Choquequirao Trek 5D/4N

 
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The 5 day / 4 night Choquequirao trek is enticing for anyone looking to experience something new – going on a trek to experience things most people will never see in their lives. This less touristic lost Incan city is off the beaten path for most of Peru’s visitors – which means more pristine views and private exploration for you! Imagine having breakfast while admiring the Limatambo Canyon, to the right the great Apu –Salkantay and Humantay Mountains. On this trek, you will also see many other amazing ruins and scared places of the Inca – including the Tarawasi in Limatambo, the great rock of Saywiti before Cachora village, and the majestic Padreyoc glacier peaks (5482m). Hike past the snow-capped peaks of Padrayoc and Wayna Cachora. We then descend toward Coca Masana (2330m) where the climate becomes noticeably warmer and fauna begins to change.

All of these great places hold special meaning to all those inhabitants of the region and those who visit it. You will experience nature like never before – ancient ruins, mountain ranges, glaciers, and rare wild orchids will be on our path and you will not only observe it close-up, but will become part of it yourself.

Choquequirao, the sister city of Machu Picchu, is known as the “Cradle of Gold” in Quechuan, although this is probably not its’ original name. It is another “Lost City of the Incas” rediscovered late in 20th century. It is located high on a ridge spur almost 1750m above the raging glacier-fed Apurimac River and surrounded by towering Salkantay and Humantay snow-capped peaks.

Choquequirao was built during the last days of the Incan empire under the government of the Inca Pachacutec. Mostly likely, it’s construction was led by Tupac Inca Yapanqui, probably after the Spanish invasion in 1532. The Incans held strong against the Spanish conquerors for forty years (between 1536 – 1572). The construction of the different levels of temples, palaces, canals and aqueducts is really fantastic. Choquequirao is a city which demonstrates the fascinating example of an elite Incan ceremonial center. A city dedicated to worship “Pachamama” (Andean Mother Earth) “the Apus” (Mountain Gods and Divinities), the river and the elements of nature. Choquequirao finally was burned down and left deserted. This happened probably after the execution of the last Inca, Tupac Amaru I in 1572.

 
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The Choquequirao Trek is perfect for those looking to get away from the crowds or are looking for something to see other than Machu Picchu. The trek takes you to the sister city of Machu Picchu, Choquequirao (The Cradle of Gold) which sits high above the Apurimac Valley.
With a wide variety of flora and fauna, beautiful scenery and a visit to a major Inca site, the Choquequirao Trek is the adventure of a lifetime.

By booking your Choquequirao Trek with PumaPath you are choosing the best company to start your journey with!

Useful Information

  • Starting Altitude – 2900m / 9515ft.
  • Highest Altitude – 3050m / 10,005ft
  • Walking Distance – 64 km / 40 miles
  • Longest Day – Day 1, approximately 25 km/15.5 miles
  • Overall Difficulty – Difficult

Day 1: CUSCO – CACHORA – COCA MASANA – CHIKISKA CAMP.

We’ll leave Cusco at 6:00 am for the four hour drive to Cachora in our private transportation. On the way we will make a breakfast stop and admire the wonderful Limatambo Canyon, to the right the great Apu –Salkantay and Humantay Mountains. We then we will continue to the little village of Cachora. After meeting our expedition support crew, known as “arrieros”, we’ll arrange our equipment on the pack mules. We begin a gentle hike through this historically rich territory. It is a three hour hike to Capuliyoc (2915m) from where we have our first views of the Apurimac valley below. We may also see the snow-capped peaks of Padrayoc and Wayna Cachora. We then descend toward Coca Masana (2330m) where the climate becomes noticeably warmer and the flora and fauna begin to change. It is essential to bring a high deet mosquito repellent. Finally we’ll arrive at Playa Rosalina (Rosalina Beach) at 1550m beside the raging “Speaker God “ Apurimac River, famous for class five rafting rapids. Here we will set up camp and spend the night. Walking poles or wooden sticks are very highly recommended.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Accommodation: Camping (2 people per tent)
Maximum Altitude: 3000m (Capulichayoc)
Minimum Altitude: 1500m (Rosalina)
Distance Travelled:17 Km
Approximate Walking Time: 7 – 8 Hours

