Choquequirao trek another good alternative to Inca Trail, this beautiful and archaeological site located above the stormy Apurimac River, surrounded by frost summits and sitting on a tall ridge, hardly visited "lost city of the Incas". Also called Cradle gold is considered as the archaeological site where the last Inca rulers were harboured.
The site is relatively detached, though recently there was a footpath built over the Apurimac River to make it more available to the ruins. However, the Choquequirao ruins are not still visited much but with the regulations are taking Inca hike, this trek is fated to substitute the tipically Trek to Machu Picchu which is currently the most famous among the adventurous travellers around the world. The tour is more challenging than Salkantay trek is for that is necessary a good physical condition but maybe you want some more peaceful and quiet your hike surely is Lares Trek, well known because you can interact with people of the area and see traditional rituals. The beautiful landscapes will don't fail us either for the variety of vegetation or animals we'll found around the panoramic and wonder views.
In comparison with the Machu Picchu Trail, the hike is probably more strenuous but also has more archeological sites and museums to visit. The excursion being unknown is frequently available but you'll need a few days in Cusco to acclimatize your body because we'll overpass 3, 000m approximately on the road.
Day 01: Cusco - Cachora - Coca Masana - Playa Rosalina
Day 02: Rosalina Beach - Choquequirao
Day 03: Choquequirao - Raqaypata
Day 04: Raqaypata - Coca Masana
Day 05: Coca Masana - Cachora - Cusco
Crew: A Inca Trail Machu Representative in Cusco, a professional bilingual Tour Guide, a Cook, and horses
Accomodation: Campsites (4 nights),
Meals: 4x breakfast, 4x lunch, 4x dinner, 4x afternoon tea (Please allow USD 20 - 40 for meals not included).
Transportation: Transportation by private van
You will leave the Incan capital of Cuzco at 4 in the morning when pick you up for a wonderful five hour drive northwest across the country of the Anta Plateau to the authentic little town of Chachora (2,892m/9,488ft), the starting point of the hike in our private transport, which offers great views of the glacial mountains of Salcantay, Humantay, Pitusiray, Chicon and Veronica. It is a 150 kilometer drive and the last 10 are on a dirt road. Along the way there are fabulous views of villages, valleys and frost-topped mountains. During the course we descend into the town of Limatambo where the archaeological remains of Tarawasi are. From here we continue to the little village of Cora Wasi where the Saiwite Stone is. We ascend through abundant open lands and fruit farms before making a final declination to the village of Cachora.
Here many of the locals work as mule drivers to add to their earnings. There you will meet the expedition help team including the horsemen (arrieros) and horses and we pack your equipment on to the mules and the horses.
From here we take our daypacks and start our trek along the edge of the mountains through this magical and historically abounding lands, gradually its a two hour hike to Capuliyoc (2,915m), from where you will appreciate the first exquisite vistas of the Apurimac Valley and river extending below, as well as the glacial-topped summits of Padrayoc and Wayna Cachora (3033m), the wooded hills on the other side of the canyon and the area of Choquequiraw. You will then start a slow descent to Coca Masana, into the canyon (2,330m7/644ft), where we hike through a drier land superabound with cacti which contrasts with the green slants of the other side of the canyon. The weather becomes considerably hotter and the plants and animals are different. Don't forget to bring a high deet mosquito repellent for this area. Finally you reach the next campsite at Playa Rosalina (Rosalina Beach) (1,550m), near the stormy Apurimac River (whose Quechua native name means "Great Speaker of God"), known for its class five rafting rapids where you will set up camp and spend the night. Your guide will present this astonishing Inca land to you.
Walking poles or wooden sticks are recommended for today. (Lunch and dinner)
Optional: Visit to the Saywite Stone, a limestome outcrop, about 4 metrs diameter which the Incas chiseled into a 3 dimensional image of the domain of their sovereignty, Tawantisuyo. The stone is carved with pictures of flowers, animals and land of their empire and was used in rituals that had to do with the worship of water.
Estimated trekking time: 5 - 6 hours
Trekking distance: 9 Km
Max. elevation: 3, 100 m
Min. elevation: 1, 500 m
This is the most difficult of the 5 days. After an early breakfast a severe steep path waits for us and after about five hours of trekking we reach Raqaypata next to the Chunchullomayo River where you we stop for a late lunch and a greatly merited break. The afternoon trek is not as steep as the morning and along the way we see an array of orchids and wild flowers as well as a variet of bird species. After hiking 2 hours more we reach the archaeological site of Choquequirao, in time to appreciate the sunset and maybe see condors flying closeby. We set up camp just outside the ruins in the cloud forest. (Breakfast, lunch and dinner)
Estimated trekking time: 8 hours
Trekking distance: 15 Km
Max. elevation: 2, 950 m
Min. elevation: 1, 550 m
Difficulty: Easy to moderate
Today is devoted to investigating the marvellous ruins of Choquequirao, considered the other Machu Picchu where the last Inca Tupac Amaru was raised among Inca preistesses. The guide will tell you all about its history and the value of this site and then you will have free time to explore the many areas of the complex. Late in the afternoon start the return hike and camp the night at Raqaypata. (Breakfast, lunch and dinner)
After breakfast, continue the return hike with a steep plunge towards the Apurimac River where you stop for lunch. In the afternoon a four hour ascent to the final campsite at Coca Masana. (Breakfast, lunch and dinner)
Estimated trekking time: 7 - 8 hours
Trekking distance: 15 Km
Max. elevation: 2, 950 m
Min. elevation: 1, 450 m
Difficulty: Almost challenging
The last day of hiking. You will observe the canyon that forms the Apurimac River. You will then take a new path that traverses the throat of the canyon with an extraordinary vista of Wayna Qalli towards the canyon, thought of as the most impressive in South America. Reach Cachora with a return bus to Cuzco.
Meal budget: Please allow USD 20-50 for meals not included.
Single room: Please note that if you have booked the "Single room" option for this trek, you receive your own single tent for all nights.
Local flights: No local flights are included in the trek´s price!