Choquequirao to Vitcos Trek 8D

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Duration: 8 Days / 7 Nights
Availability : Every Day.
Depart: Capuliyoc
Destination: Vitcos Rosaspata
Min Age : 10
Max People : 12

About the Choquequirao Trek to Vitcos

Journey towards Vilcabamba, the Lost City of the Incas, on a historic Inca trail that connects Choquequirao to Vitcos, Peru.

See Full Description

The Choquequirao to Vitcos trek is an 8 day historical odyssey that will see you retrace the steps of the ancient Inca. First, we follow the classic Choquequirao trail from Capuliyoc down to the Apurimac river, and then up again to meet the ruins themselves. Considered Machu Picchu’s “sister city,” Choquequirao is a relatively untouristed Inca site. It is believed to have been in operation even after the Spanish conquest.

From Choquequirao we follow a route that was highly significant to the Incas. Hiking through the Vilcabamba mountain range, over an impressive 4600m pass with views of spectacular snow-capped peaks and even over a section of original Inca stone steps, we eventually arrive at Vitcos, Peru. The ruins at Vitcos Rosaspata are on the edge of Vilcabamba Cusco, believed to be the last refuge of the Incas.This is a Peru hike with huge historical significance. Our 8 day trek to Vilcabamba from Choquequirao will feel like a journey through time.

Complete the experience by adding on a Machu Picchu Extension to see two of the most important Inca ruins. You can also continue your trek to Vilcabamba with our 8 day Vilcabamba trek to Espiritu Pampa. Or, do the whole route at once on one epic 15 day journey.

Vitcos Trek Highlights

  • Retrace the steps of the Inca to see the little-visited Inca ruins of Vitcos Rosaspata and Choquequirao
  • A challenging hike through changing climates and landscapes, from the depths of the Apurimac Canyon to the snow-capped peaks of the Vilcabamba range
  • Add a Machu Picchu extension to complete this journey through time

>> See more photos and information about Choquequirao and Vilcabamba, Cusco

Prices are per person in USD, based on group size. We do not have fixed-date group departures. If you do not want to book a private trek, please see our Trekkers Wanted page for a list of open departures within your dates.

2 people

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3 people

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4-6 people

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7+ people

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High quality personalized experience

Unique, off-the-beaten track routes

Experienced staff

Verified sustainability practices

$20 of every trek donated to Threads of Peru

Details About the Choquequirao to Vitcos Trek

What is Included?


    • Tent: 2 people in a 4-person tent, allowing for greater comfort and backpack storage!
    • Camping pillows
    • Basic foam mattress. If you would like greater comfort during the trek we can rent you an inflatable mattress. See Optional Extras & Upgrades below.
    • Toilet tent


    • Dining tent with camp tables and chairs, and kitchen tent for the cook to prepare meals
    • Cook and cooking equipment, plus assistants for larger groups
    • Meals as indicated in the itinerary. Our professional cooks prepare a combination of traditional Peruvian and Western cuisine. Talk to your Travel Consultant during the booking process if you have certain preferences!  Vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free options available. When served, salads are washed in boiled water.
    • Boiled water to drink on the hike (which you can carry in your own reusable water bottle)
    • Filtered water provided during the drive on the first day


    • Collection from your hotel on the morning of your Vilcabamba Cusco trek departure
    • Transport from Cusco to the trailhead and return at the end of the trek (Please note that some private transport on the road is lower quality than in Cusco).

Trekking Team

    • English/Quechua/Spanish speaking professional guide, plus an assistant guide for groups over 8
    • Horses and horsemen, who carry camping equipment, food and kitchen utensils. We provide duffel bags at your briefing for your personal items (up to 10kg/22lbs per person).
    • Tents, sleeping bags and mattresses for our staff to sleep in, plus a budget for their meals
    • Dining tent with camp tables and chairs, and kitchen tent for the cook to prepare meals


    • First aid kit including emergency oxygen bottle
    • 1 emergency horse which can be ridden if you are feeling ill or if you are a little slower

Additional inclusions

    • Pre-trek briefing
    • Entry fees to Choquequirao and Vitcos Rosaspata

What is Not Included?


    • Breakfast on the first morning
    • Dinner on the last night


    • Sleeping bags. Available for rent if you don’t have one with you.
    • Additional horses for your personal luggage or to ride


    • Tips for the guide, cook and muleteers
    • Flights to/from Cusco
    • Travel Insurance

Optional Extras & Upgrades

We offer you the opportunity to personalize your trek and make your experience more comfortable through our Optional Extras and Upgrades. All options are available during the reservation process; please ask your sales consultant for more information.