Day 2: PLAYA ROSALINA, MARAMPATA, CHOQUEQUIRAO
After an early breakfast, we will walk for approx. one hour to arrive to Playa Rosalina near the Apurimac River (1500 m), where we will cross a typical holding bridge, a forest of cactus, agaves and exotic local fruit trees. Here we’ll start a gentle 3-4 hours gradual climb of 1,400 meters from the shores of the Apurimac river to Marampata (2900m). We’ll stop for lunch surrounded by this beautiful landscape. At the end of this path, we’ll see for the first time the archaeological complex of Choquequirao. It’s an easy two hour walk to Choquequirao ruins from here! When we arrive to this Inca complex, we will visit the farming terraces of Paqchayoc and the house of the waterfall. We will spend the night camping near Choquequirao. Here you can taste “Cambric”, a local cognac made from sugar cane!

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch Dinner
Accommodation: Camping (2 people per tent)
Maximum Altitude: 2800m (Marampata)
Minimum Altitude: 1500m (Playa Rosalina)
Distance Travelled:14 km
Approximate Walking Time: 7- 8 Hours

Day 3: CHOQUEQUIRAO ARCHAEOLOGICAL COMPLEX : – Raqaypata or Playa Rosalina
This day is dedicated to exploring the incredible ruins of Choquequirao. Our guide will explain the history and importance of the site. After you will have free time to visit the many sectors of the complex. Late in the afternoon we will start the return trek and camp the night at Raqaypata.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Accommodation: Camping at Raqaypata or Playa Rosalina
Maximum Altitude: 3200m (Choquequirao)
Minimum Altitude: 1500m (Playa Rosalina)
Distance Travelled: 4 km
Approximate Walking Time: 3-4 Hours

Day 4: Raqaypata – Coca Masana or Capulichayuc
After breakfast we’ll continue our return trek with a steep descent towards the Apurimac River where we will stop and have lunch. In the afternoon we will climb for approximately four hours to our final campsite at Coca Masana.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Accommodation: Camping (2 people per tent)
Maximum Altitude: 3000m
Distance Travelled: 15 km
Approximate Walking Time: 7 – 8 Hours

Day 5: Coca Masana – Cachora – Cusco
After a 3 hour climb we’ll reach Capuliyoc. From then on, it is a fairly flat trail back to the village of Cachora. We will say goodbye to our arieros (horse guides) and take the bus back to Cusco. We will stop at the archaeological site of Saihuite for chance to rest and have lunch. A further four hours by bus bring us back to Cusco. After a luxurious hot shower it’s time to enjoy a much deserved beer and a good meal!

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch
Distance Travelled:14 Km
Approximate Walking Time: 4 – 5 Hours

What is Included:

  • Ceremony with your tour guide and locals
  • Private Transport to Cachora (the trailhead) and return to Cusco
  • Excellent English speaking tour guides
  • Experienced Cook and assistant, mule herders
  • Horses/mules to transport camping equipment
  • Full 3 meals per day, tea time and snacks
  • 2 person per tent (new, spacious and comfortable igloo tents)
  • Dining tent , Kitchen tent
  • Entrance fees to the Archaeological Park
  • Emergency horse
  • First aid kid
  • Sleeping bags

What is not Included:

  • Personal porter 7 Kg US$ 75
  • 45 Lt back pack
  • Tips for the guide, cook, arrieros– this is a custom, but not mandatory–though is a great gesture of gratitude
  • Puma Path WILL provide a duffel bag to transport your belongings when you hire a personal mule.

We recommend that you bring:

  • Backpack & Daypack :(if you hire a personal porter, Puma Path will provide a duffel bag)
  • Insect repellent
  • Hiking boots
  • Trekking Poles
  • Clothes– layers for variable temperatures, especially at night
  • T-shirts and trekking pants, zipoff pants for a comfortable day walks
  • Flash light/head torch
  • Camera and extra batteries
  • Sunscreen / hat and sunglasses
  • Personal medical kit
  • Rain Gear: poncho/a good rain jacket for wet season
  • Toiletries / toilet paper / small towel
  • 2 liter water bottle, water purifying tablets optional
  • Copy of your passport
  • Extra money for drinks, tips, souvenirs etc (soles or dollars)
  • Emergency money (at least 200 extra soles)

At Puma Path, your comfort and safety are of our utmost concern. Therefore, we provide all necessary camping equipment for your trek. Included in prices are: sleeping tent, rollmat and pillow for your comfort. Please feel free to bring your own sleeping bag if you prefer.

