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Choquequirao to Machu picchu 10D/9N


“Join Alternative Inca Trails and enjoy unforgetable experience in the andes.”


View Full Itinerary

Highlight : Hiking in Apurimac canyon, visiting the mystical archaeological sites of Choquequirao and enigmatic Machu Picchu, while passing through amazing landscapes. The views from Victoria pass are unforgettable.

Location : The Cusco and Apurimac regions, starting in Cachora (4 hours from Cusco).

Duration : 10 days/9 nights is ideal. If you are short of time, 8 day/7 nights or 7days/6nights is also possible. Please consult the itineraries.

Level : Difficult – The Choquequirao to Machu Picchu trek is a challenging but rewarding 9-day hike. Recommended for people with a high level of fitness.

Adventure Rating : One of our most adventurous and challenging hikes, done by very few people each year in the Cusco region.

Alternative Inka Trail: Yes, an excellent alternative to the classic Inca Trail.

Departure Dates : Any day with two people. We offer affordably-priced tours for 2 people so that you can depart on the date that suits you. NOT RECOMMENDED in December, January or February (poor weather conditions).

Acclimatization : Minimum 2 days at altitude recommended.

Combos&Upgrades: Combine with one of our tours for a complete Peru experience. Try Comfort Camping or choose an Aguas Calientes upgrade.

Trekkers Dream : If you wish to join a group tour, please see trekkers dream. You can also form your own tour group to be advertised on our page. Maximum group size 12.


DAY 1: Cusco – Qachora (2900m) -Chikisqa. (1800m)

We begin our adventure Choquequirao to Machu Picchu trek, departing from Cusco at 5: 00am in our private car, 4 hour drive to the Andean village of Qachora, located on one the site of Apurimac canyon which is surrounded by spectacular snow caped peaks. In this charming village we will stop to purchase last minute items or supplies, then continue to Capuliyoc (2915metres / 9561feed) from here we will admire the snow caped peaks of Padreyoc, and spectacular views of Apurimac Canyon, here is where we meet our expedition support know as an arrieros (horsemen). We then arrange the way in which our equipment will be carried on mules/horses. After 15minutes we begin our hike to this little known and very historic jewel known as Choqequirao. We get to Capuliyoc mirador site from where we can get the first view of Choquequirao, ans if we are lucky see the majestic Apu Condor. Then we start to descend steeple having incredible views as we hike down for 3.5 to 4 hours to Chikisca (1836m. / 6873ft) as we descent we will feel the climate changes noticeably to warmer weather with different flora and fauna. Also on the way we will experience breathtaking drops, after 1 hour hiking down from chikisca we will arrive to the clamorous Apurimac River (1550m / 5084ft).

After registering in the control point we cross the river to start climbing to Santa Rosa 1 campsite (2095m / 6873ft) this climb is difficult but is going to be easier for next day. It is necessary to bring high percentage deed mosquito repellent. Finally, we arrive to the first camp Santa Rosa. (Hiking time is around 7hours)

DAY 2: Santa Rosa- Choqequirao

This hike is considered one of the hardest of all treks in the region but the views around the canyon (a combination of the Andes, Andean valley and high cloud forest) make up for its difficulty. After having an early breakfast we initiate the climb up to Maranpata (3110m / 10120ft) that takes 2.5 to 3 hours hike, this area has a nice view point to have a deserve break, after 15 to 20 minute walk we will get our first view of the rouins of Choquequirao and its incredibly design and engineered terraces, from here we hike the last part which is easier up and down. Arriving to the campsite (3110m / 10120ft) we will enjoy our lunch, and then we will head up to visit Choquequirao all the afternoon and get to see the terraces of the lamas, enjoy the sunset, and if we are lucky admire the majestic Apu, spectacle bear. Our camp will be close to the archaeological site of Choquequirao

Many searchers say that just around 30% of Choquequirao have been excavated. What can be seen today is that the challenging trek to Choquequirao is very much worth, because the place is very impressive, even the place doesn’t have sophisticated constructions as Machu Picchu, but the buildings tells the high status that the place have and evokes a sense of awe because of the beauty and isolation that Choquequirao has.

