Choquequirao to Machu Picchu Trek – 9 Day

Machu Picchu, Peru (0)
from/per person $1,580.00
  • hiking Choquequirao


Choquequirao to Machu Picchu Trek – 9 Day

The name Choquequirao means “Cradle of Gold,” and this settlement was one of the last refuges for those Incas who continued to resist Spanish occupation after the conquest. On the way to the archeological site you will pass through your guide’s childhood home, and almost everyone along the trail is a relative of some sort. As a result, you will have a chance to interact with locals and learn about their lifestyles. You will have a full day on this trek to explore the Choquequirao archeological site, the famous stone llamas, and even venture off the standard tour path to visit unexcavated ruins hidden in the jungle. Beyond Choquequirao you will enter a very remote and spectacular section of the Andes, walk on an original Inca trail, and eventually pass through fertile farmlands before reaching the culmination of your adventure – the famous Machu Picchu.


  • Day 1: Cusco – Cachora – Capuliyuc – Chikisca
  • Day 2: Chikisca – Santa Rosa – Marampata
  • Day 3: Marampata – Choquequirao
  • Day 4: Choquequirao – Pinchaunuyoc – Maizal
  • Day 5: Maizal – Mina Victoria Pass – Yanama
  • Day 6: Yanama – Abra Apacheta – Totora
  • Day 7: Totora – Colpapampa – Playa – Lucmabamba
  • Day 8: Lucmabamba – Llactapata – Hidroelectrica – Aguas Calientes
  • Day 9: Tour of Machu Picchu – Return to Cusco

Highest Point: 4,668m / 15,315ft
Distance: 89km / 55.3mi
Difficulty: 1 2 3 4 5

Trek Itinerary

Day 1: Cusco – Cachora – Capuliyuc – Chikiska

We pick you up very early at your hotel in Cusco and drive by private transport to the village of Cachora. In Cachora we meet our staff and drive 30 more minutes to the Capuliyoc lookout point and our trailhead. After a good lunch enjoying the amazing view of the Apurimac Canyon, we will descend for about 5 hours to our campsite at Chikisca. We can expect a warm night at our campsite in the valley.

Meals: L, D
Maximum Altitude: 2,977m / 9,767ft
Minimum Altitude: 1,836m / 6,024ft
Distance: 8km / 5.0mi
Walking Time: 5 hrs

Day 2: Chikisca –  Santa Rosa – Marampata

After breakfast we will continue downhill for around one hour to reach the Apurimac River. This is one of the longest rivers in Peru, over 7000km, coming from the very south of Peru all the way north to Iquitos where it joins with Amazon River. Apurimac is a Quechua word for “the God who speaks”. After crossing the Apurimac, we begin our uphill trek. 2 hours of hiking will bring us to Santa Rosa where we’ll have a rest, and after another 2 hours we will arrive at Marampata.

In Marampata we will have lunch and spend the rest of the afternoon visiting the local family land and sharing their daily activities. Depending on the season, you may help harvest some food which will be used to prepare the remaining meals on our trek. This is a wonderful way for us to support the local families who live near Choquequirao. We will camp overnight in Marampata.

Meals: B, L, D
Maximum Altitude: 2,914m / 9,560ft
Minimum Altitude: 1,500m / 4,921ft
Distance Travelled: 9km / 5.6mi
Walking Time: 6 hrs

Day 3: Choquequirao

Two hours of hiking will take us to the principal archaeological complex of Choquequirao. We will visit and explore the Usnu, Priests House, Llamayoq, (stoned llama figures designed into farming terraces) and the Administrative Sector. We will have the whole day to explore and learn about the Inca people of Choquequirao, the remote city of the Incas. With your native certified guide, you will explore every area of this magical city. Only an estimated 50% of this Inca city has been excavated and restored, so the site is continually expanding as new areas are discovered. Late in the afternoon we will head to our campsite located just below Choquequirao.

Meals: B, L, D
Maximum Altitude: 3,050m / 10,007ft
Minimum Altitude: 2,914m / 9,560ft
Distance Travelled: 7km / 4.3mi
Walking Time: 7 hrs

Day 4: Choquequirao – Pinchaunuyoc – Maizal

After breakfast we will have a short extra visit to the principal complex of Choquequirao, then continue climbing to the highest point of the day before descending to the Pinchiunuyoc Inca remains where we will have lunch. Leaving Pinchiunuyoc, we descend to the Río Blanco stream. After crossing the Rio Blanco, we have a long climb to Maizal, where we’ll set up our camp for the night.

Meals: B, L, D
Maximum Altitude: 3,300m / 10,827ft
Minimum Altitude: 1,910m / 6,266ft
Distance: 14km / 8.7mi
Walking Time: 8 hrs

Day 5: Maizal – Highpass Mina Victoria – Yanama

This might be the most scenic day of this amazing trek. After a big breakfast we climb on a stone path through a beautiful forest of native trees to reach Mina Victoria Pass. Here you will have a spectacular view of the cordillera, including the snow-capped peaks of Choquetacarpo and Pumasillo. We then descend to the community of Yanama, where we will spend the night.

