Choquekiraw Trek 5D/4N
Note: The hotel must be booked in the main town due to the early pick up for our services we are unable to go to the Airbnb as most of them do not have a name or address easy to find and some of them are located far away from the main town.
Day 1: Cusco – Capuliyoc – La Playa
We will pick you up from your hotel in Cusco at 4 a.m. You will ride our private van with your tour guide and drive about three hours until you get to the trail head, called Capuliyoc (3,200 m). You will meet your horses and horsemen. Your 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 amazing expedition to Choquekiraw. It will be a three hour, downhill hike with a few stops, as needed, until you arrive to 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).
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 river by cable car, 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 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 to 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
Day 3: Exploring Choquekiraw
After an early breakfast, you will prepare for the most amazing 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 most of it is still hidden in the forest. This Inca site is extremely spread out because the Incas had to study which areas of the mountain to construct several buildings, terraces and houses on. The most impressive parts 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 afterwards to continue exploring the site with our expert tour guides. You will get to explore amazing areas of the site, like the llama area, for example, which is a steep, downhill, 30 minute walk where you will see narrow farming terraces. All of the llama depictions were built out of white stones, into the wall. This was most likely 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
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. 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 nice, you will get to enjoy the amazing landscapes of the Andes. From Marampata, you will begin the four hour, steep, downhill hike to La Playa. This portion requires trekking poles. Half way down, you will have a break to enjoy some fruit farmed in the area. Cactus fruit are 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 black 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
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 get to pass Curawasi, where the famous Anis (local tea) is farmed. You will arrive in Cusco 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
- A briefing at your hotel (6 p.m.) the night before you depart
- Pick up from your hotel and private van transportation to the trail head
- 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 we are prepared and all our guides are trained for most of the 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.
- 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 Choquekiraw 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. This is why we always recommend spending at least two days in Cusco before beginning any trek. If you have more time, even better. Cusco is an amazing city with a lot to do, so 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 which helps bring oxygen into your blood, helping your body avoid the effects of altitude sickness. Avoid drinking a lot of alcohol and coffee. 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 when they race to the top of the mountain too quickly. Go slowly, it will give your body time to adjust to the mountain.
Your healthcare provider may prescribe medicines, such as acetazolamide and dexamethasone, to help prevent altitude sickness. Start the medicine two days before you get to a high altitude. 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. Drink lots of water. And enjoy the coca tea. If anything does happen and you unfortunately get sick, let your guide know right away – all Alpaca Expeditions guides are trained in how to help you get through it.
Of course 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 – just be prepared. No matter what month you are doing the trek, please 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 prepare for four seasons. Many of the treks through the Andes involve many micro-climates and you will need to be prepared for all seasons. Layers are always key as they are easy to adjust to the different temperatures. And evenings will always be cold, so please be prepared with a warm winter-weight jacket.
Every Alpaca Expeditions guide has received training in first aid from a physician. We conduct mandatory training every February – every single Alpaca guide attends. When guiding you, they will have with them a first aid kit for basic medical problems (traveler’s diarrhea, cuts, scrapes, etc.) and oxygen. They know how to make you feel better.
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 course 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 re-connect with your group.
Because there are so many logistics to plan and pay for before your trek occurs, payment for your trek is due even if you are unable to complete the hike. Please read our Booking Conditions carefully so you know what is due. Obtaining travel insurance before you leave home is strongly encouraged. This way, if something happens, and this is rare, you will not be out of pocket a tremendous amount of money. Alpaca will provide a letter and your invoice to submit to your insurance in this case to help expedite your processing.
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.
Alpaca is dedicated to making sure we have the best equipment available. Casual Adventure Camping Store is a family owned business in the United States that is dedicated to the outdoor travelers needs and helps us with all our equipment needs.
Enjoy a good night’s sleep in our spacious Eureka tents. All our tents are 4 man tents, but you will only have to share with one other trekker leaving lots of room to spread out comfortably and store your duffels. They are an A-frame design with entrances on both sides of the tent. They also include a little vestibule in front, giving you some extra outdoor space to leave your boots and walking sticks so you don’t have to bring in dirt. We are proud to be the only company to use these tents.
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