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Choquequirao Trek: Alternative route to Machu Picchu, 7 days from Cusco

Choquequirao, Peru
Peru
Peru
Peru
Peru

A certified guide, will lead this 7-day expedition along the Choquequirao Trek, a wonderful, fascinating and beautiful path through the Andes which finishes at the world-famous Machu Picchu, and which provides truly unforgettable scenery, and a snapshot in to the history and tradition of the Inca’s.

Private

Andes

7 Days

All year

Fit

Intermediate


Highlights

  • Visit the ancient ruins of both Choquequirao and Machu Picchu!
  • See some of the most diverse flora and fauna in the world
  • Trek through and past snow-capped mountains, rivers, lakes and forests
  • Learn about the history, customs and traditions of the Inca people

Description

The Choquequirao Trek to Machu Picchu is an astonishingly spectacular alternative to the over-populated Inca Trail, and I will lead you along this path over the course of 7 magnificent days, as we discover the many villages, towns, mountains, rivers, valleys and animals along the way that make for such a rich and diverse adventure, with Machu Picchu and Choquequirao the centerpieces.

The Choquequirao Trek is perhaps the best alternative to the Inca Trail, as not only is there less people on this path but there is a visit to the ruins the path is named after, Choquequirao. This lesser-known area is equally as awe-inspiring and breath-taking as Machu Picchu, without the overcrowding and in more of an untouched condition.

We pick you up from your hotel in Cusco on the first morning, and from there we drive to the starting point at Cachora.

The first three days are dedicated to heading towards Choquequirao via forestry. Choquequirao is considered the sister city of Machu Picchu due to its similar looks and feel, and the sunset and sunrise which we will bear witness to are truly special sights.

From here the aim is to trek towards Machu Picchu through some astounding scenery, with a myriad of mesmerizing rivers and waterways providing ample opportunity to cool off, and the variety of animals, especially birds, giving us a nice distraction.

Along the way we will be able to stop off at historical sites, and also meet local people who are fiercely proud of their culture, and learn about the customs and traditions of one of the worlds oldest civilizations that still thrive here.

The last few days are spent reaching our final destination of Macchu Pichu, via the large village of La Playa, and we spend the final day admiring, exploring and basking in the glory of Macchu Pichu, a just reward for 7 days of witnessing some of the best natural scenery in the world.

Explore one of the most diverse natural areas on earth and see the ruins of Machu Picchu and Choquequirao, all in one trek – book now to experience!

For those who want an alternative route to Machu Picchu and the Cusco region, check out our 5-day Lares Trek to Machu Picchu, here!

Price includes

- Guiding fee

- Accommodation included

- Transportation start and back

- Transport during the trip

- Permit and entrance fees

- Group porters

- Breakfast

- Lunch

- Dinner

Price details

Price does not include:

- Sleeping bag

- Lunch on the last day in Machu Picchu

- Extra night at Aguas Calientes

- Inflatable mattresses

- Trekking poles


Itinerary

Day 1: Cusco - Cachora - Playa Rosalina (Apurimac River)

We will start our lives anew after this trek! Your hotel in Cusco or the Sacred Valley provides breakfast, and then we will pick you up you and start the 5-hour car journey to the travelers crossing Cachora. Once there, we will meet the rest of team (horsemen, cooks, etc.). We then begin trekking uphill, crossing through the pass of Capuliyoc where we might see condors flying overhead! We will have a great view of the Apurimac Canyon and experience the valley’s lush microclimate. At our stopping point, we can see the location of Choquequirao from afar. Finally, we descend through a cactus forest to La Playa Rosalina on the banks of the Apurimac River, the main tributary of the Amazon River. Along the river, there is another microclimate. This first night, we will camp at La Playa Rosalina (1550 MASL – 5085 FASL).

Day 2: Playa Rosalina- Maranpata - Choquequirao (Golden Cradle)

After a hearty breakfast, you will be given a bag of snacks to nibble on throughout the day. The first part of our day consists of a 4-hour ascent on a long, narrow trail. Our adventure starts by crossing by cable car over the wild river which is surrounded by dense vegetation with several varieties of orchids. Halfway up, we stop for lunch at Maranpata, where we have our first main view of the Choquequirao complex. We then continue hiking 2 more hours to Choquequirao (Golden Cradle), which is considered the sister city of Machu Picchu because of its several similarities. It sits 1500 meters/4921 feet above the Apurimac Canyon, and Machu Picchu sits above the Urubamba Canyon. In the afternoon, you will have free time to take in the sunset views of the canyon – it is spectacular! Here, it is also possible to see Andean condors soaring in the mountains. We will camp near Choquequirao (3050 MASL – 10006 FASL).

