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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

# 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.

Cat Z
Cat Z
January 26, 2022.
We love Cusco Local Friend! Lovely tour of Sacred Valley! We visited Chinchero, Moray, the Maras Salt Mines and Ollantaytambo. Percy was extremely helpful and communicative, going above and beyond to make the best suggestions and be flexible with our travel situation. Our tour guide Hugo was super friendly, talkative and informative. He introduced us to a few unique and off the beaten path options like a stop to drink some homemade chicha, a casual 1-hour hike down the Maras Salt Mines that ended up in a small village near the Urubamba River, and many pit stops to see additional sites, photo ops and interesting history lessons. Our driver Edison was also very polite. We would highly recommend them to anyone looking for a private, detailed tour of anywhere in Cusco!
SaltySunburns
SaltySunburns
January 10, 2022.
A wonderful Sacred Valley day tour! Percy helped design a tour for us during the day including our transport from Ollantaytambo to Cusco. The price was very fair and we had an amazing day, including a memorable lunch at a little spot with llamas everywhere! Our guide Carlos was super knowledgeable, friendly and professional and I'd recommend Cusco Local Friend to anyone!
Scotty W
Scotty W
December 31, 2021.
Peru’s Sacred Valley Tour These guys are amazing! They were extremely helpful, knowledgeable, and made sure I was always well taken care of. They were also reasonable on prices. Highly recommended!
peacher2017
peacher2017
December 6, 2021.
3rd trip with Cusco Local Friend exceeded expectations ! Last July / August I took my 3rd trip with Hugo from Cusco Local Friend. Just like my two previous trips with them, it completely exceeded all expectations. And I’m already planning a 4th trip with them this coming summer! Hugo and Cusco Local Friend are the reason we fell in love with Peru. Hugo is professional, flexible, very knowledgeable and most of all FUN! The first two trips ( 2017 and 2018) I traveled with my two very food allergic daughters (allergies to dairy, eggs, peanuts, tree nuts, seafood and sesame). Hugo and Mario asked a lot of questions, took the allergies very seriously, and found us some great restaurants. We even ate a pachamanca lunch with Hugo’s parents on their farm. So delicious. This time, I traveled alone. I texted Hugo my list of places I wanted to visit, things I wanted to do, and how long I wanted to spend in each location. He created the perfect itinerary and made the most of my time in Peru. We hiked for three days - Rainbow Mountain ( Vinicunca ), Seven Lakes ( Siete Lagunas ), and the alternative Rainbow Mountain - Palccoyo. The hikes were so stunningly beautiful. Hugo planned the hikes perfectly. He paid attention to health and safety and carried supplemental oxygen, snacks and water for me. And, he made them fun! We also visited the Potato Park ( Parque de la Papa ) , spent the night with a host family, and visited Pisac. We were supposed to do a food tour on my last day in Cusco, my my stomach was a bit upset. So he planned some alternative things to do. He also arranged my COVID test prior to my flight home. I can’t wait for my next trip with Cusco Local Friend! Call or text them with WhatsApp at +51 984 585 909 or +51 996 550 700. Email at CuscoLocalFriend@gmail.com . Have a great trip!
Ferhat D
Ferhat D
November 2, 2021.
Perfect 👍🏻 Hugo was a great and knowledgeable person. He was so friendly and very patient with our questions. As a group, we really enjoyed our trip. I highly recommend him!! Thank you very much for the great experience, Hugo!!
shama842018
shama842018
November 2, 2021.
nice Everything went well. The tour was organised as individually as possible and all our wishes were taken into account immediately. Good guys, I recommend them.
Ahram A
Ahram A
October 26, 2021.
Thank you Hugo! I want anyone to know that you can trust Hugo from Cusco Local Friends. My wife and I spent 4 different days with Hugo hiking into Machu Picho, Rainbow Mountain, and on a beautiful, secluded hike to the Sun Gate above Ollantayambo. Hugo made everything easy with private car pick ups from the airport, and he is very knowledgable about the history of every place. I would hire Hugo again anytime when I go back to Peru. Thank you my brother! Ahram + Jennie
Andrew De Donato
Andrew De Donato
October 14, 2021.
Fantastic Tour on Short Notice Hugo was a fantastic guide to spend the day with. He met us in the morning at our hostel in Aguas Calientes and helped us get set up for the day as we picked up some last minute items like snacks, water, and insect repellant. We took the bus to Machu Picchu together and once we got to the site, he provided a really in-depth and interesting tour. He had great answers to every follow up question we had, took fantastic photos throughout the day, and was generally just a really nice and helpful person! I learned so much and will definitely use Cusco Local Friend again next time I visit. I should also add that I originally reached out to him only two days before we were slated to be in Aguas Calientes and he was easy to work with on such short notice and able to source some hard-to-find entry tickets for the time we wanted to visit.
Jessica K
Jessica K
August 17, 2021.
MAGICAL TOUR DURING OUR AMAZING HONEYMOON!! Hugo was truly our Local Friend! We had an amazing tour of Machu Picchu that made our Honeymoon even more fantastic than it already was. He gave us some very interesting and amazing details about the ruins and Incan culture. We would love to return to Peru to learn more and hop on another one of his tours. On top of everything, he even met up with us the next day to help us in Cusco get our Covid Antigen tests so we could fly home (We originally didn't know we needed them to return). Absolutely fun and professional man. HIGHLY RECOMMEND!!!!
Bean
Bean
July 15, 2021.
Best tour experience ever! The best thing I can say about our 3 days touring with Hugo is that we left having made a great friend and look very forward to seeing him again. He led us on sensational tours of Ollantaytambo, Moray, Maras, Chinchero, Pisca, Rainbow Mountains and gave us valuable advice, counsel, and information for our self guided tour of Machu Picchu. Every day seemed to exceed the grandeur and historical significance of the previous day. Each day, with Hugo's terrific guiding, we found ourselves more captivated with Peru and it's history. Hugo is incredibly well versed in the history and lore of the Cusco region and is thoughtful and engaging in sharing his knowledge. He adjusted our tours to meet our needs, interests, age and fitness levels. He was always gracious, thoughtful, kind and understanding. If we were ahead of schedule Hugo always had an additional archeological site or worthwhile additional "something" to see. Sarah and I have travelled throughout the US, Scandinavia, Europe, and Southeast Asia. This was the single greatest travel experience we've shared. And a great deal of the credit is due to Hugo's thoughtful, caring personality and his singular interest in making each of his participants have a fully developed, well organized, educational, and enjoyable experience. I can't make a stronger recommendation than to say using any other tour service in the Cusco region would diminish your experience compared to what Hugo and Cusco Local Friends would give you.

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