Explore All Choquequirao Treks
If you haven’t heard of the Choquequirao ruins, (or “Choquekiraw” in Quechua) you aren’t alone! While the ruins of Machu Picchu gained notoriety among travelers and trekkers alike, the “Sister” site is still largely overlooked… and not for a lack of sacred beauty!
The Choquequirao ruins are larger than Machu Picchu, but are currently a hidden gem, and not easily accessible to visitors. These treks offer you an incredible chance to explore the trails and ruins alike.
Trek in complete confidence knowing that you’ll have top-quality camping equipment, nutritious meals on the trail prepared by professional chefs, and a trail team trained in safety procedures that exceed expectations on every trek.
Choquequirao is every bit as beautiful as Machu Picchu, but doesn’t yet have the global fame of these iconic ruins. While Choquequirao is currently only reachable by foot, there are plans to build a road and cable car that will bring in significantly more tourists. Now is your chance to get an intimate look at Choquequirao without needing to share the views with several thousand other visitors! These ruins won’t stay hidden for long, so make the trek while it’s still mostly undiscovered.
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All Choquequirao Treks are available for daily tour departures, March – January. Optimal trekking season is April -October. No special permits are needed, unlike the Classic Inca Trail.
With steep descents, challenging climbs and long days of hiking, the Choquequirao trek is considered a difficult trek. We recommend all trekkers be in moderate shape and commit to reasonable training before the excursion. That said, there will be helpful porters to carry bags and several breaks throughout the day to ensure a fun and approachable hiking experience. On top of that, there will be so many stunning views to take in, you’ll hardly notice any fatigue you may feel on the trail!
The total distance covered is approximately 58 to 64 kilometers (36 to 40 miles) round trip, which we cover over 5 days of hiking. This experience is just long enough for the trek to feel like a significant accomplishment!
Choquequirao is known as “The Last Refuge of the Incas.” These ruins represent a hidden home for Incas that were seeking refuge from the Spanish. Its name means “Cradle of Gold”, and is considered the Sister City of Machu Picchu.
These ruins, at 1,800 hectares, are 30-40% evacuated and are even larger than the ruins of Machu Picchu.
While we can’t say one is better, these two ancient Incan lost cities are significantly different. Choquequirao is a hidden gem that many visitors don’t know about. This site is only reachable by foot, making the site much more remote and unvisited. These historic ruins are larger than Machu Picchu and there is still much to discover about this lost Incan city. The entire ruins are only 30-40% excavated, meaning there is still much to discover.
Machu Picchu, which is found at the end of the Inca Trail, is one of the most well-known and revered sites in the world nestled into a remote, unpopulated area of the Andes. This is a UNESCO world heritage site and the 7th Wonder of the World, making it one of the most famous historic sites you can visit. Machu Picchu can be reached without hiking, making it more accessible.
If you want to experience both trails in one experience, check out our Choquequirao and Machu Picchu Adventure!
While you can technically hike the Choquequirao Trek without a guide, it should only be attempted by seasoned trekkers that have meticulously studied the trail. We highly recommend using a tour company to plan and execute your Choquequirao Trek. Our team of guides will manage logistics, meals, activities, campsites and transportation, so all you need to do is enjoy the experience.
While there are plans to build a cable car to Choquequirao, the only way to currently reach these stunning ruins is on a multiple-day trek. Once the cable car is built, we expect to see a significant uptake in people visiting Machu Picchu’s Sister City. If you want to see Choquequirao before it becomes a hub for Peru visitors, we highly recommend booking a trek before the cable car is complete.
As with all treks through the Andes, the weather can be unpredictable and vary throughout the day. The Choquequirao trek crosses through a lower valley, meaning temperatures between 25-40° C are common. But as you climb elevation, you can expect colder temperatures, especially in the mornings and evenings. We highly recommend wearing layers with waterproof layers, gloves and beanies for cold weather and hats and sunglasses for when the sun comes out.
Your journey will start with a 4;30am pickup from any hotel in Cusco. After a three-hour drive to Sacred Valley, you will start your trek in Capuliyoc (3,200 m above sea level). After a warm breakfast, your trekking group will venture out onto the trail for your adventure in the Vilcabamba Range of the Andes.
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