Group Price 

  • 2 people : US$690 per person
  • 3 people : US$650 per person
  • 4 people : US$580 per person
  • 5 people : US$500 per person

Private Service Prices

  • 2 people : US$725 per person
  • 3 people : US$685 per person
  • 4 people : US$615 per person
  • 5 people : US$535 per person

Optional Extras:

  • Sleeping Bag $ 25
  • Walking Pole $25
  • Inflatable Mattress $20
  • Single Tent Supplement $75
  • Extra Mule 7kg of personal items $75
  • Extra Mule 14kg of personal items $150

IMPORTANT NOTES

HORSES OR PORTERS: On this trek we provide horses to carry your food and the camping equipment, but there will be one cook and his assistant, two horses men and one porter who is cleaning the trail from what other hikers throw away as they go. You will have a personal allowance of 7kg for your gear. This will not be available during the day as the horsemen will be ahead of the group.

OUR GUIDES: Most of our guides began as porters before they went to Cusco University and Institute where they learned about Incan history. They are always learning in order to be the best guide. They each speak English fluently,along with Spanish and Quechuan, the Incan language. They are all able to communicate with natives from the area and of course have lots of history to share with you.

OUR FOOD: Definitely one of the highlights of the tour is the food. It is always fresh and most of it is organic. There is always a lot to eat and lots of options including vegetables, meat, chicken, fish and other types of protein and carbohydrates. Everyone sits down to eat together and we go out of our way to accommodate all dietary requirements including vegetarian options and any food allergies. We do not provide any alcoholic drinks on the trek but if you would like you can bring your own.

OUR EQUIPMENT: We provide 4 man tents for only 2 people and foam mattresses for everyone. Our dining equipment includes a spacious dining tent, tables and chairs, plates and utensils. We do NOT supply walking sticks, but they can be rented from Puma Path. We bring an extra blanket for all our hikers for those especially cold nights. Just ask and your guide will provide you with this.

Please note that if you are over 1.95 meters / 6´4″ tall then you won´t be able to rent a sleeping bag in Cusco. In this case it is recommended to bring your own.

WE ARE SUSTAINABLE: We always clean the trail as we go. We respect the local people, teach them to clean the area, and help the local children. We always take one extra porter who will be there just to clean up, picking up the bottles and plastic bags of other trekkers using the trail.

WE ARE RESPONSIBLE: We treat our hikers, porters and all the local people from the villages with the utmost respect. We travel in small groups to give personalized tours to each traveler. We pay good salaries to our porters and follow the porters law. We provide all our porters with their hiking gear such as shoes, pants, jackets, t-shirts, hats, sleeping bags and most importantly, health insurance.

FITNESS: This trek is certainly not easy but you do not need to be an athlete or a trekking expert to complete it. Fitness is naturally important but this is the kind of trek that anyone with a positive attitude and determination can do. Obviously the more fit you are the more you will enjoy the trail and the more chance you will have to take in the scenery and appreciate the Inca ruins dotted along the way. If you do not exercise regularly, it is advisable to do some extra walking or some kind of aerobic activity in the months leading up to your trip.

Many people worry whether they will be able to cope physically but complete failure is rare and would usually only result from severe altitude sickness or a person lacking even a basic level of fitness. People of all ages (from teenagers to pensioners) complete the trek and age itself is no barrier if you are positive minded and live an active lifestyle. Before departing for your tour, we recommend visiting your doctor who will be able to provide you with more information.

STORAGE DURING THE TREK: During the trek your main luggage will be stored in Cuzco and you will receive a small duffel bag at your trail briefing (briefings are normally set for the evening before you start the trek) to pack 3-4 days worth of clothing. Your team of porters will carry these bags together with the food and equipment for the trail. Please note that you will not have access to these items until the end of each day as the porters will always be ahead of the group. You should therefore bring a day pack in which you can carry personal belongings such as your camera, water, and sun screen, etc. By Peruvian law the duffel bag carried by the porters must not weigh more than 7kg (14pounds). You can either store your luggage at your hotel or you can leave it with us.

BOOKING: Choquequirao is available to depart any day of the week as long as we have two people. You still need to book in advance.

Thanks for traveling with Puma Path, 100% local company!

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