5 Days / 4 Nights
The Choquequirao Trek (also spelled Choquekiraw) ruins are larger than Machu Picchu, but are currently a hidden gem, and not easily accessible to visitors. Soon, a tram will be built and this will become as popular as Machu Picchu.
Choquequirao Trek Day 1: Cusco – Capuliyoc – La Playa
We will pick you up from your hotel in Cusco at 4 a.m to start your trekking Choquequirao experience. You will ride our private van with your tour guide and drive about three hours until you get to the trailhead, called Capuliyoc (3,200 m). You will meet your horses and horsemen. Your Choquequirao trekking chef will provide the first breakfast, and your trekking guide will introduce the team. The views of the snow-capped mountains are beautiful. After a group photo, you will start the expedition to Choquekiraw Ruins. It will be a three hour, downhill hike with a few stops, as needed until you arrive at your first lunch spot. The trail can be dusty and slippery, but with good trekking shoes and trekking poles, you won’t have a problem. There will be spectacular views of the Apurimac river, landscapes, and beautiful flora and fauna. After lunch, you will hike another three hours until you reach your campsite, which is at the bottom of a valley, called La Playa (1,800 m).
Choquequirao Trek Day 2: La Playa – Marampata – Choquekiraw
After an early breakfast, you will get ready for the day. You will begin the day by crossing the breach, and then it will be four hours uphill, with zigzags. Along the way, you will pass by some sugar cane farms, more great views of the valley from the opposite hill, possibly some condors above and beautiful flora and fauna. This climb is one of the most challenging parts of the Choquekiraw Trek, so we will have an emergency horse in case you get tired and want a ride. Once you arrive at Marampata, you will be done with the uphill portion. You will have time to enjoy your lunch at 3,350 m high. After lunch, you can take a nap, and then we will continue on the last two-hour section until Choquekiraw. This will be the most impressive section of your entire trek because you will have amazing views from the summit to the canyon of Apurimac. You will also be able to see Choquekiraw, where you will see the whole Inca site, orchids, among other flowers and black bears. Upon your arrival at the campsite, our porters will set you up in your tents. This campsite is amazing because it will be right at the foot of the Inca site. If you still have some energy left, you will be able to take a 30-minute walk to enjoy the sunset from the Choquekiraw Inca site.
Walking Distance: 16 km /9.16 m
Meals Included: Breakfast, snacks, lunch, happy hour and dinner
Choquequirao Trek Day 3: Exploring Choquekiraw
After an early breakfast, you will prepare for the most spectacular day exploring Choquekiraw. It will take about 30 minutes to get there. Once you arrive, you´ll then begin your history lesson and tour of this impressive Inca site. Choquekiraw is considered to be bigger than Machu Picchu, although it´s almost all hidden by the forest. This Inca site is extremely spread out because the Incas had to study which areas of the mountain to build various buildings, terraces, and houses. The most impressive sections of this site are the temples, astronomical observatories, and water channels.
After touring around for about four hours, you will head back to camp for lunch and a rest. You will have more time afterward to continue exploring the site with our expert tour guides. You will get to explore areas of the site like the llama area, which is a steep downhill 30-minute walk where you will see narrow farming terraces. All of the llama depictions on the terrace walls are from white stones. These were probably built by the Incas to represent the llama constellation in the Milky Way. You will also get to visit the Usno area, where you will enjoy the sunset over the mountains. Following, you will walk back to your campsite for the second night at Choquekiraw.
Weather: Hot with mosquitoes
Meals Included: Breakfast, lunch, happy hour and dinner
Choquequirao Trek Day 4: Choquekiraw – Marampata – La Playa – Chikiska
After another early breakfast, we will prepare for our journey back to Cusco. It will be two hours back to Marmpata, and you will see views of the canyon of Apurimac along the way. The tour guide will point out the beautiful flora and fauna you might have missed on your way to the Inca site. You will see impressive waterfalls in the distance, as well as the clouds lifting from the bottom of the canyon. Also, if the weather is pleasant, you will get to enjoy the spectacular landscapes of the Andes. From Marampata, you will begin the 4 hour steep downhill hike to La Playa. This section requires trekking poles. Halfway down, you will have a break to enjoy some fruit farmed in the area. Cactus fruit is the main attraction. Finally, you will reach La Playa for lunch. Following, it will be another two hours, uphill to Chikiska Camp, which is in the backyard of a family’s home. You may also see some Spectacled Bears, Condors, Humming Birds, and more.
