CHOQUEQUIRAO TREK TO MACHU PICCHU 7 DAYS
This expedition will take you to two of the main archeological sites in the Cusco area: CHOQUEQUIRAO and MACHU PICCHU. Both cities were considered villages of nobles and priestesses, and you will have the opportunity to know the legends and treasures that they left through time in these majestic mountains.
The Choquequirao Trek to Machu Picchu 7 Days is one of the many trails that cross the incredible Andes mountain range. As such, it appeared in traveling magazines and is considered one of the ten best walks in the world for its biodiversity and wildlife. Most of the trail passes through the Andes and then touches the jungle where we will see local fruit plantations.
- DAY 1: CUSCO | CACHORA – PLAYA ROSALINA (RÍO APURÍMAC)
- DAY 2: PLAYA ROSALINA | MARANPATA – CHOQUEQUIRAO (GOLDEN COT)
- DAY 3: CHOQUEQUIRAO | CHOQUEQUIRAO STEP – RÍO BLANCO – MAIZAL.
- DAY 4: MAIZAL | VICTORIA MINES – YAMANA.
- DAY 5: YAMANA | CORDILLERA – TOTORA.
- DAY 6: TOTORA | CLOUD FOREST – LA PLAYA – AGUAS CALIENTES.
- DAY 7: HOT WATERS | MACHU PICCHU – CUSCO.
Day 1: Cusco – Cachora – Playa Rosalina (Rio Apurimac)
We will start the Choquequirao Trek to Machu Picchu 7 Days! Your hotel in Cusco or the Sacred Valley offers breakfast, and then we will pick you up and start the 5-hour car trip to travelers crossing Cachora. Once there, we will meet the rest of the team (riders, cooks, etc.). Then we started walking uphill, crossing the Capuliyoc pass, where we can see condors flying overhead. We will have a great view of the Apurimac Canyon and experience the lush microclimate of the valley. At our stopping point, we can see the location of Choquequirao from afar. Finally, we descend through a cactus forest to Rosalina Beach, on the banks of the Apurimac River, the main tributary of the Amazon River. Along the river, there is another microclimate. This first night, we will camp at La Playa Rosalina (1550 MASL – 5085 FASL).
- Distance: 22 km – 13.6 miles
- Warm weather
- Walking time: 7 hours
Day 2: Playa Rosalina – Maranpata – Choquequirao (Golden Cot)
After a hearty breakfast, you will be given a bag of snacks to snack throughout the day. The first part of our day consists of a 4-hour ascent on a long and narrow path. Our adventure begins by crossing by cable car over the wild river that is surrounded by dense vegetation with several varieties of orchids. Halfway, we stop for lunch in Maranpata, where we have our first main view of the Choquequirao complex. Then we continue walking 2 more hours to Choquequirao (Golden Cradle), which is considered the sister city of Machu Picchu due to its various similarities. It is located at 1500 meters / 4921 feet above the Apurimac Canyon, and Machu Picchu is located above the Urubamba Canyon. In the afternoon, you will have free time to enjoy the sunset views of the canyon: it’s spectacular! Here, it is also possible to see Andean condors that rise in the mountains. We will camp near Choquequirao (3050 MASL – 10006 FASL).
- Distance: 14 km – 8.7 miles
- Climate: Warm day / Cold night
- Walking time: 7 hours
Day 3: Choquequirao – Choquequirao Step – Rio Blanco – Maizal.
Before breakfast, we recommend going to appreciate the magnificent sunrise from this picturesque place! We will have breakfast at 6 AM. We begin today’s hike going on and exploring the ruins of Choquequirao. We walk uphill through the cloud forest, mountains and valleys to reach the Choquequirao pass. After 5 hours of walking, the trail continues through agricultural terraces called Pinchinoyoc which means “forward water jump” (2750 MASL – 9022 FASL). There we will see different species of birds, varieties of orchids and local coca plantations. We will have lunch near the White River. We use the rest here to take a refreshing dip in the cold, clear water of the river if you wish. We cross the river walking because there are no bridges. On the other hand, we begin the long, steep climb to our camp in Maizal over the river and closer to the sacred Apus of the Incas. This climb lasts approximately 3 hours. This is the most challenging day. We will camp at 3000 MASL – 9842 FASL.
- Distance: 18 km – 11.2 miles
- Warm weather
- Walking time: 9 hours
Day 4: Maizal – Victoria Mines – Yanama.
