+51.973 124 984 [email protected]
+51.973 124 984 [email protected]

Trek to Choquequirao “Cradle of Gold”

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Tour Details
Trek to Choquequirao

Trek to Choquequirao from Cusco is an off the beaten track experience. Choquequirao which in Quechua means “Cradle of Gold” is often referred to as the “The Sacred Sister of Machu Picchu”. 

Both Choquequirao and Machu Picchu were built in the same era by Pachacuti Inca Yupanqui. Tupac Inca Yupanqui, son of  Pachacuti Inca Yupanqui, played a major role in expanding it during his reign. Just as Machu Picchu, the Spanish conquistadors could not Choquequirao.

Both Inca sites have similar architectures. However, Choquequirao offers a unique experience as it attracts just 15-20 visitors a day due to its remote location. So often you will have the site to yourself and a full day to explore. Machu Picchu on the contrary attracts around 5000 visitors a day. 

Peruvian authorities are planning on installing a cable car. This will attract at-least 1500 visitors a day. 

It is nestled on top of Vilcabamba Mountain range at 3050 metres above the sea level. The route offers enchanting views of the Apurimac Canyon. The trek to the archeological site is quite challenging but totally rewarding. 

On the first day of the trek you will be descending 1500 meters from the nearest village named Cachora. The second day involves a hike to 1800 metres to the archaeological complex. 

Dense vegetation covers a vast part of the archaeological complex. However, the authorities have managed to clear and excavate more than half of it which is now open to visitors. 

Choquequirao Trek could be done in four days. However, we have added an extra day to make sure that you don’t see this awe-inspiring site in rush and get the most from your trek. 

Why Encuentros Peru Adventure?

On any treks or hikes with us, the one thing that will stand out is our passion for outdoors. We only employ certified local travel experts as guides. They have extensive knowledge and are passionate about the history of Incas. You will be having a fun-filled, safe and a memorable experience with us. 

On all tours, safety is of an utmost importance to us. We operate tours in small groups. This would let our guide be focused and explain things efficiently. Do check out our reviews on Tripadvisor

We offer both group tours and private tours. 

Departure & Return Location

Cusco Hotel Transfer

Departure Time

05:00 AM

Price Includes

  • Bi-lingual guide
  • Camping Equipments
  • Meals
  • Entrance Fees
  • Transport

Price Excludes

  • Guide Service Fee
  • Any Private Expenses

Recommended Things to Carry

  • Original passport and Student ISIC card (if applicable), and some copies
  • Travel insurance (and some copies)
  • Daypack to carry your things
  • Sleeping bag (or you can rent one from us)
  • Sunblock and sunglasses
  • Torch or headlamps
  • Deet or mosquito repellent ( recommendable 30% deet)
  • Comfortable hiking clothes, including warm clothes for the nighttime
  • Peruvian Soles in cash
  • Anti-inflammatory tablets (e.g. Ibuprofen)
Itinerary

Day 1Cusco - Capuliyuc - Chikiska - Playa Rosalina

We will be picking you up at 0500 in the morning from your hotel in Cusco. We will be then driving to Capuliyuc (2900 m/9512 ft.). It will be a four hours drive from Cusco. At Capuliyuc, we will be meeting our muleteers. 

The trek on the first day is an easier one. We will be hiking down the hill to Chikiska village located at 1,900 m / 6,213 ft. We will stop here for lunch. Chikiska offers stunning views of Vilcabamba Mountain range and Apurimac Canyon. 

After lunch, we will be hiking to our first campsite at Playa Rosalina (1,500m / 4,920 ft). We will be serving you a hot cup of coffee/tea followed by freshly cooked dinner. 

  • Hiking Time: 6 Hours (approx)
  • Total Distance: 8 Kms/4.9 Miles
  • Highest Point 2,900m/9,512 ft.
  • Lowest Point: 1,500m/4,920 ft.
  • Highlights: Views of the Vilcabamba range with snow capped mountains and the Apurimac canyon.

