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Mysterious Choquequirao (9 days)

Mysterious Choquequirao
Code : CP-H9
Duration : 9 days
Category : Alternative Hikes
Destinations : Machu Picchu
Difficulty :
 

The name Choquequirao means “Cradle of Gold” and this settlement was one of the last refuges for those Incas who continued to resist Spanish occupation after the conquest. Choquequirao is less well-known than Machu Picchu and the trek to get there is a unique experience.
The site was eventually abandoned and became covered in dense cloud forest vegetation, and to this day archaeologists continue to unearth new sectors of the city.
On this adventurous trek we will walk Inca highways, hike through high Andean landscapes, descend into deep canyons and pass through biologically diverse cloud forest ecosystems.
This program combines visits to two major archaeological sites: remote and seldom-visited Choquequirao, and legendary Machu Picchu. It is a fascinating adventure through part of the old empire of the Incas and one of Peru’s most unspoiled wilderness areas.


ACTIVITIES: Horse supported hiking, Camping, Culture, Nature exploration & History


  • Overview
  • Itinerary
  • Included
  • Prices

Day 1: Cusco – Cachora – Chiquiska
Day 2: Chiquiska – Choquequirao
Day 3: Choquequirao
Day 4: Choquequirao – Maizal
Day 5: Maizal – Yanama
Day 6: Yanama – Totora
Day 7: Totora – Lucmabamba
Day 8: Lucmabamba – Llaqtapata – Aguas Calientes
Day 9: Machu Picchu - Cusco


INCLUDED SERVICES:

Private transport Cusco-Cachora, bilingual guide, cook, mule drivers, pack mules and support saddle horses, camping equipment (double-, dining-, kitchen- and toilet tents, sleeping mats, etc), meals (8 breakfasts, 8 lunches, 7 dinners and snacks), entrance fee to Machu Picchu, bus ticket Machu Picchu-Aguas Calientes (roundtrip), 1 night’s hotel in Aguas Calientes (3 star twin rooms), train ticket Aguas Calientes-Ollantaytambo and transfer back to Cusco.


NOT INCLUDED:

Sleeping bag, meals not mentioned in the itinerary, extra services such as tips and entrance fees to hot springs in Aguas Calientes.

 

SEASON: April to November
DURATION: 9 Days / 8 Nights (Cusco-Cusco)
FITNESS LEVEL: Very active – strenuous (heights, long distances, occasional narrow paths with sheer drops)
DEPARTURES: Daily

Day 1: Cusco – Cachora – Chiquiska

An early morning scenic bus ride of approximately four hours through high Andean plains will bring us to the village of Cachora, where we will meet our mule drivers. Leaving the village, we will begin with a gentle hike along an old mining road to Kapulyoq Pass (2800 meters / 9,240 feet). From this pass we will have our first mesmerizing view of the deep Apurimac canyon and the surrounding snow peaks. After resting and enjoying the scenery, we will continue our descent of approximately three hours along a dusty trail, zigzagging down the arid wall of the canyon, to our first camp at the Chiquiska oasis (1800 meters / 6000 feet).    
(L/D)

Day 2: Chiquiska – Choquequirao

After a nourishing breakfast we will continue our descent to the valley floor, where we will cross the Apurimac River (1495 meters / 5000 feet). From here we will start to climb the long, steep trail (approximately five hours) to our destination: the impressive archaeological complex of Choquequirao, where we should arrive just in time to enjoy a breathtaking sunset over the deep canyon and the surrounding mountains (3000 meters / 9,900 feet).
(B/L/D)

Day 3: Choquequirao

During the morning we will visit the restored section of Choquequirao and explore some of the ruins that are still covered by lush cloud forest vegetation. Much work has been done in recent years to excavate, clear and restore the site. After lunch, those who choose to can visit the Cascade House (restored buildings and terraces some 300 meters (1000 feet) below the main structures of Choquequirao). Later, our evening meal will consist of a typical Peruvian “pachamanca” (traditional Andean ingredients cooked in the earth). Volunteers to help with the preparation will be welcome! From the highest point of the archaeological site (the “usno”, or ceremonial platform) there are fine views of the Apurimac canyon far below, and if we are fortunate we may even see a great Andean condor soar above us.
(B/L/D)