Waking up on the hillside with the sounds of the forest and the birds is a really great experience! Recharging our energy with a good breakfast and following the path upwards, the landscape is lush green vegetation. If we keep our motivation and the gods give us a clear sky, we can sit and appreciate the snowy mountains that surround us. The climb uphill today is about 7 hours to the top, and this trail is historically important due to some archaeological remains and Inca canals along the way. We will pass through the impressive Inca mines called Minas Victoria, where silver was extracted. and head towards the Victoria Pass (4200 MASL – 13773 FASL). This is a long climb, but we will walk through an absolutely stunning area, first with cloud forest and then over the Andean Puna with its well-known Ichu grass. As we approach the top, we can appreciate the original paved Inca trails. We will have lunch at the port overlooking the Choquetakarpo and Pedrayoc mountains. While we have lunch, we hope to appreciate the flight of the condors, depending on the weather. Finally, we will descend to our camp in Yamana, a small village settlement at the bottom of a long valley surrounded by mountains (3800 masl – 12467 FASL).
- Distance: 17 km – 10.6 miles
- Climate: warm and windy day, cold night
- Walking time: 8 hours
Day 5: Yanama – Cordillera – Totora.
The Yamana native community surrounds the base camp. We start another long day with the big smiles of the local children, the sun shines at the camp, the noise of a large waterfall and breakfast at an outside table to appreciate everything around us. Then we start walking uphill to the highest pass on this hike (5 hours). This is the Yamana pass (4700 MASL – 15419 FASL). During the day, it is common to observe Andean farmers growing potatoes in their fields and possibly even some frozen potatoes. Once again, the view will be incredible from here, as we will be surrounded by the mountain ranges of Saqsarayoc and Pedreyoc. Once again, we have the opportunity to see the condors flying, and the gentle climbing this morning takes us through new landscapes, especially the fields of wet grass below the snow line and the water current. On the pass We may be walking through the snow at a new entrance to the Santa Teresa Valley. Here, we can observe one of the Inca gods: the Salkantay mountain. Then, we descend a long, foggy road through grassy fields and shrubbery areas, crossing bridges on the road to the community of Totora. We will spend the night in tents, surrounded by natives and indescribable natural beauty!
- Distance: 20 km – 12.4 miles
- Climate: cold and windy
- Walking time: 9 hours
Day 6: Totora – Cloud Forest – La Playa – Aguas Calientes.
Today’s hike is further downhill, continuing along the original Inca trail in the forest to appreciate the depth of the jungle. The walks will take 10 hours while we return to the heat of the jungle to harvest some fruit while we descend to the Totora River. We will observe wildlife, such as hummingbirds, woodpeckers and many species of orchids and begonias. Then we take a path on the left side of the Santa Teresa River where we will see small plantations of bananas, passion fruit and coffee (which you can try if you wish!). The Beach is the largest town on the road, also the first place with electricity, and here we will have lunch. There are also small shops here to buy snacks and water or use the bathrooms. After lunch, we will drive a small van to Hidroelectrica for approximately 1 hour passing through Santa Teresa. We cross the Vilcanota river and have an excellent view of Machu Picchu and the Aobamba canyon from a different angle; Here you can also see another Inca trail. From Hydroelectric, we walk to Aguas Calientes for 3 hours. This last part of the hike is flat and surrounded by the mountains that house Machu Picchu. If you are tired, there is an optional train trip to Aguas Calientes (US $ 32.00) There is also the option to visit the hot springs in Aguas Calientes. We will spend the night in a hotel in the city.
- Distance: 25 km – 15.5 miles
- Warm weather
- Walking time: 10 hours
Day 7: Aguas Calientes – Machu Picchu – Cusco.
Today we reach the long-awaited end of our Choquequirao Trek to Machu Picchu 7 Days, one of the New 7 Wonders of the World and World Heritage by UNESCO: Machu Picchu! We will get up early after a refreshing night in our lodge to beat the crowds to the top of Machu Picchu and enjoy their serenity in the soft morning light. The entrance checkpoint to Machu Picchu is open from 06:00 a.m. at 5:00 p.m. We will walk to Machu Picchu (a bus trip is optional and included if you do not want to walk) and we will enter the hidden Royal Citadel of the Incas. Here we will have a guided tour of 2 hours through this incredible ancient city to visit temples, terraces, palaces, houses of priests, the sundial, the industrial sector and the fields of cultivation. Surprise yourself with the engineering ingenuity of the Incas that was so far ahead of its time and that it is still partially a mystery today!
After this tour, you can climb to Huayna Picchu or Machu Picchu mountain (be sure to book in advance to get tickets for these!). Each mountain takes approximately 3 hours to go up and down. Another low impact option for which you do not need an additional ticket is to walk to Puerta del Sol, the main entrance from the Inca Trail (this takes about 2 or 2.5 hours round trip). Another option is to walk to see the Inca Bridge. You can stay and enjoy this magical city for more than 7 hours before returning to Aguas Calientes for the train ride at 6:45 PM to Ollantaytambo. A private bus will pick up our group and leave you at your hotel in Cusco at approximately 11:00 p.m. Rest your feet and your body now, but we can assure you that your heart will still accelerate over the next few weeks and years!
