The name Choquequirao means “Cradle of Gold” and this settlement was one of the last refuges for those Incas who continued to resist Spanish occupation after the conquest. Choquequirao is less well-known than Machu Picchu and the trek to get there is a unique experience. The site was abandoned and became covered by a dense cloud forest and until this day archaeologists continue to discover new sectors of the city.
On this adventurous trek we will walk along Inca roads, hike through high andean landscapes, descend into deep canyons and pass through biologically diverse ecosystems.This program combines visits to two major archaeological sites: remote and seldom-visited Choquequirao and legendary Machu Picchu It is a fascinating adventure through a part of the old empire of the Incas which is also the least spoiled wilderness area.
Private transport Cusco-Cachora, bilingual guide, cook, mule drivers, pack mules and support saddle horses, camping equipment (double-, dining-, kitchen- and toilet tents, sleeping mats, etc), meals (8 breakfasts, 8 lunches, 7 dinners and snacks), entrance fees to Choquequirao, Machu Picchu and Wayna Picchu, bus ticket Aguas Calientes – Machu Picchu, 1 night’s Hotel in Aguas Calientes (3 star twin rooms), train ticket Aguas Calientes-Ollantaytambo and transfer back to Cusco.
Sleeping bag, meals not mentioned in the itinerary, extra services such as tips and optional upgrades, entrance fees to hot springs in Aguas Calientes.
At 5:00am, we pick you up at your hotel, then drive in our private bus to Cachora (2,850m/9,407ft) for 4 hours. Along the way there are spectacular views of villages, valleys and snow-capped mountains. Once at Cachora we meet our horsemen and pack all our equipment onto the horses. We start walking to Capuliyoc until lunch time where we enjoy great views of Apurimac Canyon, snow-capped mountains such a Padreyoc (5,571m/18,387ft) and the location of Choquequiraw. After lunch we descend to our first campsite at Chiquisca (1,900m/6,270ft).
After an early breakfast we descend to the magnificent Apurimac River (1,550m/5,117ft) and then walk uphill to the rural village of Maranpata (2,850m/9,350ft) where we have lunch whilst enjoying the spectacular views of the Choquequirao´s remains (3,150m/10,397ft). Then we will walk through a myriad of flora and fauna to our second evening’s campsite located just 20 minutes from the Choquequirao ruins. Here, we may see condors and have the option to spend the late evening at the archeological site.
After breakfast we fully explore Choquequirao; we visit the temples, palaces, ritual water fountains, llamas’ section and the amazing Ushnu (ceremonial platform). In the afternoon we climb over the ridge to the stunning Choquequirao Pass (3,277m/10,814ft). Then we descend for 2 hours towards Rio Blanco (1,990m/6,567ft) and onto the third evening’s campsite, enjoying the great scenery and the Pinchiunuyoc remains along the way.
After a late breakfast we climb up to Maisal (3000m/9,847f) enjoying the variety of microclimates and spectacular views of canyons, rivers and stunning landscape along the way. Arriving to our fourth camp site.
Beginning at 7am, we walk uphill for 3 hours through semi-jungle via parts of the original Inca road, visiting ancient mines, and wearrive at Victoria’s pass (4,170m/13,700f). From here we can appreciate the great canyons, the spectacular snow-capped mountains of Sacsara, Qoriwanachina, and Pumasillo. Then we descend to Yanama (3,650m/12,037ft), which is our fifth evening’s campsite.
A day of mountain peaks. On this day we walk for 9 hours, preferably rising early to appreciate the range of snow peaks that can be seen from the first section of today´s trek. We ascend to the highest point of our trek: Yanama Pass(4,670m/15,407ft). The view from here is amazing as we will be surrounded by snow-capped mountains and impressive valleys. We then descend to Totora for lunch and after lunch we walk for 2 hours to Colpapampa (2,870m/9,470ft) to our sixth campsite.
