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Choquequirao Trek to Machu Picchu 7D

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Why Book With Us?

  • High quality, personalized experience from start to finish
  • Unique, off-the-beaten track routes
  • Experienced staff
  • Verified sustainability practices
  • $20 of every trek donated to Threads of Peru

Threads of Peru

Martina Puma Ccama – Chaullacocha

Handy in the Andes


handy in the andes

  • Want to give back while on vacation? Do some good while having a blast and join us on one of our Clean Up Treks!                                                                                                  Read More

 


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7 Days / 6 Nights
Availability : We depart almost any day with 2 people. Not available Dec-Mar.
Capuliyoc
Machu Picchu
Difficulty : ★★★★ Challenging
Adventure : ★★★★ Very adventurous
Solitude : ★★★ Off the beaten path
Min Age : 10
Max People : 12
ALTITUDE
0
m
DISTANCE
0
KM
TIME
0
days
AVG DAILY HIKE
5
hours per day
Photos

Description

The famous Choquequirao Trek to Machu Picchu is one of the most challenging and spectacular hikes in the region, combining two of the most famous Inca cities, Choquequirao and Machu Picchu. If you have limited time and don’t mind taking ground transport during one leg of the trip, then this 7-day Choquequirao Trek to Machu Picchu is right for you. For those with a little more time on their hands, we also offer an 8-day and a 9-day version of this route, each with slight variations to the itinerary.

What to Expect on the Choquequirao Trek to Machu Picchu

This challenging, Choquequirao trek to Machu Picchu covers some amazing, little visited landscapes, plunging river gorges, high mountain views, as well as remote villages. And of course, the two big highlights of this route are the incredible Inca ruins at Choquequirao and Machu Picchu.

 

Price
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

$2425

4-6 people

$1565

7-8 people

$1325

9-12 people

$1205
Details

What is Included?

  • Pre-trek briefing
  • Collection from your hotel on the morning of your Choquequirao Trek to Machu Picchu departure
  • Private transport from Cusco to the trailhead and return at the end of the trek
  • Entry fee to Machu Picchu & Choquequirao
  • English/Quechua/Spanish speaking professional guide, plus an assistant guide for groups over 8
  • Tent: 2 people in a 4-person tent, allowing for greater comfort and backpack storage!
  • Basic foam mattress. If you require greater comfort during the trek we can rent you an inflatable mattress. See Optional Extras & Upgrades below.
  • 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 guide if you have certain preferences! Vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free options available. When served, salads are washed in boiled water.
  • Toilet tent
  • Horses and horsemen, who carry camping equipment, food and kitchen utensils. We provide duffel bags at your briefing for your personal items (up to 7kg/15lbs per person).
  • 1 emergency horse which can be ridden if you are feeling ill or if you are a little slower
  • Dining tent with camp tables and chairs, and kitchen tent for the cook to prepare meals
  • Tents, sleeping bags and mattresses for our staff to sleep in, plus a budget for their meals
  • First aid kit including emergency oxygen bottle
  • Bus up and down between Aguas Calientes and Machu Picchu
  • Train from Hydroelectric station to Aguas Calientes
  • Train (Expedition service) from Aguas Calientes to Ollantaytambo
  • Private transport from Ollantaytambo to Cusco.
  • Celebratory dinner in Aguas Calientes
  • Lunch on the last day is included in this itinerary.
  • 1 night accommodation in Aguas Calientes in a Standard Hotel. This will be a nice, clean and safe hotel with breakfast included and private bathroom. You can also upgrade to a higher quality hotel.

What is Not Included?

  • Breakfast on the first morning.
  • Dinner on the last night.
  • Entry to Aguas Calientes hot springs.
  • Entry to Huayna Picchu or Machu Picchu Mountain.
  • Sleeping bags. Available for rent if you don’t have one with you.
  • Tips for the guide, cook and porters
  • Additional horses for your personal luggage

You Should Bring

    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 plenty of cold nights along the trail, you should also be prepared to de-layer when we climb down towards Apurimac river. For more great suggestions, check out our blog about How to Prepare for a Trek in Peru.

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.

    • Extra horse to carry luggage exceeding the allowed 7kg (15lbs) per person
    • Extra horse for you to ride, and horseman to lead it
    • Sleeping Bag suitable for -10˚C
    • Deluxe sleeping bag suitable for -15˚C
    • Light-weight aluminum walking stick. Two sticks are recommended for tough hikes.
    • Thermarest inflatable mattress
    • Thermarest inflatable pillow
    • Single-occupancy tent supplement
    • Comfort Camping Upgrade
    • Aguas Calientes Hotel Upgrade
    • Extra Day at Machu Picchu

    Important!

