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Choquequirao Trek 5 Days

Cusco - Capuliyoc - Maranpata Town - Choquequirao
(13)
Service Level:
Premium
Activity type:
  • Hiking
  • Camping
  • Archaeology
  • Scenic Vistas
Physical Rating:
Trip Type:
Private Tour & Semi-Private Tour
Trip Length
5 days
Starting from
$ 650
per person

Choquequirao Trek 5 Days, A Premium Journey in the Remote Regions of Cusco.

Perched astride a high ridge promontory at 10,000 feet amongst the snow-capped peaks of Vilcabamba Mountains is Choquequirao, a true “lost city of the Incas.” we invite you to discover the secrets of this abandoned citadel on this best 5-day trekking holiday.

For its absolutely wondrous location, Choquequirao “The Cradle of Gold” is often compared to Machu Picchu, yet this hidden Inca site has no road access, so it is only accessed by foot, it is far less visited and still offers you the opportunity to roam freely amongst the evocative ruins and explore the terraces in relative solitude.

First discovered in the 1700s, Choquequirao was not dug until more than 250 years later. Less than 40% of the ruins have been uncovered so far, with many of the site’s secrets still undiscovered. Already a worthy rival to Machu Picchu in terms of its size and splendor, more buildings, more terraces, and llama-decorated terraces are being exposed at Choquequirao each year. On this Choquequirao 5 day trek, you will have a full day to explore the archaeological site, including the famous llama-decorated terraces, and some unexcavated sites still hidden in the forest. Also, you’ll be mesmerized as you take in the beautiful natural surroundings, while in the distance you will hear the roar of the mighty Apurimac River. You will also see native animals such as Andean condors, hummingbirds, and lots of flora like orchids and native flowers.

Join us and make your dreams happen, making one of the most exhilarating treks with breathtaking views of snow-capped mountains, great valleys, and amazing canyons. Give us a call at +51 984 585 909 or shoot us an email at info@cuscolocalfriend.com to learn more or book your spot today

Why you will love this tour

  • Trek with a local tour operator, managed by expert local guides, accredited by the Peruvian Ministry of Tourism.
  • Our is “Small groups and Big Adventures” (min 2 ppl – max 8 ppl – average 4 ppl)
  • Trek through remote and big mountain sceneries into one of the deepest canyons of Peru, the Apurimac.
  • Your own private guide, muleteers, horses, delicious camp cuisine prepared by your personal cook.
  • Enjoy a serious physical challenge – steep uphill and downhills through the beautiful Apurimac Canyon
  • Learn the history of the last days of the Inca Empire and explore the Choquequirao citadel with an expert trek guide from “Cusco Local Friend”.
  • Marvel with the fascinating views of the Apurimac Canyon and snow-capped Andean peaks
  • Trek in a high Andean realm. Stay in a mountain 4-season cozy and roomy tent.

Trip Details

  • Tour duration: 5 days
  • Activities: Hiking, archaeology, history, and nature.
  • Trek starts from: Cusco
  • Trek ends in: Cusco
  • Group Size: Small groups for big adventures (min 2ppl – max 8ppl – average 4ppl)
  • Good For: Those with a sense of adventure and in good hiking shape
  • Physical rating: Moderate – demanding due to the altitude of the trail and the trail surface.
  • Consideration: Please remember coming prepared for this trek. And allow you at least 2 days to get acclimated in Cusco before the trek begins.
  • Hiking time: 7-9 hours every day.
  • Trail distance: 44km/ 27.34 miles
  • Highest point: 3100 m/ 10,171 ft.
  • Departure: Daily

ITINERARY

Welcome Briefing

You will have a thorough pre-departure briefing with our guide the night before your trek. This meeting will be at your hotel and you can take this opportunity to ask final questions and make any final preparations for your hike.

This fascinating trek to Choquequirao starts at 4:30 am, our private guide will pick you up from your hotel in Cusco to ride on our private van for about five hours to reach the trailhead called Capuliyoc (2900m/9,512ft). Upon arrival at the beginning of the trail, we will meet up our muleteers and horses, pack all of our equipment for the packhorses and get ready for the trek, you will only carry a small daypack with you for the essentials you will need on the trail.

