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Choquequirao Trek

to Machu Picchu

6 DAYS / 5 NIGHTS

$825 USD per person

LODGING TYPE

Camping

GROUP SIZE

Up to 10

ACTIVITY LEVEL

Challenging

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.
Difficulty: Challenging.
Considerations: This is a multi-day trek.

Price:$825USD per person 

Choquekiraw trekking

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

ITINERARY

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 start your expedition to Choquequirao (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 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 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 Trek 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 Choquequirao.

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
Weather: Hot
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 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 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?

What’s included

  • 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
  • Train ride back to Ollantaytambo and a bus to Cusco
  • We operate this trek ourselves (minimum of two people required)
  • Taxes

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.

Not Included

  • 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

PRICE

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 info@alpacaexpeditions.com.

More Information about STUDENT CARD

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: $35 per person

TRAVEL INFO

Altitude

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

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.

First Aid

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.

Travel Insurance

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.

Environmental Impact

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.

Community

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.

Our Equipment

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.

Our Tents

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.

Our Mats

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.

PACKING LIST

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
  • T-shirts
  • Comfortable trousers
  • Sun hat
  • Sunscreen
  • 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
  • Toiletries
  • 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!

Food at the Inca Trail

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

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Camping Equipment

You get the highest quality camping equipment trekking with us! Black Diamond hiking poles, Thermarest sleeping mats, Eureka tents and more.

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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.

Peru Travel Tips - Alpaca Expeditions

Trekker FAQs

Free luggage storage for Alpaca trekkers, acclimatization tips in Cusco, and other important answers to your questions are in our FAQ.

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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!

The Alpaca Difference

Leading the Way in Sustainable Tourism and Community Projects in Peru Since 2013

100% Peruvian Company

About Us

Alpaca Expeditions has been growing year by year, not only in number of clients, but also the number of employees.

Active in our Community

Empowering Women

Alpaca Expeditions is trying to give a voice to these women. Give them a safe place to say "I want more." We have opened

Commitment to our Home

Social Projects

Alpaca Expeditions is based in Cusco, Peru. The company was created by Raul Ccolque, an ex-porter and tour guide

Green Machine

Porter Leadership

These men and women are at the heart of our company. It is not possible to create the experience we provide

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