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Pickup from a centrally located meeting point
See native wildlife in their natural environment
Small group ensures personal service
All entrance fees included
All necessary equipment included
Vegetarian meal option available
The world Choquequirao means the “Cradle of the Gold” in southern Quechua. Its structure and architecture is similar to Machu Picchu and it's been called the “Sister of Machu Picchu” It is considered one of the last resistance bastions and refugees of the Incas, who abandoned Cusco in 1535. You will hike through the most picturesque places in the Andes and have horses for your convenience. You will use high quality camping equipment to enjoy two Inca highlights, Machu Picchu and Choquequirao, making this truly memorable. See itinerary below for details.
Day 1: Cusco - Cachora - Playa Rosalina You will leave Cusco at 4am and drive by private vehicle to Cachora (2,850 m/9,350 ft), a small village and the starting point of the hike. You will descend to the Apurimac River Valley enjoying great views along the way. After 2 hours of walking, you'll have the first sight of Choquequirao Mountain on the opposite site of the valley. The way to Choquequirao leads through a highland jungle so the weather is warm, humid and rainy. You will see lush and tropical vegetation and fauna including lambram trees, ferns, orchids, deer, foxes and more. You will reach the first campsite at Playa Rosalina (1,550 masl/5,115 feet) located at the shores of the Apurimac River and camp there for the night.
Day 2: Playa Rosalina - Marampata - Choquequirao After breakfast, you'll start the hike ascending to Marampata (2,850 m/9,350 feet) and reaching spectacular views of the Apurimac River Canyon and the river itself. You may also spot condors. Enjoy lunch once you reach Marampata and continue the hike to reach the fabulous lost Inca city of Choquequirao (3,100 m/10,168 feet) at around 4pm. Enjoy a guided tour our of the city and listen to your guide explain all about each main landmark including Hauqaypata (main square) with the principal Sun Temple, Urin (upper square) with its open temple, Ushno (ceremonial platform), houses of priests, qolqas (storages), irrigation channels and agricultural terraces. Enjoy fantastic views from there including the cloud forest. You will set up camp near the site and spend the night.
Day 3: Choquequirao - Maizal After breakfast, you leave Choquequirao and gently hike for 3 hours up to the Choquequirao Pass (3,300 m/10,890 feet). Then, you'll start descending to Rio Blanco (1,900 m/6,270 ft) entering a cloud forest. There, you can admire the polylepis trees (native mountain trees with shredded, multi-layered bark), epiphytes, orchids, diverse bird species and water fountains. See how some lush vegetation of the cloud forest still covers part of the Inca farming terraces of Pinchiunuyoc (2,487 m/8,160 feet). Continue your descent, passing through coca plantations as the scenery changes into a dry Andean forest. After having lunch, you will climb for another 3 hours towards the village of Maizal (3,000 m/9,900 feet) where you will set up camp for the night. From this natural viewpoint, you can see imposing views of the gorges of Yanama and Yurahmayo that later join the Apurimac River Canyon.
Day 4: Maizal - Minas Victoria - Yanama After breakfast, start ascending towards the Victoria Pass (4,150 m/13,695 feet). After a 4 hours you will reach Minas Victoria, an Inca and later colonial silver mining center that is abandoned nowadays. Continue hiking along the hill of Qoriwayrachina, a place where archaeological explorations have been done recently. Closer to the Victoria Pass, you will start following an incredibly well- preserved Inca trail with stone steps in the middle. You will reach the Victoria Pass and enjoy the wonderful views of the snow-capped mountains of Humantay (5,700 m/18,700 feet) and Salkantay (6,271 m/20,574 feet). Then, you'll descend to the village of Yanama (3,800 m/12,540 feet) where you'll set up camp and spend the night with views of the Yanama River below and Pumasillo Mountain above.
Day 5: Yanama - Totora Start hiking towards Yanama Valley passing farmer fields and lush vegetation to later overcome the highest pass of the trek - Yanama Pass (4,668 m/15,315 feet). See the amazing snowy peaks of Sacsarayoj and Padreyoc Mountains and even spot some condors. Once you reach the pass, you can see a pile of stones that have been added by visitors to thank to Apus (a mountain god) for a safe journey and good luck. You will then descend to the Totora Pampa where to set up camp near the village of Totora (3,630 m/11,979 feet).
