Peru Adventure: Choquequirao to Vilcabamba & Machu Picchu – 12 Days

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1614
12 Day
Availability : Jan 1' - Dec 31'
Cusco
Choquequirao & Machu Picchu
Min Age : 18+
Max People : 15
Overview
Peru Adventure: Choquequirao, Vilcabamba & Machu Picchu – 12 Days

Peru Adventure Choquequirao Vilcabamba & Machu Picchu – Considered one of the last refuges of the resistance of the last Incas in the mountainous region of Vilcabamba.

Choquequirao, is located to the Northwest between the provinces of Apurimac & Cusco; rises to more than 3,000 masl. The citadel presents a natural protection and difficult access due to the Apurimac Canyon and river of the same name that makes it one of the most difficult treks in the Cusco region.

This is a paradise for lovers of extreme adventures, such as climbing a mountain of 5100m; and seeing Machu Picchu from its summit and other snow-capped mountains.

In addition, you’ll enjoy privileged views of Machu Picchu and other snow-capped mountains such as: Salkantay (6272 m), La Verónica (5919 m), from 2 archaeological sites, one of them being the site of Llactapata.

Archaeological Sites

Following on; we have also added to the expedition other archaeological sites. Two are located at the foot of the mountain range of Vilcabamba; called Vitcos and Yuraqrumi or the temple of the sun (one of the last refuges of the Incas). Its varied flora (orchids, flowers, bushes, etc.) and fauna (the spectacled bear, deer, foxes, hummingbirds, condors, eagles, etc.) make Choquequirao unique. Added to the scarce presence of tourists; it is in comparison to its sister of Machupicchu, bigger and more extensive since only 40% of its total extension can be appreciated. So then; it has incredible views of mountains and waterfalls; silver mines that are no longer active; and presence of llamas, potato plantations, corn, tarwi, etc.

Its roads and constructions of the pre-Inca and Inca times; make it one of the most beautiful expeditions to the mountains, canyons and the jungle brow, including the visit to Vilcabamba and Machu Picchu will captivate you, and will allow you to enjoy a unique peace and tranquility here in the Sacred Valley.

Highlights

  • Experience the ancient ruins of Choquequirao, “Sister City” of Machu Picchu
  • Pass through the recently-uncovered ruins of Picha Unuyoc
  • Descend down to the Rio Blanco for a refreshing dip in the river
  • Climb the Abra San Juan pass (4150m) with views of Cordillera Vilcabamba
  • Scale a Nevado at 5,100m
  • Finish the trek at Machu Picchu, and explore the ruins at sunrise
Trek Facts
Trek min. duration 7 days
Max. elevation 4,650m (15,260 ft)
Start/finish Cusco/Cusco
Difficulty Challenging
Best season Late Spring/Early Fall
Sleeping Camping
 
Included

Breakfast x 10
Lunch x 11
Dinner x 10
Private Transport – collection & drop-off
Professional bilingual guide
Cook
Horsemen & mules
All camping equipment (Sleeping bags to hire + Walking sticks)
Entrance to Machu Picchu & return trip bus tickets to Aguas Calientes
Accommodation in Aguas Calientes x 1 night
Train tickets to Cusco
Domestic flights from Lima to Cusco (Return trip)

Excluded

International Airfares
Adventure Travel Insurance
Tips for crew
Any additional extras

Joining Arrangements There will be a pre-trek briefing held usually the evening before departure, at your hotel, to go over the details of the trek and any specific requirements not already captured.
Food & Water Prior to setting off we recommend you steer clear of street food and only eat in good restaurants, to avoid any stomach complaints. Likewise with tap water, it is largely untreated, please only consume bottled water only or sterilised water if you have the right equipment.
Special Diets We’ll ensure that we cater for all of your dietary needs, at the point of booking we’ll collect this information from you. We can secure special menu requests also for your trek party.
Trekking Crew We are able to customise our treks to suit you, but usually our treks are guided by a professional bilingual guide, mountain cook, arriero (horseman) and mules to carry all equipment (passenger horses also available on request). They become a large part of your trekking expedition and it’s a great experience working together.
Acclimatisation
This is a really important part of your trip planning process, please find a link below which explains a little more about preparing for altitude. Altitude Preparation
Preparation
Attached below are a couple of links which will explain how to prepare for your trip & trek in advance of your arrival. We recommend being prepared in advance to save time & stress whilst you’re in Peru. Trip Planning | Trek Planning
Machu Picchu An excursion to Machu Picchu can be included as part of your trip, including professional bilingual guide, entrance tickets, return trip bus tickets, Huayna Picchu & Machu Picchu Mountains (mountain climbs to be confirmed on reservation) & your return train ticket to Cusco. To be confirmed on reservation.
Covid-19 (Coronavirus) We are working with the latest protocols issued by the Ministerio de Salud (Ministry of Health) to ensure our operations are safe and compliant for the future. We also have access to on-call health services for your time with us.
Covid-19 (Useful Links) World Health Organisation | World Health Organisation – Peru | Covid-19 Data – Peru | Covid-19 Daily Statistics
Available Discounts Throughout 2021 we’re offfering a 25% discount for each member of a group larger than 4+
Reservation Please contact us to reserve your trek and we will send you our deposit & payment options.
Customer Service Please feel free to contact us at any point before your trip for any queries or problems.

