Tour Choquequirao 4/3 days
Choquequirao (Chuqik’iraw Chuqi K’iraw) is one of the most spectacular places in Peru, located in the region of Cusco on the western slope of the Cordillera Vilcabamba. This amazing complex of ruins was built in the fifteenth and sixteenth century by the Incas. It is not only ruins, you can see much more, like almost fully preserved houses, walls, wonderful, large terraces, etc. Probably Choquequirao was used as a checkpoint to access the Vilcabamba and also as a cultural and religious center. It was a residence of Pachacuti and then the residence of his son Topa Inca Yupanqui. The ruins cover an area of around 1800 hectares, and there is much more that is not visible to the eyes. Currently only around 30-40% of the ruins have been excavated, but even this part is incredible and makes an immense impression. It is interesting to note, the mystical Inca city of Choquequirao is much bigger than Machu Picchu. Due to that fact, the larger part of it has not been extracted from under the jungle and there are still many unknown secrets waiting to be discovered. It makes this place even more unique and more mysterious. Choquequirao is less accessible to tourists so it is calmer and less crowded than Machu Picchu.
Do you want to have the adventure of a lifetime, with the beautiful, unique scenery, with variety of different landscapes, far away from civilization, without hundreds of tourists around? If yes, Choquequirao trekking will be the perfect option for you. During 4 days of Choquequirao trekking you will have opportunity to admire the condors, the beauty of the different scenery, with a wide variety of flora and fauna, high jungle and the Vilcabamba and Salcantay mountain ranges with some snowy peaks. This diversity will provide you unforgettable moments and impressions.
Duration: 4 days/ 3 night
Level of difficulty: Moderate/Difficult
Minimum number of the group: 2
Altitude: 1500 - 3030 m.a.s.l. / 4921 - 9941 feet
The best time to go: April - November
Day 1: Cusco – Cachora – Santa Rosa
Between 6.00 – 7:00 am we will pick you up from your hotel/hostel in Cusco. By private bus we will go to the village of Cachora (2850 m.a.s.l./9350 feet). This part will take about 4 hours. In Cachora you will have some free time to visit the village, eat breakfast and enjoy the landscapes. Then we will continue the journey by bus around 30 minutes more – almost to the pass of Capuliyoc (2800 m.a.s.l./ 9186 feet), where we will start the trekking. First 3-4 hours of the trek you will walk all the time downhill, till the place called Playa Rosalina (1550 m.a.s.l./5085 feet). In Playa Rosalina, which is the lowest part to which we will descend during the trip, we will cross the River Apurimac and from this moment the next around 2-2,5 hours we will hike up the hill until the camping place called Santa Rosa (2200 m.a.s.l. / 7215 feet). Here you will spend the first night. After eating delicious dinner you will have free time to rest, relax and enjoy the wildness of the nature, beautiful scenery around and the sunset.
Hiking time: approximately 5-6 hours
Day 2: Santa Rosa – Maranpata - Choquequirao
We will start the day very early in the morning, around 5:00 am to avoid a strong sun and to have more time for exploration of the Incas ruins. After a delicious, fresh breakfast, we will start trekking from Santa Rosa to Maranpata (2850 m.a.s.l./9350 feet). This day is the hardest. During the first 3 hours untill Maranpata we will hike all the time uphill. In Maranpata we will take a break where you will have a wonderful view for the valley. There is also a small village, so you will have additional possibility to contact with a local community. After a break we will continue the trip until our destination.
Around 1 hour before reaching the Incas ruins, there will appear huge terraces. The view in this part of the trek is spectacular. It will be the first close contact with Choquequirao which will be accompanied to you almost all time before reaching the archaeological complex. The terraces are situated on a slope of the hill, what make is even more impressive. There were built to provide food for the local inhabitants. Every one passing this part ask and/or wonder how it was possible to build it in this place. You also need to know that there are much more terraces here, just still waiting to be extracted from the tropical forest. A little bit below Choquequirao ruins (around 30 minutes by walk), there are camping places, where we will stay for the night. Thanks to that you will have much more time for exploration of this archeological zone, taking pictures and for deep relax in the breathtaking scenery. For a moment you will have possibility to relocate in Inca times and feel the atmosphere of that period.
During this day you will have opportunity to enjoy a great landscapes, the view of some valleys, among others snowy peaks of Soray – 5428 m.a.s.l./17808 feet, of the Tuncarway 5910 m.a.s.l./19389 feet and what is the most important the view for the archeological complex of Choquequirao (3033 m.a.s.l./9951 feet). On the way you will also find a wide variety of flowers like bromeliads, orchids and stands of bamboo.
Hiking time: approximately 6-7 hours
Day 3: Choquequirao – Playa Rosalina
Also the third day we will start very early in the morning, to see the beautiful sun rise over the ruins. Then there will be waiting for you a delicious breakfast, after which we will visit the archeological zone of Choquequirao. Here you will learn a lot about the history of that place, about Incas, their culture, which will be described by our tour guide. He will take you to the most important and the most interesting sections of the Incas city. After the tour with the guide, you will also have free time for exploring by yourself the parts of ruins you like the most. This complex of ruins is a perfect place to wander around and checks it out in your own speed and way. In Choquequirao you will find plenty of space, so you will never feel the crowed here.
After the visit in Choquequirao we will start our way back down the same way we came in, towards Playa Rosalina – to the River Apurimac. From Maranpata until Playa Rosalina we will descend down all the time. This part is not difficult, but due to the fact that you will walk down some hours, it can be quite a big effort for the body, especially for the knees. In Playa Rosalina we will set a camp, where you will spend the last night of the tour.
Hiking time: approximately 7-8 hours.
Day 4: Playa Rosalina - Cachora - Cusco
The last day of the tour will be quite short and diverse. First 2 hours we will hike uphill, after it we will have a nice, quite long part flat, easy and enjoyable. On the way you will have opportunity to taste some regional fruits and drink special beverages, which you can buy in the small shops available on the route. At the end we will have to walk uphill, but this part will not be so steep and it will take only around 1 hour to overcome it. We will finish all trekking part 15 minutes by walk after crossing the pass Capuliyoc. From that place our private bus will take you directly to Cusco what will take around 5 hours.
Hiking time: approximately 6 hours.