We will start our expedition to Choquequirao, enjoying the spectacular views of the snow-capped mountains of the Vilcabamba Mountain range, the great Apurimac Canyon, and the stunning snow-capped mountains like Padreyoc (5,571m/18,274ft). The trail is downhill for three hours until Chikisca (1,900 m / 6,213 ft) a nice place for lunch. On some sections, the trail is dusty and slippery, but with good trekking boots and trekking poles, it won’t be a big deal.

After lunch, we continue for other 1 hour and 30 minutes to reach the first campsite called La Playa Rosalina located at 1,500m/4,920ft. Once at the campsite, you will have time to settle into your tent, which will be already set up, in the evening, we will have tea time, subsequently dinner. All meals included except for breakfast.

  • Hiking distance: 8 km/ 4.9 miles.
  • Hiking time: 6 hours
  • Meals: Lunch, snacks, afternoon tea time, and dinner.
  • Maximum altitude: 2,900m/ 9,512ft.
  • Minimum altitude: 1,500m/ 4,920ft.
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Temperature: Hot

We will wake you up early in the morning with hot coca tea to get you ready for the day. A great breakfast will make us ready for the tough day. After a delicious breakfast, we’ll start our hike by switchback trail for 5 hours until the little village called Maranpata, this section of the trail is all uphill, once in Maranpata, we’ll take a deserved break for lunch. Along the path from the opposite hill, we will have great views of the Apurimac canyon, some condors may be spotted nearby, and plenty of beautiful wildflowers and colorful birds. This climb is one of the most challenging parts of the Choquequirao Trek.

Once already in Marampata, we will enjoy our lunch, and from this place, we will have the first sights of Choquequirao Inca ruins in a further direction. After lunch, we will continue hiking for two more hours to our second campsite called Choquequirao located at 2,950m/ 9,676 ft. This section of the trail will treat us with stunning vistas of the deeper part of the Apurimac canyon. If you still have some energy left, that afternoon, you might take a 45-minute walk from the campsite to the ruins of Choquequirao to enjoy the beautiful sunset. In the evening we’ll have tea time, followed by dinner.

  • Hiking Distance: 14 km / 8.7 miles.
  • Hiking Time: 8 – 9 hours
  • Meals: Breakfast, lunch, snacks, afternoon tea time, and dinner.
  • Highest point: 2,950m/ 9,676 ft
  • Lowest point: 1,500m / 4,920 ft
  • Physical rating: Challenging
  • Temperature: Hot

The long-awaited day has arrived, we will explore the ancient citadel of Choquequirao with our Cusco Local Friend guide to learn about this incredible place. A deserved nutritious breakfast will prepare us for an absolute exploration of the magnificent archeological site, there is so much to see here. We’ll explore the religious sector, administrative sector, Usno (religious platform), the granaries, llama-decorated terraces, and other buildings located close by to the religious center.

Choquequirao is larger than Machu Picchu, only less than 40% has been uncovered while the rest of the ruins still rest below the thick forest. This Inca citadel is very spread out because the Incas had to research which parts of the mountain were suitable for terraces, dwellings, shrines, channels. They were astonishingly great civil engineers. Choquequirao means “Cradle of Gold” in Quechua, the Inca language, although this might not be its original name. It is an Incan Citadel built in the late 15th, it is another “Lost City of the Incas” rediscovered officially late in the 20th century. It is located high on a ridge spur almost 3,100 meters above the raging glacier-fed Apurimac River and is surrounded by the towering Padreyoc snow-capped peak and other peaks from the Vilcabamba mountain range. Excavations and restorations of the site began in the 1990s, and it is estimated that only less than 40% of the site has been restored to date. Every day archeologists make new discoveries.

After our thorough exploration of this impressive site, we will head back to our same campsite to enjoy our lunch, where we’ll eat our lunch. Our next exploration in the afternoon will be the lower sector of Choquequirao, where the agricultural terraces, water fountains are located and other temples. We’ll then come back to our campsite. In the evening we’ll enjoy our tea time and dinner. All meals included.

  • Highest point: 3,100 m/ 10,168 ft
  • Lowest point: 2,950 m/ 9,676 ft
  • Meals: Breakfast, lunch, snacks, afternoon tea time, dinner.

