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Trek Choquequirao to Espiritu Pampa 15D

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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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15 Days / 14 Nights
Availability : We depart almost any day with 2 people. Not available Dec-Mar.
Capuliyoc
Espiritu Pampa
Difficulty : ★★★★ Challenging
Adventure : ★★★★ Very adventurous
Solitude : ★★★★ Remote.
Min Age : 10
Max People : 12
ALTITUDE
0
m
DISTANCE
0
KM
TIME
0
days
AVG DAILY HIKE
6
h per day
Photos

Description

Ever wanted to trek Choquequirao to Espiritu Pampa? One of the most incredible Andean adventures out there, this spectacular 15-day journey will take you through the Apurimac Canyon, over the Vilcabamba mountain range, and down through Andean jungle to some of the most little-visited parts of the Andes. You’ll see a stunning array of flora and fauna and visit completely un-touristed Inca ruins typically reserved for the hardy Inca enthusiast or modern-day Indian Jones. The tour culminates in a stop at Last Capital of the Incas, Espiritu Pampa, a site that still remains covered in vegetation and shrouded in mystery.

This 15D trek Choquequirao to Espiritu Pampa does not include a visit to Machu Picchu. If you’re interested in adding this to your itinerary, check out our Machu Picchu Extensions!

What to Expect on the 15D Trek Choquequirao to Espiritu Pampa

This Espiritu Pampa trek has it all! From the spectacular Choquequirao ruins to numerous little-known Inca sites, it covers the gamut of Incan history. You’ll also see breathtaking snow-capped peaks as you trek Choquequirao to Espiritu Pampa, as well as tropical flora and fauna, and everything in between. To top it all off, you’ll have the satisfaction of a strenuous physical challenge. And don’t forget about the chance to see llamas, alpacas and possibly even condors!

 

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

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4-6 people

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7-8 people

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9-12 people

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Details

What is Included?

  • Pre-trek briefing
  • Collection from your hotel on the morning of your trek Choquequirao to Espiritu Pampa departure
  • Private transport from Cusco to the trailhead and return at the end of the trek
  • Entry fee to Choquequirao & Vitcos
  • 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

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.
  • 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 -5˚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
    • Combine with a Machu Picchu Trek Extension
    • Upgrade local ground transportation on this trek to private transport for a shorter, more comfortable trip. Contact us for pricing and to reserve this option.

    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: 15% off. A valid passport must be presented upon booking.
  • Children 0-4: 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 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.
  • If you are short on time and on a budget, this trek can be shortened by approximately two days by taking night buses on Day 1 and Day 9.
  • The 15D Trek Choquequirao to Espiritu Pampa 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.
  • This is a totally off-the-beaten path trek, and tourist infrastructure is very limited. 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 leave Cusco early in the morning in our private car and drive for 4 hours to Cachora, a charming village situated on the edge of the Apurimac Canyon and surrounded by impressive snow-capped peaks. From here, we continue on to Capuliyoc (2915 m / 9561 ft) where we will have our first beautiful views of Padrayoc and Wayna Cachora around us, as well as the Apurimac Valley below us. This is where our trek Choquequirao to Espiritu Pampa begins! We hike to Chiccisqa (1836 m / 6023 ft), and then on to Santa Rosa, where we will camp for the night.

    Total Walking Distance – 16km
    Total Walking Time – 8h
    Minimum Altitude – (1836 m / 6023 ft) / Maximum Altitude – 2915 m / 9561 ft
    Altitude of camp –
    Approx. night temperature –

Day 2Santa Rosa – Choquequirao Ruins

    We’ll have an early morning today as we start our ascent out of the magnificent Apurimac River (1550 m / 5084 ft)., heading first to Maranpata after about 3 hours of difficult climbing. Soon, we’ll have our first views of the stunning Choquequirao site (3110 m / 10,120 ft), which we’ll reach after another 2 hours of hiking.

    We will spend the late afternoon in the ruins, watching the sun set and, if we’re lucky, watching the condors soar by. Our campsite will be at the Choquequirao campsite (3050m / 10,000 ft).

    Total Walking Distance – 13km
    Total Walking Time –
    Minimum Altitude – 1836 m / 6023 ft / Maximum Altitude – 3110 m / 10,120 ft
    Altitude of camp – 3050m / 10,000 ft
    Approx. night temperature –

Day 3Choquequirao – Pinchinuyoc – Rio Blanco

    This morning we can rest a bit and then have more time enjoying the ruins. In the afternoon, we will climb over a ridge and hike to the ruins at Pinchinuyoc, about 2 hours in total, where we will camp for the night. This is definitely the easiest day of the trip!

    Total Walking Distance – 10km
    Total Walking Time – 2h
    Minimum Altitude – 3000m / 9843 ft / Maximum Altitude – 3110 m / 10,120 ft
    Altitude of camp – 3000m / 9843 ft
    Approx. night temperature –

Day 4Rio Blanco – Maizal

    This morning we will first make our way to Rio Blanco (1990 m / 6527 ft), about 2 hours of hiking, before starting the difficult 3-4h climb to Maizal (3000m / 9843 ft). We will camp at Maizal tonight.

    Total Walking Distance – 8km
    Total Walking Time – 6h
    Minimum Altitude – 1990 m / 6527 ft / Maximum Altitude – 3000m / 9843 ft
    Altitude of camp – 3000m / 9843 ft
    Approx. night temperature –

Day 5Maizal – Yanama

    We depart at 7am and walk uphill for about 3 hours through semi-jungle to the Victoria Mines. Here, we visit the ancient mines and some Inca Ruins, even following some well-constructed Inca steps, before climbing an hour more to the Victoria Pass. (4130 m / 13,546 ft). Between Maizal and Yanama are the recently discovered Coryhuayrachina ruins. We won’t have time to stop and explore them, but we encourage you to read more about this fascinating and little-known Inca history.