Equipment Available for Rent

    • Extra horse to carry luggage exceeding the allowed 10kg (22lbs) per person
    • Extra horse for you to ride, and horseman to lead it
    • Sleeping Bag suitable for -5˚C
    • Deluxe sleeping bag suitable for -15˚C
    • Light-weight aluminum walking stick. Two sticks are recommended for tough hikes.
    • Thermarest inflatable mattress

Service Upgrades

Optional Activities


    • When calculating the cost of renting equipment, calculate using the length of the entire trip, not just the number of trekking days.
    • Please be careful with rented equipment! You are responsible for the cost of replacement if something is damaged or broken.
    • Any upgrades or trip extensions must be requested at time of booking.

Available Discounts

  • Students: USD $30 off, in certain circumstances. Please enquire for details about eligibility.
  • Youth 12-17: 5% off. A valid passport must be presented upon booking.
  • Children 5-11 years: 15% off. A valid passport must be presented upon booking.
  • Children 0-4 years: Free. A valid passport must be presented upon booking. Children under 4 will not count towards the total number of guests in a group. Car seats, cribs and other baby needs may not be included and must be discussed in advance. For more information about travelling with infants and toddlers, please see this blog as well as the Age Requirements section of our Booking Conditions.
  • 5% off a day tour listed price when you also book a 3-day or longer trek operated by Apus Peru

What to Pack for the Vitcos Trek?

The Choquequirao to Vitcos trek is a trek of extremes: you need to be prepared for both hot and cold conditions. You will definitely be adding or removing layers throughout the day!

The 8 day Vitcos trek crosses two deep river canyons. Twice during the trek you will descend to 1500m (4921 ft) at the bottom of the canyon, where it can be hot and humid. On the other hand, expect extremely cold nighttime temperatures, as several of the campsites are around 4000m (13,123 ft).

  • For the hot, sunny days hiking to the bottom of the Apurimac canyon, make sure you pack a sun hat, sunglasses, and sunscreen to protect against the intense Andean sun. Insect repellent is also essential for the river canyons.
  • For the cold, high altitude sections we recommend thermals, a beanie (toque or woollen hat), mitts, a warm fleece and a scarf. We rent sleeping bags that are rated to -15°C (5°F), an excellent investment as being cold at night is no fun.

For more detailed suggestions on what to pack for your trek, see our What to Bring page.

Best Footwear for Hiking Choquequirao to Vitcos

This is a long-distance hike covering some very tough terrain, so we recommend durable, waterproof trekking boots with a high top. If you’re not ready to invest in hiking boots, hiking shoes will suffice. What’s the difference? Hiking shoes tend only to be water-resistant, as opposed to waterproof. They are also less durable and do not provide ankle support.

The most important advice when it comes to footwear – make sure you wear them before setting off on your trek so that they are well broken-in.

For assistance with packing and other vital pre-trek advice, check out our blog How to Prepare for a Trek in Peru.

Choquequirao to Vitcos Map

Choquequirao trek map

Our Guides & Safety on the Trail to Vitcos, Peru

When you are going to embark on an epic trek like the one from Choquequirao to Vitcos, you want to know that you are with a top-quality guide. Not only should they be prepared for any eventuality (or emergency!) on the trail but they should have an in-depth knowledge of the Incan history.

Our guides are passionate about Peru and in addition receive regular training in mountain rescue, high-altitude first aid, and other topics.

Get to know our team!

Apus Peru’s comprehensive risk assessment policy sets us apart from many of the other Cusco-based operators. This policy covers a wide range of topics from vehicle maintenance to illness and evacuation on the trail.

What we need you to know is this: we never take risks with our clients. There are many treks, including those along the Choquequirao to Vilcabamba route, that we will not operate in the wet season under any circumstances. The risks are especially great on the Vitcos trail, and there is one river crossing that is impossible in wet weather.

Trekkers Wanted

Want to join a trek? Ready to confirm a departure date of your own, but interested in having others join you? Then Trekkers Wanted is for you! Our innovative Trekkers Wanted system matches people up who are interested in hiking the same trek, bringing costs down and multiplying the fun for everyone!

Read More about Trekkers Wanted, post your trek or search for confirmed departures!

