Choquequirao: Archaeological remains of an Inca city

CHOQUEQUIRAO TREK 5 DAYS

5 best places to visit

Altitude

5571 m.s.n.m

Group size

Up to 8

Service

Group or private

Type Tour

Trekking

Difficulty

Formidable

Duration

5 Days

CHOQUEQUIRAO TREK 5 DAYS

5 day

from $597 per person

The five day Choquequirao trek is one of the most beautiful and spectacular treks in the Cusco region. It towers above the powerful Apurimac River, surrounded by great mountain peaks and flanked by the Amazon forest. Choquequirao is a remote and rarely visited “lost city of the Incas” which means “Cradle of Gold.” The Inca arqueological site remains mostly undiscovered, with only 1/3 of this site being excavated, the rest is still covered by the dense jungle. This mysterious site is not as well known as Machu Picchu, but is 3 times larger.

On this trek you will see the great Choquequirao ruins and have a real adventure enjoying the spectacular views of majestic snow-capped mountains, great valleys, and amazing canyons. You will also see native animals such as different spieces of birds like the great Andean Condor, native flora and fauna such as orchids and so much more. This is a challenging hike, even for those who are experienced! This is truly a unique once in a lifetime experience not to be missed!

We are specialists in this amazing route and offer the most frequent departures with experienced and professional guides.  We are the only company who takes you to the hot springs of CONOC after the Choquequirao Trek, and explores the unique Inca ruins of Saywite.

Click on the link below to explore our blog with lots of pictures and experience the trek for yourself: Choquequirao Trek!

ITINERARY

Day 1: Cusco – Capuliyoc – Playa

At 5:30am, we pick you up at your hotel and then drive for about 4 hours in our private van to Capuliyoc (3100mt/10,170ft). Along the way there are spectacular views of villages, valleys, and snow-capped mountains. Once there we meet our horsemen and pack all of our equipment onto the horses. From this view point you’ll delight in the spectacular view of Choquequirao Inca ruins, the Apurimac canyon and the stunning snow-capped mountains like Padreyoc (5,571m/18,387ft). After enjoying the view, we hike downhill for the next 3 hours to Chikisca for lunch. After lunch we continue for the next 2 hours to our first camp at la Playa Rosalinas.

  • Meals: Lunch – Tea Time – Dinner.
  • Accommodation: Camping facilities
  • Minimum altitude: 1550 m/4650 ft
  • Maximum altitude: 3100 m/9300 ft
  • Distance: 14 km/9 miles
  • Time: 5h approximately
  • Difficulty: Challenging

Day 2: Playa – Maranpata – Choquequirao

After an early breakfast, we cross the bridge and hike upward for the next 4 hours to Marampata where we have lunch while reveling in the view of Choquequirao Inca ruins. After lunch we hike to our second evening’s campsite, which is about 20 minutes from the ruins of Choquequirao. Since we are so close there are many possibilities explore the ruins into the late and to look for flying condors in the valleys around us.   

  • Meals: Breakfast – Lunch – Tea Time – Dinner.
  • Accommodation: Camping facilities
  • Minimum altitude: 1550 m/4650 ft
  • Maximum altitude: 3100 m/9300 ft
  • Distance: 16 km/10 miles
  • Time: 5h approximately
  • Difficulty: Challenging 

Day 3: Choquequirao

After breakfast, we get ready to visit the magnificent archeological site of Choquequirao for the entire day. Your guide will provide a private tour of the ruins and help you scout out all of the beautiful sections such as temples, terraces, palaces, the llamas’ section, and much more. We return to our campsite for the for late afternoon tea and to spend the night.

Choquekirao means “Cradle of Gold” in the Inca Quechua language, although this is probably not its original name. It is another “Lost City of the Incas” rediscovered officially in the late 20th century. It is located high on a ridge spur almost 1750mt/5,741ft above the raging glacier-fed Apurimac River and is surrounded by the towering Salkantay and Humantay snow-capped peaks. Excavations and restoration of the 1810 hectares site began in the 1990s, and it is estimated that only 30% of the site has been restored to date. Every day archeologists are finding new things.

  • Meals: Breakfast – Lunch – Tea Time – Dinner.
  • Accommodation: Camping facilities
  • Minimum altitude: 1550 m/4650 ft
  • Maximum altitude: 3100 m/9300 ft

Day 4: Choquequirao – San Ignacio – Villa de Loros

Today is one of the easiest day of our trek. We walk downhill for two hours to the magnificent Apurimac River (1,450m/4,787ft). Then we cross the bridge to walk uphill for an hour to San Ignacio for lunch. We relax and take in the beautiful scenery and a great waterfall , while tucking into out delectable lunch! After lunch we walk up a gradual incline to the beautiful valley that surrounds the Villa de Loros (2,600m/8,580ft) mountain peak, where we set up camp for the last evening.

