Choquequirao Trek - 6 Days
6 DAYS / 5 NIGHTS
$825 USD per person
Up to 16
Choquequirao Trek + Machu Picchu - 6 Days / 5 Nights
Choquequirao ruins are larger than Machu Picchu, but are currently a hidden gem and not easily accessible to visitors. We have combined this wonder with the 7th wonder of the world, Machu Picchu!
Tour Location: Choquequirao 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.
Price:$825USD per person
Make it a Private Trip! It's easy, just select "Private" on the booking form. Your group, your dates, hassle-free!
CHOQUEQUIRAO TREK TRIP DETAILS
Day 1: Cusco – Capuliyoc – La Playa
We will pick you up from your hotel at 4 a.m. for the four hour drive to the trail head, where you will have breakfast with your trekking staff. Here, you will meet with your horsemen and horses and have the opportunity to give them your duffel bags. After breakfast, you will start your expedition to Choquequirao (also written as Choquekiraw in Quechuan). The first four hours are downhill, until your reach your lunch stop at Chikiska-Chikiska. This is a small village with fruit plantations. Along the way, you will have great views of the Apurimac River and the valley, as well as 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. Following, you will pass a bridge, and have a two hour, uphill hike to the 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, 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 Choquequirao 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 Choquequirao. 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 Choquequirao, 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 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 will prepare for the most spectacular day exploring Choquequirao. 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. Choquequirao 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 Choquequirao.
Weather: Hot and humid
Meals Included: Breakfast, lunch, happy hour and dinner
Day 4: Choquequirao – 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
Day 5: Chikiska – Capuliyoc – Ollantaytambo – Aguas Calientes
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 towards Ollantaytambo to take the 3:36 pm train to Aguas Calientes.
Once in Aguas Calientes town you will 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 expedition. To get the most out of the day, we encourage 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 will 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 guide will introduce you to the beauty of Machu Picchu. You will head directly to a well sought out location from where you will watch the sunrise and take photographs. Your guide will then guide you around the main sectors of the citadel, for a total of 2.5 hours. During this guided tour, you will learn some more about the history and culture of the Inca Empire.
At the end of the tour, you will have some time to 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, we recommend heading back to Aguas Calientes no later than 2 hours before your train departure. The train return from Aguas Calientes to Ollantaytambo will take approximately 2 hours. In Ollantaytambo, our Alpaca Staff will be waiting for your right by the station´s exit door, ready to bring you back to Cusco by car. The car ride to Cusco will be approximately 2 hours and will have you dropped off at your hotel in Cusco.
- Trekking briefing with your trekking guide at 6 p.m., the night before you depart. You will receive your duffel bags for your personal porter.
- Pick up from your hotel and a transfer to the trail head 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
- Train ride back to Ollantaytambo and a bus to Cusco
- We operate this trek ourselves (minimum of two people required)
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 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
$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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
More Information about STUDENT CARD
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: $35 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 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 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 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. We currently sponsor a teacher at the village most of our porters come from to ensure their children are offered the best education.
We buy 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. And we are building a house for our porters to give them a safe and comfortable place to stay before and after our treks so they no longer need to sleep on the floor of a friend.
And 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.
We are always looking to do more for our partners. Please let us know of your ideas and we will work to help.
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.
- 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
THE BEST TREKKING FOOD IN PERU!
When you're trekking through the magical Andes, the food you enjoy should be just as mind-blowing as the views! Get ready to be treated to some gastronomical deliciousness on the trail prepared by professional chefs when you trek with us.
TREKKER RESOURCES & INFORMATION
You get the highest quality camping equipment trekking with us! Black Diamond hiking poles, Thermarest sleeping mats, Eureka tents and more.
Safety on the Trail
We are #1 in trail safety, and the only operator who offers satellite phones on all treks—to extensive medical training for our team.
Free luggage storage for Alpaca trekkers, acclimatization tips in Cusco, and other important answers to your questions are in our FAQ.
Private Toilet Tents
We offer private, clean, environmentally-friendly toilet tents at your camp and lunch sites. Learn why this is a really big deal for our trekkers!