Important Info

  • Each guide has their own preferred route and so the route you trek might not correspond exactly to the route described here.
  • The times cited in this itinerary are approximate. Walking times depend on the group, and the guide may change lunch spots and campsites, depending on the progress of the group.
  • This Vilcabamba Cusco trek is one of the toughest hikes in the region. It crosses several high passes, as well as the Rio Blanco which does not have a substantial bridge and can be dangerous to cross in periods of heavy rain. This trek should not be attempted by those who do not have some experience in trekking, plus a solid level of fitness!
  • Trek conditions vary according to the season. In the dry season the trail can be dusty; in the wet season it can be slippery and muddy. Apus Peru takes no responsibility for trail conditions, as it is directly related to the weather.
  • We do not recommend this trek during Dec-Mar, inclusive, though this recommendation depends on the actual weather conditions.
  • Please take note that some private transport on the road is lower quality than in Cusco.
  • Please note: this is a true adventure and things may not go exactly according to plan! Keep an open mind and let yourself enjoy the cultural differences you may experience. There is always an opportunity to learn something!

Ready to Book?

  • Does this trek sound like just what you were looking for? If you’re ready to book or just want to find out a bit more information, fill out the Inquiry Form in the top right-hand corner of this page to get the ball rolling. You’ll be connected with your very own Trek Expert who will be able to turn your dream of hiking in the Andes into a reality. For more information on the entire booking process, please see our How To Book page.
  • Travel insurance is a must! World Nomads offers travel insurance for adventure activities.

8 Day Choquequirao to Vitcos Itinerary

Day 1Cusco – Capuliyoc – Chiquisca – Santa Rosa

    • Total Walking Distance: 12.2 km
    • Total Walking Time: 6-7h
    • Minimum Altitude: 1520m (4,986 ft) / Maximum Altitude: 2970m (9,744 ft)
    • Altitude of camp: 2095m (6,873 ft)
    • Approx. night temperature: 8°C (47°F)

We start our journey early this morning as we leave Cusco behind and head towards the Apurimac Canyon, surrounded by breathtaking snow-capped peaks. After about an hour and a half of driving, we will have a short stop at Tarawasi (2675m / 8776 ft).

Tarawasi gets its name from two Quechua words: tara, a type tree native to the Andes (latin name: caesalpina espinosa), and wasi, which means “house”. So Tarawasi is “the house of the Tara tree”. Tara is a multipurpose tree that produces large bean pods that turn orange when ripe. The seeds inside are used as a natural dye, and also have medicinal purposes.

Tarawasi is a ceremonial centre that dates to Incan times. One of the most striking features of this archaeological site is the presence of an usnu, a ceremonial structure where ritual offerings would be prepared.

From here, we continue another 3h to Capuliyoc (2970m / 9,744ft), where we begin our Choquequirao to Vitcos trek. Here we will be treated to our first glimpses of the Apurimac Valley stretching below us, as well as the stunning Padreyoc (5770m / 18,930 ft) and Wayna Cachora peaks around us.

From here we continue on to Chiquisca (1950m / 6,397ft), a steep 3-4 hour descent into the Apurimac Canyon, where we will blown away by the incredible drop-offs at our sides. Continuing a bit further, heading back up out of the canyon, we head to Santa Rosa (2095m / 6,873ft), where we will spend the night.

This day is flexible and so the route you trek might not correspond exactly to the route described here. Walking times depend on the time of departure and on the nature of the group. The guide may change lunch spots and campsites, depending on the progress of the group.

Please take note that there might be biting insects on the trail, thus repellent will be needed! It can get very hot on the trail (not just in the canyon!), going up to 30-35ºC (86ºF – 95ºF). It can get as hot as 40ºC (104ºF) in the canyon.

Day 2Santa Rosa – Choquequirao

    • Total Walking Distance: 9.3 km
    • Total Walking Time: 5-6 h
    • Minimum Altitude: 2095m (6,873 ft) / Maximum Altitude: 3050m (10,007 ft)
    • Altitude of camp: 2900m (9,514 ft)
    • Approx. night temperature: 5°C (41°F)

This morning we continue our ascent out of the magnificent Apurimac Canyon with a steep, 3h climb to Marampata (2940m / 9646 ft), where we will stop for lunch. The trail is a steep uphill zig zag. Here will have our first glimpses of the Choquequirao ruins (3050m / 10,007 ft) and then it is about 2 hours until we reach the site. We will arrive in time to enjoy a spectacular sunset over the ruins and a chance to spot condors soaring through the canyon. We camp for the night at Choquequirao Campsite (2900m / 9514 ft).

