Choquequirao Trek to Machu Picchu
Choquequirao trek is a breathtaking journey full of magical natural wonders that will undoubtedly never be forgotten. If you love hiking, nature, mountains, and history, this is a hike that every person needs to do. This trek combines both the amazing hidden Choquequirao site with Machu Picchu in 9 days. Below you will find the itinerary and some very useful information.
Choquequirao Trek to Machu Picchu – Itinerary
Day 1: Cusco – Capuliyoc – Chiquisqa – Playa Rosalinas – Santa Rosa
An enthralling nine-day Choquequirao Trek to Machu Picchu experience begins at 4:30 AM as we will be picking you up in our private transport from your hotel in Cusco. We will then embark on a five-hour drive to a small Andean village, Capuliyoc.
At Capuliyoc, we will be meeting the rest of the crew, horsemen and chef who will be accompanying us for the entire Choquequirao to Machu Picchu trek.
After a quick introduction and safety briefing, we will be serving you breakfast.
The nine days Choquequirao to Machu Picchu trek begins with three hour downhill hike to our lunch camp in Chiquisqa. It is a beautiful village with plenty of fruit plantations. On this section of the trek, you will get captivating views of the Apurimac river snaking through the canyons.
After lunch in Chiquisqa, we will be hiking further down for an hour to Apurimac River. Our local expert will be sharing some facts and will explain the prominence of the river in Andean mythology.
We will then hike up the hill for two hours to our campsite in Santa Rosa. It nestles at 1970m/ 6463 ft. above sea level. Our master chef will be serving a delicious Andean dinner.
Day 2: Santa Rosa – Marampata – Choquequirao
Our crew will be waking you up to a cup of freshly brewed Andean coffee or tea. After relishing a typical breakfast, we will start hiking bright and early at 0530 AM. We will be hiking up the hill through many switchbacks to Marampata (2,900m/9514ft.).
You will be delighted with the views of snow-capped Andean peaks towering right behind the Apurimac Canyons.
Once you have had your fill of this beautiful sight, we will be hiking further up the hill for another hour and a half to Choquequirao Camp. Here we will be serving lunch.
Later in the afternoon, we will be visiting the Choquequirao archaeological site. Our local expert will be giving you a detailed tour of the complex. You will have plenty of time to soak in the history and views of this Inca complex.
After witnessing the sunset, we will be returning to the campsite where our chef will be serving you dinner. We will be spending the night here.
Day 3: Choquequirao – Pinchaunuyoc
We suggest you wake up early in the morning to witness the golden rays of the morning sun filling every crack of the mortar walls with life. Then we will bid goodbye to Choquequirao as we will be leaving the campsite after a nutritious breakfast.
We will begin the day with a gradual uphill hike to the cloud forest. Yes, you will truly feel that you are amidst the clouds here. We will be reaching the Choquequirao Pass (3,270m / 10,728ft).
After resting for a while, we will be descending to another stunning Inca site, Pinchaunuyoc (2420m/ 7940ft). It features platforms suspended over a white river canyon abyss (Rio Blanco). After having lunch, our local expert will be giving you a tour of the site.
You will have the opportunity of witnessing the flight of the Andean condors here. After the guided tour, we will be returning to the campsite for dinner.
Day 4: Pinchaunuyoc – Maizal
After relishing an energetic breakfast, we will be hiking down to the valley toward the river. We will spend some time here as you can take a dip in the fresh crystal waters and relax your tired muscles after three days of walking.
We will then hike up on the opposite side of the valley to our campsite in Maizal (2,891m/9,481ft). After lunch, we will be visiting the nearby Inca ruins.
We will be serving you dinner later in the evening.
Day 5: Maizal – Yanama
After breakfast, we will start the fifth day of the Choquequirao Trek to Machu Picchu with four hours uphill hike through the rocky path. The difficulty of the trail will be balanced out by fantastic views of the surrounding areas complete with lush vegetation, green valleys, and also some arid mountain peaks.
Once we reach the summit (4,150m/13,700ft), the views are even more amazing: snow-capped peaks, deep valleys, and here, we have the greatest possibility to see condors.
We will then hike down the hill for two hours to our campsite in Yanama. This is a small indigenous village surrounded by snow-capped mountains where the people are very welcoming. After lunch, we will be visiting some families to learn about their culture, and more especially, their day-to-day activities.
Later in the evening, we will be returning to the campsite for dinner.
Day 5: Yanama – Collpapampa
You will be waking up to the sounds of chirping birds as our crew will set up your breakfast. We will be leaving the campsite at daybreak for a five-hour hike up the hill to the highest point of the trek, Yaama Pass (4,650m/15,256ft).