Day 3: Choquequirao - Choquequirao Pass - Rio Blanco - Maizal

Before breakfast, we recommend going to appreciate the magnificent sunrise from this picturesque spot! We will have breakfast at 6 AM. We start today’s trek passing through and exploring the Choquequirao ruins. We hike uphill through cloud forest, mountains, and valleys to reach the Choquequirao pass. After 5 hours trekking, the trail continues through agricultural terraces called Pinchinoyoc which means “water jumping forward” (2750 MASL – 9022 FASL). There we will see different species of birds, varieties of orchids, and local coca plantations. We will have our lunch near the Rio Blanco. We use the break here to take a refreshing dip in the cold, clear river water if you would like. We cross the river by walking because there are no bridges. On the other side, we start the long, steep climb to our camp in Maizal high over the river and closer to the sacred Apus of the Incas. This climb takes about 3 hours. This is the most challenging day. We will camp at 3000 MASL – 9842 FASL.

Day 4: Maizal - Minas Victoria - Yamana

Waking up on the hillside with the sounds of the forest and birds is a truly great experience! Recharging our energy with a good breakfast and following the trail upward, the landscape is lush green vegetation. If we keep up our motivation and the gods give us a clear sky, we will be able to just sit and appreciate the snow-capped mountains around us. The uphill climb today is around 7 hours to the summit, and this trail is historically important due to some archaeological remains and Inca channels along the way. We will pass by the impressive Incan mines called Minas Victoria, from which silver used to be extracted. and head toward the Victoria Pass (4200 MASL – 13773 FASL). This is a long climb, but we will walk through an absolutely breath-taking area, first with cloud forest and then over the Andean Puna with its well-known Ichu grass. As we approach the top, we can appreciate original paved Inca trails. We will have lunch on the pass with views of the mountains Choquetakarpo and Pedrayoc. While we have lunch, we will hopefully be able to appreciate the flight of the condors, depending on the climate. Finally, we will descend to our campsite at Yamana, a small village settlement at the bottom of a long valley surrounded by mountains (3800 MASL – 12467 FASL).

Day 5: Yamana - Mountain Range - Totora

The native community of Yamana surrounds the base camp. We begin another long day with the big smiles of local children, the sun is shining on camp ground, the noise of a grand waterfall, and breakfast on a table outside to appreciate everything around us. We then start hiking uphill to the highest pass in this trek (5 hours). This is Yamana pass (4700 MASL – 15419 FASL). During the day, it is common to observe the Andean farmers growing potatoes in their fields and possibly even some frozen potatoes. Again, the view will be amazing from here as we will be surrounded by the mountain ranges of Saqsarayoc and Pedreyoc. Once again, we have the chance to see condors flying about, and this morning’s smooth climb brings us through new landscapes – especially the wet grass fields under the snowline and water stream. In the pass, we may be walking through snow in a new entrance to the Santa Teresa Valley. Here, we can observe one of the Incan Gods – Salkantay Mountain. Afterward, we descend on a long, foggy path through grassy fields and bush areas, crossing bridges on the way to the community of Totora. We will spend the night in tents, surrounded by native people and indescribable natural beauty!

Day 6: Cloud Forest - La Playa - Aguas Calientes

Today’s trek is more downhill, continuing along the original Inca trail in the forest to appreciate the depth of the jungle. Hiking will take 10 hours as we head back into the heat of the jungle to harvest some fruit as we descend to the Totora River. We will observe wildlife, such as hummingbirds, woodpeckers, and many species of orchids and begonias. We then take a trail on the left side of the Santa Teresa River where we will see small plantations of bananas, passion fruit, and coffee (which you can taste if you would like!). On the way, we will stop at small waterfalls along the way for refreshment. The climate and vegetation are very different here than on the other days of our trek. La Playa is the biggest village on the way as well first place with electricity, and here we will have lunch. There are also small shops here to buy snacks and water or use the restrooms. After lunch, we will drive a small van to Hidroelectrica for about 1 hour passing by Santa Teresa. We cross the river of Vilcanota and will have an excellent view of Machu Picchu and the Aobamba canyon from a different angle; another Inca trail can be seen here, as well. From Hidroelectrica, we hiking to Aguas Calientes for 3 hours. This last part of the trek is flat and surrounded by the mountains which house Machu Picchu. If you are tired, there is an optional train ride to Aguas Calientes (US $ 32.00) There is also the option to visit the hot springs in Aguas Calientes. We will spend the night in a hostel in town, which will have hot water, wi-fi, and comfortable beds for you.

