Choquequirao Trek + Machu Picchu
6 Days / 5 Nights
Choquequirao Peru reveals historic ruins that are much larger than those at Machu Picchu. The Choquequirao Peru tour reveals this currently hidden gem that is not easily accessible to visitors. We have combined this wonder with the 7th wonder of the world, Machu Picchu, to offer an experience of a lifetime!
Tour Location: Choquequirao Peru and Machu Picchu from Cusco, Peru.
Tour Type: Hiking, camping, adventure, history, culture.
Good For: Those who enjoy hiking and are in moderate shape.
Considerations: This is a multi-day trek.
Day 1: Cusco – Capuliyoc – La Playa
Alpaca Expeditions’ team will pick you up from your hotel at 4 a.m. for the four hour drive to the trail head, where you’ll have breakfast with your trekking staff. Here you’ll meet with your horsemen and horses as well as have the opportunity to give them your duffel bags. After breakfast you’ll jump right into the activity of the Choquequirao Peru Tour(also written as Choquekiraw in Quechuan). The first four hours are downhill until you reach your lunch stop at Chikiska-Chikiska. This is a small village with lush fruit plantations. Along the way, you’ll have great views of the Apurimac River, the valley, and the snow-capped peaks. After lunch, the weather gets much warmer since you have already descended quite a bit. It will be another two hours until we arrive at the bottom of the valley and see the famous Apurimac River. Soon after that you’ll pass a bridge and have a two-hour uphill hike to the choquequirao tour campsite at La Playa.
Walking Distance: 18 km
Campsite Elevation: 1,800 m
Weather: Hot and Dry
Day 2: La Playa – Marampata – Choquequirao
After an early breakfast, cooked by your local Alpaca Expeditions’ chef, you’ll get ready for the day. You’ll begin the day by crossing the breach and then it’ll be four hours uphill with zigzags. Along the way you’ll pass by some sugarcane farms and see more great views of the valley from the opposite hill. There’s a good possibility of seeing some condors above as well as beautiful flora and fauna. This climb is one of the most challenging parts of the Choquequirao tour so we’ll have an emergency horse in case you get tired and need a ride. Once you arrive at Marampata you’ll be done with the uphill portion and you’ll have time to enjoy your lunch at 3,350 m high. After lunch, you can take a nap or just relax until we continue on the last two-hour section to the Choquequirao ruins.
This will be the most impressive section of your entire trek because you’ll have absolutely amazing views from the summit to the canyon of Apurimac. You’ll also be able to see Choquequirao where you’ll have a view of the whole Inca site with all of its plants and wildlife including stunning orchids and black bears. Upon your arrival at the campsite Alpaca Expeditions’ porters will set up your tents and prepare the campsite. This campsite is fascinating because it’s right at the foot of the Inca site. If you still have some energy left, you’ll be able to take a 30-minute walk to enjoy the sunset from the Choquequirao Inca site.
Walking Distance: 16 km /9.16 m
Meals Included: Breakfast, Snacks, Lunch, Happy Hour, and Dinner.
Day 3: Exploring Choquequirao
After an early breakfast, you’ll prepare for the most spectacular day of this adventure, which is entirely focused on exploring Choquequirao. It’ll take about 30 minutes to get there but once you arrive, you’ll then begin your history lesson and tour of this impressive Inca site. Choquequirao Peru 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 including 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’ll head back to camp for lunch and a rest. You’ll have more time afterward to continue exploring the site with our expert tour guides. You’ll get to explore areas of the site like the llama area, which is a steep downhill 30-minute walk where you’ll see narrow farming terraces. All of the llama depictions on the terrace walls are from white stones. These depictions are assumed to be built by the Incas to represent the llama constellation in the Milky Way. You’ll also get to visit the Usno area where you’ll enjoy the sunset over the mountains. Soon after you’ll walk back to your campsite for the second night at Choquequirao.
Weather: Hot and Humid
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Happy Hour and Dinner
Day 4: Choquequirao – Marampata – La Playa – Chikiska
After an early breakfast we’ll prepare for our journey back to Cusco. It’ll be two hours back to Marmpata and you’ll see views of the canyon of Apurimac along the way. Your Alpaca Expeditions guide will point out the beautiful flora and fauna you might have missed on your way into the Inca site. You’ll 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’ll get to enjoy the spectacular landscapes of the Andes.
From Marampata you’ll begin the 4 hour steep downhill hike to La Playa, this section requires trekking poles. Halfway down you’ll have a break to enjoy some fresh fruit that was farmed in the area, where cactus fruit is the main attraction. Finally, you’ll reach La Playa for lunch. Soon after it’ll 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, hummingbirds 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 – Ollantaytambo – Aguas Calientes
After an early breakfast you’ll get ready to return to Cusco. It’ll be a four-hour uphill hike until you arrive at the end of the trek where you’ll enjoy your last lunch with your tour guide, porters and horsemen. You’ll say goodbye to your Alpaca Expeditions team and then continue with your tour guide towards Ollantaytambo to take the 3:36 pm train to Aguas Calientes.