  • Meals: Breakfast – Lunch – Tea Time – Dinner.
  • Accommodation: Camping facilities
  • Minimum altitude: 1450 m/4350 ft
  • Maximum altitude: 3100 m/9300 ft
  • Distance: 16 km/10 miles
  • Time: 6h approximately
  • Difficulty: Challenging

Day 5: Villa de Loros – Saywite – Conoc – Cusco

Today is a day to relax a bit and to learn more about  Inca culture. After a delicious breakfast we take our private transport to the archeological site of Saywite, where we can explore and see an Inca monolith, several water fountains and ritual platforms. Later, we wonder around and spend extra time at the site before driving to the hot springs of Conoc to relax after several days of walking. After lunch we head back to Cusco dropping you off at your hotel in the early evening.

  • Meal: Breakfast

 

WHAT IS INCLUDED

INCLUDED

  • Pick-up at your hotel the morning of your trek
  • Private transport from Cusco to Cacchora (starting point of the trek) and Cacchora to Cusco
  • Entry fee to Choquequirao and other Inca sites
  • English speaking, experienced and professional guide
  • Comfortable tents with two people in a four-person tent
  • Meals as indicated in the itinerary (optional vegetarian food with prior request)
  • 1 emergency horse which can be ridden if you’re feeling exhausted or are ill
  • All camping equipment such as: dining tent, table, chairs, kitchen and toilet tent
  • Tent for our staff to sleep in
  • First Aid kit including emergency oxygen bottle
  • Horses (for equipment and personal items) including horsemen
  • Thick foam sleeping mattresses
  • Private Guided tour at each archeological site
  • 7 kgs of your personal items such as extra clothes and sleeping bag will be carried by our mules
  • Boiled water for drinking and washing purposes

NOT INCLUDED

  • Sleeping bag adequate for temperatures of minus 10°c
  • Air Mattresses
  • Trekking Poles
  • Additional horses for personal luggage  weighing a maximum of 7KG
  • Tips for the cook, horsemen and guide

PRICE

The Choquequirao Trek 5 days is available on any date that is best for you as long  as we have a minimum of 2 hikers.

  • US$557 per person( Personal porter included)

This price includes the extra porter who will carry your belongings up to 7 kgs,  we will provide you a duffle bag, for your things.

DISCOUNTS

  • Group of 5 or more: US$30. – All you need is to book the trek together at the same time.

EXTRAS

  • Sleeping Bag : US$20. – Good, clean and warm -10°
  • Air Mattress: US$20
  • Trekking Poles: US$15  

ADDED VALUES  FOR FREE

  • TRANSFER – from the Airport to Hotel (Cusco Only)
  • DUFFLE BAG AND TRASH BAGS – included in the trekking price!
  • EXTRA PORTER is included in the price, the porter will carry your belongings up to 7 kgs /15p like sleeping bag, mattress, clothes etc.
  • BOILED WATER is included along the Inca Trail.
  • OXYGEN TANK will be available along the trek
  • EMERGENCY HORSE is included in the price which can be ridden if you get tired or sick.
  • SMALL PILLOW

QUESTIONS & ANSWERS

“Please read the following information carefully; it will help with your questions about our services and the trek to Machu Picchu” 

WELCOME TO CUSCO

You will be greeted at Cusco airport and 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 at the arrival terminal.

THE BRIEFING

It will take place the night before your trek departure at 6pm at our office which is located at Garcilaso Street 210 , Office Nº:213 (2nd Floor) in the la CASA DEL ABUELO shopping center

CAN I STORE MY LUGGAGE AT YOUR OFFICE

Of course! During the Choquequirao Trek your main luggage can be stored at our office or at your hotel, both are free.

HOW TO BOOK THE CHOQUEQUIRAO TREK 5 DAYS

FIRST, to book your Choquequirao Trek, we need you to fill out our booking form by clicking on BOOK NOW on our homepage or click the link BOOK NOW.

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:

  • Personal information (your full name, exactly as it appears on your passport):
  • Gender
  • Passport number
  • D.O.B. (dd / mm / yyyy)
  • Nationality

SECOND, we require a deposit of US$200.00 per person in order to purchase a permit for the Choquequirao Trek to Machu Picchu.  You can make you deposit by clicking on the VISA or PAYPAL symbols on the top of our home page, or booking page.

WHAT ABOUT THE BALANCE?

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 info@incatrailhikeperu.com to complete the payment.

HOW DO I QUALIFY FOR THE STUDENT DISCOUNT?

  1. According to Peruvian Law you must be under 18 years of age at the time of your trek, tour, or visit to Machu Picchu (students 18 & above need ISIC cards). For example if you book a trek at the age of 17 but you turn 18 before you do your trek, you do not qualify for a student discount.
  2. All students from 12 to 17 years, the discount is $40.
  3. For children from the age of 2 to 12 the discount is $60.
  4. Children between the ages of 0 to 2 are free.
  5. All students must provide a copy of their passport at the time of their booking to get the student discount.
  6. Send us a copy at info@incatrailhikeperu.com

MAY I CHANGE THE DEPARTURE DATE AFTER THE TICKETS HAVE BEEN BOUGHT?