After early breakfast, we will get our rucksacks ready and prepare ourselves for our journey back to the trailhead. From our campsite, we will hike for two hours back to Maranpata. After this little village, the trail is steep downhill until La Playa Rosalina, of course, you will require your trekking poles to protect your knees. Halfway down, you will have a break to enjoy some fruit farmed in this area. After 5 hours of hiking, we will reach La Playa Rosalina, the lowest point on the trail.

As of this place, the trail becomes uphill again, we will still hike for 1 hour and 30 minutes to get to the next lunch site. Today, we will camp at a place called Cocamasana, which is 2 more hours from the Chickiska lunch site, Cocamasana offers you great views around, from here you will enjoy some of the best views of the Apurimac canyon, glacier peaks of the Vilcabamba Mountain Range, and a stunning sunset. All meals included.

  • Hiking time: 9 hours
  • Hiking distance: 17 km / 10.5 miles.
  • Highest point: 2,950 m / 9,676 ft
  • Lowest point: 1,500m / 4,920 ft
  • Meals: Breakfast, lunch, snacks, afternoon tea time, dinner.
  • Temperature: From cool morning to hotter midday and afternoon, cool evening.

We will wake up very early in the morning to leave the last campsite, that way not to be hit by the sun heat, after a couple of hours walking uphill, we will arrive at the viewpoint of Capuliyoc from where we will have the last views of the majestic Choquequirao and the great canyon of Apurimac, at this place, we will finish our adventure to Choquequirao trek 5 days, where we will say goodbye to our muleteers and horses. Eventually, we will drive back to Cusco, getting to the hotel after 5:00 pm.

  • Hiking Time: 3 hours
  • Hiking Distance, 5 km / 3.1 miles.
  • Maximum altitude: 2,900m/ 9,512ft.
  • Lowest point: 2,250m / 7,382 ft
  • Meals: Breakfast and lunch
  • Temperature: Cool

Included

  • Private transportation for all transfer services.
  • Camping Equipment (tents, sleeping pads).
  • Entrance ticket to Choquequirao.
  • Other camping equipment like a dining tent with table and chairs; and a kitchen tent.
  • “Cusco Local Friend” Tour guide.
  • Meals: Breakfast (4), lunch (5), dinner (4), and snacks with options for vegetarians.
  • A professional cook.
  • Horses, and muleteers; horses carry your 8-kg / 16-pound personal items.
  • Emergency horse to escort us during the trek.
  • Oxygen tank.

Not Included

  • Sleeping bags.
  • Hiking poles.
  • Extra expenditure during the trek.
  • Tipping for the trek leader, porters or muleteers, and other staff.
  • Travel Insurance.

Prices per person

We require a minimum of 2 participants to book this tour
# Price / Person Book Now
1 People We have special rates for SOLO travelers. Get started by filling out the information below. Enquire Now
2 People $ 720.00 Enquire Now
3 People $ 700.00 Enquire Now
4 People $ 670.00 Enquire Now
5 People $ 650.00 Enquire Now
6+ People We have special rates for groups over 6ppl. Get started by filling out the information below. Enquire Now

What to Expect

Impressive views, very hot temperatures during the hiking days; mostly sunny days during the months of May, June, July, and August; mosquito area; big altitude gain and loss every day so you need to have enough time in Cusco to get acclimated before your trek begins.

Food is amazing from vegetables, just made soups, pasta, to Peruvian delicious cuisine, desserts, and buffet options. All this, prepared by our experienced cook.

Why Travel with us

Local Knowledge & Expertise

It's great to travel with professional experts from the same destination you are going, that's how you get first-hand information. With deep in-country knowledge, We know the ins and outs of all the logistics, we will ensure you can make the most of your time away.

Personalized Experiences

Your time is precious - we know that. Your experience is our top priority. No big bus groups, No flags to follow! Traveling with a private guide and driver you’ll do what you want, when you want with the freedom to change your plans on the fly.

Friendly Local Guides

Great sights don’t make an amazing tour. Great guides do! Our guides don’t read from a script, we give them the freedom to make each tour their own, and your experience unique. We love what we do and it shows. From the moment you arrive, you'll feel the buzz and excitement that Cusco Local Friend to offer.

Exclusive Itineraries

It’s not all about the destination, it’s also about the journey. We offer only the best itineraries and tours. As local experts, we know first-hand what tours or experiences are the ones that most travelers enjoy and request. Escape the crowds! Never waste any minute, never miss any highlight!

