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The 5 day Choquequirao trek is a truly spectacular hike that plunges down into the Apurimac canyon and then up again to the fascinating ruins of Choquequirao. While this is quite a tough trek, you are rewarded with spectacular views the whole way.
Our in-depth 5-day hike to Choquequirao includes an extra day at the Choquequirao ruins, a great opportunity to further explore this little known Inca site, as well as allow your body some time to rest before heading back along the same path to where you started.
The 5-day Choquequirao adventure is a fabulous trek for those with the strength and courage for a real adventurous challenge. This trek follows the same itinerary as the 4 day trek with an extra full day spent touring the Choquequirao ruins.
The Choquequirao 5 days itinerary is one of the most challenging and spectacular hikes in the region, one that really gets you off the beaten track. This trek should only be attempted by those who are fit, have some trekking experience and who have fully acclimatized prior to beginning the trek.
We offer you the opportunity to personalize your Choquequirao 5 day 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.
See What to Bring for our comprehensive recommendations on what to pack for your trek.
Note: it gets hot in the Apurimac Canyon! Although there will be some cold nights along the trail, you should also be prepared to de-layer when we climb down towards Apurimac river. Temperatures can reach as much 35°C in the canyon!
There are also biting insects. So make sure you bring a good insect repellent! You can expect mosquitoes, black flies and other biting insects just about every day along the trail.
For more help with what to pack on your Choquequirao 5 days trek, check out our blog How to Prepare for a Trek in Peru.
Our guides are all chosen for their detailed knowledge of the trekking routes and of Inca culture, as well as for their personality. In addition to being professional guides, they receive frequent training from Apus Peru such as handling group dynamics and wilderness first-aid.
As the Choquequirao region is inaccessible by car, and the terrain very steep, it’s of benefit to have a trek guide with you who is experienced, knowledgeable and quick-thinking, able to alter routes at a moment’s notice if necessary.
We are the leading Choquequirao trek operator – Choquequirao is our specialty!
At Apus Peru, we put people before profit. Safety is paramount and we have a comprehensive risk assessment policy that covers a wide range of details, from vehicle maintenance to illness and evacuation on the trail.
There are many treks that have special safety considerations during the rainy season. As heavy rains can make the trail unsafe, Choquequirao is one of the treks which we will not operate in the wet season under any circumstances.
Want to join the Choquequirao 5 days 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!
We have an early start this morning as we pick you up from your hotel and head out of Cusco at about 5:30am. We will drive about 4 hours to the quaint community of Cachora where we will have the chance to buy some last-minute snacks and supplies before continuing on to Capuliyoc (2915m / 9561 ft). Arriving at Capuliyoc, we will have our first views of the gorgeous Apurimac Valley stretching below us, as well as the surrounding snow-capped peaks of Padrayoc and Wayna Cachora.
Here we meet our arrieros (muleteers) and will take just a short 15 minute walk to where we will have our boxed lunch at the Capuliyoc lookout. After lunch, we start our hike, a steep 3.5-4 hour descent into the Canyon to Chiquisca (1836m / 6023 ft) where we are flanked by breathtaking drop-offs. Another hour of walking from this point and we reach the raging Apurimac River (1550m / 5084 ft).
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.
Another early morning awaits us in order to get the most of the day! We begin our climb back up the canyon to Santa Rosa Campsite (2095 m / 6873 ft). This is a tough 2 hour climb but you will be thankful tomorrow to have already gotten this stretch out of the way! This campsite is a little further along than the most popular campsite so you can expect a more relaxed, quiet evening under the stars.
We head out at 6am, starting our 3h climb to Marampata (3110 m / 10,120ft). This is a tough, steep uphill hike and we will be happy to take a break! A short distance away from our break site, we’ll be treated to our first views of the stunning Choquequirao. From here, it’s another 2 hours over gentle, undulating terrain to reach our destination – a welcome relief after the previous two days of strenuous uphill hiking!
We’ll have lunch at Choquequirao campiste (3050m / 10,000 ft), and then have the afternoon to explore the ruins. We’ll finish the day enjoying a gorgeous sunset over the ruins and keep our eyes peeled for a glimpse of majestic condors soaring through the valley.
Today we have a full day to really appreciate the amazing Inca mastery contained in these impressive ruins. Choquequirao has yet to be fully investigated, with only about 30% of the site excavated to-date. Although often lost in Machu Picchu’s shadow, Choquequirao’s impressive building indicate a site of high status. The beauty of the location and the site’s relative isolation also evoke a sense of awe, and you’ll marvel at the Inca’s ingenuity.
We will have an easy morning this morning with time to relax or make one more visit to the Choquequirao ruins. In the afternoon, we start the walk back to Santa Rosa campsite, returning along the same path from whence we came circling the edge of the Apurimac Canyon.
Starting early this morning to avoid the worst heat of the Apurimac Canyon, we head down to the river below and then begin the arduous climb back up the other side of the canyon. We climb for about 4 hours until we reach Capuliyoc (2915m / 9561 ft) where we are rewarded with spectacular views. After lunch, we hike another 2 hours to Cachora through refreshingly flat pastoral landscapes. Our private car will be waiting for us there for the 4-hour return trip to Cusco, which we expect to reach around 7 or 8pm.