Note: For more time at the ruins this afternoon, your guide may choose to leave earlier and head straight to Choquequirao. Instead of stopping for lunch part way, you will lunch at the campsite near Choquequirao and then have the entire afternoon to spend exploring the ruins.

Day 3Choquequirao – Pinchiunuyoc

    • Total Walking Distance: 12 km
    • Total Walking Time: 5-6h
    • Minimum Altitude: 1850 m (6,070 ft) / Maximum Altitude: 3000m (9842 ft)
    • Altitude of camp: 3000m (9,842 ft)
    • Approx. night temperature: 5°C (41°F)

From Pinchiunuyoc, we will walk about 1.5h to 2h to arrive at the Rio Blanco Canyon (1850 m / 6070 ft) where will have a rest before starting a difficult 3.5-4h climb along zig-zagging trails to our campsite at Maizal (3000m / 9843 ft). Insect repellent will be a must on this leg of the journey!

Day 4Pinchiunuyoc – Rio Blanco – Maizal

    • Total Walking Distance: 12 km
    • Total Walking Time: 5-6h
    • Minimum Altitude: 1850 m (6,070 ft) / Maximum Altitude: 3000m (9842 ft)
    • Altitude of camp: 3000m (9,842 ft)
    • Approx. night temperature: 5°C (41°F)

From Pinchiunuyoc, we will walk about 1.5h to 2h to arrive at the Rio Blanco Canyon (1850 m / 6070 ft) where will have a rest before starting a difficult 3.5-4h climb along zig-zagging trails to our campsite at Maizal (3000m / 9843 ft). Insect repellent will be a must on this leg of the journey!

Day 5Maizal - Yanama

    • Total Walking Distance: 12km
    • Total Walking Time: 7-8 hours
    • Minimum Altitude: 3000m (9,842 ft) / Maximum Altitude: 4150m (13,615 ft)
    • Altitude of camp: 3700m (12,139 ft)
    • Approx. night temperature: 5°C (41°F)

We will head out at 7 am this morning, walking uphill for about 4-5 hours through semi-jungle, following original Inca steps, until we reach the Victoria Mines (Mina Victoria). Here we’ll spend some time visiting the ancient mines before continuing another hour uphill to Victoria Pass (4150m / 13,615 ft). Along the way, we will have the chance to see from a distance the newly discovered ruins at Coryhuayrachina. We, unfortunately, will not have time to explore the ruins, but you can read more about the little-known Inca history of the region we are hiking through.

We descend from the pass about 2 to 2.5 hours to the charming village of Yanama (3700m / 12,139 ft) where we will be treated to some spectacular views. As we employ muleteers from Yanama on this route whenever we can, we will camp near their homes. We camp in Yanama for the night.

Day 6Yanama - Quellqca Machay

    • Total Walking Distance: 20km
    • Total Walking Time: 9-10h
    • Minimum Altitude: 3000m (9,842 ft) / Maximum Altitude:4100m (13,451 ft)
    • Altitude of camp: 4100m (13,451 ft)
    • Approx. night temperature: 10°C (50°F)

Another early start this morning as we set out along pretty mountain paths until we reach our lunch spot, surrounded by craggy mountains. After lunch, it’s another 2 hours to our campsite at Quellqca Machay. Surrounded by snow-capped peaks, this is a spectacular – but cold!! – place to spend the night.

Day 7Quellqca Machay - Huancacalle

    • Total Walking Distance: 20km
    • Total Walking Time: 8-9h
    • Minimum Altitude: 2900m (9,514 ft) / Maximum Altitude: 4600m (15,091 ft)
    • Altitude of camp: 2900m (9,514 ft)
    • Approx. night temperature: 5°C (41°F)

We depart Quellqca Machay early and after about 3-4 hours of climbing, we will arrive at the Choquecatarpo Pass (4600m / 15,091 ft), the highest and most spectacular pass of our trip. We will have lunch at the Lagunas during the descent and will arrive in the town of Huancacalle (2900m / 9514 ft) in the early evening, where we will camp for the night.