Once in Aguas Calientes town you’ll be taken to your hotel and then to a restaurant to enjoy a nice dinner.
Walking Distance: 8 km /4.17 m
Weather: Hot and humid
Meals Included: Breakfast, snacks, and lunch
Day 6: Machu Picchu visit – Cusco
Today will be the most important day of your Choquequirao expedition. To get the most out of the day Alpaca Expeditions encourages every group to have an early breakfast before catching one of the first buses up to Machu Picchu (starting at 5:30 a.m.). The hotel will hold your bags for you while in Machu Picchu. This way you’ll only be required to take your backpack with all essentials up to Machu Picchu. The bus ride from Aguas Calientes to Machu Picchu will take approximately 30 minutes.
Once in Machu Picchu your local guide will take you directly to a well sought out location where you’ll get the best sunrise views and be able to take pictures. Your guide will then show you around the main parts of the citadel, for a complete guided walking tour that will last 2.5 hours. During this guided tour, you will learn more about the history and culture of the Inca Empire.
At the end of the tour, you’ll have some time to wonder yourself or, if you arranged to hike Huayna Picchu* (must be booked in advance, as it sells out and costs $75 per person), your guide will show you where to begin this hike, which will take no more than 2 hours round-trip.
For your return from Machu Picchu Alpaca Expeditions always recommends heading back to Aguas Calientes no later than 2 hours before your train departure. The train return trip from Aguas Calientes to Ollantaytambo will take approximately 2 hours. In Ollantaytambo, our Alpaca Staff will be waiting for you right by the station’s exit door ready to bring you back to Cusco by car. The car ride will be approximately 2 hours and will have you dropped off at your hotel in Cusco.
What’s included in your Choquiquirao Peru tour
- Trekking briefing with your trekking guide at 6 p.m. the night before you depart. You’ll receive your duffel bags for your personal porter.
- Pick up from your hotel and a transfer to the trailhead in our private transportation
- English speaking tour guide
- Cook, porters, horsemen, and horses
- Personal Porter that can carry up to 8kg/16 pounds (we provide a duffel bag)
- Hiking gear: four man tent, dining tent, kitchen tent, chairs, table, foam mat
- All meals: breakfast, lunch, happy hours, dinner, and snacks each day
- Vegetarian food available
- Drinking water each day (you can fill up your water bottle three times a day at breakfast, lunch, and dinner)
- First-aid kit
- Oxygen tank
- Train from Hydroelectric to Aguas Calientes
- Entrance fees for Choqueuiraw Inca ruins and Machu Picchu ruins
- Last night hotel in Aguas Calientes village
- Guided tours in Machu Picchu and Choquequirao
- The train ride back to Ollantaytambo and a bus to Cusco
- We operate this Choquequirao tour ourselves (minimum of two people required)
Satellite Phones: Alpaca Expeditions’ top priority will always be the safety of our clients and our team. While we’re prepared and all our guides are trained for the issues clients may have on the mountain, being a phone call away from any doctor, hospital, or friend helps everyone feel assured that they’re safe. Radios, which all our guides have, are limited in how far they can reach. That’s why 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’re not cheap to use, they’re available just in case you need to check in on the kids or the puppy you left at home with grandma.
- Sleeping bag (rentals available from Alpaca Expeditions)
- Inflatable air mattresses for extra comfort – 3 in /8 cm thick (rentals available from Alpaca Expeditions)
- Trekking poles (rentals available from Alpaca Expeditions)
- Last lunch
- Tips for your crew
$825 per person
Choquequirao Peru Tour Student Discount:
$35 off per person
Student discounts apply to anyone who has a valid UNIVERSITY STUDENT CARD at the time of the trek or who is 17-years-old or younger. For those using a university student card to receive the discount, we need to see a copy of the card at booking. For those booking children 17-years-old or younger, we need a copy of their passport at booking time. Please send all to email@example.com.
More Information about STUDENT CARD
Choquequirao Peru Tour Upgrades:
Hotel upgrades in Aguas Calientes will depend on the hotel you choose to upgrade to. Hotels that are included in our price will depend on availability, but we frequently book in the following hotels: Intipunko Inn, Waman Hotel, El Presidente, or Casa Andina. All of them have private rooms with private bathrooms, a hot shower, wifi, breakfast and storage to leave your luggage in, while you visit Machu Picchu.