    There are spectacular views from the pass as we descend about 2 hours to the lovely village of Yanama. We always try to hire locals and many come from this community, including possibly some of the muleteers on your trek! Camping near one of their homes, if we’re lucky we can have a feast of Pachamanca before turning in for the night.

    Total Walking Distance – 12km
    Total Walking Time – 6h
    Minimum Altitude – 3000m / 9843 ft / Maximum Altitude – 4130 m / 13,546 ft
    Altitude of camp – 4100m / 13,451 ft
    Approx. night temperature –

Day 6Yanama – Quellqua Machay

    Another 7am start today as we walk the pretty mountain paths to our lunch spot, surrounded by craggy mountains. After lunch, it’s another 2 hours to Quellqua Machay, where we will camp for the night. Surrounded by snow-capped peaks, this is a spectacular – but very cold!! – place to spend the night. Be sure you’ve brought enough warm layers!

    Total Walking Distance –
    Total Walking Time –
    Minimum Altitude – / Maximum Altitude –
    Altitude of camp –
    Approx. night temperature –

Day 7Quellqua Machay – Huancacalle

    6am and we’re out the door today! It’s a 4-hour climb to the Choquecatarpo Pass (4600m / 15,901ft), the highest and most spectacular of the passes during this trek. 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 spend the night.

    Total Walking Distance –
    Total Walking Time – 8-9 h
    Minimum Altitude – 2900m / 9514 ft / Maximum Altitude – 4600m / 15,901ft
    Altitude of camp – 2900m / 9514 ft
    Approx. night temperature –

Day 8Huancacalle – Vitcos Rosaspata – Huancacalle

    We’re half way!! Take a moment to congratulate yourself on how far you’ve come on this trek Choquequirao to Espiritu Pampa! Today we’ll take a much-deserved rest to reflect on all we’ve accomplished so far, and prepare ourselves for the rest of the journey. We’ll take a group vote about how we should spend the day, but it may include visiting the interesting ruins of Vitcos-Rosaspata and Ñustahispana. We will spend the rest of the day in the hostel in Huancacalle where we can recharge camera batteries, wash dirty clothes and generally rejuvenate ourselves before continuing.

    Total Walking Distance –
    Total Walking Time –
    Minimum Altitude – / Maximum Altitude –
    Altitude of camp – 2900m / 9514 ft
    Approx. night temperature –

Day 9Huancacalle – Yupanqa – Huarina

    We’ll take local transport today to the village of Yupanqa. In Yupanqa, we begin the hike towards the unforgettable site Inca site, Puncuyoc, which we will visit tomorrow. We spend the night in Huarina.

    Total Walking Distance –
    Total Walking Time –
    Minimum Altitude – / Maximum Altitude –
    Altitude of camp –
    Approx. night temperature –

Day 10Huarina – Puncuyoc – Huarina

    After a good night’s rest, we head to Puncuyoc, arriving at this incredible Inca site around mid-morning. After exploring the ruins, we will return to our campsite at Huarina.

    Total Walking Distance –
    Total Walking Time – 7h
    Minimum Altitude – / Maximum Altitude –
    Altitude of camp –
    Approx. night temperature –

Day 11Puncuyoc – Qollpaqasa

    Today we hike along the mountain ridge, passing beautiful lakes and traditional Andean communities along the way. We will camp in Qollpaqasa or perhaps a little beyond, depending on how the day goes.

    Total Walking Distance –
    Total Walking Time – 9h
    Minimum Altitude – / Maximum Altitude –
    Altitude of camp – 1550 m / 5085 ft
    Approx. night temperature –

Day 12Qollpaqasa – Ututo – Vista Alegre

    We have a full day ahead of us, as we hike from Qollpaqasa to Ututo (5h) and then on to Vista Alegre (1550 m / 5085 ft), where will camp for night.

    Total Walking Distance –
    Total Walking Time – 11h
    Minimum Altitude – / Maximum Altitude –
    Altitude of camp – 1550 m / 5085 ft
    Approx. night temperature –

Day 13Vista Alegre – Concevidayoc

    It’s another full day of hiking today as we hike about 8-10 hours from Vista Alegre to Concevidayoc. We will cross more fascinating Inca trails and will have the opportunity to see the Tunki bird, which is in the same family as the birds known as “gallito de las rocas” (little rock rooster). We will overnight in Concevidayoc (1420 m / 4659 ft).

    Total Walking Distance –
    Total Walking Time –
    Minimum Altitude – / Maximum Altitude –
    Altitude of camp – 1420 m / 4659 ft
    Approx. night temperature –

Day 14Concevidayoc – Espiritu Pampa – Kiteni

    From Concevidayoc, we will hike for about 2-3 hours this morning to Espiritu Pampa (1200 m / 3937 ft). Here we can admire the remains of this archeological site, the last Inca Capital. Espiritu Pampa is an especially intriguing site as most of it remains shrouded in vegetation, adding to its mystique.

    After spending a couple of hours visiting the site, we will then travel by ground transport 4-5h to Kiteni, where we will spend the night in a basic hostel.

    Total Walking Distance –
    Total Walking Time – 3h
    Minimum Altitude – 1200 m / 3937 ft / Maximum Altitude – 1420 m / 4659 ft

Day 15Kiteni – Quillabamba – Cusco

    After travelling about 4h from Kiteni to Quillabamba, we continue on to Cusco with another 5-6h bus ride, arriving in Cusco in late evening.

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