Day 4: Choquequirao – Maizal

After a restorative breakfast we will set off early, as we will have a considerable distance to cover. A short but steep climb takes us to the ridge from where there is a fine panoramic view of Choquequirao and the Apurimac canyon, far below. After a descent of about one hour, we will reach the archaeological site of Pinchaunuyoc, which is still covered by tropical vegetation. After visiting the site we will continue our descent to Rio Blanco, where there will be ample time to rest and enjoy a good lunch. In the afternoon, a steep, dusty and hot climb will take us to our camp at Maizal.
(B/L/D)

Day 5: Maizal – Yanama

We will take advantage of the cool morning air and start hiking early. Walking along ancient Inca paths and trails, we will gain altitude quickly, while the surrounding vegetation changes from cloud forest to high Andean grassland. From San Juan Pass there are magnificent views of the surrounding snow peaks, including Mount Pumasillo (“Puma’s Claw”). After a delicious lunch we will continue our hike with a two hour descent, passing abandoned silver mines along narrow paths with sheer drops, until we reach the small village of Yanama. From here it is a gentle climb to our next campsite. 
(B/L/D)

Day 6: Yanama – Totora

This morning we will hike through high grasslands surrounded by snow-capped peaks as far as La Rinconada Pass (4650 meters / 15,300 feet), where we will have lunch in a magnificent setting. In the afternoon we will begin our long descent to the cloud forest, arriving in the late afternoon at our beautiful campsite at Totora.
(B/L/D)

Day 7: Totora – Lucmabamba

Today will begin with a relaxing walk along the Salkamayo River. We will pass through increasingly lush vegetation, passing waterfalls, passion fruit and coffee plantations. In the afternoon we will arrive at our camp near the village of Lucmabamba (2155 meters / 7,100 feet), where we can refresh ourselves by bathing in the river before dinner.
(B/L/D)

Day 8: Lucmabamba – Llaqtapata – Aguas Calientes

After breakfast we will climb along a trail that takes us through coffee plantations as far as the pass at El Mirador (2860 meters / 9,500 feet). From here there is an exceptional view of legendary Machu Picchu, from a rarely-seen angle. We will enjoy our last lunch at the vantage point of Llaqtapata (2650 meters / 8,750 feet), from where there are fine views of Machu Picchu and Mount Salkantay. After resting for a while, we will make the 2 hour descent to Machu Picchu hydroelectric station, from where it is a short distance to the village of Aguas Calientes, below Machu Picchu, where we will spend the night. Once we have checked in to our hotel, you can choose to relax in the natural hot springs, or just stroll along the streets before dinner.
(B/L)

Day 9: Machu Picchu - Cusco

After an early breakfast we will take one of the first buses up to the ruins of Machu Picchu, to enjoy first light in that magical setting. We will take advantage of the early morning and enjoy the serenity of the ruins before other travelers arrive on the train from Cusco. You will be accompanied throughout the site by an expert guide, as well as having plenty of time to wander around the ruins individually, hike to the Inca drawbridge, or climb Wayna Picchu. We will return to the town of Aguas Calientes in the afternoon to board the train to Cusco, where you will be escorted to your hotel.
(B)

Included Services

Private transport Cusco-Cachora, bilingual guide, cook, mule drivers, pack mules and support saddle horses, camping equipment (double-, dining-, kitchen- and toilet tents, sleeping mats, etc), meals (8 breakfasts, 8 lunches, 7 dinners and snacks), entrance fee to Machu Picchu, bus ticket Machu Picchu-Aguas Calientes (roundtrip), 1 night’s hotel in Aguas Calientes (3 star twin rooms), train ticket Aguas Calientes-Ollantaytambo and transfer back to Cusco.

Not Included

Sleeping bag, meals not mentioned in the itinerary, extra services such as tips and entrance fees to hot springs in Aguas Calientes.

Trip Cost 2017 in US$ per participant:

SERVICE
1 Participants 2-3 Participants 4-5 Participants
6 + Participants
Private Service
Up to request
Up to request Up to request Up to request
CULTURAS PERU S.R.L.
Tandapata 354-A Cusco - Perϊ
Phone & Fax: +51 84 243629
marco@culturasperu.com
hotel in cusco - hotel san blas cusco