    • 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. A valid student card which clearly shows the expiry date must be presented upon booking.
  • 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. This discount does not apply to train fares. Children under 2 will not be considered to occupy a seat on any train or bus, and instead must ride on a parent’s lap.

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 Choquequirao Trek to Machu Picchu 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.
  • The Choquequirao Trek to Machu Picchu 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 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 one of our amazing sales people 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.
Itinerary

Day 1Cusco – Capuliyoc – Chiccisqa – Santa Rosa

    We begin our Choquequirao Trek to Machu Picchu with an early departure from Cusco in a private car for a 4 hour drive to the charming village of Cachora, situated on the edge of the Apurimac canyon and surrounded by impressive snow-capped peaks. We will stop in Cachora to purchase any last-minute supplies before continuing by car to just before Capuliyoc (2915 m / 9561 ft). In Capuliyoc we have our first beautiful views of the Apurimac valley stretching below, as well as the snow-capped peaks of Padrayoc and Huayna Cachora.

    We will meet our muleteers here and walk about 15 minutes to have our lunch at the Capuliyoc lookout point. From here, we descend steeply 3-4h into the Apurimac Canyon, taking in the spectacular views until we reach Chiccisqa (1836m / 6023ft), with breathtaking drops on either side. An hour beyond Chiccisqa, we arrive at the roaring Apurimac River (1550 metres/ 5084 feet).

    From the river, we begin to climb to the Santa Rosa Campsite (2095m / 6873ft). This is a tough 2h climb but makes the next day easier! As the campsite is further along than the most popular camp, it is often quiet and you can soak up the stars.

    Total Walking Distance – 16 km
    Total Walking Time – 6h
    Minimum Altitude – 1550m / 5084 ft / Maximum Altitude – 2915m / 9561 ft
    Altitude of camp – 2095m / 6873 ft or 1950m / 6398 ft??
    Approx. night temperature –

Day 2Santa Rosa – Choquequirao Ruins

    We depart early again today, in order to get the most out of the day! We begin by continuing upwards to Maranpata where we will have a break. The climb from the Santa Rosa campsite to Maranpata (3110 m / 10,120 ft) takes about 3 hours and is a tough uphill stretch. A little further on from our break site we will get our first view of the ruins of Choquequirao! From here we have 2 more hours of hiking over gentle, undulating terrain until we reach the ruins. We take our lunch at the Choquequirao campsite nearest to the ruins, before we head to Choquequirao itself for the afternoon.

    Only around 30% of the Inca remains of Choquequirao have been excavated. What can be seen today, however, is most impressive and very much worth the challenging trek to get there! The stonework in Choquequirao is not as sophisticated as that found in Machu Picchu, because the stone found here is very difficult to carve, but the buildings are impressive and suggest a site of high status. Choquequirao evokes a sense of awe simply because of the site’s surrounding beauty and isolation.

    Spending the afternoon exploring the ruins, we will watch the sunset and keep our fingers crossed for the chance to see condors soaring through the sky!

    Total Walking Distance – 13 km
    Total Walking Time – 5 h
    Minimum Altitude – 1950m / 6398ft / Maximum Altitude – 3110m / 10,120 ft
    Altitude of camp – 3050 m / 10,000 ft
    Approx. night temperature –

Day 3Choquequirao – Pinchinuyoc – Rio Blanco

    We begin this part of the Choquequirao Trek to Machu Picchu with an early morning visit to the impressive Choquequirao site. Originally discovered in 1710, there were a series of European explorers who passed through this area and knew about this site, however little importance was given to Choquequirao until 1909 when Hiram Bingham, who is credited with the scientific discovery of Machu Picchu, came across the site. This brought more international attention to Choquequirao but even then, the site was largely ignored until the 1970s when the Peruvian government started its excavations.

    Choquequirao is composed of an amazing and extensive set of terraces and a smaller religious and administrative area with a total area of over 1800 hectares. There are impressive irrigation channels and all of this set in the dramatic setting of the steep Apurimac Canyon.

    We will take our lunch within the ruins today to allow for more exploration time. After our guided visit we climb over a ridge for about 1 hour and then descend for 3h to the ruins at Pinchinuyoc. We will take a short break at these ruins to admire the majestic views. From here, we will descend to the Rio Blanco, a further 1.5 hours steep descent. We camp tonight at Rio Blanco – insect repellant is a must!

    Total Walking Distance – 8km
    Total Walking Time – 5h
    Minimum Altitude – / Maximum Altitude –
    Altitude of camp –
    Approx. night temperature –

Day 4Rio Blanco – Maizal – Mina Victoria/Pajonal

    Today, after breakfast we will start a difficult climb to a small cleared agricultural area on the mountain known as Maizal (3000m / 9,842 ft). For many people, this is the most difficult section of the whole Choquequirao Trek to Machu Picchu. The climb is a difficult 3 hours zig zag uphill.