Trekking Distance: 18 km /11.32 m
Weather: Hot with mosquitoes
Meals Included: Breakfast, snacks, lunch, happy hour and dinner
Choquequirao Trek Day 5: Chikiska – Capuliyoc – Cusco
After an early breakfast, you will get ready to return to Cusco. It will be a four-hour uphill hike until you arrive at the end of the trek, where you will enjoy your last lunch with your tour guide, porters and horsemen. You will say goodbye to your team and then continue with your tour guide to Cusco for about three more hours by car. You will drive through Curawasi, where the famous local tea Anis is farmed. You will arrive in Cusco at around 6 p.m. We will drop you off at your hotel.
Walking Distance: 8 km /4.17 m
Meals Included: Breakfast, snacks, and lunch
Included in the Choquequirao Trek:
- A briefing at your hotel (6 p.m.) the night before you depart
- Pick up from your hotel and private van transportation to the trailhead
- Professional English speaking tour guide
- Professional trekking chef
- Porters, horsemen
- Horses to carry the camping equipment, food, and your personal belongings (up to 8 kg)
- Meals, breakfast, snacks, happy hours, dinner
- Camping equipment, sleeping tents, foam mats, dining tents, kitchen tents, chairs, dishes and more
- Entrance fee to Choquekiraw
- First-aid kit
- Private, portable toilets
- Drinking water three times a day
- Emergency horse to ride in case you feel tired
- Taxes included
Satellite Phones: Our top priority will always be the safety of our clients and our team. While all our guides are prepared and trained to deal with most issues clients have on the mountain. Being a phone call away from any doctor, hospital, or friend helps everyone feel assured that they are safe. Radios, which all our guides have, are limited in how far they can reach, so Alpaca Expeditions has added Satellite Phones to every trek. Every guide will have a fully charged phone that can be used anywhere on the mountain to connect us anywhere in the world. And they can be used by our clients for non-emergencies as well. While they are not cheap to use, they are available just in case you need to check in on the puppy you left at home with grandma.
Not Included in the Choquequirao Trek:
- Sleeping bag (rentals available from Alpaca Expeditions)
- Inflatable air mattress for extra comfort – 3 in /8 cm thick (rentals available from Alpaca Expeditions)
- Walking sticks (rentals available from Alpaca Expeditions)
Our 5D/4N Choquequirao Trek includes a personal porter to carry up to 8 kg/16 lbs of your belongings. We do book by the size of the group because this trek does not go to Machu Picchu, so it tends to be less popular.
Priced per person
2-3 Trekkers: $650 per person
4-5 Trekkers: $600 per person
6 or more Trekkers: $550 per person
As soon as people book their trip to Peru, specifically Cusco, they start wondering about altitude sickness. The air at high altitudes contains less oxygen than at sea level and forces your body to work harder to get the oxygen it needs. Over several days at high altitude, your body adjusts to the lower amount of oxygen in the air. For this reason, we always recommend spending at least two days in Cusco before beginning any trek in the Andes. Cusco is a marvelous city with lots to do, so if you have more time to acclimate, you won´t be bored.
With altitude sickness, you may first feel like you have the flu or a hangover. You may have a headache, tiredness, loss of appetite, nausea or vomiting, dizziness, trouble sleeping, trouble breathing during exercise. If any of these effects become severe, please contact our office, and we will help you get to a doctor.
Most of the time, these symptoms will be mild. We always recommend easing into activity slowly, allowing your body to adjust. Drink plenty of fluids such as water or coca tea. Coca tea has been used since ancient times to help prevent altitude sickness. Leaves from the Coca Plant contain alkaloids that help bring oxygen into your blood, helping your body avoid the effects of altitude sickness. Avoid drinking a lot of alcohol and coffee, since they will cause you to urinate more often and become dehydrated. Avoid smoking. Smoking makes it more difficult for your body to get oxygen. Avoid sleeping pills. They may cause shallow breathing at night, making it more difficult for your body to absorb oxygen while you sleep.
Remember, the trek to Machu Picchu is not a race. Even those in the best shape will suffer from altitude sickness if they race to the top of the mountain too quickly. Go slow, and it will give your body time to adjust to the elevation. Your healthcare provider may prescribe medication such as Acetazolamide and Dexamethasone to help prevent altitude sickness. Start the medicine two days before you get to high altitude, and continue to take it while you are at high altitude. You must remember that this is your holiday and you do not want to stress out about the possibility of getting sick from the mountains. Do everything slowly and drink lots of water, and enjoy the coca tea. If anything does happen and you, unfortunately, get sick, let your guide know right away. Alpaca Expedition guides are trained to help you get through it.