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 Trek, the deposit is not refundable at all!

DO I NEED MY ORIGINAL PASSPORT ON THE CHOQUEQUIRAO TREK?

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 Trek to Machu Picchu, other entrances and reservations. The rangers will check your passport when you enter Choquequirao. 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 old and new passports to be able to enter the Choquequirao.  If you do not have both you will not be allowed to enter. They are very strict about this here!

WHAT IS THE WEATHER LIKE ON THE CHOQUEQUIRAO TREK

The weather is very unpredictable and it’s difficult to foresee.  BUT you will experience different temparatures as you pass through the numerous microclimates and it will depend on your location. We highly recommend you bring some warm clothes and good rain gear in your day backpack.

WHAT ABOUT ALTITUDE SICKNESS ON CHOQUEQUIRAO TREK

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.

HOW MANY PEOPLE ARE THERE PER GROUP?

The maximum group size is 8 people. Usually our groups are between 2-6 people. INCA TRAIL HIKE specializes in SMALL, PRIVATE groups and provides a personalized service.

HOW MANY COOKS/PORTERS FOR THE GROUP?

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.

HIKING  CHOQUEQUIRAO TREK.

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/15p. 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 Choquequirao 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.

IS THE CHOQUEQUIRAO TREK DIFFICULT, DO I NEED TO BE FIT?

YES. Its considered difficult by many, you need to be in good physical condition and well acclimated to the altitude. 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 difficult..

ARE THERE TOILETS ON THE  CHOQUEQUIRAO TREK?

It has been highlighted by 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 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.

WHAT HAPPENS IF I AM UNABLE TO FINISH THE CHOQUEQUIRAO TREK

In the event that you are unable to finish the trek due to a 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.

ARE WE GOING TO BE DROPPED OFF AT OUR HOTEL AFTER THE CHOQUEQUIRAO TREK

Absolutely!! Included in the package and on the last day we will drop you off 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 !

AT WHAT TIME IS THE TRAIN DEPARTURE?

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 an opportunity to 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

TIPPING

If you’re happy with the services provided, a tip – though not compulsory – is appreciated. 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 your budget will allow, depending on your perception on the quality of service and the length of your trip. Remember, a tip is not compulsory and should only be given when you receive excellent service.

ARE WE SUSTAINABLE? 

Yes, we are a local, sustainable & responsible tourism operator, as a result 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.

PACKING LIST

WHAT YOU HAVE TO TAKE WITH YOU

  • Original Passport (it has to be the same as the one used for booking your trek)
  • Valid, GREEN ISIC card (if you booked as a student)
  • Good daypack (the smaller, the better)
  • Water storage:  2-3 liter Camelbaks are encouraged.
  • Comfortable hiking boots with ankle support
  • Sleeping bag (can be rented from INCA TRAIL HIKE)
  • Headlamp: essential
  • Toilet Paper

WHAT TO PUT IN YOUR DUFFLE BAG

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, mattress and extra clothing.

  • 2 t-shirts
  • 2 hiking pants at least
  • 4 sets of undergarments
  • 3 sets of hiking socks
  • Bathing Suit for the thermal waters
  • Couple Fleece/ Thermals
  • Warm clothes, down jacket — 2nd campsite temp around 3º Celcious.
  • Waterproof gloves (even if they are ski gloves, take them)
  • Comfortable shoes for camp
  • Quick dry towel. We provide small ones, you might prefer something larger.
  • Small bottle of soap: we provide warm water each day to wash.
  • Battery Charger: No electricity along the trek
  • Large plastic bags will be provided at the office — Please ask for them.
  • Sleeping bag: It has to be at least -15ºC – This can be rented from us.
  • Swimming Suit

TOILETRIES

  • Face moisturizer
  • Hand Sanitizer
  • Wet wipes
  • Toothbrush and paste
  • Personal medications
  • First aid kit: band aids, moleskin, etc.

WHAT TO PUT IN YOUR BACKPACK

We highly recommend a small backpack 30 to 40 Litres for hiking in 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.

  • Water: Please supply your own water until the first lunch spot, then we will provide you with cold boiled water at every meal time. Please bring your canteens.
  • Sun Hat
  • Sunscreen
  • Headlamp: essential
  • Wool Hat
  • Rain gear
  • Fleece
  • Snacks like chocolate bars, cereal bars or any dry fruits
  • Coca leaves.
  • Rain plastic poncho (provided by INCA TRAIL HIKE)
  • Gloves
  • Camera
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Toilet paper and small plastic bag for waste
  • Extra Money for Souvenirs, Drinks & Tips
  • Valuable items