleys. We then descend to Totora for lunch and after that we walk for 2 hours to Colpapampa (2,870m/9,470ft) our sixth campsite.
On this day we walk for 3 hours through the beginnings of the rainforest, enjoying a myriad of flora and fauna including orchids, birds, coffee, cacao and fruit plantations. We arrive at La Playa (2,060m/6,797ft) for lunch with free time to rest. Then we climb uphill for 3 hours through the original Inca Trail and the cloud forest up to the Puncuyoc pass. Afterwards we proceed to the LLACTAPATA Inca remains which are located at 2,700m/8,907ft, an Inca site located straight in front of the citadel of Machu Picchu. Here we install our third evening’s campsite. The panoramic view is breathtaking! One gets to enjoy different perspectives of Machu Picchu and Wayna Picchu mountains, the Citadel and the Aobamba Canyon and enjoy the sunset and sunrise over Machu Picchu too!
After having breakfast and enjoying the sunrise over Machu Picchu, we start walking downhill for 2 hours to the Hydroelectric plant for lunch. Then we walk to Aguas Calientes through the national park of Machu Picchu, enjoying the surroundings of the iconic Machu Picchu and the wall which surrounds the Inca Citadel. We retire for the evening in our hotel in Aguas Calientes.
After an early breakfast take the bus for the journey up to Machu Picchu to enjoy the morning sunrise. Once there, we will visit one of the most important and mystic centers of the world: Machu Picchu. A 2 hour guided tour will take us into the fascinating history of this charming place. After the tour we will have plenty of time to explore more, taking photos or climbing Huayna Picchu Mountain (only if booked in advance). In the afternoon, we head back to Aguas Calientes, enjoy a leisurely lunch and take the return train to Ollantaytambo at 4:22pm with a private bus connection to Cusco, arriving at your hotel in the evening around 8pm.
The Choquequirao Machu Picchu trek can be booked on any date that is best suited to you as long as we have a minimum of 2 trekkers
PRICE – US$997 per person
Personal porter included!
This price includes the extra porter who will carry your belongings up to 7kgs, we provide you a duffle bag, to put your things.
“Please read the following information carefully; it will help with your questions about our services and the trek to Machu Picchu”
You will be greeted at the airport in Cusco and than taken to your hotel, please ensure that you inform us of your full flight details at least 14 days prior to trek´s start. Look out for our representative holding an orange board of INCA TRAIL HIKE PERU at the arrival terminal.
It will take place the night before the trekking departure at 6pm at our office which is located at Garcilaso Street 210 , Office Nº:213 (2and Floor) in the la CASA DEL ABUELO shopping center.
Of course!During the Choquequirao Machu Pichu trek your main luggage can be stored at our office or at your hotel, both are free.
Please be ready with the following information (FROM EACH PARTICIPANT in your group). We cannot purchase entrance tickets to Machu Picchu, train tickets without the following information:
SECOND, we require a deposit of US$200.00 per person in order to purchase a permit for the Choquequirao Machu Picchu Trek. You can make you deposit by clicking on the VISA or PAYPAL symbols on the top of our home page, or you can click on the VISA or PAYPAL symbols on our booking page.
It would be greatly appreciated if you pay in cash at our office (US dollars or Peruvian soles) here in Cusco. We have many cash machines in the historical center to withdraw money. You can also pay by VISA or PAYPAL online but you will have to pay a 5.5% service charge, charged by VISA and PAYPAL. To pay your balance through PAYPAL, you need to log into your PAYPAL account using our email address of firstname.lastname@example.org.
Unfortunately the answer is generally “No”. Once the tickets have been bought the government does not allow any changes, so we can’t change any departure dates. Tickets are not transferable nor refundable. With alternative treks we may be able to change dates for a fee depending on what has been already purchased. Please contact the office as soon as possible if you need to change your date.
If you cancel your Choquequirao Machu Picchu Trek, the deposit is not refundable at all!
Yes for sure! You have to bring your original passport and it is very important that it is the same passport number you sent to us to book your Choquequirao Machu Picchu Trek, other entrances and reservations. The rangers will check your passport when you enter the Choquequirao Machu Picchu Trek, and Machu Picchu. The train company will also check your passport before allowing you to board the train. In case you are renewing your passport or changing your name, go ahead and send us your old passport information to secure your permit, and we can change it when you get your new passport number or updated your name for a fee of $25 per person. We must have a copy of your old and new passport to make the change. Before you change your passport keep a copy of your old one.
If you do not wish to pay this fee you will need to bring both passports to Peru with you. You can enter Peru with your new passport but you will need to show both passports, old and new to be able to enter the Inca Trail, Machu Picchu or the train. If you do not have both you will not be allowed to enter, Machu Picchu or get on the train. They are very strict about this here!!
The weather is very unpredictable and it’s difficult to foresee. BUT you will have many different seasons as you pass through the numerous microclimates and will depend on the location. We highly recommend you bring some warm clothes and good rain gear in your day backpack. Please think layers when you are packing.
In general if you exercise regularly and spend 2 to 3 days in Cusco, or in the Sacred Valley for acclimatization to the altitude, you may be just fine.