Day 8Huancacalle - Vitcos Rosaspata - Abra de Malaga - Cusco

    • Total Walking Distance: 6km
    • Total Walking Time: 4h
    • Minimum Altitude: 1200m (3,937 ft) / Maximum Altitude: 4350m (14,271 ft)

We will enjoy a slightly more relaxed morning, departing the campsite to go and visit the interesting ruins of Vitcos Rosaspata and Ñustahispana, returning to Huancacalle just before noon. From here we will take private transport back to Cusco, passing over the Abra de Malaga, about an 8-hour drive in total.

For even more adventure and a chance to see Machu Picchu, don’t forget about our Machu Picchu Extension!

Please note that some private transport on the road is lower quality than in Cusco.


How difficult is the 8 Day trek from Choquequirao to Vitcos, Peru?

There is no way to sugar-coat this: due to the high altitude and the steepness, this is a tough trek.

We rate this 8 day Choquequirao to Vitcos trek as challenging. In fact, it is one of the most challenging treks we offer! (See how we rate all of our treks in the Cusco region!)

For those with weak knees, this hike has steep, sustained inclines, both up- and downhill.

All the treks in the Choquequirao region, and especially those that cross the Vilcabamba range, are difficult. These trails are rocky and very steep, and can be dusty and loose under your feet during dry conditions. Over the period of the first four days you ascend and descend 1500m (4921 ft) each day.

After the first four days – which are not at particularly high altitude for the Cusco region – you start climbing higher, with several nights camping at high altitude. This gradual ascent culminates in crossing the Choquetacarpo Pass on Day 7, at a stunning altitude of 4600m (15,092 ft).

What fitness/training do you recommend?

Our 8 day Vitcos hike is a major physical challenge, and we recommend that you have some hiking and outdoors experience before tackling this hike. This hike needs commitment and resilience as well as excellent physical fitness.

While age should be no barrier, and we have had many older hikers take on this route (and others like it), you should make sure you are very well prepared.

If you have never done multi-day, challenging hikes before, this is NOT a good place to start. Consider one of our easier treks, like those in the Lares region or even the Classic Inca Trail.

For everyone, we recommend that you get in shape for your trek by following a detailed exercise program, developed with the help of a doctor or fitness professional.

For more tips about fitness and getting ready for your trek, see our Trekking Tip #3.

How can I prepare myself for the high altitude/acclimatization and altitude sickness?

Without doubt the best way to prepare for high altitude is to spend time at altitude. We recommend a minimum of 2 days’ acclimatization for the Choquequirao to Vitcos trek.

Acclimatization around Cusco doesn’t have to be a bore. There is a wealth of great things to do around Cusco and the Sacred Valley. Your time acclimatizing will be well-spent getting to know more about Peru and Peruvian culture.

Even though the Choquequirao to Vitcos hike does not go particularly high in the first 4 days, this does not mean you should underestimate the altitude. It is still high by world standards, just not so much by Andean standards.

In addition to simply spending time at altitude, be gentle with your body. Get lots of rest, do some light walks, eat nutritious food and avoid alcohol. Herbal teas are also great, particularly a local favourite: coca leaf tea.

Coca tea is considered a natural remedy for altitude sickness and will be offered to you many times in Cusco. If you don’t like the tea, there are also coca candies that can also provide some relief.

For more about Altitude and How to Acclimatize, read the information on our website, which includes more about symptoms to watch out for, tips for acclimatizing and how to avoid getting sick.

What is the best time of year to trek?

The best time for trekking the Andes region is the winter dry season (May to August). With less rain at this time of year, it is easier and safer to hike, though nighttime temperatures are colder.

December through March is the rainy season in Cusco and can create dangerous conditions on the trail. This is of particular concern for any Choquequirao routes, as the steepness of the Apurimac and Blanco canyons makes the trail prone to washouts and landslides. For this reason, we will not operate the Choquequirao route during the Cusco wet season.

The shoulder season months of April, September and October are weather-dependent. If conditions are favourable, it is a fine time to hike. You might expect some rain, but not to the point of making the trail dangerous. But if it is raining heavily you would need to pick another route.

Read more about the best time to hike and take note of our wet season trekking policy. We reserve the right to cancel or modify any trek if the weather conditions render it unsafe.

What are the average hours of trekking per day

Trekking times on the Choquequirao to Vitcos trek vary greatly, some days you might trek as little as 4 hours, other days trekking time might be as long as 10 hours. This is because we need to camp in flat areas (sleeping on sloping ground is no fun, you end up at the bottom of your tent!) and areas with decent water for the mules.