Trip Reviews

Cusco Local Friend has been awarded the TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence due to the most consistent 5-star reviews in Cusco, the Sacred Valley & Machu Picchu for exceptional levels of service and care.

Kathy C
Kathy C
August 29, 2022.
Most Amazing Guided Tour EVER! I very highly recommend this amazing tour company. We worked closely with Percy and customized a 4 day trip with the incredible Juan Carlos. We had the best time and felt like family since the very beginning of our time. Hats off to our fabulous driver as well. I have already told several friends that THIS is the tour company you want. I have hired many in different countries and this was the best experience. Fell in love with Peru, I'll be back. Thank you Percy, Juan Carlos and Team for making this the best trip ever! Kathy C
Elizabeth M
Elizabeth M
August 4, 2022.
Best tour guides ever! We had Edgar and Abraham as our drivers/guides on a full day tour of the Sacred Valley and they were phenomenal! They were already outside at 7am when we walked out. Both were friendly and held meaningful conversations along the way, in addition to Abraham explaining the historical significance of each site. We loved the unexpected, fun stops we made along the way. They even took us to the train station at the end of the tour and showed us how to get there from the plaza so that we could spend time exploring the area instead of waiting 2 hours at the train station. We highly recommend them!
jason p
jason p
July 24, 2022.
A great service provider Excellent trip arrangements by Hugo to for airport transfer, and visit to Humantay lake and rainbow mountain. He took extra effort to arrange us to get visa in Bolivia consulate in Cusco and bought us SIM card in advanced which is so useful. The tour guide, Smith is also a very nice person and we enjoyed the trip very much even though it was tiring. Thumbs up to Cusco Local Friends !
Dee P
Dee P
July 22, 2022.
Cusco to Ollantaytambo made pain-free Used this service to go from Cusco Airport to Ollantaytambo and then Ollantaytambo to Cusco city. Can't say enough good things about how easy it was to book service with them and I highly recommend using a private taxi vs a bus. I was forced to use a taxi due to the bimodal service via PeruRail having issues with a bus driver strike. This meant that the bus from Cusco to Ollantaytambo was canceled. Cusco Local Friend emailed me within minutes of requesting taxi service and charged $35 USD which was such a good deal that I used them to return to Cusco even though the bus driver strike was over. Drivers Daniel and Rafael were safe and efficient on the roads. Recommend that you speak a little bit of Spanish but not necessary.
baron s
baron s
July 12, 2022.
7 day Journey through Cusco, sacred valley, macchu Picchu, rainbow mountain We planed a honeymoon 7 day adventure with local Cusco friends and my wife and I had a 5 star experience. First off the communication between Hugo and Percy were amazing in helping plan this once in a lifetime experience. A lot goes into planning a Trip to Peru including admission tickets, transportation, train tickets etc and everything was orchestrated flawlessly. Ferdinand was out tour guide and he went above and beyond in teaching us about the Incan/ preincan/ modern culture. As well as show us many local spots. Alex was our driver and he was extremely professional and was prompt at making our itinerary move smoothly. I can honestly say that by the end of the trip we were sad to leave Alex and Ferdinand as we have all become good friends. I have already referred this company to two couples that are visiting in the next few months. Go ahead and book with this company you won’t regret it.
demi
demi
July 6, 2022.
Yes - They are locals and they are friends! I had a terrific experience with Cusco Local Friend and wouldn’t hesitate to tell any of my friends to use them. I started working with them back in 2019 to plan my dream trip to Machu Picchu. My private tour all arranged with Cusco Local Friend included hiking the short Inca Trail, a day visit at MP with an additional hike up Huayna Picchu, another day around Aguas Calientes, and then the Belmond Hiram Bingham train back to Cusco. My trip was originally scheduled for April 2020, and the world shut down. I worked with Cusco Local Friend to postpone my trip until further notice, and they did not hesitate to make that accommodation on our arrangements. Then, a year later, I finally rescheduled the trip for September of 2021, but the Delta variant was high and Huayna Picchu was still not open, so I decided to postpone indefinitely again. Again, no issues with this from our Cusco Local Friends! I FINALLY was able to get the trip successfully completed at the beginning of June this year. When we arrived in Cusco, Hugo and a driver were there waiting for us. We went into town for coffee and talk about the details of our planned MP experience. Afterwards, the driver took us to our hotel in the Sacred