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Choquequirao to Machu picchu 9D/8N


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

Trekking Choquequirao to Machu picchu 9D

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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 : 9 days/8 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.

Inka Trail alternative : 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 dayearly by bus to Qachora. We will leave Cusco around 5am for a 4 hour drive to Qachora. On the way we will view the beautiful Limatambo Canyon. If you look at the top right of the Canyon you will be able to see the great Apu Salqantay and Humantay mountains. Then we cross the Apurimaq River by the Cunyac Bridge on the border of the Cusco and Apurimac regions. Here we will pass by incredible landscapes. We get to the district of Qachora 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 breakfast we begin our hike to this little known and very historic jewel know as Choqequirao. We will take approximately 3 hours approximately to get to Capuliyoq (3915m) from where we have our first view of the Apurimac Canyon as well as the snow capped peaks around us. Then we start to descend to Cocamasana (2330m) from where the climate changes noticeably to warmer weather with different flora and fauna. It is necessary to bring high percentage deet mosquito repellent. Finally, we arrive to the first camp Playa Rosalina (1550m). (Hike Duration 8 – 9hours).

DAY 2: Chikiska – 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 Santa Rosa. There we will meet a family that distills alcohol out of sugar cane. We will continue climbing to Maranpata. Here we will have lunch and then hike the last part, arriving to the archaeological citadel of Choquequirao just in time to enjoy the sunset if we are lucky. In the site we can appreciate the flying of condors and perhaps see some animals such as foxes and the spectacle bear. Our camp will be close to the archaeological site. (Hike duration: 5 – 6 hours).

DAY 3: Choqequirao

This is the day to explore fantastic and charming sites of choquequirao citadel. Here you will see interesting, elaborate buildings, guard houses, and terraces that were previously decorated with exotic plants.

DAY 4: Choqequirao (3050m) – Maizal (2892m)

In the first part of the day we hike uphill around one hour and then walk down until we reach Rio Blanco (white river), which is also our stopping point for lunch. From here we climb up to Maizal (the campsite). Along the way we observe different varieties of birds, orquids, and pass by Pinchaunuyoq’s terraces which are still part of the Choqeqirao complex. This is a difficult day (Hike Duration: 9 – 10 hours).

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

Today we begin a gradual climb until the San Juan highpas (4330masl) where we have lunch with amazing views of deep canyons where you could take postcard photos. After lunch we start to descend to 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) – Totora – Qollpampa

After an early breakfast we start to climb to Yanama, the highest pass on the entire trek (4670masl). We then begin a gradual ascent through the valley and from there a steep finish to get to the highpass with beautiful views of numerous snowcapped mountains like Saqsarayoq and Andpadreyoq. From here you start the long descent until Qollpapampa, the next camp. (Hike Duration: 9 – 10 hours).

DAY 7: Totora – Sawayaco (2094masl)

We will continue descending following the road until Qollpapampa from where we take the dirt path. On the way down, we will see different varieties of orquids, wild fruit, bananas, coffee, passion fruit plantations, avocado, and lemon trees. Arriving to Sawayaco, our last campsite, we will have lunch and then you have the afternoon to rest or explore the village on your own. (Hike Duration: 7-8 hours).

DAY 8 Sawayaco – Machu Picchu Town

Today we start early the hiking the 30 first minutes along the road. We will then hike uphill taking the Inca Trail from Lucmabamba to Patallaqta, an interesting archaeological site from where you will have a beautiful view of the Machu Picchu Sanctuary and surrounding areas. After a small break in Patallaqta we descend to the Hydroelectric Station for lunch and say goodbye to our cook and continue hiking following the railroad until Machu Picchu Town where we will have nice hotel accommodation. This night we have dinner in a restaurant and you will have an explanation of your guided visit to Machu Picchu and how to take your train back to Ollantaytambo and then the bus to Cusco. (Hike Duration: 8 – 9 hours)

DAY 9: Machu Picchu Sanctuary – Cusco

This is the day to visit this sacred World Wonder and World Heritage Site of the Incas. Once in Machu Picchu citadel you will have 2.5 hour guided tour. After, it is the sad yet happy moment to say goodbye to your Machu Picchu tour guide, if you did book Huayna picchu or Machu Picchu mountain  to hike you will do it independently. You will then go back to Ollantaytambo via train and by bus to Cusco where your tour with us will finish.


What’s Included?

  • Private transportation to Qachora (day 1), Train Aguas Calientes to Ollantaytambo (day 9), and private transport Ollantaytambo to Cusco (day 9).
  • 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, comfortable tents for two people and mattresses.
  • Dinning tent.
  • Boiled water is provided during the trek.
  • First aid kid.
  • Entrance fee to the  Choquequirao park.
  • 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) and the lunch last day (day 9).
  • 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