This section of the trek rewards you with sights of farmers working their land. You will also get your first views of the imposing “Apu” Salkantay Peak at a distance. Salkantay and Pumasillo are colloquially called the protectors of the citadel of Machu Picchu.
Depending on the time of the year, you can step on the snow at the summit.
We will then hike down the hill for three hours through a dense foggy path to the Totora community. We will be stopping for lunch here.
After lunch, we will be joining the Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu and reach Collpapampa (2,900m/ 9,515 ft). We will be camping here for the night. You may see some campers who are hiking the Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu.
Day 7: Collpapampa – Lucmabamba
Our destination today is Lucmabamba which is located about 13km down the valley in the jungle area. Our route goes along the Lluscamayo River bank through an area teeming with life. As you hike today, you will be amazed by the diversity of vegetation like flowers, orchids, coffee plants, avocado trees, passion fruit (Granadilla), and many others from the jungle area. Ultimately, it will be an easy and enjoyable day until we reach our camp.
We’ll only hike until lunch, after which we have a coffee tour where you will learn how to get the best aromatic coffee without using any chemical additives. This is all included in the Choquequirao to Machu Picchu at no extra cost.
Finally, it’ll be time to relax and enjoy the free afternoon. In our opinion, the best way to do so would be at the hot springs in Santa Teresa. These wonderful waters are only 1 hour away from our campsite by car. If you are interested in going there, please inform your guide in advance so he can organize it for you.
Day 8: Lucmabamba – Llactapata – Aguas Calientes
Today will be another big day for us because we have yet another mountain to climb. It, however, will be nothing compared to what we will have accomplished thus far. It’ll be especially challenging along the final stretch to get to the summit, but in the end, it will be worth it.
First, we will immerse ourselves in the jungle area until we find a specific original, well-preserved Inca trail. This trail leads up the mountain to the outstanding Inca ruins of Llaqtapata that overlook Machu Picchu.
There, we will have an amazing view of Machu Picchu being seated on the rocky crest between Machu Picchu Mountain and Huayna Picchu Mountain.
After a riveting history lesson, we’ll head down the mountainside to the hydroelectric station where we will eat lunch and say goodbye to our amazing team who made the Choquequirao trek possible. From here, we will then catch our train to Aguas Calientes.
Day 9 – Aguas Calientes – Machu Picchu – Cusco
Early in the morning, as you will be leaving the hotel, the crew will be handing you over a snack box. We will then take a 20 minutes bus up the hill to Machu Picchu. We will be reaching Machu Picchu early in the morning to witness the sunrise.
Our travel expert will be giving you a guided tour of the complex.
During this two-and-a-half-hour tour, you will be visiting the main square, ceremonial center, farming terraces, and more. After the tour, you will have some free time to explore the citadel on your own.
If you have booked to hike Machu Picchu Mountain or Huayna Picchu, our tour guide will be directing you to the respective trailhead.
After the tour, you will be taking the bus from Machu Picchu to Aguas Calientes town. You will have some free time here.
Later in the evening, you will be taking the train back to Ollantaytambo. Our representative will be meeting you on arrival and will transfer you back to your hotel in Cusco. We will be reaching by 10:00 PM.
All inclusive package Choquequirao Trek to Machu Picchu
What is Included in the Choquequirao trek?
- Pick up from the Airport/Hotel
- English Spanish-speaking tour guide
- Professional cook
- Entrance Fee to Choquequirao
- Entrance fee to Machu Picchu
- Briefing the night before the trek
- Duffel bag to pack your hiking gear
- Horses to transport the camping equipment and food supplies
- Emergency horse
- Pick up from your hotel and transfer to the trailhead
- 4-man tent for every 2 people
- Dining tent
- Kitchen tent
- Train ticket from Machu Picchu to Ollantaytambo (Expedition class at 16:22 hours)
- Train ticket from Idroelectrica to Machu Picchu town
- Pick up from the train station and drop off at your hotel – Cusco
- Bus from Aguas Calientes to Machu Picchu round trip
- Meal: 9 breakfast, 8 lunches, 8 dinners
- Huayna Picchu mountain or Machu Picchu Mountain
- Water: we will provide you water every day at breakfast time, at lunchtime and at dinner time
What is not Included in the Choquequirao trek
- Sleeping bag
- Hiking poles
- Air mattresses
- Last day lunch
- Transportation to the hot spring
- Entrance fee to the hot spring
- Extra expenses
We warmly welcome you to join us on the Choquequirao trek to Machu Picchu. We are eager to make this one of your most unforgettable lifetime experiences. Our treks can begin on any day of the week and during any month of the year.
Group Service Price: $2098 USD Per Person (View trek)
A group service means that other hikers are able to join you. Your group will have varying hiking and fitness abilities. Our Professional Tour Guides are experts on how to keep the group moving and happy no matter how fast you go. We just need 2 hikers to start this adventure.