On this day we walk for 3 hours through the beginnings of the rainforest; enjoying a myriad of flora and fauna including orchids, birds, coffee, cacao and fruit plantations. We arrive at La Playa for lunch with free time to rest before climbing uphill for 3 hours through the cloud forest up to the Puncuyoc Pass. Then we proceed to LLACTAPATA which is located at 2,700m/8,907ft (an Inca site located straight in front of the citadel of Machu Picchu); it is our seventh campsite. The panoramic view is breathtaking; you can enjoy different perspectives of Machu Picchu and Huanay Picchu Mountains, the citadel of Machu Picchu and the Acobamba canyon.
After a late breakfast enjoying the spectacular views of Huaynapicchu and Machu Picchu Mountains as well as the citadel of Machu Picchu, we start walking downhill for 2 hours to the hydroelectric plant for lunch. After that we walk to Aguas Calientes through the National Sanctuary of Machu Picchu and enjoy the surroundings of the iconic Machu Picchu and the wall which surrounds the Inca Citadel.
After a very early breakfast we leave our hostel to take the bus for the journey up to the citadel. Once there we will visit one of the most important mystic centers of the world: Machu Picchu. A 3 hour guided tour will takes us into the history of this mysterious and charming place. After that, we have plenty of time for further exploring, taking photos and climbing Huayna Picchu or going up to the Sun Gate. In the afternoon we head back to Aguas Calientes and we take the return train to Ollantaytambo with a private bus connection to Cusco, arriving in the evening.
The time stated within this program is approximate and walking time may differ dependent upon the group´s capability and progress and as such the guide may change the lunch spot and campsite if it is required. Each guide has his or her own preferred route and it may not follow exactly the schedule described here. However all items listed within the above schedule will be covered.
Trek conditions also vary according to the season. In the dry season ( May – September) the trail can be very dusty and hot in the day time, in the wet season (Octomber – March) it can be slippery and muddy and during the shoulder season the conditions can be variable. All year round in the mountains stone slidings can happen at any time, particularly after heavy rains. SAM Travel Peru takes no responsibility for trail condition.
This Trek is adventurous and a challenging experience, crossing several high passes and the Rio Blanco which does not have a substantial bridge and it can be dangerous to cross them in periods of heavy rain. This region is not frequently visited by tourists, therefore tourist infrastructure is limited. Visitors should be aware that things change, or may not go to plan. This is all part of the adventure! We can change the date of your train ticket to the following day. Hotels costs and costs associated with returning to Machu Picchu the following day are additional to trek costs. Please also note that your entry ticket to Machu Picchu is valid for one day only, if you wish to visit the ruins on a second consecutive day you will need to purchase the ticket again. Please bring an open mind, flexibility and a good sense of humor!
We strongly recommend this trek for experienced trekkers or campers.
PERSONAL HELP PORTER INCLUDED:
The prices INCLUDES the Choquequirao entrance fee (US20) and the combined MACHU PICCHU and HUAYNA PICCHU mountain entrance fee of 265 Peruvian Soles (S/.152 + S/.27 sales tax) which is about US$90, bus from Aguas Calientes – Machu Picchu (US$12), return on tourist train from Aguas Calientes to Ollantaytambo Expedition Service 84 (US$80), Bus from Ollantaytambo to Cusco (US$15), Hotel at Aguas Calientes (US$57), portable camping TOILET with SIT and all local sales taxes (18%).
SAM Travel Peru does not have hidden charges in the trek prices.
SAM Travel Peru ADDED VALUES
1.Extra porter for your belongings
2. Direct Local Tour Operator
3.-Vegetarian meals available without extra charge.
SAM Travel Peru does not have hidden charges in the trek prices
Any day that is best for you as long we have 2 participants
If there are at least 4 people in your group, you will automatically get either: $30 per person group discount or a free Sacred Valley tour (Must do in Cusco). This discount or free tour is valid for the following adventure trips: Classic Inca Trail to Machu Picchu, Salkantay trek, Choquekirao to Machu Picchu trek, Lares trek etc.
Please note that this discount does not apply to private treks or any other trek not mentioned here.
“Please have a look at the following informations; it will help you clarify all your queries and questions about our services and the treks to Machu Picchu”
WELCOME TO CUSCO: You will be welcomed on your arrival at Cuzco airport, please ensure that you provide your full flight arrival details at least 14 days prior the trek. Look out for our representative holding an orange board with your name at the arrival terminal.SAM Travel Peru representative will meet you at the lobby of the hotel, who will give you all the information about your trek or tour.