As this is a trek with such varied trekking days, it also might be adapted by your guide when he assesses the trekking ability of your group. We support our guides making the best decisions for each group and their overall enjoyment on the trail.

Can I charge my devices en route?

Yes, you can charge your electronic devices on the trek to Vitcos, Peru. Our guides take solar-powered chargers with them. However, start the trek well: bring your devices fully charged, and carry extra power banks or batteries if you have them, just in case.

What will the food and accommodation be like on the trail?

Over the years Apus Peru has trained a highly skilled group of trail chefs. These locals have received training in Cusco’s cooking schools and then adapt their knowledge to cooking on the trail. Everyone agrees that the results are amazing!

If you have dietary requirements and restrictions, please let us know at the time of booking. We often cater for vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free travellers. If you have specific requirements, we need to fully understand your expectations so that we can pass this onto your cook.

Another important aspect of trekking with Apus Peru is the quality of our equipment. We supply 4-season North Face tents and foam mattresses that our field team will set up for you each night. Sleeping bags are not included, but are available for rent if you need.

Do you know about Comfort Camping? You can also choose our Comfort Camping option for a special camping experience.

Read more about What to Expect on the Trail, including more about meals and equipment.

Please note that some private transport in Huancacalle is lower quality than in Cusco.

What permits are required?

There are no permits required to hike the Choquequirao to Vitcos trail, but there is an entry fee for both the Choquequirao and Vitcos Rosaspata ruins. Don’t worry, these fees are included in the price of your trek!

Is it possible to customize the Choquequirao to Vitcos tour?

When you think about hiking to Choquequirao and then onto the Vilcabamba region, finishing up at Vitcos Rosaspata is definitely for the Inca enthusiast or history buff!

Here are some great ways to customize the Vitcos trek for the hardy hiker:

  • Those that want to combine the trek to Vitcos with a visit to Machu Picchu should consider this trek instead: Choquequirao to Vilcabamba 9 Day Trek. This trek follows a similar route, and then includes a train trip to Machu Picchu at the end. A great way to combine Choquequirao with its “sister city,” Machu Picchu!
  • For a real grand adventure, try our 15-day Vilcabamba Grand Traverse! This epic journey connects the 8 day Vitcos trek with the 8 day Vilcabamba to Espiritu Pampa trek, for a complete trek that includes all the major Vilcabamba ruins: Choquequirao, Vitcos Rosaspata, Ñustahispana, Incahuasi and Espiritu Pampa.
  • Another epic alternative is the 12-day Inca Trail, Salkantay & Choquequirao Trek. Experience the best the Andes has to offer by hiking to Choquequirao and beyond towards Vilcabamba, then connect with the Salkantay Trek and Inca Trail to complete the journey to Machu Picchu. A once-in-a-lifetime experience!

You can also choose to add an extra day at the Choquequirao ruins, for those wishing to spend more time there before moving on towards Vitcos Rosaspata.

What do you carry during the trek?

All you need to carry with you each day on the tour is a light day pack. In your day pack, you should carry:

  • a reusable water bottle;
  • some extra warm layers, beanie, mitts and a scarf;
  • a camera;
  • a sun hat;
  • sunscreen; and
  • bug spray.

Water is extremely important while hiking. You should start each day with a minimum of 2L, more if you are a ‘thirsty’ person. (It can get very hot in the canyon!) You can fill up your water bottle at mealtimes.

We provide snacks every day, but you can always bring some extra snacks of your own if you like!

You will be provided a duffel bag at your pre trek briefing. In this you can pack up to 10kg (22 lbs) which will be carried by the mules and accessible only when at camp (in the morning and evening). All of the camping equipment for the trek is also carried by mules.

Is the Choquequirao to Vitcos 8 day trek right for me?

If you’re debating whether this trek is right for you, ask yourself the following questions:

  • Am I prepared to climb steep uphill and downhill trails? – The first four days of this trek involve a series of elevation gains/losses of around 1500m each. This is an extremely demanding trek and requires a lot of stamina, mental fortitude and excellent physical fitness.
  • Do I have time to properly acclimatize? – Proper acclimatization for any trek in the Cusco region will help you have the best hiking experience. We recommend a minimum of 2 days at high altitude before beginning this trek.
  • Am I looking for solitude on the trail and a unique experience? – Choquequirao to Vitcos is about as unique a trek as you will find in the Cusco region. While there will be some other hikers until the Choquequirao ruins, after you leave there, it’s a completely un-touristed route. If you are looking forward to meeting fellow trekkers on the trail or at campsites and making new friends, you might prefer a more popular trek such as Salkantay or the Inca Trail.
  • Am I most interested in stunning mountain landscapes and Andean wildlife? – The Apurimac canyon and the landscape on this remote route are stunning and very different from other areas of the Andes. You will find a more classic alpine landscape on the Ausangate trek, if that is more your taste. That trek also has a greater variety of wildlife, including llamas, alpacas and aquatic birds, but Choquequirao has something that other treks don’t: the chance to spot the majestic Andean condor!
  • Am I looking for a trek that includes Machu Picchu? – If you are looking for a trek that combines the ruins of Choquequirao, Vitcos Rosaspata, and Machu Picchu then you should look at our 9 day version of this route.
  • Am I anxious to visit Incan Ruins? – Choquequirao – the “Cradle of Gold” – is considered Machu Picchu’s sister city, and may even be bigger and more complex than Machu Picchu itself. Not only that, after leaving Choquequirao you will trek along original Inca Trails including the one crossing the Choquetacarpo Pass (such a spectacular piece of Incan building!). The trek then finishes at the ruins of Vitcos, including a visit to Ñustahispana, the White Rock.
  • Am I interested in learning about contemporary Andean culture? – One of the best treks in the Cusco region for a glimpse into traditional Peruvian life today is the Lares trek. If this is what you’re after, one of our Lares routes might be a better choice for you.

For more information about what this region has to offer, check out our Choquequirao homepage.

How to get to Cusco?

The Choquequirao to Vitcos trek begins and ends in Cusco. Travel to/from Cusco is not included in the price of your trek.

Travel Direct…

  • By Plane – Most international flights land in Lima, Peru’s capital. From here, you can take a domestic flight to Cusco. Some international flights go through other South American capitals, like Bogotá, Colombia, which also has connecting flights to Cusco.
  • By Bus – You can take an overnight bus from Lima to Cusco (it takes about 20-23 hours). One of the benefits of travelling slowly up from the coast is that you are automatically acclimatising as you travel. Not to mention you get an idea of the stunning landscape and mountains as you travel! The top recommended buses are Cruz del Sur, Palomino and ExcluCiva.

…or Take the Long Way

  • Via Arequipa and/or Puno – If you have the time, spend a day or two in Lima and then head to Arequipa or Puno (or both!) to gradually acclimatize to the altitude over the space of several days before you arrive in Cusco for your trek. We offer 3 and 4 day package tours to Arequipa and Puno that you can add onto to your trek.

Elevation Map

Choquequirao Trek Difficulty

More resources on the Choquequirao to Vitcos hike

If you’re still not sure if the Choquequirao to Vitcos hike is the right trek for you, or want to read more about the area or other people’s trekking experiences, check out these helpful articles from our blog:

  • Choquequirao Highlights – If you’re wondering what it’s like to visit the Choquequirao ruins, you have got to watch this video!
  • Choquequirao – The Best Hike in Peru – There are many great hikes in Peru, but in our opinion, nothing beats Choquequirao! Find out why in this blog.
  • Considering doing the Choquequirao Hike? Read this review! – The first part of this trek follows the classic Choquequirao route. This blog is a great place to start if you’re wondering what that will be like.
  • Why Trek to Choquequirao Now – Right now, Choquequirao is fairly remote and quiet, one of the sites with the fewest numbers of visitors each day. That is going to change! The government is planning to build a cable car to the site, which will dramatically increase the number of visitors to Choquequirao every day. If you want to visit this site in relative peace & quiet, you should go now! Get all the details in this blog.
1 Review
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Vicky-Maree V. from Australia

Group Traveller

8 days of trekking through beautiful mountains and seeing amazing ruins with hardly another soul to see. We were even lucky enough to see condors while on a peak. Rather challenging but worth every step. A magical experience I would do again in a heartbeat!

Our guide was great! He had amazing amounts of knowledge about the infamous Incas, the local area and the Ketua culture. Back this with years of experience in guiding and a great personality, we were in very safe hands.

Our chef was amazing! We were blown away by the multi course, multi dish meals at every meal plus snacks for each trek day! They were super delicious and helped keep us energised throughout each day.

The horseman were so efficient and had everything set up at each stop well before we got there. Each night we camped in unique places (not where everyone else camped) with views to die for.

Any time I go back to Peru for a guided trek, I would trek again with these guys!

5 August, 2017

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