Choquequirao. (Hike duration: 7 – 8 hours)

DAY 3: Choquequirao  Pinchaunuyoc

After our breakfast we will hike down to Pacchayoc one of the spectacular sites of Choquequirao where the temple of the water is located, we will get to admire the incredible water aqueducts and water engineering the Incas did on this place, also enjoy the sound of the near water falls while we explore this section of Choquequirao. After we will continue to Paractepata a little site to see the terraces with breathtaking drops and get to realize the architectural skills of the Incas. Finally we will go back to the camp and get our lunch we start our hike passing again the religious sites and the large storage constructions and say goo buy Choquequirao. This site that was discovered in 1710 by European explorers who did past by and new about, however they didn’t give importance to Choquequirao until 1909 when Hiram Bingham who is credited as scientific discovery of Machu Picchu went across the place, which brought an international attention but even of, this place was ignored till 1970’s when the Peruvian government started excavations. Choquequirao is composed by large quantity and amazing terraces, religious, administrative, storage with more than 1800 hectares to continue on our trek ChoquequiraoVilcabamba to Machu Picchu. We will climb to (3150m / 10332ft) from there we descent steeply till Pinchaunuyoc an incredible site with a temple to worship the water that has majestic views. Our third camp by the ruins of Pinchaunuyuc. (Hiking time 6 to 7 hours)

DAY 4: Pinchaunuyoc  Maizal (2892m)

After an early breakfast In the first part of the day we hike steep downhill for around 1.5 to 2 hours to Rio Blanco, from here we will start tough climb for 3 hours to Maizales (3000m / 9840ft) after our nutritious lunch we will have free time all afternoon to enjoy the spectacular views that this area offers.

(Hike Duration: 9 – 10 hours)

DAY 5: Maizal (2892m) Yanama (3520m).

Today we begin a gradual climb on a section that has intense vegetation or cloud forest, to Victoria mines area with some shine rock that shows the high concentration of minerals and metals then we will start to trek through pajonal (strow) on this section we will walk on a well preserve Inca Trail till the San Juan high pas (4330masl) where we have lunch with amazing views of deep canyons where you could take postcard photos. After lunch we start to descend to the charming village of Yanama, the next campsite. Along the way you are going to see big hollows that the artisanal miners made to extract silver. Also close to the pass it is possible to see the original Inka trail. (Hike Duration: 7 – 8 hours)

DAY 6: Yanama (3520) – QELLQAMACHAY

Today after the breakfast we start to descent to down into the valley and hike for a little on the site of the river, then we will climb for about 1.5 hours and past though Yutupata area where some families live very spread out, then we will walk on a easier trail but with stunning views, arriving to the river we will we will enjoy of our lunch. Continuing on our adventure we will ascend through Qelqamachay Valley surrounded by polylepys vegetation and dramatic rocky mountains till our camp.

(Hike Duration: 5 – 6 hours)


Today we will start climbing ad walk for about 3 hours on a spectacular and well preserve original Inca Trail to past our highest point and cross the Abra Choqetacarpo (4500m / 14760 ft). which is surrounded by craggy mountain peaks, this past has also an spectacular views and continue hiking the most incredible Inca trail steps perfectly preserved that tells the knowledge and capacity of Inca engineers who built these trails , we after descending around 1.5 hours we will appreciate Inca dwellings along on the site of the Inca trails and having motives to admire this civilization and getting to admire how Incas did built and made incredible constructions in such a remote places.

We will have our lunch, and then continue descending to our next camp.

(Hike Duration: 5- 6 hours)


After our breakfast we continue downwards on a gentle slope passing roads that are not really used for about 4 ours we will visit Nusta hispana or White Rock one of the most important spiritual and religious sites of Incas of the resistance continuing will also visit Vitcus Inc village that has fascinating views of the valley because of the especial location of the place. Finally walk down to Huancacalle village for lunch. And have free afternoon to rest.

(Hike Duration: 8 hours)

DAY 9: Vitcus – private car to Hydroelectric – Train to Aguas Calientes

Having hiked through canyons, rivers archaeological sites and high passes, now we will take our private transportation to Santa Teresa and Hydroelectric for 5 hours, having a box lunch to take with as.