The Private Tour Service is also available and is priced by party size.
Choquequirao trek is a breathtaking journey full of magical natural wonders that will undoubtedly never be forgotten. The only way to make these days even more special is to share this experience with your loved ones. This option is also highly recommended for families with children or for people who don’t have much hiking experience because you can set your own pace without having to worry about waiting for the others or trying to keep up with them. Our private tours can start at any size, and the Inka Trail Explorer staff and I will all do our best to make this a positive and life-altering adventure.
For example, if you book your trek at the age of 17 but, you turn 18 before you start your trek, you do not qualify for a student discount.
Huayna Picchu Mountain
Huayna Picchu is a stunning mountain that sits directly behind Machu Picchu, this is the infamous sugar-loaf mountain which sits at an elevation of 2,720m and 300m above the Machu Picchu Inca Citadel.
There are some archaeological remains such as the Moon Temple and other precincts that are interconnected with authentic trails, steps, tunnels and natural formatted caves which made the view more interesting, without any doubt, Huayna Picchu mountain can be the highlight of your trip to Machu Picchu.
The last stretch to get to the summit is very steep, narrow, and in some parts, you are required to use your hands for balance. There are some stone ladders to climb up the cliff face along the way. if you have problems with the heights this may not be the hike for you. The summit itself is not flat but is instead rocky, therefore when the crowd picks up it can be a bit difficult to move around.
- Difficulty – Due to the complexity and gradient of the trail, the hike is rather challenging.
- Duration – The round trip can take between 1.5 to 2 hours in average.
- Elevation – The mountain’s summit sits at 2,693masl, while the climb itself is 353m.
Huayna Picchu mountain can be climbed in 2 different sessions:
- The first session: from 7am to 8am – Highly recommended
- The second session: from 10am to 11am
Machu Picchu Mountain
Climb up to Machu Picchu mountain is nearly twice as high as Huayna Picchu but has a more gradual ascent profile up to its summit at 1,850 feet (~620m) above the city ruins (3,051m above sea level).
Panoramic views are from another world. The Inca ruins, Huayna Picchu and Putucusi Mountains look so small behind the giant row of mountains that it makes you wonder if it is true what you are seeing. You will be astonished!
The awe-inspiring view is still composed of a bright blue sky, clouds and the Urubamba River snaking around colossal mountains covered with lush vegetation. What a gift from mother nature!
- Difficulty – Due to the complexity and gradient of the trail, the hike is rather challenging.
- Duration – The round trip can take between 2.5 to 3 hours in average.
- Elevation – The mountain’s summit sits at 3,000masl, while the climb itself is 600m.
Machu Picchu mountain can be climbed in 2 different sessions:
- The first session: from 7am to 8am – Highly recommended
- The second session: from 9am to 10am
- Sleeping Bag $35 USD
- Walking Pole $12 USD per each one for the whole trip
- Inflatable Mattress $35 USD for the whole the trip
- Single Tent Supplement $40 USD for the whole trip
- Vistadome train: (One-Way): $65 USD per person
- Casa Andina Hotel: $55 USD per person if shared ($110 for a single)
- El Mapi Hotel: +$65 USD per person if shared (+$170 for a single)
Additional Free Tours
If you are travelling to Peru with your family or friends and there are 4 or more people in your group, then you automatically get one of our additional tours for free. You may pick whichever one you like from the list below. Please note that we do not include the entrance fees for these, but we do include the transportation and a professional tour guide.
Do not worry single travellers! If you travel with us, you will also get special discounts on any of our additional tours.
- South Valley Tour
- Sacred Valley Tour
We know planning an adventure vacation is no small decision, so we’re here to make the process as easy as possible for you. We’ve been doing this for quite a while, so we’ve got the answers to everything you need to know!
Upon your arrival in Cusco City
You will be welcomed by one of our transfers at Cusco airport and then you will be transferred to your hotel. Find out your transfer in Cusco airport holding our Inka trail Explorer. Please you should provide us with your flight schedule before you leave home.
Your guide will meet you in your hotel 1 or 2 days prior to you starting the trek. your guide will explain everything concerning the trek in detail. This includes the schedule and a few tips on how to make the trek easier. You also will receive a small duffel bag which is meant to contain all of your personal belongings and it will be sent by train to the hotel where you will stay after the trek.
Can I leave my Suitcase in your storage?
Usually, most of the hotels in Cusco city offer free storage but, definitely, you can leave your suitcase in our store while you go on a trek or tour, we offer free storage.
How big needs to be my daypack?
You only need to bring a small daypack (25 to 30 Lts max). Big enough to pack your rain gear, snack, water, camera, fleece jacket and some small items that you might need for the day trek.
How do I pay my final balance?
