This Choquequirao Vilcabamba Peru Trek will visit the Incan ruins, including the incredible ruins of Choquequirao, the ‘sister city’ of Machu Picchu. Enjoy the beautiful scenery through various exploration activities and the final trek at the infamous Machu Picchu.
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On this Choquequirao Vilcabamba Peru Trek you will:
This Choquequirao Vilcabamba trek one of the best trails you can hike in the country. You will see the majestic Choquequirao ruins, also known as the “sister city” of Machu Picchu and recently rated one National Geographic’s top 20 travel destinations. The region can be found high up above the Rio Blanco and Rio Apurimac Rivers, surrounded by snowcapped mountains. The ruins can only be reached on foot, so it’s fairly common to have the whole site to yourself on this trek. From here, you will continue on your journey on an original Inca trail, taking in beautiful natural landscapes before arriving at the other distinguished ruins of Vitcos-Rosapata and Ñustahispana. This area was vital to the Incan people after the Spanish conquest, as many fled here to escape. The final part of the trek takes you to the famous Machu Picchu, where you will be able to enjoy the breathtaking scenery and classic views.
Day 1, Cusco-Chiquisca
You will be picked up from your hotel in Cusco in the morning and we will travel to the town Cachora (3.5 hrs). Here you will meet your muleteers, the people who care for your mules, and will have a chance to enjoy the incredible view of the snow tipped mountain Padriyoc before setting off on your hike. On the way, you will see both Padriyoc and Wayna Cachora mountain peaks, both covered in snow. The incredible natural scenery of sheer mountains and snowcapped peaks will be a breathtaking experience. The hike today starts out relatively flat, making its way through local farms and green vegetation. We will stop and have lunch at Capuliyoc, where you can sometimes see condors if you’re lucky. You will then descend down into the Apurímac Canyon, where vegetation will slowly change from agaves and cactus forest to dwarf tree forest. Camp will be made that night at Chiquisca, near to the base of the canyon at 1550m (5,085ft).
Duration: 6 hours / 16km (~10 miles)
Day 2, Chiquisca-Choquequirao
You will have an early breakfast and then make your way downhill to the impressive Apurímac River. Once you have crossed the river, you will take a short break before embarking on the more difficult climb up to the Choquequirao ruins. The first four hours are quite steep, after which you will reach the small community Marampata. Here you can take a rest and enjoy the beautiful view of the mountains surrounding you and the incredible rolling valleys, as well as Choquequirao in the distance. From Marampata village, the path will even out more, and you will slowly ascend on the trail towards the ruins, winding your way through many diverse types of orchids and other wild flowers as you hike. After another 1.5 hours, you will arrive at Choquequirao and stop for lunch before exploring the ruins. At this site, you will have an incredible view and may even be able to spot those Andean condors once more gliding into the valley. We will camp that night just below the ruins and inside the archaeological complex.
Duration: 6 hours / 10km (~6 miles)
Day 3, Salkantay Trek: Choquequirao-Maizal
In the morning today you will have more of a chance to explore the ruins of Choquequirao and understand some of their history. Once you have explored enough, you will begin the trek to Maizal. The path starts off by ascending into a cool, lush cloud forest, and then descends down eventually to Rio Blanco, located at 1909m (6,263ft). From the pass, landscapes will change rapidly into steep, open prairies with wide views of the surrounding valleys and mountains. On the way down towards the river, you will encounter the ruins of Pinchinoyoc. These ruins are not visited often and have an incredibly special history. They will suddenly come into view when you don’t expect it, nearly invisible beforehand due to the dense vegetation and mosses that encompass them. When you reach them, you can enjoy time looking around the ancient Incan terraces before reaching Rio Blanco. Here you will stop for lunch, take a refreshing and cooling bath in the clear river waters, and have a break before you start the final climb of the day to Maizal. It is a fairly long and steep incline over three hours that takes you high over the river with stunning views. You will make camp that night at 3000m (9,843ft).
Duration: 6 hours / 11km (~7 miles)
Day 4, Maizal-Yanama
You will start off the morning by trekking uphill, past incredible Incan mines, the Minas Victoria, and will head towards the Victoria Pass. This climb is also fairly long but you will be enchanted by the surrounding region you trek through, from cloud forests to thick tundra and dense ‘ichu’ grass. As you near the Victoria Pass, you will even pass over original paved Incan trails. You will stop for lunch at the pass, and from here can enjoy majestic views of the Choquetakarpo mountain. Depending on the season, the Andean condors may grace you with a visit. After the pass, you will desecend towards a small settlement, Yanama, surrounded by snowy mountain peaks, and this is where you will make camp.
Duration: 3 hours / 6 km (3.7 miles)
Day 5, Yanama-Quellcamachay
You will set off from Yanama at 7am and walk along the picturesque trails by the edge of the mountain until you reach the spot for lunch, surrounded by craggy mountains. After a rest for lunch, you will continue on another two hours until you reach your camp at Quellca Machay. The camp is surrounded by snowy peaks and will be an incredible, though cold, place to camp for the night! Here we will all light a campfire and also have a chance to fish in the river.
Day 6, Quellcamachay-Huancacalle
You will leave the camp at 6am, and set off on the next day’s hike. After about four hours of trekking, you will reach Choquecatarpo Pass (4600m/15,092ft), the highest and most incredible of all of the passes on the expedition. You will have some time to enjoy the view and your accomplishment, and then will begin the descent. Along the way you down will have lunch at the Lagunas, and will finally arrive in the town Huancacalle (2900m/9,514ft).
Accommodation: Basic hostel or camping near Nustahispaña ruins.
Duration: 8-9 hours trek throughout the day
Day 7, Huancacalle-Aguas Calientes
This day takes us onwards through the dense jungle, where you will see breathtaking sheer waterfalls, and local banana, coffee, and avocado farms. You will also see stunning different types of orchids and tropical birds along the way. You will finally arrive at a small family-owned coffee farm where you will stop for lunch. You will then continue for approximately 3 hours on foot to the Aguas Calientes. We will stay here overnight in our comfortable Aguas Calientes hotel.
Day 8, Machu Picchu Tour
Finally, arrive at Machu Picchu! Here you will see all the top highlights, as well as those less well-known (but equally wonderful) spots. This will be the culmination of your trip and will leave you with fantastic views and a great sense of achievement! After you have enjoyed your time on the mountain, we’ll return to Cusco by train, arriving that evening.
If you wish, you can upgrade your trek to get more comfortable each night. The upgrade includes a larger tent with a higher ceiling, (most people can stand fully upright in this), an extra thick air mattress,-15C sleeping bag , a pair of walking poles, solar-powered lantern in your tent, and wine served each night with dinner. $38.00 per person, per trek day.
*International Airfare and Visa Fees are not included, but we do offer group rates and assistance. If you would like to book this trip for a group, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
After you book your experience, you will receive a confirmation email from us confirming that your payment went through. You will then be connected directly to the tour operator, in case you have any further questions. We are also happy to answer any questions about the tour, or travel in general in your country of destination.