8 Day Choquequirao to Machupicchu Trek

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The 8 Days Choquequirao Trek to Machu Picchu is one of the most beautiful and interesting treks on offer in the Cusco region. This Trek is perfect for those looking to get away from the crowds The trek takes you to the sister city of Machu Picchu, Choquequirao (The Cradle of Gold) which sits high above the Apurimac Valley.

With a wide variety of flora and fauna, beautiful scenery and a visit to a major Inca site, the Choquequirao 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.

Day 1: Cusco – Cachora – Santa Rosa

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.

Day 2: Santa Rosa – Choquequirao

Today we go to Choquequirao. 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 4 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.

Day 3: Choquequirao – Maizal

Today we continue to the pass, hiking up for 1 hour. From the pass we’ll make our way down in to the Rio Blanco valley 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.).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.

Day 4: Maizal – Yanama

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.

Day 5: Yanama – Colpapampa

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.

Day 6: Colpapampa – La Playa

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.

Day 7: La Playa – Llactapata – Aguas Calientes

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.

Day 8: Machu Picchu – Cusco

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.

What is included:

Transfer from the airport to your hotel (please specify arrival time and flight number)
Pre-departure briefing
Pick up at your hotel in the morning of the trek departure
Private transport from Cusco to cachora (starting point of the trek)
Train ticket from Aguas Calientes to Ollantaytambo
Transport from Ollantaytambo to Cusco
Entrance fees to Choquequirao
Entrance fees to Machupicchu
Bus from Aguas Calientes to Machu Picchu (round trip).
Professional English/spanish speaking tour guide
Assistant Tour Guide for groups of 9+
Chef and cooking equipment
Campsite fees
One pillow per person
First Aid kit including emergency oxygen bottle
Mules and horses (for equipment and personal items) including horsemen, 8 kgs of your personal items.
Emergency horse every 6 persons
Filtered boiled water from lunch time on 1st day onwards (boiled water every morning and night)
7 Breakfasts, 7 Lunches, 7 Afternoon Snacks and 7 Dinners. If you have a dietary request such as vegetarian food please let us know.
Dining tent with tables and chairs
4 man tent for every 2 trekkers
Sleeping mattress

Not Included

Sleeping Bag,Walking Poles and Air Mattress (Can be rented from us)
Personal tent for solo travelers (Can be rented from us)
Huayna Picchu Mountain or Machu Picchu Mountain
Breakfast on Day 1 and lunch and dinner on Day 8
Tips

Travel Insurance – you are strongly recommended to take out travel insurance for the duration of your trip.

What to take

Original Passport
ISIC card (if you are a student and want to qualify for the discount)
Walking boots
Waterproof jacket / rain poncho
Warm jacket
Hat and gloves
T-shirts
Comfortable Trousers
Sun hat
Sun cream (factor 35 or higher)
Insect repellant
Toiletries and hand sanitiser
Personal medication
Camera and film
Torch with spare batteries

Optional items to take:

Shorts
Walking stick
towel
Sandals
Extra money
Bathing suit for hot springs in cocalmayo

PRICES

Group Service

US$990.00 per person.

Important: Price includes up to 8 kilos of your personal belongings to be carried by the mules.

Private Service

2 people US$ 1,230 per person
3 people US$ 1,100 per person
4 people US$ 970 per person
5 people US$ 840 per person
6+ people US$ 799 per person

Important: Prices includes up to 8 kilos of your personal belongings to be carried by the mules.

DISCOUNTS
18 to 25 years old: US$30 Information required on student GREEN ISIC card: name of university, student name, photo of student, expiration date etc. A copy of the card at booking is required & government approval for discount.
Under 18 years old: US$30 Please send us a copy of your passport at the time of booking.
Under 11 years old: US$40 Please send us a copy of your passport at the time of booking.
Group of 5 or more: US$30 – All you need is to book the trek together at the same time.

Optional Extras:

Sleeping Bag US$35
Walking Pole US$20
Inflatable Mattress US$25
Single Tent Supplement US$35

Optional Extras (Need to book in advance):

Machu Picchu Mountain climbing: US$30.00 (Need to book in advance)
Huayna Picchu Mountain climbing: US$35.00 (Need to book in advance)
Vistadome Train Aguas Calientes-Cusco: US$57.00 (Need to book in advance)
Extra Night in Aguas Calientes: Depends on the type of Hotel desired (Need to book in advance)

Important Notes:

This route has steep ascents and descents, with changes of altitude in one day of over 1600m/5200ft. There is usually warm weather during the day due to the lower altitude than Cusco. We recommend allowing one-day acclimatization in Cusco prior to the trek departure.
Departure and arrival times are aproximated.

Important: All our departures are available along the year, although the period March to December is recommended to avoid the heart of the rainy season. Groups may be confirmed on any given date provided a minimum group size of 2 people is achieved upon booking and the booking is confirmed at least 1 week prior to departure.

