They say life is a journey, and sometimes you have to trek a few mountains to realize just how true that is. Recently, my friend and I embarked on the Choquequirao hike with the amazing folks at Bamba Travel. Little did we know that this adventure would not only test our physical limits but also open the floodgates of personal realizations and leave us with memories to last a lifetime.
Day 1: Cuzco-Chicquisqa, Peru - Altitude and Attitude
The journey kicked off with a 5:00 am departure from Cuzco, a time when the world is still deciding whether to hit the snooze button or not. Armed with a mixture of excitement and caffeine, we found ourselves in a private car en route to Chicquisqa. The promise of exploring the archaeological site of Saywite dangled before us, like an archaeological carrot, luring us deeper into the adventure.
Descending to the mountain village of Cachora (2909m) was like stepping into a time capsule. It was our last chance to stock up on supplies before plunging headfirst into the unknown. After lunch, our two-hour hike to Capuliyoc (2915m) felt like a workout video on fast forward, but the views of the Apurimac valley and the snow-capped peaks of Padrayoc and Wayna Cachora made every step worth it.
Day 2: Chicquisqa-Choquequirao - Climbing Mountains, Literally and Figuratively
With an early start, we descended to Playa Rosalinas, greeted by the roaring Apurimac River (1550m). The steep climb to Santa Rosa (2095m) was both a physical and metaphorical ascent, with each step bringing us closer to something grand. Santa Rosa provided a much-needed breather and the chance to replenish our water supply.
Onwards and upwards to Marampata (2913m), where lunch served as both fuel and reward for our efforts. The view of Choquequirao from this vantage point was nothing short of spectacular. The final push to the archaeological site (3110m) was grueling but punctuated by the anticipation of exploring this ancient wonder. As the sun dipped below the horizon, we found ourselves in the company of condors, witnessing a scene straight out of a National Geographic documentary.
Day 3: Choquequirao-Santa Rosa - Incan Insights and Tropical Tents
Today was all about deepening our connection with Choquequirao. The morning allowed for unhurried exploration, with the ruins revealing stories etched in stone. In the afternoon, our descent along the edge of the Apurimac canyon felt like a journey through time, with each step echoing the footsteps of the Incas. Our tropical campsite at Santa Rosa was a stark contrast to the mountainous landscapes, offering a refreshing change of scenery.
Day 4: Santa Rosa-Cuzco, Peru - Descent, Ascent, and Homeward Bound
The final leg of our adventure began with an early morning descent to the Apurimac Canyon, a descent that felt like a literal plunge into the unknown. The subsequent climb, although arduous, was a testament to our newfound resilience. Lunch in Capuliyoc was a victory feast, celebrating both the completion of the trek and the stunning views that surrounded us.
The trail into the village of Cachora unfolded like the last chapter of a gripping novel. The flat and picturesque landscape offered a soothing end to the rollercoaster of elevation changes we had experienced. Our local travel expert with a private car awaited us in Cachora, a chariot ready to transport us back to Cuzco. As we drove into the night, tired but triumphant, we couldn’t help but feel a profound sense of accomplishment.
In the end, the Choquequirao Trek wasn’t just a physical journey; it was a soul-stirring odyssey that left us with more than sore muscles. It was a reminder that sometimes, the path less traveled is filled with the most incredible surprises.
As we sipped on celebratory drinks in Cuzco, recounting tales of steep climbs and breathtaking vistas, we realized that the real treasure was the journey itself. The laughter shared, the moments of awe, and the quiet realizations amid ancient ruins—all of it was woven into the fabric of our experience.
So, here’s to Bamba Travel for orchestrating this symphony of adventure. Here’s to Choquequirao, standing resilient against the hands of time. And here’s to the stories we’ve collected, the positive travel reviews we will write, the ones that demand to be written down and shared.
As I sit here, contemplating how to weave these experiences into a story, I can’t help but chuckle. Life, much like a trek through the Peruvian mountains, is unpredictable, challenging, and filled with moments that take your breath away. And isn’t that the kind of story worth telling?
Check out the Choquequirao Trek 4D/3N itinerary from Bamba Travel.
Guest post written by Steven Garrison
Steven uses his journeys to write the most captivating stories for his fans worldwide.