Of course, the weather is unpredictable. Typically the dry season in Cusco is from April through October, but this does not stop rain from falling in June or the sun from coming out in December, so just be prepared. No matter what month you are doing the trek, make sure that you have rain gear that includes a waterproof jacket, pants, poncho, and waterproof gloves. Many people forget about gloves, but being cold and wet makes hiking very unpleasant.
Also, be ready for four seasons. Treks in the Andes involve various microclimates, and you will need to be prepared for each one. Layers are always key since they are easy to adjust to different temperature changes. Be prepared with a warm packable down jacket since the evening will be cold.
Every Alpaca Expeditions guide has received training in first aid from a physician. We conduct mandatory training every February, and every single Alpaca guide attends. When guiding you, they will have with them a first aid kit for basic medical situations (traveler’s diarrhea, cuts, scrapes, etc.) and oxygen. They will take good care of you.
In case something unexpected happens, and you feel you can no longer complete the trek, they will figure out the safest and quickest way off the trail and to a clinic. You will never be left alone; you will have a member of the team escort you every step of the way until safely with a doctor. When you are feeling up to it, we will make sure that you still have the chance to visit Machu Picchu and re-connect with your group. This way, you can finish your trip, traveling by train comfortably.
To protect your travel investment, we highly recommend the purchase of travel insurance. Getting travel insurance before you leave home is strongly encouraged and very easy. We work with a great agency in the United States, that has helped to make it easy and affordable. What an excellent way to protect yourself while you are visiting Peru.
If interested in booking through our trusted partner, Ahart, Frinzi & Smith, CLICK HERE.
Alpaca Expeditions uses biodegradable soap and transports all our garbage back to Cusco. Our porters are trained to look after the trail and pick up any waste from other groups, as well. We also use environmentally-friendly chemical portable toilets that allow us to pack waste out. We believe in leaving no footprint behind.
Every camping tour includes a spacious four-person tent that will be shared by only two people so you can spread out a bit. These are Eureka Timberline all-season tents. Our rentals are top of the line: Black Diamond Adjustable Walking Sticks and Thermarest Luxury Air Matts. Sleeping Bags rented from us are mummy-style down bags, and rated for 15C and liners are always included.
For more information on our equipment, CLICK HERE.
No need to add some additional hiking in the middle of the night when you have to use the bathroom! We set up our clean, environmentally friendly, toilet tents right at your campsites and lunch sites, so you don’t have to bother with the park toilets that are not in good condition. We make our footprint on the environment smaller while adding the convenience and luxury of a private bathroom to your trekking adventure.
Our Toilet Tents
No need to add some additional hiking in the middle of the night when you have to use the bathroom! We set up our spotless, environmentally friendly, toilet tents right at your camping site and lunch sites so you don’t have to bother with the park toilets that are not in great condition. This is our way to lessen our footprint on the environment while adding the convenience and luxury of a private bathroom to your trekking adventure.
A foam mat is included to separate and insulate you from the ground. For added comfort you may want to consider upgrading by renting an inflatable sleeping pad which adds 3 inches of comfort on top of the provided foam mat to help you sleep like a baby alpaca each night on the Andes. We use Thermarest and Eureka inflatable air mattresses.
Our Sleeping Bags
We use only mummy style sleeping bags that are 100% down for -15°C/5°F . Please note that if you are over 1.95 meters / 6´4″ tall then you won’t be able to find a sleeping bag rental in Cusco. In this case it is recommended to bring your own. For everyone else, you will have a great night’s sleep in this comfy, warm bag. We provide liners to everyone that are machine washed between every use. These do need to be included in your duffel weight and weigh 2 kg.
Our Walking Sticks
All our sticks are black diamond and fold up for when you are not using them. They are sturdy and adjust to your height. Even for those of you who are great trekkers, having a set of sticks is helpful on all treks. Especially if the weather turns bad or just heading down some of the steeper portions of the hike.
Personal Porter Included
All of our treks include porters, who are responsible for carrying and setting up all equipment. They will also carry your personal duffel, which you will receive at your briefing the night before your trek. This duffel can not exceed 7 kg/14 lbs, and must include your sleeping bag and air mattress.
Each Alpaca Expeditions porter is given a proper uniform, salary and insurance. They are the backbone of our company.
