Choquequirao trek is another good alternative to Inca Trail, this beautiful and archaeological site also called Cradle gold is considered as the archaeological site where the last Inca rulers were harboured.
The Choquequirao trek is a spectacular hike where we dive into the narrow Apurímac canyon and then ascend on the other side of the mountain to the fascinating Choquequirao ruins. Along the way, you will appreciate amazing views all the way. The Choquequirao ruins are located in a mountain on the right bank over the Apurímac river canyon. It is not as extensive as Machupicchu because part of this site is found in excavation and archaeological restoration but probably more fascinating and the region is much more remote. It is certainly a unique walk in the Andes.
These archaeological remains are made up of a set of buildings and terraces distributed in different levels, from the lower level Sunch'u Pata to the highest truncated top, which was leveled and surrounded with stones to form a platform with an area approximately 150 square meters. Choquequirao is also known as the "sacred sister" of Machu Picchu because of the similarities presented both structurally and architecturally with it. Well, not long ago it became known around this majestic place, awakening in this way the interest of many tourists and researchers.
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
Choquequirao trek starts when we leave the Incan capital of Cusco at 4 in the morning for a 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 horse carrier 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. 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. We lunch and then dinner in the first campsite. We reccomend you to take walking sticks for the first day of Choquequirao trek.
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
Choquequirao trek difficulty: Easy
This is the most difficult of the 5 day Choquequirao hike. 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 and have a Choquequirao tour, 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
Choquequirao trek difficulty: Easy to moderate
Today is devoted to investigating the marvellous Choquequirao ruins, 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 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
Choquequirao trek difficulty: Almost challenging
Last day 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 Cusco.
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!
The hike to Choquequirao hike is one of the most challenging in Cusco, for this reason we offer you all the information to make this beautiful trekking route.
Take into account this information and see the minimum and maximum points of the walk, the months of the year in which your visit is favorable, the level of difficulty of the hike, the physical conditions necessary to make this beautiful route and especially see the availability of spaces for this hike.
It is located at 3,035 m.a.s.l. in the foothills of the Salkantay mountain, north of the Apurímac valley, in the province of La Convención in the department of Cusco. It is approximately at a distance of 47 km. with reference to the town of Cachora. The environment of Choquequirao is one of the richest in biodiversity, because of the temperature variations.
Choquequirao tour is done at a lower altitude than Cusco, for this reason, we will find a temperate environment for much of the walk, although we feel a little cold on the night of the second day. The rainy and dry seasons still apply to Choquequirao because we have to take into account that it is an Andean zone and we have two well-defined seasons, that of rains from November to March and the dry season that goes from April to November.
The Choquequirao hike has a maximum altitude of 3 035 m.s.n.m in the main square of Choquequirao ruins and a minimum altitude of 1,500 m.s.n.m. in Rosalina beach, a point in our favor is that the climate in these parameters are warm and we will not have many problems in terms of altitude sickness.
To make this walk you need a good physical and mental condition, this is a hike where the level of demand is higher than the Inca or Salkantay way, but we have a team of guides and muleteers who will be on the lookout for you and will do this walk a unique experience.
Any age is ideal for this excursion as long as it has a reasonable physical shape and has no problems walking. Children under the age of 10 who take part in this trek will be under the responsibility of their parents.
The Choquequirao trekking is considered at a moderate to challenging level. People who perform some type of sport or are used to walking on any type of surface, can make the tour without any problem.
Regarding the availability to Choquequirao hike, throughout the year we will find spaces without any problem.
Tourists visiting Choquequirao ruins usually recommended the route from Cusco. First, you have to take a private transport that takes you to the road of Abancay, at km 154 and then take a detour of approximately 4 or 5 hours of travel to Cachora. Here you can see several people concentrated to offer them mule rentals, which costs 20 soles per day and if you want muleteer service you should increase some 20 soles more. The second day you will go up to the Choquequirao ruins and to return the same road will be taken.
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