The road in to the Valley of Vilcabamba are winding and narrow that needs experienced driver, this 5 hours drive is still enjoyable with spectacular views, and a rapidly landscape changing as we descend in to the valley, a drop we will experience is around 1500m. Vilcanota River, the final part of the journey to hydroelectric is along the edge of the rushing canyon, cliffs. From Hydroelectric will take the train that leaves around 3pm to Aguas Calientes and go to our hotel for a nice deserve shower before our celebratory dinner included in the price of your tour.

DAY 10: Machu Picchu Sanctuary – Cusco

This is the day to visit this sacred World Wonder and World Heritage Site of the Incas. Will take a bus included on the tour price. Once in Machu Picchu you will have 2.5 hour guided tour to crown the adventure and have been cross the Vilcabamaba ranges. After, it is the sad yet happy moment to say goodbye to your Machu Picchu tour guide and continue and  hike up to Huayna Picchu Mountain, (if you would like to do this hike you should advise at time of booking and pay additional fee of &15 US because the permit sell out months in advance). If you don’t get to hike Huayna Picchu, you have other hike options like Inti Punku (sun gate), this is the place by where the classic Inca trail arrives.

Inca Bridge, Machu Picchu Mountain (please advise at booking time $15 US). You will then go back to Ollantaytambo via train and by bus to Cusco where your tour with us will finish.


What’s Included?

  • Transportation to Qachora (day 1), Train Aguas Calientes to Ollantaytambo (day 10), and bus Ollantaytambo to Cusco (day 10).
  • Horses to carry all the camping equipment, food and fuel, cooking equipment, and 8 kilos of luggage per person that needs to be in duffle bag
  • Meals during the trek. If you are vegetarian let us know when you make the trek reservation.
  • Expert bilingual guide in English, Spanish and Quechua.
  • Cook, horsemen.
  • Camping equipment, confortable tents for two people and mattresses.
  • Dinning tent.
  • Boiled water is provided during the trek.
  • First aid kid.
  • Entrance fees to Choquequirao.
  • One night in a 3 start Hotel at Machu Picchu Town (the accommodation is in a double room if you wish to have a single room there is an extra cost )
  • 1 dinner in Machu Picchu Town in one of the best restaurants.
  • 1 Lunch in one of the best restaurants of Machu Picchu Town
  • Round trip Bus tickets to Machu Picchu
  • Entrance fee to the Machu Picchu sanctuary
  • Entrance fee to the Lares hot spring
What Is Not Included?
  • Breakfast first day (day 1).
  • Hotels and food in Cusco.
  • Medical insurance.
  • Sleeping bag.
  • Walking sticks.
  • Chocolate bars, dried fruit, other snacks.
  • Back pack ($15 if you want to rent one).
  • Alcoholic drinks, laundry and any other personal expenses.
  • Gratuities for the (guides, horsemen, cooks, etc).

Important Info

When to book choquequirao trekking?: trek permissions are not required for this trek. Departure dates depend on availability of the group.

Group size: minimum 03 people, typical group size 7 – 8 people. Maximum 12 people.

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Packing List

  • Insect repellent (50% deet).
  • A duffle bag to transport your belongings.
  • Sleeping bag.
  • Hiking boots, strong footwear.
  • Trekking poles: poles with metal tips are allowed on this trek.
  • Layers for variable temperatures, especially at night.
  • Wool socks and woolen hat for cold nights (-3 -5 c).
  • T-shirts and trekking pants that zip off to short pants for a confortable day hike.
  • Flash light or torch and batteries.
  • Camera and extra batteries (batteries are consumed rapidly under cold conditions).
  • Sun block, sunglasses, and hat to protect you from the sun.
  • Personal medical kit.
  • Rain jacket or poncho (plastic ponchos can be purchased in Cusco).
  • Toiletries, toilet paper, small towel.
  • Two liter water bottle: disposable bottle are not recommended.
  • Original passport.
  • Extra money for drinks, tips, souvenirs etc. (soles or dollars) and emergency money.
  • Bathing suits optional.
  • Thermal rest inflatable mattress.
  • Snacks, biscuits, energy bars, chocolate, fruit, etc.


2 3 4 – 5 6 – 7 8 + more
PRICES IN USD (per person)
 $1999  $1770  $1670  $1570  $1470