camping and hiking to the lost inca city 8 days - 7 nights

choquequirao complex is very interesting and one of the most popular treks in cusco area. choquequiraw is situated in the spur of the mountain range of salkantay, over 3030m surrounded by the apus of yamana, ampay, chokecarpu, pumasiyo and panta, on the left bank of apurimac river. in the time of the incas, it was united and in communication with machu picchu by a complex network of trails. the reasons are many: the fantastic nature with valleys, snow-capped mountains and great variety of plants, birds and animals. choquequiraw is considered as "the last refuge of the inca empire". visitors can view a complex hydraulic system, most likely for domestic, ceremonial and agricultural use. the geographic location of choquequirao in reference to other complexes of the same period would tend to indicate that its function was that of an inca enclave toward the valleys of the apurimac river. there are many similarities between choquequirao and machu picchu. the latter was a sanctuary dedicated to the worship of the inca pachacutec; choquequirao was also a sacred site, but one dedicated to other functions that could have had to do with war or with the surrounding apus. each is located beside mt. salcantay and both are situated above, far above, a great river: in the case of machupicchu, the urubamba and in that of choquequirao, the apurimac.
the ecotourism, fulfilling all the norms of conservation and control, will lead a sustainable development of the zone. the inca trail to choquequirao is encounters with the nature area that is without disturbance or contaminating, with a specific abject of admire and enjoy the landscapes along with sylvester plants, wild animals and cultural manifestations.


(apurimac river) at 5am we will pick up our customers from their hotels, and then we will transfer by our private van to cachora (4 hours), once we will meet the rest of team (arrieros and horses). then we will begin trek go uphill, passing through the high pass of capuliyoc, where we might see condors and great view of the apurimac canyon. finally we descend through cactus forest to playa rosalina on the banks of the apurimac river, the main tributary of the amazon river. camping at playa rosalina (1550m) (l - d).



 (golden cradle) after early breakfast strenuous 5 hours of uphill trek through a long and narrow trail, surrounded by beautiful vegetation with several varieties of orchids. half way up stop for lunch at maranpata, then continue hiking to more hours to chokekirao (golden cradle), is considered the sister city of machu picchu, because of several similarities, it hangs 1500m above the apurimac canyon, and machu picchu hang above the urubamba canyon. the view of the canyon is spectacular; it is also possible to see andean condors soaring in the mountains. camping near of chokekirao (3050m) (b - l - d).



breakfast will at 7am and then start our trek passing the chokekirao ruins, uphill through cloud forest, mountains and valleys to reach the chokekirao pass. after 5 hours trekking the trail continue through agricultural terraces called pinchinoyoc which means (water jumping forward - 2750m). there will observe different species of birds, different varieties of orchids, and local coca plantations. we will have our lunch near the rio blanco, we use the brake here to get a refreshing bath in the cold and clear river water. we cross walking through the river, since there are no bridges. after our brake we start the long and steep climb to our camp in maizal, high over the river close to the sacred apus of the incas. from rio blanco we climb up to maizal for about 3 hrs. camping at 3000m (b - l - d).



early morning trek around the corihuarachina glacier, important due to some archaeological remains such as inca channels. from here we start walking uphill passing by the impressive inca mines called minas victoria and towards the victoria pass. again a long climb, but we walk in amazingly beautiful area - first with cloud forest and then over andean puna with the well known ichu grass. then we pass through minas victoria, a place that during the colony, silver was extracted from a mine. almost on the top we can apreciate original paved inca trails. we take our box lunch at the pass in 4200m with view of the mountain choquetakarpo, while we had lunch we will be able to appreciate the flight of the condors depending on the climate, and finally descend to our campsite at yamana, a small isolated settlement at the bottom of a long valley surrounded by mountains (3800m) (b - l - d).



after early breakfast trekking uphill to the highest pas in this trek, named yamana. again the view will be amazing from here we will be surrounded by mountain range of saqsarayoc and pedreyoc. once again we have the chance to see condors, and this mornings smooth climb bring us through new landscapes - especially the wet grass fields under the snowline that distinguish from everything else seen on the tour. in the pass we might walk in snow, and the descent is a long foggy hike through grassy fields- and bush areas and crossing small poor wood bridges on the way towards the community of totoral, where we spend the in tents in a indescribable beauty, surrounded by pure nature (b - l - d).



today the trekking will be 7 hours, descending 2000m into totora river. we will observe the natural wildlife, such as hummingbirds, woodpeckers, many species of orchids and begonias. then we descend the trail on the left side of the santa teresa river where we will see small plantations of bananas, passion fruit, and coffee. on the way will stop at small waterfalls and get a refreshing natural bath. the area also has a big variation of bird the climate and vegetations have changed totally. the playa is the biggest village on the way, where we can find some small shops to buy snack etc. in this area we can see small plantations of coffee and bananas. campsite at 2125m (b - l - d).



alter a good breakfast will took a transport that takes us until the town of santa teresa, we cross a river of the vilcanota. where we will take a transport to planta de hidroeléctrica, place where we will have an excellent view of a different angle of machu picchu and the aobamba canyon, where another inca trail can be seen, also here we will have our last lunch. after good rest and walk 3 hours to reach aguas calientes. optional visit the hot spring located next to the town. we will spend the night in hostel (b - l - d).



after an early breakfast from aguas calientes we walk or take bus to machu picchu, there, we will have a guided tour for all the archaeological site, then we will have free time to be on our own in machu picchu, maybe to climb the wayna picchu or visit the moon temple. at mentioned time you will meet the guide and then come back to aguas calientes (3pm) to catch the train back to cusco arriving at 8pm aprox (b - l).