DEPARTURE: Any day that is best for you as long as we have a minimum of 2 trekkers
GROUP SIZE: Small Groups from 2 – 8 people (could be 2, 4, 5 .); a small group will make your experience different with a personalized attention of the whole team, you will also enjoy better the route according to its rate hike.
NOTE: Big groups can be organized by request.
TRAIN SCHEDULES: At the end of the Trek or Tour we will take the 2:55pm or 6:35pm train leaving from Aguas Calientes. It takes 2 hours until Ollantaytambo and then we will transfer you back to Cusco and your hotel. Train tickets depends on availability.
HOTEL: For treks that include an accommodation in Aguas Calientes, we stay at “Hostal Machu Picchu” or “El Presidente Hotel” which is a very nice place to rest after several days of walking! In comparison to other companies, we will not be staying in basic shared rooms or sharing showers. Our hotels depend on availability.
However, if you would like to have a better accommodation, just let us know the one of your preference and we will let you know how much the extra fee will be.
HUAYNAPICCHU MOUNTAIN: Please, if you are thinking of climbing Huayna Picchu mountain you must book it at the same time as your trek or tour to Machu Picchu. Only 400 people can hike Huayna Picchu per day. You will climb it on your own after the tour inMachu Picchu around 10 .00 am. The price is $25 per person… more information:
HORSES, COOK & ASSISTANT COOK: On this trek we provide horses and mules to carry the food, the camping equipment and your belongings up to 7 kilos.
NOTE: We included an emergency horse for the group, which can be ridden if you feel exhausted or if you are ill (only for alternative treks)
OUR GUIDES: They all speak english fluently and of course all of them speak Spanish and Quechua (the Inca Language). They are all able to communicate with natives from the area and of course they will have lots of history to share with you.
MEALS: The food provided by the porters and cook is nothing short of amazing. Trekkers can expect a breakfast of omelettes or pancakes, a ‘takeaway’ snack pack of fruit or chocolate to eat mid morning, a two course lunch of soup and meat with pasta or rice, afternoon tea on arrival at camp with biscuits and popcorn and a three course dinner. Breakfast and dinner are accompanied by hot drinks (tea, coffee, chocolate) and lunch usually by cordial (other drinks e.g. soft drinks or beer are at your own expense and can be priced on the trail). All food is prepared, served and cleared away by the cook and porters and the quality of the meals is quite something when you consider that all the ingredients and basic cooking equipment has been carried in. Trekkers will certainly not feel hungry and special dietary requirements can be catered for if specified in advance. You will be able to buy bottled water on day 1 and 2 of the trek at various points along the way, after this you will refill your empty bottles from boiled water provided by the porters. Boiled water will be provided during the trek whenever it is possible to make camp.
OUR EQUIPMENT: We provide 4 men tents for only 2 people and INFLATABLE MATTRESS for everyone. Our dining equipment includes a spacious dining tent, tables and chairs, plates and utensils.
Please note that if you are more than 1.95 meters / 6´4″ tall then you won´t be able to rent a sleeping bag in Cusco. In this case it is recommended to bring your own one.
CULTURE SHOCK RATING: The comforts of home are more of a rarity. English isn’t common and the food will be quite different to home. It’s important to observe some of the local customs in order not to cause any offense. Many of the locals’ standards of living may be confronting.
SPENDING MONEY: Every traveller is different and therefore money requirements will vary. Some travellers may drink more than others while other travellers like to purchase more souvenirs. Please consider your own spending habits when it comes to allowing for drinks, shopping, participating in optional activities, and tipping. Please also remember the following specific recommendations when planning your trip.
TIPPING: If you’re happy with the service, a tip – though not compulsory – is appropriate. While it may not be customary to you, it’s of great significance to the people who will take care of you during your travels, inspires excellent service, and is an entrenched feature of the tourism industry across many SAM Travel Peru destinations.
Of course you are free to tip more or less depending on your perception of the service quality and the length of your trip. Remember, a tip is not compulsory and should only be given when you receive an excellent service.
