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Overview

Choquequirao sits in the saddle of a high Andean ridge, 3000m./10,000 ft. above sea level and 1,500m./5,000 ft. above the roaring waters of the Apurimac River. Ringed by spectacular snow-capped peaks and flanked by plunging, thickly forested slopes, the city is an inspiring example of an elite Inca ceremonial center, dedicated to the worship of the mountain gods, the river and the elements of nature. Choquequirao has been called “Machu Picchu’s sacred sister”, because of the striking similarities of design and ceremonial architecture to its famous counterpart above the Urubamba Gorge. Yet it remains an enigmatic place whose history is a matter of speculation. One theory of its origins holds that it was a royal estate built for  Topa Inca, perhaps in an attempt to rival his father Pachacuti’s spectacular domain at Machu Picchu. For centuries Choquequirao lay shrouded in obscurity, protected by its remoteness.
Unlike Machu Picchu, people knew it was there – it was first mentioned in a Spanish document of 1710, later visited by various explorers and treasure hunters, and roughly surveyed in the 19th century by the French consul in Lima, Leonce Angrand. Finally, in 1909, the explorer Hiram Bingham –the future scientific discoverer of Machu Picchu — explored and mapped the site.
Today we can trek to Choquequirao through a modern footbridge across the Apurimac River. The journey is as awe-inspiring as ever, taking us through an astounding range of ecological zones, from Andean farming valleys, descending through a hot and arid canyon environment featuring kapok trees, cactus and agaves, and climbing again to a region of lush cloud forest, beneath the dizzying snowcaps of the Cordillera Vilcabamba.
From an environmental point of view, the principal value of this ecosystem is the role played by the exuberant forests higher up in the mountains in maintaining the equilibrium of the water system of the region, taking rainwater and conducting it – without causing erosion – to the river Apurimac. If these were to disappear, many species of unique flora and fauna virtually unknown to science would go with them. Above all, however, an irreversible process of environmental deterioration would have begun and this would have devastating consequences for man, such as the destruction of roads and crops, flooding and landslides.

Itinerary

DAY 1: CUSCO – CACHORA – COCA MASANA – PLAYA ROSALINA (L/D)

Depart Cusco at 6:00 am, we will pass some towns enjoying the nice views, then arrive into Cachora around 10 a.m., meet up with our wranglers and arrange our equipment, mules, and horses. It is a 2-hour hike to Capuliyoc (2,915 meters/9,564 feet above sea level) from where we can enjoy our first beautiful views of the Apurimac Valley stretching out below and the snow-capped peaks of Padrayoc and Wayna Cachora above. We will then descend toward Coca Masana (2,330 meters/7,644 feet above sea level) where the climate becomes noticeably warmer and the flora and fauna begin to change. Finally we arrive at Playa Rosalina (Rosalina Beach) at 1,550 meters/5,085 feet above sea level, right beside the raging Apurimac River, where we will set up camp and spend the night.

DAY 2: PLAYA ROSALINA – CHOQUEQUIRAO (B/L/D)

Day 2 is the toughest of our 5-day hike. After an early breakfast, we will climb a steep trail. Our 5-hour hike will take us to Raqaypata beside the Chunchullumayo River, where we will enjoy a late lunch and a well deserved rest. Along the way, we will have the chance to see orchids, wild flowers, and a number of bird species. From Raqaypata to Choquequirao (3,035 meters/9,957 feet above sea level) it is a 2-hour hike, and we will arrive at the Choquequirao archaeological site in time to enjoy the sunset and maybe even the opportunity to see a condor flying nearby. Our campsite will be just outside the Choquequirao ruins.

DAY 3: CHOQUEQUIRAO – RAQAYPATA (B/L/D)

Day 3 will be dedicated to exploring the incredible Choquequirao archeological complex. Our guide will explain the history and importance of the site and afterwards we will have free time to visit the various sectors of the archeological complex. Late in the afternoon we will start the return trek and we will make camp at Raqaypata

DAY 4: RAQAYPATA – CHIKISCA (B/L/D)

After breakfast we will continue our return journey, beginning with a steep descent down to the Apurimac River where we will stop and have lunch. In the afternoon, we will climb for approximately 4 hours and then make camp at Coca Masana.

DAY 5: CHIKISCA – CACHORA – CUSCO (B/L)

Day 5 will be the last of our trek.à We will get to appreciate the canyon through which the Apurimac River flows, and we will take a new trail that crosses the throat of the canyon. We will have an impressive view of the canyon from Wayna Qalli – considered to be one of the most spectacular in South America. We will ultimately arrive at Cachora and take our bus back to Cusco.

*Campsites are subject to change according to the size and fitness of the group.

Include

Group Service:

  • Group Size: 4 – 16 people
  • Fixed departures: Every Friday
April 2, 9, 16, 23, 30
May 7, 14, 21, 28
June 4, 11, 18, 25
July 2, 9, 16, 23, 30
August 6, 13, 20, 27
September 3, 10, 17, 24
October 1, 8, 15, 22, 29
Novenber 5, 12, 19, 26
December 3, 10, 17, 24, 31

INCLUDES:

  • Transportation: Cusco – Cachora – Cusco
  • Guide: Professional English and Spanish speaking guide; 2 guides for groups over 12 people
  • Cook:  In charge of meal preparation
  • Horsemen and mules: Carry tents, cooking equipment and also carry backpacks, sleeping bags and mattresses (Max. 6 kilos)
  • Emergency Horse: Just in case someone needs help
  • Ticket: Entrance fee Choquequirao
  • Meals: 4 Breakfasts/5 Lunches/4 Dinners/Snacks and afternoon tea
  • Equipment:  tents ( 2 people in each 3-person-capacity ), foam rolling mattresses, dinning tent,  kitchen tent, tables and chairs, table settings, first aid kit, including emergency oxygen bottle

DOESN’T INCLUDE:

  • Breakfast ( day 1)
  • Sleeping bag
  • Tips (optional)

EXTRAS:

  • US$15 Sleeping bag (-10°C) for the whole trek
  • US$20 single accommodation
  • US$15 air mattress

** Campsites will be determined according to the guides criteria

Private Service:

  • Group Size: Depends on clients
  • Fixed departures: Depends on clients

INCLUDES:

  • Transportation: Cusco – Cachora – Cusco
  • Guide: Professional English and Spanish speaking guide; 2 guides for groups over 12 people
  • Cook:  In charge of meal preparation
  • Horsemen and mules: Carry tents, cooking equipment and also carry backpacks, sleeping bags and mattresses (Max. 8 kilos)
  • Emergency Horse: Just in case someone needs help
  • Choquequirao entrance fee
  • Meals: 4 Breakfasts/5 Lunches/4 Dinners/Snacks and afternoon tea
  • Equipment:  tents ( 2 people in each 3-person-capacity ), air-mattresses dinning tent,  kitchen tent, tables and chairs, table settings, first aid kit, including emergency oxygen bottle

DOESN’T INCLUDE:

  • Breakfast ( day 1)
  • Sleeping bag
  • Tips (optional)

EXTRAS:

  • US$15 Sleeping bag (-10°C) for the whole trek
  • US$20 single accommodation

** Campsites will be determined according to the guides criteria

Price

Group Services

  • Price per person: USD 430.00

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Contact Tour

Call: +51 974798604 for more information and booking

TOUR DETAIL

Tour Type: Hike
Duration:
Price: $
Rating:
Category:

ADDITIONAL INFO

Location:
Difficulty: Easy
Service: Standard

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