Vistadome train to return: $75
Huayna Picchu climb: $75 per person
Altitude for the Choquequirao Peru Tour
As soon as people book their trip to Peru, 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 that’s even better. Cusco is an amazing city with lots of things to do* link to things to do page* 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, vomiting, dizziness, trouble sleeping, or trouble breathing during exercise. If any of these effects become severe please contact our office and we’ll 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 time to adjust. Drink plenty of fluids such as water or coca tea. Coca tea has been used to help prevent altitude sickness since ancient times. Leaves from the coca plant contain alkaloids that help bring oxygen into your blood therefore helping your body avoid the effects of altitude sickness. Things to avoid to help prevent altitude sickness:
* Avoid drinking a lot of alcohol and coffee. They’ll cause you to urinate more often and become dehydrated.
* Avoid smoking. It 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. Going slowly will give your body time to adjust to this new adventure.
Your general physical can prescribe medicines to help prevent altitude sickness. Start the medicine two days before you get to a high altitude and continue to take it while you are at high altitude.
You must remember that this entire adventure is meant to be your holiday and you don’t want to get stressed out about the possibility of getting sick. 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.
Weather is unpredictable. Cusco’s dry season is normally from April to October, but this does not stop rain from falling in May or for the weather to turn warm in December. That’s why we always want you to to come prepared. No matter what month you’re doing the trek please make sure that you have rain gear that includes a waterproof jacket, pants, poncho and waterproof gloves. Gloves tend to be what most people forget.
You want to prepare for All four seasons. Many of the treks through the Andes Mountains involve walking through a lot of micro-climates that force you to prepare for all seasons. Layers are the key because they’re really easy to adjust to the different temperatures. The evenings will always be cold because of the elevation so you’ll need to bring a warm winter-weight jacket.
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. Each of our guides will always have a first aid kit for basic medical problems (traveler’s diarrhea, cuts, scrapes, etc.) and oxygen. They’re trained and experienced when it comes to taking care of you and making you feel better.
In case something unexpected happens and you feel you can no longer complete the trek, Alpaca Expeditions’ team will figure out the safest and quickest way off the course and to a clinic. You’ll never be left alone; you’ll have a member of the Alpaca Expedition team escort you every step of the way until safely with a doctor. When you’re feeling up to it, we’ll make sure that you still have the chance to visit Machu Picchu and re-connect with your group, traveling by train comfortably.
Because there are so many logistics to plan and pay for before your trek occurs, payment for your trek is due even if you’re 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. That way, if something happens, the money you’ve spent will be protected. If that does happen, Alpaca Expeditions will provide you with a letter and your invoice to submit to your insurance 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 Expeditions is really proud of the work we do for our community. This is a main focus for our company. We have worked with villages directly to help supply them with needs their families were missing. We have supported local schools by giving them computers and books. Alpaca Expeditions currently sponsors a teacher for the village most of our porters come from to ensure their children are offered the best education.
Alpaca Expeditions buys all our food from local farmers and markets and serve the freshest ingredients. We provide English classes for all our team: guides, porters, chefs and drivers.
Twice every year we bring our porters and their families to Machu Picchu. This is our favorite trip to do as the guys who work tirelessly have never visited the Lost Citadel of the Incas. Showing them this place is our biggest honor.
Alpaca Expeditions is always looking to do more for our partners, please let us know of your ideas and we’ll work to help.
Alpaca Expeditions 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’ll only have to share with one other trekker leaving lots of room to spread out comfortably and store your duffels. They’re 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 aren’t in great condition. This is Alpaca Expeditions’ 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. This adds 3 inches of comfort on top of the provided foam mat to help you sleep better each night on the Andes. Alpaca Expeditions uses Thermarest and Eureka inflatable air mattresses.
Our Sleeping Bags
Alpaca Expeditions only uses mummy style sleeping bags that’re 100% down for -15°C/5°F . Please note that if you’re 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’ll have a great night’s sleep in this comfy warm bag. Alpaca Expeditions provides 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 of Alpaca Expeditions’ walking sticks are black diamond and can fold up when you’re not using them. They’re sturdy and adjust to your height. Even for those of you who are great trekkers, having a set of sticks is helpful. Especially if the weather turns bad or just to ease the strain on your knees when heading down some of the steeper portions of the hike.
Choquequirao Peru Tour Packing List
- 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/poncho, pants and waterproof gloves
- Hat and gloves
- Warm clothes: layers for variable temperatures, especially at night
- Comfortable trousers
- Sun hat
- Insect repellent
- Re-usable plastic/metal water bottle, or camel bags
- Water for the first four hours of the trek, then we’ll provide you with drinking 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
Choquequirao Trek + Machu Picchu 6D/5N
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.