The 9 Day Choquequirao Trek to Machu Picchu is one of the most beautiful and interesting treks on offer in the Cusco region. Following little visited pathways and Inca Trails, beautiful scenery and visits to the two major Inca sites in the area, this trek has it all!
The trek begins following the regular route for Choquequirao but instead of returning the way you came you continue on and eventually joins the last section of the Salkantay trek to arrive to Machu Picchu.
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Our first day starts out from the village of Cachora, a 4 hour drive from Cusco. Leaving Cachora the path works it's way down in to the Apurimac Valley and we will have fantastic views of snow-capped peaks in the distance and the Apurimac Valley spread out before us throughout the day, also after a few hours walking we'll get to have our first views of Choquequirao sat on the far side of the valley. The area around Choquequirao is rich in life and we will see a wide variety of flora and fauna as we make our way down in to the valley.
Our campsite for the night is at Santa Rosa (2200m / 7215ft.) which is on the other side of the Apurimac River. As the campsite is a little further along the trail than most groups go it is one of the quietest places to camp on the whole trek so we can enjoy the beautiful scenery around us without distraction.
Today is probably the hardest day of the trek. To get to Choquequirao we need to make our way back up the opposite side of the Apurimac Valley which involves ascending about 800m / 2624ft. over a distance of 14km / 8.7 miles through hot and humid conditions. It's quite tough going but the views we get today mixed with the wide variety of flora and fauna you find on this side of the valley make it worth it.
Throughout the day we will see a wide variety of bromeliads, orchids and stands of bamboo; we'll also hopefully see birds such as Quetzals, Toucans and a variety of hummingbirds. After about a 5 hour walk we'll arrive to our campsite close to Choquequirao (3050m / 10,005ft.) and settle in for the night - if the weather is clear the views of the sunsetting from here are amazing and we may be lucky enough to spot Condors soaring over the valley below.
Today you will have a guided tour of all the main sites of interest throughout Choquequirao and then have some free time to explore by yourself. Choquequirao is one of the most extensive Inca sites to be discovered and a large portion of it has yet to be excavated.
After lunch we'll set off again on our trek heading for the pass above the city. From the pass we'll make our way down in to the Rio Blanco valley below and camp at the terraces of Pinchinuyoc (2487m / 8160 ft.).
From our campsite we'll carry on down in to the valley until we reach the river far below. In the dry season the river is calm and it's waters are warm so it's a perfect place to stop and have a refreshing dip and ease out your tired muscles. After our swim we'll make our way back up the opposite side of the valley heading for our campsite at Maizal (2891m / 9488 ft.).
Today we will see a wide variety of native plants and birds and have beautiful views of the lush and green Rio Blanco valley. On arrival to our campsite at Maizal you will have the option of visiting a nearby Inca site.
Todays walk takes us from Maizal to the small community of Yanama. The views are once again amazing and we'll see a variety of plants and birds, walk along original Inca Trails and pass by abandoned gold and silver mines from Peru's Colonial days.
Our campsite for tonight is at Yanama (3520m / 11549 ft.) where we will stay on the land of one of the local families. After lunch we will have the chance to visit their home and learn about their customs and traditions.
From Yanama we begin making our way back up out of the valley as we head for the highest pass on the trek (4840m / 15879 ft.). Having been trekking through mostly lush valleys up to this point you'll notice the scenery change to the high puna (barren grasslands) as we head for the pass. Once at the pass we'll have fantastic views of the surrounding mountain ranges including the might Salkantay (6270m / 20570 ft.).
From the pass the path leads us back down to warmer climes again and our path will eventually converge with the Salkantay Trek at Colpapampa (2900m / 9514 ft.) where we will camp for the night.
Our destination today is the village of La Playa about 12km down the valley from Colpapampa. Our route takes us along the Lluskamayo River through an area that is teeming with life and that has various coffee and fruit plantations.
Tonight we will stay at the village of La Playa (2400m / 7874ft.) which is well connected and there are plenty of places where you can buy snacks and refreshments, you can also try some of the locally grown coffee. If you are interested there is the option to visit some hot springs that are close by, let your guide know in advance so that he can organise this for you.