Your final balance should be paid in cash and it can be done in American dollars or in the local currency (Peruvian soles). We kindly request pay your final balance at least 24 hours prior to you starting the trek. You also can pay your balance via PayPal 10 days prior to you starting the trek. To pay your final balance via PayPal, you need to log into your PayPal account using our e-mail address – firstname.lastname@example.org
Can I cancel my trip or change my departure date?
As soon as you make your confirmation by paying your deposit we proceed to purchase the Inca trail permits, Machu Picchu tickets and train tickets. According to the government regulations, the Inca trail and Machu Picchu permits or tickets cannot be cancelled, changed in date or transferred to other travellers and unfortunately, there is no refund.
Do I need my Original passport when I travel to Machu Picchu?
Very important to bring the original passport with you. If you are a foreigner, you need a passport to enter Machu Picchu. Not just any passport. It has to be the passport you used to book your trip to Peru or buy your entry tickets to different attractions in Cusco – Peru.
If you renew your passport after you booked your trip to Peru, you must travel with both the old and the new passports. You also can send us via e-mail a copy of your new and old passports and we will be able to upgrade your new passport information.
How fit do I need to be to hike these trails?
As long as you enjoy hiking, you’ll love these trails – you’ll be hiking about eight miles a day, but there’s no rush, you can take it at your own pace. In fact, the slower the better I say, as that way you get plenty of time not only to enjoy your surroundings, but let your body acclimatize to the altitude as well.
We recommend doing plenty of exercises before you leave home, as the fitter you are, the more you’ll enjoy your hike. We suggest you try to go for short walks or run 2-3 times a week. If you have access to some walking trails that go over hills then go and explore, Hit the gym if you can’t do outdoor activities.
That said our trips are designed for regular active people, so you don’t need to be a triathlete or anything – though if you are you won’t be bored!
What if I need a special diet?
We cater to all the food restrictions you might have; we work with responsible restaurants and cooks who will take care of you. You also can specify your particular requirements when you fill up our booking form.
- Vegan (no meat or animal products)
- Vegetarian (no meat products)
- Fishatarian (vegetarian, and eat fish)
- No red meat (eat chicken & fish)
- Gluten intolerant (no wheat, rye, barley or oats)
- Lactose intolerant (no dairy products)
Do you recommend buying travel insurance
You should have full travel insurance cover – please be aware that some insurance companies require insurance to be purchased within 7 days of deposit payment. It is imperative for you to have medical cover and emergency repatriation and we strongly recommend a comprehensive travel insurance policy that also includes trip cancellation and other travel mishaps (e.g. flight cancellations or delays, trip interruption, theft or loss of luggage and personal effects).
Choquequirao Trek to Machu Picchu- Packing List
- Original Passport
- Valid, GREEN ISIC card (if you booked as a student)
- Immigration Card (given on the plane as you enter Peru)
- Comfortable daypack ( A small one is highly recommended)
- Water storage: Water reservoirs like Camelbaks are encouraged – but enough for at least 2-3 litres.
- Comfortable trekking boots with ankle support
In your Duffle Bag for Choquequirao to Machu Picchu trek
Remember you are packing for 7 nights of camping and 1 night in a hotel. Horses will carry up to 14 kg of your personal items. This must include your sleeping bag and air matt (if you decide to bring/rent one). If you rent them from us, then these two items will weigh a total of 3.5 kg.
- Warm, down jacket: this trek includes 3 cold nights of camping
- Headlamp: essential
- Waterproof gloves (even if they are ski gloves, take them)
- Comfortable shoes for camp
- Quickdry towel. We provide small ones, but you might prefer something a little larger.
- Soap: we provide warm water each day to clean, but it might make you feel fresher if you had a little soap.
- 5 wicking t-shirts
- 3 hiking pants
- 6 sets of undergarments
- 5 sets of hiking socks
- 2 Fleece jackets
- Battery Charger: There are some places to plug in while trekking
- Large plastic bags: to help organize and keep clean clothes separate from dirty clothes.
- Sleeping bag: We recommend down bags for -10°C at least
- Face moisturizer
- Hand sanitizer
- Wet wipes
- Toothbrush and toothpaste
- First-aid kit: band-aids, moleskin, etc.
What do I need to pack in my Daypack?
Daypacks can be any size for Choquequirao, but we always recommend bringing just a small one because once inside Machu Picchu, bags larger than 25L will not be allowed. You will need to store them outside citadel gates.
- Water: We supply clean water at each meal.
- Bug spray
- Rain gear
- Fleece jacket
- Hand sanitizer
- Toilet paper and a small plastic bag for waste
- Personal medication
- Extra Money for Souvenirs, Drinks & Tips
Alternative Treks – Other Options
This content was originally published here.