Day 2Playa Rosalina - Choquequirao Park Camp

We will start the day quite early in the morning. After a hot cup of coffee/tea and breakfast we will start our uphill trek for five hours. We will be reaching a small village named Marnapata where we will be stopping for lunch. 

You will get your first sight of Choquequirao Ruins from here. After lunch, we will be hiking further for two hours to our second night’s campsite in Choquequirao Park at 2,950 m / 9,676 ft. 

We will be spending the rest of the afternoon here. You will also have the opportunity to see the sunset atop the Andes mountain range. In the evening we’ll have tea time followed by dinner. 

  • Hiking Time: 8 Hours (approx)
  • Total Distance: 14 Kms/8.7 Miles
  • Highest Point 2,950 m/ 9,676 ft.
  • Lowest Point: 1,500m / 4,920 ft.
  • Highlights: First views of Choquequirao archaeological site, more views of Apurimac canyon.

Day 3Choquequirao

Only a few tour operators offer this, a full day in Choquequirao Archaeological Complex. After relishing on a nutritious breakfast, our guide will walk you to the lost city of Incas. You will have a guided tour of the religious sector, administrative sector, Usno (religious platform), the granaries. 

You will also be visiting the terraces with llamas, and other buildings located close by to the religious center. We will then have a short lunch break back in the camp site. In the afternoon, we will visit the lower section of Choquequirao. 

This section houses the agricultural terraces, water fountains and some temples. We’ll then return to the campsite for the evening tea and dinner.

  • Highest Point: 3,100 m /10,168 ft.
  • Lowest Point: 2,950 m/ 9,676 ft.
  • Highlights: Guided tour of Choquequirao. 

Day 4Choquequirao - Ex Hacienda San Ignacio

After breakfast, we will be starting our three hours downhill hike to the Apurimac River. Normally, most tour operators hike down the same way as they went up. We will be taking a little different route. This section of the route will offer you sights of Apurimac Canyon from a different angle. 

Once in San Ignacio (1,450 m / 4,756 ft), we will take a quick break before starting our 45 minutes’ hike up to our campsite in San Ignacio (1,820 m /5, 970 ft) where we will have lunch . After lunch, we will give you a tour of a local farm. Here you will be learning about different plantations namely, Avocado, Cocoa and coca. 

  • Hiking Time: 5-6 Hours (approx)
  • Hiking Distance: 9 Kms/ 5.60 Miles
  • Highest Point 2,950 m/ 9,676 ft.
  • Lowest Point: 1,450m / 4,756 ft.
  • Highlights: Coca Plants and other local plants.

Day 5Ex Hacienda San Ignacio - Tambobamba - Cusco

After breakfast, we will start hiking up the hill. The final section of Choquequirao Trek is a gentle trail for 3 hours to Tambobamba 2,320 m / 7,610 ft. We will be bidding goodbye to our muleteers and chef here. 

After this, we will be taking our private transport back to Cusco. It is a five hours drive with a few stops on the way. 

Our first stop will be at Sayhuite. It is a unique place where you can see some great Incan monolith called the monolith of Sayhuite. It is a symbolic representation of our cosmos. 

The Incas used a granite rock to carve over 208 figures like geometric and zoomorphic figures. This included reptiles, frogs, felines, irrigation channels, etc. 

This site is regarded as a center of religious worship for Incas, focusing on water. It’s a big granite boulder and its circumference is about 11 m / 36.08 ft, 4 m / 13.12 ft of diameter, and about 2 m / 6.56 ft high.

After touring this site, we’ll take our picnic lunch.

We will be then driving back to Cusco. 

  • Hiking Time: 3-3.5 Hours
  • Hiking Distance 8 kms/ 5 miles
  • Lowest Point: 1,820m (5,970 ft)
  • Highest Point: 2,320m (7,610ft)
  • Highlights: The Inca monolith of Sayhuite.
Photos
1 Review
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Jennis

Solo Traveller

Exceptional tour to Choquequirao on the original Inca route. Loved everything about this five days trek. It was way beyond my expectation. Totally recommend it.

January 21, 2020