- All accommodations per itinerary.
- All meals per itinerary (B = Breakfast, L = Lunch, D = Dinner)
- All tours and entrance fees per itinerary (unless listed as excluded)
- All transportation and transfers by itinerary.
- Pre-walk information with guide for the walk
- Transportation by vehicle at the beginning of the walk.
- Bilingual guide on the walk, who will handle the first aid kit.
- Two men’s tents, including sleeping pads.
- Pack animals and muleteer
- Cook and cooking equipment
- Commissary team
- All meals during the walk.
- Portable bathroom
- Entrance and guided visit to the ruins of Choquequirao.
- Transfer, entrance and guided visit to Machu Picchu.
- Overnight in Aguas Calientes.
- Expedition by train back to Cusco
- International and national flights
- Meals not listed
- Drinks and alcohol.
- Tips for guides, drivers, hotel staff.
- Personal expenses (visas, airport taxes, Internet, etc.)
- Tips for your guide, driver, cook, crew, muleteer
- Huayna Picchu climbing ticket (add US $ 30 per person)
- Hotels in Cusco
- Dinner in Aguas Calientes.
- Personal equipment (sleeping bag, package, clothes, etc.)
- Personal expenses (alcoholic beverages, laundry, insurance, internet)
- Additional tours before and after the walk
WHAT YOU HAVE TO TAKE FOR THE TREK CHOQUEQUIRAO:
- Original passport (must be the same one used to book your trip)
- Valid university card (if booked as a student)
- Good backpack (the smaller, the better)
- Water storage: 2-3L (Camelbaks are recommended)
- Comfortable hiking boots with ankle brace
- Sleeping bag
- Headlamp: essential
- Toilet paper
WHAT TO PUT IN YOUR DUFFEL BAG FOR THE CHOQUEQUIRAO TREK TO MACHU PICCHU 7 DAYS
As a Local Tour operator, we provide you with a canvas bag in your informative session and INCLUDES an additional carrier that will carry up to 7 kg or 14 lb, including your 2.5 kg sleeping bag, mattress and additional clothes.
- 2 t-shirts
- 2 hiking pants at least
- 4 sets of underwear
- 3 sets of hiking socks
- Swimsuit for hot springs
- Polar / thermal lining
- Warm clothes, down jacket – temperature of the second camp around 3º C
- Waterproof gloves (even if they are ski gloves, take them)
- Comfortable camping shoes
- Quick drying towel. We offer small, you might prefer something bigger
- Small bottle of soap: we provide warm water every day to wash.
- Battery charger: there is no electricity along the walk
- Large plastic bags will be provided in the office. Ask for them.
- Sleeping bag: must be at least -15ºC. You can rent it.
- Facial moisturizer
- Hand sanitizer
- Wet wipes
- Toothbrush and toothpaste
- Personal medications
- First aid kit: bandages, moleskin, etc.
WHAT TO PUT ON YOUR BACKPACK FOR CHOQUEQUIRAO TREK
We recommend a small backpack of 30 to 40 liters for hiking in the day. A large backpack will not be allowed in Machu Picchu. The rest of your belongings will be in your canvas bag at the camp.
Water: supply your own water to the first place for lunch, then we will provide cold boiled water at each meal. Please bring your canteens.
- Sun hat
- Headlamp: essential
- Wool hat
- Rain clothes
- Snacks like chocolate bars, cereal bars or any dried fruit.
- Coca leaves
- Plastic rain poncho (provided by SAM)
- Hand sanitizer
- Toilet paper and small plastic waste bag.
- Extra money for souvenirs, drinks and tipS
What to Bring
- Sleeping bag: $ 25 USD per person per walk (it will be clean and warm)
- Air mattress: $ 25 USD per person per walk (Therm-a-rest mattresses)
- Walking sticks: $ 20 USD per pair per walk (professional walking sticks that can be extended)
- Personal store: $ 30 USD – (Shop only for hikers alone)
- Vistadome train update: $ 57 USD per person (for return to Poroy (Cusco) at 4:43 pm)
- Huayna Picchu Mountain: $ 35 USD per person (request when booking your trek)
- Machu Picchu Mountain: $ 30 USD per person (request when booking your trek)
- 18 to 25 years: $ 30 USD. Information required on the student card: name of the university, name of the student, photo of the student, expiration date, etc. A copy of the card is required at the reservation and government approval for the discount.
- Children under 18: $ 30 USD. Send us a copy of your passport at the time of booking.
- Children under 11 years: $ 40 USD. Send us a copy of your passport at the time of booking.
- Group of 5 or more: $ 30 USD. – All you need is to book the trek at the same time.