- Day pack
- Copy of your passport
- Good hiking gear: hiking boots, warm jackets, gloves, hat warm fleece and socks
- Sleeping bag
- Walking boots
- Waterproof jacket/rain poncho
- Hat and gloves
- Warm clothes: layers for variable temperatures, especially at night
- Comfortable trousers
- Sun hat
- Sun screen
- Insect repellent
- Re-usable plastic/metal water container, or camel bags
- Water for the first four hours of the trek, then we will provide you with drinking, previously boiled water
- Personal medication
- Camera and films
- Flashlight with spare batteries
- Walking stick
- Bathing suit for the hot springs
- Extra money for souvenirs, drinks and tips
See you on the Choquequirao Trek!
Choquequirao Trek 5D/4N
Please fill in our BOOKING FORM carefully with your correct personal details.
The Alpaca Difference
Alpaca Expeditions is a 100% peruvian, indigenous owned company. Started by Raul Ccolque, a former porter and tour guide, Alpaca Expeditions separates ourselves by our dedication to both our customer and our team. We work very hard to make sure that all our clients needs are taken care of throughout the tour with us. At the same time, we never forget about our brothers and sisters working tirelessly for us to make all of this possible. Responsible and sustainable tourism that gives as much to our community as to our clients.
Meet the AE Trekking Team!
Everyone on the Alpaca Team is from Cusco region, living the traditions and history they share with you while on one of our tours. Our guides are all graduates of university studying tourism, history and english. Our chefs are trained every February by a professional cooking team learning new meals, adding varieties of entrees for all types of eating. And all our porters are from HUARQUI, HUACAHUASI, PATACANCHA, QUISWARANI, CANCHACANCHA, QUEYUPAY, UMACHURCO and CCACCACCOLLO villages, very often working this job on top of maining their farms back at home. Most of our team has been with us for years, as we have the most loyal, hard working, happy employees in Cusco. We know how lucky we are to have the best team trekking and you will immediately fall in love with all the men and women who call Alpaca Expeditions their home.
Our Porters represent the Peruvian people, both men, and women who are at the heart of our...
Alpaca Expeditions aims to promote gender equality and empower women, hiring first Peru Wo...
Travelling and trekking along the mountains is one of the best activities in the World. Co...
Trekking along the mountain on your way to conquer Machu Picchu is a once in a lifetime ex...
What do we do for our porters?
Alpaca Expeditions would not be where we are today without these hardworking men and women. We could not imagine a harder job and our team does it smiling. We do our best to thank them for their hard work and loyalty by doing as much as we can to make their lives and their families lives better. All our porters receive all their equipment for free from warm winter hats to proper hiking boots. They sleep in proper tents and are given warm sleeping bags for night. They enjoy the same food we serve our clients and all leftovers are donated to their families. We visit their villages with doctors and dentists, donate school supplies and sports equipment. And our favorite time of the year is when we bring a group of porters and their families to Machu Picchu to visit the ruins for the first time.
Our Porters represent the Peruvian people, both men, and women who are at the heart of our company. It is not possible to ...
Alpaca Expeditions aims to promote gender equality and empower women, hiring first Peru Women as Porters opening the door ...
Free Medical Assistance to Porters
In 2019, we hired our first Alpaca Expeditions Medical Doctor to help tend to our guides, drivers, chefs…
Our Porter’s bus
We treat our porters with the same dignity and respect as we do our clients. Just as our clients enjoy our…
Our Porter’s House
As we mentioned above, our Porters like many Peruvian people come from distant villages to work our treks…
Tents and Sleeping bags
Again, this is something unique that Alpaca Expeditions provides, and sad others are not doing. We supply…
Proper Equipment for our Porters
Every porter of ours receives proper equipment. That includes moisture-wicking long/short sleeve shirts…
Nutritious Meals for our Porters
A general comment from trekkers on an Alpaca Expeditions tour is that we serve too much food. Well…
Alpaca Expeditions is always ready to make your trip safe and as easy as possible for you. Because these trips are a bit more complicated than your typical tour, we have put together some notes on logistics, storage, and even recommendations on where to stay in Cusco. And of course our team is ready to answer any other question, as we promise to be your partner from the moment you first contact us to our last goodbye in Cusco.
Alpaca Expeditions Recognitions
ISO (International Organization for Standardization)
In the pursuit to stand out from the rest, Alpaca Expeditions has obtained four ISOs plus our carbon footprint certificate to date. These achievements result from our efforts to implement the internationally-recognized integrated management system. They also represent our commitment to all of our clients and staff of operating sustainability and responsibility in every way possible.