Day 7: Aguas Calientes - Machu Picchu - Cusco

Today’s Highlights: Your excitement for our rendezvous at Machu Picchu will rise as we are hiking early in the morning through the forest to reach the site before most other tourists – even the Inca Trail trekkers!! You will have plenty of time to explore this truly magnificent World Wonder while you enjoy the beautiful sunrise from this once-in-a-lifetime viewpoint. Your group will learn about this mystical place in a two-hour guided tour of the ruins. Afterwards, you can opt to climb Huayna Picchu or Machupicchu Mountain (if you have pre-booked tickets) or walk to the Sun Gate or Inca Bridge (without extra tickets).

 

Details

Accommodation

Tent accommodation for 5 nights, hostel accommodation for 1 night in Aguas Calientes

More info

Professional, bilingual guide (Spanish and English)

Meeting point

Your hotel in Cusco

About the guide

Peru Expeditions is a Guide Agency and Tour Operator based in Huaraz, Peru.

It's a family-owned travel agency, which was founded more than 35 years ago, and is now managed by IFMGA-guide Juventino and his son, Eric.

We organize trekkings and mountain expeditions in Cordillera Blanca, and all around Peru.

Languages

| English

Certificates

AGMP | IFMGA

Residence

Huaraz


What people are saying about Peru Expeditions

Bad Hetterscheid

5.00

September, 2022

William was such a knowledgeable, friendly, and efficient guide! He brought books and support materials to further explain the history of the sites we were seeing, was always ready with an answer to any questions, and had great suggestions of where to take photos. He chose a truly remarkable cook for our trek, who kept us well fed with a huge variety of foods (and an ample supply of it!) and filled with hot beverages at all hours of the day and night. He allowed us to set the pace each day, and was cheerful and helpful and relaxed throughout-he absolutely enhanced a wonderful experience! Many thanks to you, William!

Bad Hetterscheid

5.00

September, 2022

Eric from Peru Expeditions is a fabulous, safe, and conscientious Tour Operator. He chose an incredible guide for us (Darwin) who was highly esteemed by every guide we met at every point along the journey-the respect of one’s peers speaks for itself! We were very well supported, always had perfect timing with seeing sunrises, beating “the crowd” to our destinations, and had ample food. The Peruvian mountains are stunningly beautiful- I’m ready to go back again already! Book with Eric - he’s going to take good care of you.

Connor White

5.00

September, 2022

Great service and trip!

Johannes Besmehn

3.00

August, 2022

The traveller did not leave a comment.

Alexey Volegov

5.00

July, 2022

The traveller did not leave a comment.

Matt LAIRD

5.00

November, 2021

Our guide was William and he is the one that really made the trip great!

Juliusz Zulauf

5.00

September, 2021

It was really good climbing expedition. The company put good effort to accommodate our needs and requests. Lima Central Office support was outstanding. Edgar, our climbing guide was top notch. Supporting staff during the climb was very helpful and friendly as well. For my personal needs, some modification of an acclimatisation scheme would be beneficial. First week of the trip consisted of various day trips to destinations of increasing altitudes, but all nights were at Huaraz, at 3100 m altitude. For me, to be fully acclimatized I need to sleep at the altitude. My first night at the higher altitude was at Pisco refuge (4800 m) and resulted with mild altitude sickness preventing me from successful climbing the following day. I would prefer spending two nights at high altitude before first high climb. It might not be the case for some other people, but it was for me. If not for this, I would had awarded straight five stars.

Marcela Hronesova

2.00

July, 2021

Disappointed with the whole experience. Didn't climb with Juventino, never met him. Got a different guide. Booked Pisco and Chopicalcui as separate climbs with one day off in between to rest. Agency combined the climbs. They told me to of go from Pisco BC directly to Chopicalcui moraine camp. Got a different guide who didn't tell me that we'll get snowed in at moraine camp. Only found out about the snow once we reached Chopicalcui moraine camp. Spent the night there, next day had to go down. Disappointed rebooked my flight and left Peru. Waste of my time and money.