Meals: B, L, D
Maximum Altitude: 4,200m / 13,780ft
Minimum Altitude: 3,000m / 9,843
Distance: 11km / 6.8mi
Walking Time: 7 hrs

Day 6: Yanama – Abra Apacheta – Totora

This is a big day. We start by climbing the gentle slope of the Yanama River which grows steeper and steeper as we progress. On the way we will experience a beautiful contrast of ecological levels as we approach Yanama Pass (4660 m/ 15,288 ft) and then descend into the Totora Valley. We will spend the night in the community of Totora.

Meals: B, L, D
Maximum Altitude: 4,668m / 15,315ft
Minimum Altitude: 3,801m / 12,470ft
Distance: 18km / 11.2mi
Walking Time: 9 hrs

Day 7: Totora – Colpapampa – Playa – Lucmabamba

Today we follow the Totora River down a steep and beautiful valley towards the point where it meets the Chalan River. Exuberant vegetation and picturesque waterfalls line our path. We will walk through a tropical valley where we can find coffee plantations, banana trees and a new blend of flora and fauna. We will lunch in the community of La Playa, then continue to our next camp at Lucmabamba. That afternoon we will have a coffee tour with a local family and sample the best organic coffee of the region.

Meals: B, L, D
Maximum Altitude: 4,100m / 13,451ft
Minimum Altitude: 2,135m / 7,005ft
Distance: 11km / 6.8mi
Walking Time: 7 hrs

Day 8: Lucmabamba – Llactapata – Hidroelectrica – Aguas Calientes

From Lucmabamba, we climb for approximately 3 hours on an original Inca Trail and through the Andean cloud forest to the Puncuyoc Pass. From there, a short walk down will take us to Llactapata, an Inca city with a beautiful view of Machu Picchu, Wayna Picchu and Machu Picchu mountains. You will learn the history and stories of this sacred place. Two-hours further downhill we will come to the hydroelectric plant. There we can choose to either take the train (35 minutes) or hike the rest of the way to Aguas Calientes (3 hours) and check into our hotel for the night.

Meals: B, L
Maximum Altitude: 2,953m / 9,688ft
Minimum Altitude: 2,135m / 7,005ft
Distance Travelled: 11km / 6.8mi
Walking Time: 5 hrs

Day 9: Tour of Machu Picchu – Return to Cusco

Early in the morning we take the bus from the town of Aguas Calientes to the Inca Citadel of Machu Picchu. The tour of Machu Picchu will allow us to understand the high level of development the Andean civilization achieved under the Incas. A supremely religious site, Machu Picchu demonstrates impressive architectural prowess and a keen knowledge of astronomy, which was essential for predicting weather cycles and planning agriculture. We will try to spend as long as possible in the archaeological complex before returning to Aguas Calientes in time for our train back to Ollantaytambo (1:50 min), and private transport back to Cusco, about (2 hours).

Meals: B
Maximum Altitude: 2,437m / 7,995ft

Services Included:

  • Guide service in English/Spanish
  • Private transportation from Cusco to Cachora
  • Entrance ticket to Choquequirao
  • Hotel in Aguas Calientes
  • Round-trip bus ticket from Aguas Calientes to Machu Picchu
  • Entrance ticket to Machu Picchu
  • Guided Tour of Machu Picchu
  • Train ticket from Aguas Calientes to Ollantaytambo
  • Private transportation from Ollantaytambo to Cusco
  • Master cook
  • Food (8 breakfasts, 8 lunches, 7 dinners, snacks)
  • Vegetarian/special diet options available at no extra cost
  • Cooking and dining equipment, including tents, chairs and tables
  • 4-season tents (3-person capacity but used for 2 people)
  • Thermarest (sleeping mattress)
  • Mules and horsemen to carry our camping equipment & food
  • 10 kilos of your personal gear will be carried on the mule (we provide you a duffle)
  • First-aid kit
  • Emergency oxygen bottle
  • Pre-departure briefing

Services Not Included:

  • Tips for field staff and guide
  • Sleeping bag
  • Entrance to Wayna Picchu (this will cost an additional $45, and must be booked well in advance)
  • Extra money for souvenirs or to buy Gatorade or beer along the trail
  • Emergency horse for the group (in case of injury or the need to rest), but this can be arranged for an additional fee
  • Note: If you need to rent any equipment such as a sleeping bag, water-proof poncho, hiking poles, etc. please let us know in advance.
  • We will secure them for you – no deposit required.

We Recommend That You Bring:

  • Sleeping bag (-10 Cº)
  • Water-resistant trekking shoes and sandals
  • Warm clothing (thermal underwear, fleece, hat, gloves, socks)
  • Waterproof jacket & pants or rain poncho
  • Synthetic or cotton clothing (socks, trousers, shorts, t-shirts)
  • Sunhat & sunglasses
  • Sun block
  • Insect repellent
  • Water bottles
  • Water filter (optional – boiled water will be available at all meals)
  • Personal medications
  • Walking poles
  • Swimsuit & towel
  • Personal items
  • Personal snacks
  • Headlamp or flashlight with spare batteries
  • Camera
  • Toilet paper
  • DNI/Original Passport
  • Insurance card
  • PRICE: $1580 USD per person when booking 2-3 people
  • PRICE: $1470 USD per person when booking 4-5 people
  • PRICE: $1380 USD per person when booking 6-7 people
  • PRICE: $1320 USD per person when booking 8-10 people


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