The Choquequirao Trek
- Trekking & Hiking
our UK team
All trekkers need to organise their own flights to Cuzco Airport (CUZ). From the airport we will arrange an airport transfer for you. That evening you will meet your local Kandoo representative and have a full pre-trek briefing.
The city of Cuzco sits at an altitude of 3400m and is a great place to acclimatise before you start your Choquequirao trek. You’ll have plenty of time to explore this charming city and soak up the local atmosphere
The trek starts with a 4-5 hour drive to Capuliyuc (2,800m) where we meet our muleteer team and have lunch. In the afternoon we’ll begin our trek by hiking for 3-4 hours down into the Apurimac Canyon to our first campsite at Chiquiska at 1835m. The path is straightforward with a few switchbacks and downhill all the way, and there are fantastic views of the surrounding snow peaks and Choquequirao in the far distance.
We will wake early and descend from Chiquiska further into the valley for about 1 hour before crossing the Apurimac River. Once we have crossed the river we begin a two-hour ascent to Santa Rosa, a small campsite where we can rest and refill water bottles. From Santa Rosa we continue ascending, first to Marampata (2,913m) where we will have lunch, and then onto our campsite just below Choquequirao (3,035m). The trek between Santa Rosa and Choquequirao takes between 4-5 hours and is pretty tough. There are bathrooms and cold-water showers at the Choquequirao campsite.
The archaeological complex of Choquequirao is large and can take a full day to explore properly. Archeologists have divided the site into 12 sections. You will be given a guided tour of the Citadel, visiting the ceremonial centre, main platform and the lower plaza. Towards dusk we might get lucky and spot condors that frequent this part of the region.
Today starts early with a gradual hike up and over the Choquequirao Pass at 3,300m, and then a descent into the Rio Blanco Valley (1,910m). At the foot of the valley is the river Rio Blanco where trekkers can swim before a tough and steep three-hour hike up to Maizal (3,000m).
Day 7 starts with a long climb up to the Victoria Pass (4,200m) where we will see original paved Inca Trails. Once over the pass we descend down towards the small village of Yanama (3,500m), where we will camp for the night.
We start the day with a climb up to the Yanama Pass (4,668m) – the highest point on the trek. From here, spectacular views of Sacsayraoc peak dominate, and once we’ve crossed the pass, the largest peak in the area, Salkantay comes into view. From the pass the trail descends to the small village of Totora.
We start the long, winding descent of nearly 2,000 m to the Totora River. Trekking poles to reduce the impact of the descent on your knees come in handy throughout this day. We follow the Rio Santa Teresa for around 6-7 hours, trekking through cloud forest with a huge variety of butterflies, birdlife and vegetation. We will camp on the outskirts of Lucmabamba village. This campsite is located in a coffee farm and you will be able to taste the best coffee in Peru! There is also an option to visit the hot springs in Cocalmayo.
From Lucamabamba the trail ascends for 4 hours through coffee and fruit plantations and cloud forest to a newly discovered Inca site called Llactapata. We will have an amazing view of Machu Picchu before the trail descends for two hours into the Urubamba Valley to the Hydroelectric Station where we catch the train to Aguas Calientes. You will overnight in a hotel and have a chance to swim in the town’s famous hot springs.
Today, you will be given a guided tour of the Lost City of the Incas, which will last for around 2½ to 3 hours. There is also an option to climb Huayna Picchu, the famous mountain behind the ruins, but you will need to book a permit in advance. In the afternoon, we will catch the train from Aguas Calientes to Ollantaytambo, where you will be met by our driver who will transfer you to your hotel in Cuzco.
After a much needed night’s rest, we will bid you goodbye. We will collect you from your hotel and transfer you to Cuzco Airport for your departing flight.
well-fed on your trek is absolutely vital, especially when conditions are such
that you might not want to eat or drink as much as you should. Because
so many trekkers experience a loss of appetite at altitude, our head chef has
developed special menu plans that are appealing, healthy, and filled with all
the energy you need to make it to Machu Picchu. By default, our meals include
fresh fruit and vegetables every day, as well as fresh meat and fish.
is usually fairly hearty. Of
course, you’ll also have hot drinks, generally a choice of tea, coffee or hot
chocolate. Let your guide know if you are still hungry, or even if you think
you could ‘pack in a few more bites’. Our cooks always try to provide more
food than necessary to ensure everyone gets a good meal.
is packed for you, to carry in your rucksack.
Tea is served at the end of the days walking, once you get to camp. In
addition to tea and other hot drinks, there are plenty of snacks to help
restore some of the energy you’ve just burned off.
are quite filling. They usually begin with a nice hearty soup, and then a
main course with fresh vegetables, and plenty of rice, pasta or potatoes,
followed by a yummy dessert.
the trek, we filter and boil all the water that we give to you for drinking.
You may wish to bring purification tablets as an extra precaution but they
are not essential. Every morning we will fill up your water bottles or
hydration bladder with at least 2 litres of water.
tea is thought to help relieve the symptoms of altitude sickness. In Cuzco,
all the hotels have dried leaves and hot water available throughout the day
so you can make your own tea whenever you wish.
On the trek we will take coca leaf tea bags for you.
We use only the very best high altitude
mountain tents, Eureka K-2 XT, to ensure you stay warm, dry and comfortable on
trek. Please bear in mind, these are proper mountain tents, designed to cope
with extreme conditions so don’t expect to be able to stand up and walk around
A toilet tent is provided with toilet
We insist on using a high standard of
vehicle and driver for all of our transfers. In Peru it is not a legal
requirement to have seatbelts fitted in the back of vehicles, and while we try
to use vehicles that do have rear seatbelts fitted, this cannot always be
guaranteed. If you are unhappy about any aspect of the vehicle or the standard
of driving, please speak to the driver or our local office immediately.
Kandoo Adventures operates a strict
limit of 10kg for your main equipment bag.
limit includes your sleeping bag, even if it is rented from us. This is more
than sufficient for your needs on the trek. Your bag will be weighed before you
leave the hotel to start the trek and if it is overweight you will have to take
items out and leave them at the hotel.
The Peruvian Sol can be purchased in
advance, although US Dollars are also widely accepted in larger establishments.
If you want to change money when you arrive we can take you to an ATM or
foreign exchange bureau. When changing money, request small denominations
(10’s, 20’s and 50’s) as the larger notes can be hard to spend. If you withdraw
money from an ATM, you are likely to receive 100 sol notes.
If you are relying on a credit or debit
card for emergency funds, make sure you tell your card issuer that you will be
using it abroad, or you may find that it won't work when you really need it.
We realize that tipping may not be a
common practice in all countries but for Peru it is a standard practice that
all operators support. The decision on how much to tip should be determined by
how well the team served you while you were on the trek. Tips are always
discretionary and if you are not happy with the service you have received you
do not have to pay tips. Tips can be made in US dollars or Peruvian Sols. It is
very important that US bills be new (post 2006), crisp and untorn.
We say goodbye to our crew at the Hidroelectrica
station, before we continue to Aguas Calientes and Machu Picchu. Any tips that you wish
to give to the cook and arrieros will
need to be carried on the trek with you.
you’ve decided to rent gear, then below is a list of equipment available.
Just let our team know what you’d like to hire at your Pre-Trek
payments are made locally in US
Dollars (cash only):
Face 0° Sleeping Bags $30
items must be packed in your main equipment bag.
should not be attached to the outside, as we are not responsible if items
fall off when the bags are being carried on the trek. The sleeping bags weigh
approximately 2kg each
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