    After our lunch in Maizal, we climb a further 3-4 hours uphill through cloud forest to the Victoria Mines, an incredible and breathtaking 1000m elevation gain! We’ll take a short rest here and admire the shine of the outcropped rocks illustrating the high concentration of minerals and metals and the reason for the ancient mines.

    In our trek through the puna, we’ll walk over well-preserved Inca trails, with their classical zig-zag shape before setting up camp for the night at Pajonal (4000m / 13,123 ft). Pajonal affords stunning views of the trail where we have just walked, back towards the amazing Apurimac valley. Due to the altitude of the camp, this will be a cold night. The newly discovered Coryhuayrachina ruins are between Yanama and Maizal. Though we do not visit Coryhuayrachina, it is still interesting to learn about some of the little-known Inca history in the areas that we are hiking through.

    Total Walking Distance – 8.5km
    Total Walking Time – 7-8 h
    Minimum Altitude – / Maximum Altitude – 4000m / 13,123 ft
    Altitude of camp – 4000m / 13,123 ft
    Approx. night temperature –

Day 5Pajonal – Yanama – Lucmabamba

    We wake early and climb for an hour to the pass of Paso San Juan (4130 m / 13,546 ft). From this high pass we will be able to see the imposing Mount Choquetacarpo in front. This is a fantastic spot to take pictures on a clear day, possibly the best photo ops on the whole Choquequirao trek to Machu Picchu! The spectacular views continue from the pass as we descend about 2.5h to the charming village of Yanama (4100m /13,451 ft).

    After lunch we will say farewell to our muleteers, some of whom may be from Yanama itself, and your group will be met by a vehicle which will transfer you to the high jungle village of Lucmabamba (2100m / 6889 ft), about a 3h drive. You will enjoy the warm high jungle climate and different atmosphere! Once we arrive at Lucmabamba, a local coffee grower will provide us with a coffee making demonstration and you will have the chance to learn more about the coffee growing process.

    We will camp the night at Lucmabamba (2100m / 6889 ft) Note, your campsite altitude tonight is half of what it was the night before! You can also choose to spend the night in a homestay in Lucmabamba. Spend the night with a local coffee-growing family and enjoy a hot shower and a comfortable bed! There is an extra cost for this option. Read more about our homestay options here.

    Total Walking Distance –
    Total Walking Time – 2.5-3h
    Minimum Altitude – 2100m / 6889 ft / Maximum Altitude –
    Altitude of camp – 2100m / 6889 ft
    Approx. night temperature –

Day 6Lucmabamba – Llactapata – Aguas Calientes

    We leave early and climb for about three hours through the jungle before descending to the interesting, but largely covered ruins of Llactapacta, an amazing introduction to Machu Picchu. Originally discovered by Hiram Bingham at the same time that he discovered Machu Picchu, modern day explorers Vincent Lee and Gary Ziegler recently established that the Llactapacta ruins are much bigger and more important than previously thought. From here we have our first view of Machu Picchu, in the saddle of the mountain opposite.

    After this visit, we descend very steeply on a muddy track for two hours to the impressive Machu Picchu Hydroelectric Station where we will have lunch and visit an Inca ruin.

    We will board the train at the Hydroelectric Station in the mid afternoon, arriving in Aguas Calientes about an hour later. After checking into our accommodations, we will enjoy a celebratory dinner before having an early night in preparation for the next day’s visit to Machu Picchu.

    Total Walking Distance –
    Total Walking Time – 5h
    Minimum Altitude – / Maximum Altitude –

Day 7Aguas Calientes – Machu Picchu – Cusco

    Today we will have a guided visit of the unparalleled Inca Citadel, Machu Picchu! This is a lifelong dream for many, and also the pinnacle of the Choquequirao Trek to Machu Picchu!

    We will take a bus in the pre-dawn hours up to the ruins of Machu Picchu so that you can appreciate this famous city in the dawn light and before the crowds arrive. You will then have a 2-3 hour guided tour of Machu Picchu with your guide. After this, you can explore some of the other highlights on your own. You may want to climb Huayna Picchu or Machu Picchu Mountain to cap off your Machu Picchu experience, but remember that permits are limited and must be reserved at the time of booking! There is an additional cost to hike Huayna Picchu or Machu Picchu Mountain not included in the price of this trek. For more tips on what to see, check out our Visiting Machu Picchu page.

    Want more time to explore? Consider our Extra Day Upgrades!

    After visiting Machu Picchu, you can take the bus back down to Aguas Calientes (or walk down!). From there, we return to Cusco in the afternoon by the Expedition (tourist class) train from Aguas Calientes to Ollantaytambo, where our driver will meet us and transfer you directly back to your hotel in Cusco. Total travel time is about 4 hours from Aguas Calientes to Cusco.