Double Occupancy: $1,800 per person
Single Occupancy: $1,990 per person
Minimum No. of Travelers: 4
Duration: Nine Days
Give yourself two to three days to acclimate to Cusco before starting this trek.
On the Choquequirao Huancacalle to Machu Picchu Hike you visit the great Choquequirao archaeological site, and be able to enjoy the spectacular views of snow-capped mountains, great valleys and incredible canyons. There are excellent opportunities to see condors flying nearby, and spot orchids in an everyday changing landscape!
The Inca Emperors frequently selected stunning locations for their “royal residences.” Machu Picchu was the jewel that Inca Pachacutec built, but it was Topa Inca who built the magnificent Choquequirao on a mountain 61 miles west of Cusco. Choquequirao means Cradle of Gold. It is situated in a cloud forest, a dramatic 1,150 meters (3,772 feet) above the Apurimac River.
On the 8th day of the Choquequirao trek to Machu Picchu you arrive at Aguas Calientes, the town at the base of Machu Picchu. The trek is capped off by your visit to Machu Picchu the next day!
DAY 1: Cusco – Cachora - Chiquisca
We have an early start by minibus to Cachora. Your guide meets you at your hotel before 6 AM, and you drive past the towns of Izcuchaca and Limatambo. Then, you cross the Apurimac River at Cunyac, the limit of the regions of Cusco and Apurimac. We stop for a short visit to the Stone of Saywite, then we continue to Cachora, and finally to the end of the road.
After meeting our horse and driver team, we begin our hike towards Capuliyoc (viewpoint) where you can spot Choquequirao in the distance, as well as the mountains of the Cordillera Vilcabamba. You then start a long descent into the valley to Capuliyoc. The terrain and vegetation changes dramatically as we reach our campsite in Chiquisca, 6324’.
DAY 2: Chiquisca – Apurimac - Maranpata
We have an early start (before 7 AM) in order to avoid the heat while climbing up to Santa Rosa. There we meet a family who distils alcohol out of sugar canes. The trail then continues climbing to Maranpata, and along the way we get to see orchids and, if we are lucky, we can spot some condors, foxes and surely many species of birds.Overnight in tents Meals Provided: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner Today you will be camping at Choquequirao. (camp 9868’) Trekking distance:11.94 miles. Approximate time: 7 to 8 hours Gradient: Difficult
DAY 3: Choquequirao
Our day begins at 7 AM, and you spend time exploring the amazing archaeological complex with the company of your guide. Your expert guide takes you to the most important sites in and around the main plaza of Choquequirao. Surrounded by groups of terraces, small sacerdotal houses, aqueducts and intricate architecture, it makes you wonder why this specific location was chosen to build such a wonder! The vegetation hides the rich fauna and flora full of orchids and birds of all sorts. The condor is also no stranger here, especially in the afternoons when they fly nearby before going back to their mountain nests.Overnight in tents Meals Provided: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner Trekking distance visiting the site: 3.55 miles Approximate time: 4-5 hours Gradient: Easy – Easy
Day 4: Choquequirao - Maizal
This morning you leave Choquequirao behind. Rapidly, you reach a pass not far from the site that allows us to enter the valley of Rio Blanco. The trail then penetrates a dense forest as you descend into the valley. Here, a recently discovered archaeological site, Pinchaunuyoc (7980’), is currently being restored. The view leads up the Marcana Mountain (16500’), a glacial summit that is an integral part of the Cordillera Vilcabamba. The descent lasts 2 hours at a soft pace until Rio Blanco (6340’). We stop for a picnic by the river. If you are lucky, you’ll see current-ducks plunging and cooling off in the fresh waters of the river. After lunch, you start the climb and reach the terrace 2 hours later. The view opens to the valley as you progress, finally reaching the cultivated fields that mark the arrival to the small hamlet of Maizal. (9920’). This is where you spend the night. Our camp is set up with a beautiful view of the Cordillera Vilcabamba.Overnight in tents Meals Provided: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner Trekking distance: 11.26 miles. Approximate time: 5 -6 hours Gradient: Easy - Moderate
Day 5: Maizal – Yanama
On our last day of hiking we have a long climb to get back to Cachora where our transportation awaits to take us back to Cusco. From there, we must drive for 165 km back to the capital of the Inca Empire, with an arrival by the late afternoon.Meals Provided: Breakfast, Lunch Trekking distance: 10.26 miles Approximate time: 4 -5 hours Gradient: Easy - Moderate
Day 6: Yanama - Quelcamachay
A long day's hike takes you to an area where many condors fly over the valleys. Right after leaving Yanama you go along the river of the same name, and descend the valley for a few kilometers. You lose approximately 500m of altitude before starting the climb to enter a forest area that leads to a small first passage. We then follow the contour of the mountain where an easy hike awaits you in order to reach the bottom of the valley and the river, Oriyoc. Little by little the vegetation changes, becoming more scattered until becoming a pampa. Another change in the bio-climatic area takes us to a high plain with a stretch of the famous royal road of the Incas, the "Qapaq Ñan." The day is full of views of spectacular granitic rock formations before reaching the camp (12073’).Overnight in tents Meals Provided: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner Trekking distance: 6.10 miles Approximate time: 6 -7 hours Gradient: Easy – Moderate
Day 7: Quelcamachay - Huancacalle
The paved trail from the Inca period that we found at the end of the day yesterday leads us to Choquetacarpu Pass (15091’) where abandoned mines are located. In the ascent you hike by a patch of "queñuas," endemic trees in danger of disappearance.
