Choquequirao is one of the most spectacular places in Peru. This amazing complex of ruins was built in the 16th century by the Incas and makes for 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 this 4-day 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 7 AM. Once we arrive at Cachora Village (2850 m./9350 feet) between 10 and 11 AM; we will have some time to visit the village, eat breakfast and enjoy the landscapes. We will then continue our journey for another 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 cross the Apurimac River – the lowest point on our route in terms of altitude. Departing from the Apurimac river, we will hike for 2.5 hours uphill to Santa Rosa (2200 m./7215 feet) where our base camp awaits. After enjoying a delicious dinner prepared by our chef, who will keep us company for the duration of the trek, we will have time to relax with a view of the sun setting over a beautiful landscape.
Hiking time: approximately 5-6 hours.
Day 2: Santa Rosa - Choquequirao
Day 2 will start very early! We will wake up at 5 AM to eat breakfast, pack and start trekking before temperatures get too hot. This will give us more time to explore the Inca ruins. This trek takes us from Santa Rosa to Maranpata (2850 m./9350 feet), starting with a tough, 3-hour uphill hike. In Maranpata we will have plenty of time to rest, enjoy wonderful views of the valley, and meet the local village community.
We will then continue hiking for another hour before reaching the Choquequirao Inca ruins. On the way, we will witness the huge Inca agricultural terraces built to provide food for the locals. These impressive structures will be visible for the duration of our trek till we reach the archaeological complex. Our base camp for the night will be a 30-minute walk down the ruins. Upon arriving, we will have time to relax before dinner is served, and have an early night’s rest. Throughout this day of the tour, we will once again enjoy fantastic views over the surrounding mountains and their glaciers, including; Soray (5428 m./17808 feet) and Tuncarway (5910 m./19389 feet). Our guide will also inform us about the variety of wildflowers and plants, such as bromeliads, orchids and bamboo; that we pass along the way.
Hiking time: approximately 6-7 hours
Day 3: Choquequirao – Playa Rosalina
Once again, we will start our day very early in the morning to capture a 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 learn more about the history and importance of Choquequirao but also about the culture and history of the Inca Empire in general. While showing us around the most important and interesting parts of the Inca city, our guide will then provide us with information allowing us to continue the exploration of the site independently.
After the visiting Choquequirao, we will head back towards Playa Rosalina and the Apurimac River. The trail from Maranpata to Playa Rosalina is, thankfully, downhill (however, this stretch can put stress on the knees, so we will descend slowly). We will set up our camp in Playa Rosalina, where we will spend the last night of our tour.
Hiking time: approximately 7-8 hours
Day 4: Playa Rosalina - Cachora - Cusco
The final day of the tour will be relatively easy and diverse. After a 2-hour uphill morning hike, we will follow a flat and picturesque trail, enabling us to peacefully admire many great views. Along the way, we will get the opportunity to taste some regional fruits and typical Andean beverages from small road stalls. After our final uphill walk, we will end the trek by crossing the Capuliyoc Pass! From there, we will be met by our private transport to start our 5-hour drive back to Cusco.
Hiking time: approximately 6 hours