INFORMATION

The 8 Days Choquequirao Trek to Machu Picchu is one of the most beautiful and interesting treks on offer in the Cusco region. This Trek is perfect for those looking to get away from the crowds The trek takes you to the sister city of Machu Picchu, Choquequirao (The Cradle of Gold) which sits high above the Apurimac Valley.

With a wide variety of flora and fauna, beautiful scenery and a visit to a major Inca site, the Choquequirao 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.

ITINERARY

Day 1: Cusco – Cachora – Santa Rosa

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.

Day 2: Santa Rosa – Choquequirao

Today we go to Choquequirao. 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 4 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.

Day 3: Choquequirao – Maizal

Today we continue to the pass, hiking up for 1 hour. From the pass we’ll make our way down in to the Rio Blanco valley 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.).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.

Day 4: Maizal – Yanama

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.

Day 5: Yanama – Colpapampa

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.

Day 6: Colpapampa – La Playa

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.

Day 7: La Playa – Llactapata – Aguas Calientes

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.

Day 8: Machu Picchu – Cusco

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.

PRICE / IMPORTANT INFO

What is included:

Transfer from the airport to your hotel (please specify arrival time and flight number)
Pre-departure briefing
Pick up at your hotel in the morning of the trek departure
Private transport from Cusco to cachora (starting point of the trek)
Train ticket from Aguas Calientes to Ollantaytambo
Transport from Ollantaytambo to Cusco
Entrance fees to Choquequirao
Entrance fees to Machupicchu
Bus from Aguas Calientes to Machu Picchu (round trip).
Professional English/spanish speaking tour guide
Assistant Tour Guide for groups of 9+
Chef and cooking equipment
Campsite fees
One pillow per person
First Aid kit including emergency oxygen bottle
Mules and horses (for equipment and personal items) including horsemen, 8 kgs of your personal items.
Emergency horse every 6 persons
Filtered boiled water from lunch time on 1st day onwards (boiled water every morning and night)
7 Breakfasts, 7 Lunches, 7 Afternoon Snacks and 7 Dinners. If you have a dietary request such as vegetarian food please let us know.
Dining tent with tables and chairs
4 man tent for every 2 trekkers
Sleeping mattress

Not Included

Sleeping Bag,Walking Poles and Air Mattress (Can be rented from us)
Personal tent for solo travelers (Can be rented from us)
Huayna Picchu Mountain or Machu Picchu Mountain
Breakfast on Day 1 and lunch and dinner on Day 8
Tips

Travel Insurance – you are strongly recommended to take out travel insurance for the duration of your trip.

What to take

Original Passport
ISIC card (if you are a student and want to qualify for the discount)
Walking boots
Waterproof jacket / rain poncho
Warm jacket
Hat and gloves
T-shirts
Comfortable Trousers
Sun hat
Sun cream (factor 35 or higher)
Insect repellant
Toiletries and hand sanitiser
Personal medication
Camera and film
Torch with spare batteries

Optional items to take:

Shorts
Walking stick
towel
Sandals
Extra money
Bathing suit for hot springs in cocalmayo

PRICES

Group Service

US$990.00 per person.

Important: Price includes up to 8 kilos of your personal belongings to be carried by the mules.

Private Service

2 people US$ 1,230 per person
3 people US$ 1,100 per person
4 people US$ 970 per person
5 people US$ 840 per person
6+ people US$ 799 per person

Important: Prices includes up to 8 kilos of your personal belongings to be carried by the mules.

DISCOUNTS
18 to 25 years old: US$30 Information required on student GREEN ISIC card: name of university, student name, photo of student, expiration date etc. A copy of the card at booking is required & government approval for discount.
Under 18 years old: US$30 Please send us a copy of your passport at the time of booking.
Under 11 years old: US$40 Please send us a copy of your passport at the time of booking.
Group of 5 or more: US$30 – All you need is to book the trek together at the same time.

Optional Extras:

Sleeping Bag US$35
Walking Pole US$20
Inflatable Mattress US$25
Single Tent Supplement US$35

Optional Extras (Need to book in advance):

Machu Picchu Mountain climbing: US$30.00 (Need to book in advance)
Huayna Picchu Mountain climbing: US$35.00 (Need to book in advance)
Vistadome Train Aguas Calientes-Cusco: US$57.00 (Need to book in advance)
Extra Night in Aguas Calientes: Depends on the type of Hotel desired (Need to book in advance)

Important Notes:

This route has steep ascents and descents, with changes of altitude in one day of over 1600m/5200ft. There is usually warm weather during the day due to the lower altitude than Cusco. We recommend allowing one-day acclimatization in Cusco prior to the trek departure.
Departure and arrival times are aproximated.

Important: All our departures are available along the year, although the period March to December is recommended to avoid the heart of the rainy season. Groups may be confirmed on any given date provided a minimum group size of 2 people is achieved upon booking and the booking is confirmed at least 1 week prior to departure.

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