Trek Less Traveled Choquequirao

Trek Less Traveled Choquequirao

Experience three of the Incas’ crowning achievements on this unforgettable 9-day ‘Trek Less Traveled’ Choquequirao to Machu Picchu adventure. First immerse yourself in the Incan and colonial heritage of captivating Cuzco, before embarking on a mountain bike ride through the fabled Sacred Valley. Then for the main event: a 5-day trek to the vast, mythical ruins of Choqueqirao. Perched atop a mountaintop in the remote and little-visited Vilcabamba Range, it’s a place very few tourists ever reach. Finally, top it all-off with a visit to Machu Picchu, the Lost City of the Incas.

9 DAYS

Starting from $3,990 per person

Pricing includes everything from your international arrival to your departure, with the exception of flights and a few lunches and dinners.

HOW IT WORKS

HIGHLIGHTS

  • A guided tour of Cuzco, with visits to Koricancha, one of the most important Incan temples, and Cuzco's Cathedral where you'll learn about the Cuzco School of Art.
  • Camp in ultimate comfort and warmth, with quality sleeping bags and Therm-a-Rest sleeping mats in your spacious two-man tent. Porters will carry your kit, and you'll even have the use of a private tented bathroom in the campsite. 
  • Five full days on the remote and rugged Choquequirao Trek, a less popular but more pristine (and demanding!) alternative to the Inca Trail.
  • A chance to visit the magnificent mountaintop citadel of Choquequirao, a place that very few people ever reach.
  • An early morning visit to the “fact is stranger than fiction” temple of the waterfall at Choquequirao, set among one of the most ambitious sets of Inca terraces on the planet.
  • The opportunity to savor breath-taking scenery and endemic fauna and flora from above, below and within the spectacular Apurimac Canyon.
  • A two-hour guided tour of the Machu Picchu ruins, taking in all the main sights and explaining some of the mysteries surrounding the Lost City of the Incas.
  • A scenic return train ride through the Sacred Valley, from Cuzco to Machu Picchu and back.

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Sample Itinerary

Where better to start your trip than in the spellbinding city of Cuzco, erstwhile capital of the Incan Empire? On your private half-day city tour you'll visit Sacsayhuaman, an immense Incan complex with mind-bogglingly precise stonework, Koricancha, one of the most important Incan temples (the walls were once actually coated in gold!), and Cuzco's Cathedral where you'll learn about the Cuzco School of Art. The evening is yours to explore the alleyways, plazas and eateries of this fascinating Andean city.

After breakfast at your Cusco hotel, you will be driven to the start of your mountain bike adventure. From the comfort of your saddle you will experience the magnificent scenery and fascinating culture of the Sacred Valley of the Incas. You will visit the still-operational salt mines of Maras and the town of Tiobamba, eventually arriving to the valley floor where you will continue back to Cusco by vehicle. You will get back to Cusco in the mid-evening, just in time for a shower and a bite to eat.

The big day has finally dawned! Awake early today for your drive northwest towards Limatambo and the Apurimac River. You'll pass San Pedro Cachora en route to the trailhead at Capuliyoq (3,000m.a.s.l./ 9,840ft.a.s.l.). The first day of hiking is characterized by incredible views of the snowcapped Padreyoq Mountain and the Apurimac Canyon below and a gentle descent into the canyon. You will camp at Chusquisca (2,000m.a.s.l. / 6,000 ft.a.s.l.), just above the valley floor.

Make sure you have a hearty breakfast, because today is almost all ascent! After crossing the Apurimac River on a rudimentary bridge, you will hike for around 6 hours (plenty of time to enjoy the fauna, flora and scenery) to the tiny village of Maranpata (2,800 m.a.s.l. /9,200 ft.a.s.l.), your camp for the night. Be sure to get a good night’s rest ahead of your arrival to Choquequirao tomorrow morning.

You’ll be up early again today as you set off for the main plaza of the mountaintop citadel of Choquequirao (3,000 m.a.s.l. /9,800 ft.a.s.l.), approximately two hours’ walk from camp. Experts estimate that Choquequirao is seven times larger than Machu Picchu, with only fifteen percent of the citadel recovered from the jungle so far. Your guide will show you the major sections of the ruins, sharing the history of this logic-defying site. You will finish the day at camp in the cloud forest below the plaza at Choquequirao.

After yet another early breakfast, you will visit the mesmerizing waterfall temple in the lower sector of Choquequirao before dropping down to the base of the Apurimac Canyon and following the watercourse towards Huanipaca. You will then climb to the languid old hacienda of San Ignacio, to camp among mango and papaya groves overlooking the Apurimac canyon.

Ascending from Hacienda San Ignacio, you will hike 3 hours to the subtropical oasis that is the Los Loros lodge. After enjoying an ice-cold drink from the bar, you will be picked up for the four hour drive back to Cusco. You will get back to Cusco mid by mid-evening ( a hot shower never felt so good!) to rest up ahead of your train ride to Machu Picchu the following morning.

Rising early, you will be transferred by vehicle to the train station at Poroy for your four-hour train ride to Machu Picchu Pueblo. Upon arrival, walk to the bus stop for the twenty-minute drive to the entrance of the ruins where you will enjoy a two-hour guided tour of the Lost City of the Incas. Afterwards, you’ll have the afternoon free to further explore the ruins at your leisure, before heading back by scenic train ride to Cuzco in the late afternoon.

All good things must come to an end eventually. After a leisurely breakfast at your hotel, you’ll driven to the Cuzco airport for your flight onwards.

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