WEATHER: The wet season in this region is from December to March when heavy rains can cause disruptions to ground transport. SAM Travel Peru will monitor any situation that arises and may need to change itineraries or activities in response to natural weather occurrences.
TRANSPORT: Train, Minibus
Telephone: (+51) (84) 630690, Telefax: (+51) (84) 630690 Cell Phone:(+51) 992 126 224 (in english and spanish)
Address in Cusco: Luis Vallejo Santoni (Manco Ccapac H-9), 3er Piso – Santiago – Cusco – Peru
Business Hours: Monday to Sunday: (From 9:00am to 12:00pm) – ( From 15:00 – 20:00):
HIKING TO MACHU PICCHU: The evening before you start your trek, you will be given a SMALL DUFFLE BAG to pack your clothes for the next four days. Your weight allowance is 7kg/15p max. While you hike, the bulk of your luggage will be stored at your hotel in Cuzco.
Your team of porters will carry your duffle bag for you, together with the food and camping gear. It’s important to be aware that you will not have access to your items in the duffle bag until the end of each day, as the porters will always be ahead of the group.
During the trek, you will need a back pack big enough to carry your personal belongings such as a warm jacket, a rain jacket, your camera, sun cream, snacks, water, etc. Usually a 30 to 50 litres capacity back pack is big enough.
FITNESS: The Inca Trail is certainly not easy but you do not need to be an athlete or a trekking expert to complete it. Fitness is naturally important but the Inca Trail is the kind of trek that anyone with a positive attitude and determination can do. Obviously the more fit you are the more you will enjoy the trail and the more chance you will admire the scenery and appreciate the Inca ruins dotted along the way. If you do not exercise regularly, it is advisable to do some extra walking or some kind of aerobic activity in the months leading up to your trip.
Many people worry whether they will be able to cope physically but complete failure is rare and would usually only result from severe altitude sickness or from a person lacking even the basic level of fitness. People of all ages (from teenagers to pensioners) complete the trek and age itself is not a barrier if you have a positive mind and live an active lifestyle. Before departing for your tour, we recommend visiting your doctor who will be able to provide you with more information.
TRAVEL INSURANCE: Travel insurance is compulsory for all our trips. We require you to be covered for medical expenses including emergency repatriation for a minimum. We strongly recommend that your policy also includes personal liability, cancellation, curtailment and loss of luggage and personal effects.
When travelling on a trip, you won’t be permitted to join the trip until evidence of travel insurance and the insurance company’s 24 hour emergency contact number has been seen by our local representative.
If you have a credit card insurance, our local representative will require details of the participating insurer/underwriter, the level of coverage, policy number and emergency contact telephone number rather than the bank’s name and credit card details. Please contact your bank for these details prior to arriving Perú.
ARE WE SUSTAINABLE? Yes, We are a local sustainable & responsible tourism operator for that we follow the universal principles of tourism: protect the environment and benefit the local communities respecting their culture and religion. To this end, we have trained all our local staff that knows, understands, feels and respects the place and the people.
ARE WE RESPONSIBLE?: Yes, We try to treat our hikers, our porters and all the local people from the villages with the upmost respect. We travel in small groups to give personalized tours to each traveller, we pay good salaries to our porters and follow the porters´ law. We provide all our porters with their hiking gear such as shoes, pants, jackets, t-shirts, hats, sleeping bags and most importantly, with health insurance.
STORAGE DURING THE TREK: During the trek to Machu Picchu your main luggage will be stored in Cuzco and you will receive a small duffle bag at your Inca Trail briefing (briefings are normally set for the evening before you start the trek) to pack clothes for 3-4 days. Your team of porters will carry these bags together with the food and equipment for the trail. Please note that you will not have access to these items until the end of each day as the porters will always be ahead of the group, you should therefore bring a day pack in which you can carry personal belongings such as your camera, water and sun screen etc. By Peruvian law the duffle bag carried by the porters must not weigh more than 7kg (14pounds). You can either store your luggage at your hotel or you can leave it in our office.
BOOKING: The trek of Choquequirao is available to depart any day of the week as long as we have two people. Nevertheless you still need to book in advance especially for Machu Picchu and Wayna Picchu.