  • official english speaking guide (two guides for groups over 8 participants)
  • transfer by private van from cusco to cachora
  • entrance to machu picchu ruins (one day)
  • porters to carry food and camping equipment
  • experienced cook
  • cooking equipment
  • teatime everyday (coffee, tea, popcorn, biscuit)
  • 4 capacity tent (four season tent) - 2 persons per tent with plenty space for backpacks
  • double thickness foam sleeping mattress
  • all meals on the trail (7 breakfast - 7 lunches - 7 dinners)
  • water supply (boiled) after every dinner or breakfast
  • one night stay in a hotel at aguas calientes
  • return train ticket from aguas calientes to cusco (backpacker train)
  • bus from aguas calientes - machu picchu - aguas calientes village (not all tour operators include this service)
  • dining tent with camp tables and chairs
  • kitchen tent
  • accommodation and meals for our porters
  • first aid kit and oxygen bottle for any participant and our camp staff

if this is your first time going to the andes or high mountains we recommend getting information about the altitude sickness, see below some websites recommend by high mountain doctors and scientists from over the world.
ismm – international society for mountain medicine
medex – medical expeditions


tour schedule & cost 2012




any day
(except dec to march)

trekking to choquequirao fortress and to machu picchu $1688 usd per person

camping and hiking to the lost inca city 8 days - 7 nights

private service (private van/guide)
2 participants $1688 usd each one 
3-4 participants $1308 usd each one 
5 to more participants $1168 usd each one

discount: $10 usd for south american explorers club members
discount 3%: tour operators or travel agencies only
students: $25 usd of discount only with valid green isic card

organized groups: we offer private and any time departure

group size: 8 - 12 participants per each guide

 we highly recommended to book this trek prior you arrive to peru

all prices stated above are subject to change.
exchange rate $1 usd = s/. 3.02 (rate may vary daily).


every night keep everything locked up in your tents to prevent any problems with robberies. 


Not Include
  • optional entrance to the hot springs in aguas calientes ($5 usd last day)
  • 2 soles for towel to use in the hot spring
  • alcoholic drinks
  • sleeping bag can be hired in our local office in cusco $5 usd per day
  • breakfast on the first day before to be collected from your hotel, if your hotel dont offer early breakfast service, we stop at ollantaytambo village to have breakfastafor additional cost
  • lunch on the last day in aguas calientes before the train back to cusco
  • tips for guide and camp staff
  • optional night in aguas calientes can be arranged easily
What Do You Need To Bring/Carry
  • backpack 65lt, if you plan to hire a horse take a big plastic bag to cover your personal backpack
  • personal horse for ride
  • sleeping bag -15ºc (can be hired from our office for $5 usd per day)
  • rain jacket or poncho (december - april)
  • strong comfortable and waterproof footwear
  • one complete change of clothing
  • sweater and jacket (something warm)
  • bottle of water and purification tablets (micropur are recommended and can be bought in local pharmacies in cusco)
  • flashlight and batteries
  • hat or cap to protect you from the sun
  • sun block (sun protection cream)
  • insect repellent
  • toiletries, towel and toilet paper
  • selection of small snacks, chocolate, dried fruit, biscuits, etc
  • camera, plenty of film and spare batteries
  • swimsuit (if you plan on visiting the hot springs at aguas calientes after the trek)
  • you also need to bring your original passport on the trek because you well need to show before enter to machu picchu
  • optional: walking sticks or poles (rubber covers required in order not to damage the inca trail).

choquekirao and inka trail weather

for more information about the weather in choquekirao, the trail to machu picchu and around cusco region 

advice for hikers
is recommendable have yellow fiber vaccination (malaria) because you will be 3 days in the high jungle. we never hear news about problems with malaria in this zone but are better to be prepared.
it is also important to be well acclimatized to the altitude for that try to spend 2 nights in cusco (3400m) prior to do the trek.

local kids and adults
along the way you will met many people, specially kids walking long distance to arrive at school and study 5 hours and they back home after maybe 30 minutes or 2 – 4 hours depending how far they live from the school. normally they are son or daughter of poor farmers living on the mountains. we strongly recommend help us to give some present to them like pencils, notebook, dictionaries, toys, clothes (socks, gloves, hat, t-shirt, etc) and something to eat. we don’t recommend giving them things like candies, chew gun, soda, camping knife or money. if you really like to make picture of them, especially of adults we strongly advise you to ask first. if you don’t speak any word of spanish language (español) coordinate with your guide to see if is possible to have picture of them. local people don’t permit take picture of them, because they believe you taking their spirit on your camera.

stay an extra night at aguas calientes?
yes, if you want to stay an extra night in aguas calientes after biking and trekking tour this can easily be arranged. we will purchase your train ticket to return to cusco the following day. you need to let us know at the time of making the trek reservation so we can reserve your train tickets in advance. obviously if you stay an extra night then you will have to pay for your accommodation.

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