Marcela Hronesova

4.00

July, 2021

The agency gave me a guide Darwin, not Juventino. Climb was good, easy just walking. There is one dangerous section near the moraine area with very loose gravel. So make sure you don't slip there or you are dead. I stayed in refugio at the base camp which was much more comfy than camping. Darwin was good but give clients some breaks once in a while, not rush too much. It's a high altitude climbing after all.

Tony Hoffman

5.00

September, 2020

The hike was canceled. We didn’t go anywhere. Didn’t even get into the country.

Flormila Pineda Villanueva

5.00

May, 2020

My visit to Huaraz was one of the most beautiful trips of my life. Our days of adventure began with the visit of lagoons in the white mountain range; wilcacocha, churup, paron, lagoon 69 and we finish with the most beautiful Santa Cruz trek. Our trip was a complete success, during the stay in Huaraz we stayed at the ALPAMAYO GUEST HOUSE hotel, an excellent place in the center of Huaraz. I recommend Mr. Juventino to make his trip and his hotel the and if nice family People.

Koseth Saenz

5.00

May, 2020

He was very kind, patient and helped me to reach my goal the citadel of Machupicchu. One day I wanted to quit but he encouraged me to continue and waited for my step.

Pietro Garanzini

5.00

May, 2020

Our experience in Peru was an unforgettable journey, we started a journey in this country to visit Machu Picchu and the surroundings of Cusco as a sacred valley, etc. Afterwards, our next destination was to arrive in the beautiful land of Huaraz, where our main goal was the trekking of Santa Cruz and a not very difficult base climb and after the trekking of Huayhuash. We will be back next year with more customers, friends of our mountain club, thanks for everything and see you soon in Huaraz!

Michael W English

5.00

March, 2020

From the very first emails communication which was dealt with efficiently and provide all the required information and other options for myself to consider. When I arrived the communication was excellent and very well organised. When I return later this year I will without doubt be using Eric and the team. When we arrive at the start point to getting back the local guide was excellent. I have nothing but praise for the set up.

Wolfgang Gratz

5.00

September, 2019

We did the MTB-Huarascan-Circuit (Crossing Punta Olimpica Pass and Portachuelo de Llanganuco Pass) with Eric Albinos „Peru Expedition“. All, the transfers, the hotel stays, the acclimatization tours and the circuit itself, was well organized. Eric and his staff were flexible to our wishes and very helpful. Our Guide Joni is an excellent mountain bike-guide and good tailor too if something is torn. The cook prepared delicious meals during the circuit. The camping equipment was in very good condition. We (Karin, Franz. Wolfgang) can fully recommend „Eric´s Peru Expeditions“.

Mrs Erin Leigh Hardy

5.00

August, 2019

We are a group of friends and a mountain club, we have made trips with Eric since 2007, we have done the most classic tours in Cusco: Ausangate trek, Choquequirao trek, Salkantay trek, all tours always with Machu Picchu ending, the Inca culture is very interesting and if you travel to Peru you must visit it - and not missing Inca Trail to Machu Picchu. In Huaraz we have running out the tours: Santa Cruz trek, Alpamayo trek, Huayhuash trek, and the climbs, and Nevado Pisco trek, Nev. Vallunaraju, Tocllaraju, Alpamayo and Huascaran. Every year our club members go from 15 to 20 people to Huaraz, and in Cusco culture we have groups from 18 to 30 people, and all these trips are made by our partner Eric and Juventino in Peru. And friends always return very happy with the services they perform on the tours we sell. We recommend them to make a quality and safe trip, they have about 30 certified guides working for them, Juventino is the head of the company and is a member of UIAGM - IFMGA. They also have a family Hotel called "Alpamayo Guest House" this is in Huaraz, and every time our group ends their trek, climbing or expedition trip, the Juventino family invite us to a special dinner called (Pachamanca) as a very Inca Traditional food, this meal is prepared by JUVENTINOS wife Dina, she is a typical person of the area and they live in the Unchus village, this is an unforgettable dinner for all group participants. Next year we will extend our trip with mountain bike MTB around the Huascaran and the Huayhuash mountain range, and we will also have new trips from Lima: Nazca Lines, Arequipa Cañon del Colca, Cusco Inca Trail, Puno Floating Islands Lake Titicaca and the Tiawanaco culture peace.

