Choquequirao is one of the most spectacular places in Peru. This amazing complex of ruins which was built in the XV – XVI century by the Incas, makes an excellent, off beat destination within the Cusco region. For an adventure through unique sceneries, encountering exotic flora and fauna, across a variety of landscapes, without hundreds of tourists around, Iook no further than our 4 days Choquequirao trek!
Day 1: Cusco – Cachora – Santa Rosa
On day 1, expect to be picked up by private transfer from your hotel between 6 and 7am. Arriving at Cachora village (2850 m./9350 feet) between 10 and 11am, we will be given some time to visit the village, eat breakfast and enjoy the landscapes. We will then continue for a further 30 minutes by bus until we reach the trailhead – close to the Capuliyoc Pass (2800 m./ 9186 feet). For the first 3-4 hours of the trek, the trail runs downhill to Playa Rosalina (1550 m./5085 feet) which is where we will be crossing the Apurimac River – the lowest point of our route in terms of altitude. Departing from the Apurimac river, we will be hiking for 2.5 hours uphill to Santa Rosa (2200 m./7215 feet) where our base camp will be awaiting us. After a delicious dinner prepared by our chef, who will be keeping us company for the duration of the trek, we will get time to relax, rest and enjoy the beautiful scenery as the sun sets.
Hiking time: approximately 5-6 hours.
Santa Rosa - Choquequirao
Day 2 will start very early! Waking up at 5:00 am to eat breakfast, pack our things and begin trekking before temperatures get too hot. This will leave us more time to explore the Incas ruins. This trek takes us from Santa Rosa to Maranpata (2850 m./9350 feet) starting with a tough, 3 hours hike uphill. In Maranpata we will have plenty of time to take a break and enjoy wonderful views over the valley and there is a small village where we will get the chance to meet the local community.
Once rested, we will then continue to hike for another hour before reaching the Choquequirao Inca ruins. As we will approach, the huge Inca agricultural terraces built to provide food for the locals, will appear before us. These impressive structures will be visible for the rest of our trek until we reach the archaeological complex. Our base camp for the night will be about 30 minutes down the ruins. Once arrived there, we will be able to relax before dinner is served. We can then get an early night. On this day of the tour, we will definitely enjoy some fantastic views over the surrounding mountains and their glaciers, which include, Soray (5428 m./17808 feet) and Tuncarway (5910 m./19389 feet). Our guide will also show us a variety of wild flowers and plants such as bromeliads, orchids and bamboo that are native to the region.
Hiking time: approximately 6-7 hours
Choquequirao – Playa Rosalina
Once again, we will start our day very early in the morning in order to see the beautiful sunrise over the ruins. After breakfast we will walk back up to the archaeological zone of Choquequirao. During our tour of the site, we will get to learn more about the history and importance of Choquequirao but also about the culture and the Inca Empire in general. Showing us around the most important and interesting parts of the Inca city, the guide will then provide us with key information allowing us to continue the exploration of the site independently.
After the visiting Choquequirao, we will start heading back towards Playa Rosalina and the Apurimac River. The trail from Maranpata to Playa Rosalinaa is, luckily for us, going downhill only. (This part is not difficult, but can bring a lot of stress on the knees, so we will be going slowly!) We will set up our camp in Playa Rosalina as it is where we will spend the last night of our tour.
Hiking time: approximately 7-8 hours.
Playa Rosalina - Cachora - Cusco
The final day of the tour will be quite easy and diverse. After a 2 hours morning hike uphill, we will follow the trail along a beautiful, flat path which is easy and enjoyable – giving us time to admire the great views freely! Along the way, we will get the opportunity to taste some regional fruits and typical Andean beverages, which we can buy from small stalls by the road. After a last walk uphill, we will end the trek by crossing the Capuliyoc Pass! From there, we will be met by our private transport to start our 5 hours’ drive back to Cusco.
Hiking time: approximately 6 hours