On the other side of the pass you descend into the valley of Collpa, still on the Qapaq Ñan. You pass small lakes where you have the chance to observe Huallatas (Andean wild geese), a common part of the landscape on the Puna. The path continues an easy hike downhill where you find more vegetation, warmer temperatures, and enclosures and crops. You arrive to Huancacalle where you sleep in a rustic hotel.
Day 8: Huancacalle - Visit Ñusta Hispana & Rosaspata then to Santa Teresa
Breakfast is served before 7 AM, and then you hike a short path to the archaeological site of Vitcos Rosas Pata. The site, seldom visited by tourists, is a legendary place in the region.
Later, our vehicle leads us between coffee plantations and banana trees to Santa Teresa. We follow the sacred river, Urubamba, and arrive at Hidroelectrica where we continue by foot (or local train) to the village of Aguas Calientes, the town at the base of Machu Picchu. We then settle into our hotel for the night. Tonight we will enjoy a fine dinner in one of the top restaurants in Aguas Calientes.
Day 9: Machu Picchu Tour and Cusco
After breakfast at your Aguas Calientes hotel, you take the shuttle before 6:30 AM to Machu Picchu, the hidden Inca citadel. This 25 min bus ride takes you to the gates of Machu Picchu. Then, you have a 2 hour tour with your guide that takes you through the most important sites in Machu Picchu such as the Intihuatana (Sun Stone), the Sun Temple, The Temple of the Condor, the Inca Bridge, and many other buildings. In the late afternoon, you take the train back to Ollantaytambo, and then a bus to Cusco where you are transferred to your hotel for the eveningOvernight in hotel, double or single room with private bathroom Meals provided: Breakfast, Lunch
The meals we provide while in Choquequirao to Huancacalle Machu Picchu Trail are shown below:
|Boxed Lunch / Lunch||X||X||X||X||X||X||X||X||X|
- 7 nights camping on the trail
- 1-night Hotel in Aguas Calientes
- Transfer to start of trek in Cachora
- Transfer from Huancacalle to Hidrolectrica
- Local Train from Hidroelectrica to Aguas Calientes
- Shuttle from Aguas Calientes to Machu Picchu
- Train Aguas Calientes to Ollantaytambo
- Transfer on minibus back to Cusco
- All necessary camping equipment (except sleeping bag)
- Pack animals and their Handlers
- Private guide
- Entrance fees to Saywite, Choquequirao and Machu Picchu
- Sleeping bag (can be rented in our offices in Cusco $45)
- Flights to Cusco
- Hotel in Cusco
- Medical or Life Insurance
- Other Entrances fees
- Any other expense due to delays because of natural causes, landslides, political strikes, etc.
- A 60 litre Duffel sac (18 lbs max weight)
- Small daypack
- Walking shoes or boots
- Rain jacket & pants
- Gloves & wool hat
- Long sleeved shirts (cotton/breathable fabric, not too thin)
- Sun hat/Sunglasses/Sunscreen
- Mosquito repellent
- Personal items & medication
- Torch, binoculars
- Personal documents (Passport Mandatory to present at control gates)
Trip Rating: Moderate-Difficult
Price: from $820 (Minimum 4)
Trip Rating: Moderate-Difficult
Price: from $1,900 (Minimum 4)
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Trip Rating: Moderate-Difficult
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The Alpamayo Trek
Trip Rating: Moderate-Strenuous
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