Verónica

5.00

July, 2019

We had a very nice experience with Juventino. He was very nice to us, always taking care of our needs. I'll for sure hire him again to be my guide if I go back to Huaraz. I absolutely recommend him!

Sowmi

5.00

July, 2019

Loved the experience

Dickens Rondán

5.00

July, 2019

JUVENTINO IS A VERY PROFESSIONAL GUIDE, AT ALL TIMES HE WAS VERY ATTENTIVE TO OUR REQUIREMENTS. SHARING THE TREKKING WITH HIM WAS VERY REWARDING AND I LEARNED A LOT.

Norbert from Austria

5.00

June, 2019

There were bad conditions for the first mountain we wanted to climb,  so we had to search for other mountain, which was possible to climb with the bad conditions. NO PROBLEM for Eric and his team. Eric made within 1 day another program for the following 2 weeks. I really want to say "thank you for this expedition". I enjoyed the whole trip/expedition, because of his professional competence. Hope we see us soon!

Hans Dekkers

5.00

June, 2019

We have done a tour in the Cordillera Blanca, visit the lagoons and the Cordillera Huayhuash trek, then we have visited Machu Picchu culture, and the Ausangate trek. The services given and guides were a unique experience for all our groups 15 people, we are very happy with the service given by the travel agency who lead Juventino and Eric "Peru Expeditions Tours" - The quality of service very good as food, guides, tents, and all the logistics of the trip the whole service, we hope to return at another time with more friends and clients to make the trips in Peru, we recommend Juventino and his family as a professional guide and quality experience. They also have an "Alpamayo Guest House" hotel with good quality service and spacious rooms, during our stay everything was of quality service. So we recommend Juventino and all his family so that you can make your trips in Peru. Sincerely Hans and many greetings to all.

Emmet

5.00

June, 2019

Eric and Juventino are family and they treat each one of their clients as family. It's truly a fun time being out in the mountains with them! I did with them many tours throughout Cordillera Blanca, Including Pisco, Chopicalqui and all of the lakes.

Tatiana Murillo

5.00

April, 2019

He’s an excellent guide, He explains the places, the stories, why many infrastructures are made, if I were to do a tour in Peru again, I would like him to be my guide, highly recommended.  We visited Lima, the desert, Machu Picchu and the mountain of 7 colors.

Veronika

5.00

June, 2018

I can warmly recommend Eric and his company Peru Expeditions Tours. Eric and his team are very professional. They speak fluent English and Eric speaks German. They answered very quickly to questions before the trip. Eric helped me to organize an excursion to the high camp of Alpamayo. He also helped me to rent the right equipment. I also enjoyed ten fantastic days trekking Cordillera Huayhuash and climbing Nevado Pumarinri (5465 m) and Nevado Diablo Mudo (5350 m) with Eric and his team. The organization and the equipment (tents etc.) of the trekking were perfect and the team surprised me with a birthday cake at the Cashpapampau Camp (at 4500 meters) and they also prepared delicious vegetarian food for me on the hike. After Huayhuash we climbed Mount Tocllaraju (6034 HM), organized by Eric and Peru Expeditions Tours. All the guides who work for Eric are local people with a lot of experience and education in the mountains, they speak perfect English and try to do everything to make the clients happy! Thanks to Peru Expeditions Tours I really enjoyed the time in the mountains around Huaraz. I am looking forward to more treks and climbing with you in the future!

John Farris

5.00

May, 2018

5 star guide. Nothing but the best.

Nicole et Catherine

5.00

April, 2017

A very, very sympathic guide, who knows all the secrets of the places and itinerarys the most beautiful ; organization top ; food excellent too ; marvellous souvenirs.

Andrés

5.00

March, 2016

The legend Juventino. My brother and I travelled to Huaraz to climb the Vallunaraju summit. Our guide Juventino has been the best guide I've had over the past years and I have made a lot of hikes and climbing over the world. He is a very talented and experienced guide, he took care of us very much and made sure safety is first. We also had an amazing experience with the food, they cooked delicious meals. They also have top brand quality equipment that made us feel really safe, we had the lucky experience of having a horrible storm at the base camp and I believe that the north face summit series tent they provided saved us!!!! Overall, best guide I have ever had, made us feel very confortable and happy. If you want a guide to feel safe and have the best experience possible go with the legend Juventino!!!


 

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