The recommended medicine for altitude sickness is WATER, COCA TEA and OXYGEN IF NEEDED; our guides are trained to treat you for Altitude Sickness. For more detailed information on Altitude Sickness click this link: Altitude Sickness.
We offer the Cusco City Tour and Sacred Valley tours that you can book while you are acclimatizing. Check out our day tours on our Main Page.
The maximum group size is 8 persons. Usually our groups are between 2-6 persons. INCA TRAIL HIKE specializes in SMALL, PRIVATE groups and provides a personalized service.
You will have 1 cook per group. The number of porters depends of the size of the group. For a group of 2 trekkers, they will have 4 porters, 4 trekkers will have 6 porters, 6 trekkers will have 9 porters, 8 trekkers will have 12 porters.
The evening before you start your trek, you will be given a SMALL DUFFLE BAG to pack your clothes for the next four days. Your weight allowance is up to 7kg/14p. Your team of porters will carry your duffle bag for you, together with the food and camping gear. It’s important to be aware, that you will not have access to your items in the duffle bag until the end of each day, as the porters will always be ahead of the group. During the trek, you need a day backpack big enough to carry your personal belongings such as a warm jacket, a rain jacket, your camera, sunscreen, snacks, water, etc. Usually a 30 to 50 litre backpack is sufficient.
The Choquequirao Machu Picchu Trek trail is certainly not easy but you do not need to be an athlete or a trekking expert to complete it, but you do need to be an experienced trekker and in good physical condition. Fitness is naturally important for the trek, and obviously the more fit you are the more you will enjoy the trail and the more chance you will have to take in the scenery and appreciate the Inca ruins dotted along the way. If you do not exercise regularly, it is advisable to do extra walking, hiking or some kind of aerobic activity in the months leading up to your trip. This trek is considered difficult.
It has been a highlight for most of our clients, especially by the female ones who want a private, clean and sanitary toilet!! INCA TRAIL HIKE toilet facilities have an individual tent and a “camping toilet with a seat.” Check out the picture, which illustrates how we set up our camping toilet on the trek by using this link: picture of a toilet tent. Our toilet is always set up a comfortable distance from our campsite. At night if you need to use the toilet it is readily accessible and clean, unlike the dirty facilities supplied by the government.
In the scenario that you are unable to finish the trek due to health issue, INCA TRAIL HIKE will assist you to the nearest town for help with transportation. We always carry oxygen on the trek for any respiratory problems. In extreme cases, a helicopter pick up can be arranged at your own expense. (Travel insurance required). There are no refunds in the unlikely situation that you are unable to finish the trek.
Generally those who have to be assisted off the trail are taken to Ollantaytambo and if they recover quickly, they then continue the journey to Aguas Calientes (cost incurred by trekker) and visit Machu Picchu according to the original plan.
Absolutely!! Included in the package and on the last day we will drop you at your hotel! If you have booked your hotel in the Sacred Valley like Ollantaytambo or Urubamba, we will drop you off there too! If you spend the night at Ollantaytambo before the trek, we can also pick you up from there !
It will depend on train availability (during high season it could be booked out) but the idea is to give you as much time as possible in Machu Picchu and enjoy the amazing views on the way back to Cusco from the train. Therefore we usually book the train at 4:22pm. With this train schedule, you will have more than 9 hours to enjoy Machu Picchu.
You may upgrade to the Vistadome train which has slightly nicer seats, panoramic windows and ceiling. You will be offered some snacks and a dance show will take place on board. The price is US$67 per person which includes the transfer from Poroy train station to your hotel in Cusco. It is 2 hours by train from Aguas Calientes to Ollantaytambo and than another 2 hours from Ollantaytambo to Cusco by bus. If you upgrade to Vistadome, all the way back to Poroy (Cusco), the trip lasts 3.5 hours, then 25mins by taxi to your hotel. Usually our clients are back at the hotel by 8pm. If you plan to take a bus to Puno on the same night, that is totally possible.
If you’re happy with the services provided, a tip – though not compulsory – is appropriate. While it may not be customary to you, it’s of great significance for the people who will take care of you during the trek. It inspires them to give excellent service and is an entrenched feature of the tourism industry across many INCA TRAIL HIKE destinations. Of course you are free to tip as much as you feel is sufficient, depending on your perception of the quality and the length of your trip. Remember, a tip is not compulsory and should only be given when you receive excellent service.
Yes, we are a local, sustainable & responsible tourism operator for that we incorporate the universal principles of tourism: protect the environment and benefit the local communities by respecting their culture and religion. With this in mind, we have trained all our local staff to know and understand, respect the places and the local people.
As a Professional Direct Local Tour operator we provide you with a duffle bag at your briefing and INCLUDE an extra porter who will carry up to 7 kgs or 15 pounds including your 2.5kg sleeping bag and mattress, as well as extra clothing.
We highly recommend a small backpack 30 to 40Litres for hiking during the day. A big backpack will not be allowed into Machu Picchu. The remainder of your belongings will be in your duffel bag at camp.