Day 6: Totora - Collpapampa - Winaypoco Hike following the flow of the Totora River to later descend gradually to a high (or mountain) jungle - known in Spanish as the "Ceja de selva (jungle's eyebrow). Admire the lush vegetation of the jungle and see wild orchids and bromeliads and beautiful birds. Then, you will descend to bamboo groves and pass through the village of Luscamayo. After 4 hours, you'll reach a tiny settlement of Collpapampa (2,850 m/9,348 feet), where you'll have lunch. Afterwards, you'll continue descending to the Santa Teresa River on the left side, observing small coffee and tropical fruit plantations on the way. You'll reach the foothill of Wiñaypoco Mountain where you'll set camp and spend the night (2,680 m/8,793 feet).
Day 7: Winaypoco - La Playa - Lucmabamba After a delicious breakfast, you'll hike down to the Aobamba River, passing through bamboo groves, orchards and coffee plantations. You'll pass through amazing untouched paths where strawberries grow at your feet and passion fruits are just above your head. After 2.5 hours, you'll arrive at a tiny place called La Playa (2,100 m/6,890 feet) where you'll rest and enjoy lunch and fresh fruits. Then, you'll continue hiking to Lucmabamba (2,250 m/7,381.89 feet), where you will spend the night.
Day 8: Lucmabamba - Hidroelectrica - Puente Ruinas After breakfast, you'll hike uphill taking in amazing views of a valley. After a 5-hour hike, you'll enjoy lunch at the recently restored Inca ruins of Llaqtapata (2,650 m/8,694 feet) from where you can view both, Machu Picchu and the Salkantay Mountain. Enjoy a guided tour and see the main highlight of South America - Machu Picchu, from an exceptional point of view that a majority of tourists will never see. Then, you'll descend for 3 hours to the Hydroelectric Plant (Hidroelectrica; 2,050 m/6,726 feet) and follow the trail towards the Vilcanota River leading to the last campsite in Puente Ruinas (2,042 m/6,700 feet), located at the foothill of Machu Picchu Mountain.
Day 9: Puente Ruinas - Machu Picchu - Aguas Calientes - Cusco After breakfast, you'll hike for 2 hours up to the city of Machu Picchu (2,430 m/7,972 feet) which you'll enter early morning for the best photos opportunities. Enjoy a guided tour of the city and then explore it on your own. You have the opportunity to climb up for about 45 minutes to Huayna Picchu, a peak above Machu Picchu that serves to take some panoramic pictures of the Incan city (must be booked in advance). In the afternoon, you'll return by train to Ollantaytambo (alternatively to Poroy), from where you are taken by van back to Cusco.
Early morning transfer by private bus to the initial point of the trek (Tarawasi)
Accommodation: Campsites (7 nights), Hotel (1 night)
Meals: 8 breakfasts, 8 lunches, 8 dinners and 7 afternoon hot beverages
Horses to carry food, camping and cooking equipment and 7 kg of each passenger's belongings
Camping equipment: personal double tents,Term-a-rest mattress
Tables and chairs, a cooking tent with cooking equipment, dining and toilet tents and bottled gas
A sleeping bag (for up to -5°C)
Tourist train from Aguas Calientes (Machu Picchu) to Ollantaytambo
Tourist bus from Ollantaytambo to Cusco
Breakfast on the day 1 and lunch on the last day
International and domestic flights nor airport departure taxes
Entrance fee to Huayna Picchu (USD $10) or Machu Picchu Mountain (USD $7)
A shuttle bus between Machu Picchu and Aguas Calientes Town (USD $9.50 - one way, $18.50 - round trip)
Meal budget: Please allow USD $30-50 for meals not included
Hotel pickup and drop-off
Confirmation will be received within 48 hours of booking, subject to availability
Not recommended for travelers with back problems
Please advise any specific dietary requirements at time of booking