Valley where we were staying to acclimate for 4 days prior to our trek. On the morning of our trek, we were greeted by our guide, Juan Carlos and a guide in training at the time, Smick. We had an incredible day! The trek was hard, but Juan Carlos kept us on pace and even brought some wine for us to have during lunch, which was a fabulous touch. Note: It was raining most of our trek, so a nice glass of red wine warmed up, and prepared us for the final push, along with our coco leaves, of course. The next day when we toured MP and climbed Huayna Picchu, we had both Smick and Juan Carlos along for the ride. They took amazing pictures for us and answered all our questions. The following day, we had not planned anything, but to relax, but Hugo at Cusco Local Friend said that Smick could hang out with us that day and take us to the butterfly place and do a hike to a waterfall that was close to town. Since Smick was in training and needed the experience, they just threw that time in for us! So generous! We had a great day with Smick! When we finished up our day, Smick got us to the train station, and we said our farewells. Back in Cusco, we planned to see Hugo again and give him our feedback on our trip. He came and met us at our hotel and even brought us a little gift. He also arranged for a transport to the airport for us in a couple days, no extra charge. I had an excellent experience with Cusco Local Friend! They are all LOCALS to Cusco and the Sacred Valley, and that is always what is important to me when deciding on what tour company to use. Plus, the communication and number of times we had to change plans, was all smooth and easy. We learned so much on our MP trek, and it will be an adventure that I will never forget. Thank you, Cusco Local Friend!
Aubry A
Aubry A
June 23, 2022.
We Loved Rumi For Helping Our Different Abilities Wonderful experience. My family and I loved Rumi our guide. Unfortunately for Rumi, we got confused about when and where we were supposed to meet Rumi, but he did really well tracking us down in no time even though we were like herding cats. The confusion was our fault not his. On the tour Rumi was wonderful. He had brought a binder full of pictures and references to show us Machu Picchu at different times in history and different references about the area. He was also very sensitive to my family members that had ability differences. He even held my mother-in-laws hands while she walked up and down the more precarious areas of Machu Picchu. Be aware that this isn't an easy hike. My father-in-law had a knee replacement a year prior to our trip and he struggled with the ups and downs and the length of the hike. If you are determined, like he is, you can do it but just be aware its not like an American National Park with rails and flattened walk ways. It was 100% worth it for all of us though. Thank you Rumi and Cusco Local Friend.
Timo W
Timo W
May 15, 2022.
Perfectly organised, great and knowledgeable guide. Unforgettable experience! From start to finish our tour was perfectly organised. During the planning of this trip Percy was our contact person. He replied quickly, proposed ideas and he felt really engaging en determined to create the best experience in and around Cusco for us. During our stay Abraham was our guide and we had a variety of drivers. Abraham was super knowledgeable and found the perfect balance between explaining but not overloading us with knowledge. All of the drivers were super punctual and drove us around very comfortable. We had some challenges as there was a strike in the region that we visited however we never noticed a thing about it. Percy contacted us in advance and was super flexible in changing our itinerary. When the train back from Aquas Calientes was fully booked due to the strike Percy upgraded us to make sure that we didn’t have to change our itinerary. If you are to plan your trip to Cusco make sure to use Cusco Local Friend as they will make sure that you will get an unforgettable journey.
E2WorldTraveler
E2WorldTraveler
May 14, 2022.
Remarkable World Wonder From the pre-booking, to booking, to post-booking, the information given and provided is spot on. Our tour guide was extremely knowledgable, gave an in-depth insight into the area and provided "theorized" answers to questions asked. Would rebook hands down without hesitation! September was a great month. Cool weather, slight rain encountered, which made the experience even better as the climate shifting throughout the day could be easily felt.
pandbburleigh
pandbburleigh
May 7, 2022.
Sacred valley tour Our guide Abraham was very knowledgeable, friendly and flexible allowing stops for photos. Edgar our driver had the van so clean and windows clear for taking pictures. He cleaned windows after each stop. We were a small group but had a wonderful experience. Would highly recommend these fine men. We did the Sacred VALLEY. Thank you so much. PAUL AND BARBARA BURLEIGH, CANADA

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