Today is the final stretch of the trek before we reach Aguas Calientes at the base of Machu Picchu. The main focus of today is a visit to the Inca site of Llactapata sat on the mountainside high above. Following an original Inca Trail we'll arrive to Llactapata by early to mid morning and can enjoy the fantastic views of Machu Picchu that we get from here.
After a tour of Llactapata in which we'll learn about the Inca people and their culture we'll head back down the mountainside to the Hydroelectric Station from where we'll catch our train to Aguas Calientes.
Waking up early we'll take the first bus back up to Machu Picchu to enter the site as it opens. We'll have a 2 hour guided tour of the site during which you'll learn about the Incas and visit all the most important areas of the citadel. After your tour you'll have free time to explore the site by yourself and if you have permits to climb either Huayna Picchu or Machu Picchu mountain. In the afternoon you will take the train back to Ollantaytambo from where you will carry on by bus back to Cusco.
Student Discount: US$ 20.00 (Requires ISIC Card to qualify)
Under 18's Discount: US$20.00
Sleeping Bag US$50
Walking Pole US$18
Inflatable Mattress US$50
Single Tent Supplement US$50
Optional Extras (Need to book in advance):
You can either book by emailing us or by using the Booking form provided on this site.
Send us your main Departure date and back up date: By providing us with a main date and a back up date for your trek (classic Inca Trail, Lares, Salkantay, etc) you automatically authorize Llama Path to use either of these dates for your reservation. Llama Path within the next 48 hours (after you have sent us your booking form and confirm deposit was made) will send you an electronic receipt confirming your trek has been officially booked and also to confirm the exact departure date of your trek.
Send us your Personal Details for Booking: Your passport number and other information must be valid. Please advise if you change your passport number after booking the tour (especially for booking the classic Inca Trail as if we do not make a change in your official details, you may not be permitted to do the trek). Please Note changing passports' numbers requires an extra fee (we are able to change passports numbers easily on our receipt but its also extremely important that we make the changes with the Inca Trail authorities)
Student rate: In order to obtain this discount you must have a valid ISIC card. It is important you scan and e-mail this to us at the time of booking and that it is valid on the date you are booked on the Inca Trail/alternative trek (you will need to show the real ISIC card upon your arrival here in Cusco and in Machu Picchu).
Payment of deposit: For any of pour Adventure treks ending in Machu Picchu.
We request a non-refundable deposit per person along with personal details of each member participating in the trek:
Payment of deposit amount is:
Please note, if you get the permits for the 7am start you will probably have to miss the Machu Picchu guided tour.
Payment of the deposit can be made through any of the 2 following options:
Go to www.paypal.com and if you have an account, enter your account
information (username and password).
Choose the option ´send money´ to: email@example.com (IMPORTANT:
please ensure you choose the option ‘purchase’ and ‘services’. Do not
choose the option ‘personal’).
Please add the 6% Bank transaction fee to the amount of deposit you are sending and confirm by email that you have sent your payment this way.
2) VISA, Master Card, Diners Club, American Express.
Go to the homepage on our website (www.llamapath.com), click on ‘payment
options’ choose your preferred Card payment option and follow the instructions.
If you are paying by this method, please NOTE that VISA, Master Card, Diners Club or American Express will automatically add their 9% transaction fee on top of the amount being paid.
At the end of the transaction, you will have a screen with an order
number. Please send an email confirming deposit and the order number you
have been given.
About the Briefing: The night before your trek there will be a pre-trek talk (briefing) in our office at either 4:00pm or 5:00pm (exact time will be confirmed on your arrival or by email). Your duffle bag will be provided at this time if you have paid for an extra porter for your Inca Trail or if you are doing an alternative trek.
The Local Payment (Final Balance): We require you to pay your final balance in cash (Soles or USA dollars) in our office at least 48 hours prior to tour/trek departure (please advise if you have any delays on arrival).
The Local Payment can be paid in cash and in US dollars or Peruvian soles.
You can also pay your balance (Local Payment) for any of our tours (by Pay Pal + 6% bank transaction fee) up to 15 days prior to departure date(we cannot accept paypal payments once you are in Cusco as paypal often refuses these for security reasons because you are away from home).
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