 

Itinerary

Day 1Cusco - Capuliyoc - Chiquisca

Leaving at 5 am, in private transport, heading northwest towards one of the deepest canyons in Peru, the Apurimac Canyon. Passing through districts, communities, potato, corn and aniseed plantations until we reach Saywite, an Inca model at 3,661m, 3hrs from Cusco. Continuing to the first lookout point from where you’ll begin the descent, on mountain bikes to the village of Cachora (1 hour and a half descent). Afterwards, observing the mountains of the Cordillera de Vilcabamba, you’ll stop at the Cachora community at 2,920masl. Taking a break and then continuing our adventure from here, this time in the car due to the difficulty of the terrain to do it by bicycle, and after 30 minutes we will arrive at the Capuliyoc lookout at 2,850 masl. Here meeting our muleteers and mules, who will carry our camping equipment, food, etc. for the expedition. Beginning our journey to the next viewpoint, where we can see and locate the citadel of Choquequirao and see the Apurimac Canyon descending to Chiquisca at 1870 m, (3hrs of descent), where dinner will be taken and setup camp here.

Hours in transport: 3-4 hrs.
Hours of descent by bike: 1 hr approx.
Hours of walking: 3 hrs
Walking distance: 8 km.
Max. elevation: 3750msnm.

Day 2Chiquisca - Playa Rosalinas - Santa Rosa - Marampata - Choquequirao

Leaving early at 4 am, after breakfast; and thus avoid the stifling heat in the Apurimac canyon during the walk to Choquequirao. It will take an 1 hour to descend to Rosalinas beach at 1470m, and from there you’ll ascend for 3-4 hrs to Maranpata at 2895m, where you’ll take a long break, taste the local coffee, interact with local people and learn a little more about their customs. Also you’ll be able to observe the flight of the condor; a majestic bird that makes its appearance over the Apurimac Canyon. Afterwards, continuing for 2 hrs to our camp where lunch will be taken before spending the afternoon enjoying the spectacular views.

Walking hours: 5-6 hrs.
Distance: 12 km.
Max. elevation: 2895msnm.

Day 3Choquequirao Camp - Lower Sector (Paraqtepata - Pacchayoc) - Choquequirao Main Sector

At 8am your adventure begins. Today you’ll explore the 11 sectors of the archaeological park of Choquequirao and descend to the lowest sector to explore the 3 sectors below the site. Visiting the waterfalls; it will take 3 hours round trip, lunch, rest. Then you’ll continue your adventure towards the 8 higher sections of this magical Incan Citadel. Enjoying the sunset here, returning to camp for dinner and rest. It will be a very demanding day, dedicating our time exclusively to get to know, and learn about the Incas and history of the site.
 
Walking hours: 8 hours.

Day 4Camp Choquequirao - Choquequirao Pass - Sector Pinchayunuyoc - Rio Blanco - Maizal

At 5am, leaving the camp to ascend to the Choquequirao pass at 3,280masl (2 hours), passing again through the main sector, and once at the pass you’ll descend to the last sector called Pinchayunuyoc at 2400masl (1 hour and a half), after exploring these Andean terraces, we continue for 1 hour and a half more until we reach the Rio Blanco at 1,846masl, where we have lunch and then continue the ascent to

Maizal at 2,989masl (3 hours).
Walking hours: 7 hours
Distance: 18 km approx.
Max elevation: 3,280msnm

Day 5Maizal - Minas Victoria - Paso San Jose - Yanama

Leaving at 7am towards the San Jose pass at 4,430masl, 3 hours of gradual ascent passing by the Victoria mines in the southern sector, to then arrive at the pass. From there you’ll be able to see the extensive Vilcabamba mountain range and its peaks over 5,000masl, which rise imposingly and after a rest and photos you’ll descend for 2 hours to the Quechua community of Yanama at 3,550 masl.
 
Walking hours: 5 hours.
Distance: 11km.
Maximum elevation: 4,430m.

Day 6Yanama - Quelcca Machay Cave - Inca Machay Camp

This day the excursion will take us between 4 to 5 hours to arrive at Quelcca machay at 3,620masl, where we will have lunch and then continue for 1 hour more of gradual and calm ascent, until arriving at the camp of Inca machay at 3,920masl, from where we will see the Chuquitakarpo pass and the Inca road that goes towards Vitcos and Vilcabamba.

Walking hours: 5 hours.
Distance: 14km
Maximum elevation: 3920m.

Day 7Inca Camp Machay - Inca Trail Chuquitakarpu - Paso Chuquitakarpu - Huancacalle

8 am leaving for the Chuquitakarpo pass through a longer and more beautiful Inca road with incredible views. It will take us 3 hours to reach the pass at 4,620 masl, and then descend by another sector of the Inca trail that is well preserved and you’ll see on the way tambos or resting places for the chasquis or royal messengers of the Inca. After 2 hours stopping for lunch at 3,850 masl, and then continue for 2 more hours to Huancaccalle at 2,920 masl.

Walking time: 7 hours.
Distance: 14 km.
Maximum altitude: 4,620masl.

Day 8Huancacalle - Vitcos - Yuraqrumi - Paso Pumachacca - Paso Azutina - Inca Wasi

On your last day of hiking, you’ll walk from your campsite in Lucmabamba through fields and cloud forests along an imperial Inca trail. Llactapata is a small, beautiful set of ruins hidden in the wilderness with a view across to Machu Picchu. From here, you’ll continue down to the Hydroelectric power station, where you can either take a train or hike to the town of Aguas Calientes. Upon arrival, check in to your hotel and relax. Be sure to get a good night’s sleep for an early start to see Machu Picchu at dawn.
 
Overnight: Aguas Calientes
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 9Inca Wasi - Racachacca - Hatunpampa - Paso Yanacocha - Paso Tullu Ccasa - Lacocha

Taking about an 1 hour to descend to Racachacca (3,500 m.a.s.l.), and then ascend for 1 hour to Hatunpampa (3,970 m.a.s.l.) Then continuing for another hour of gradual ascent to one of the lagoons, for lunch (4,230 m.a.s.l.), with incredible views of the snow-capped mountains, and Andean landscapes. Then you’ll continue for 1 hour more to the Yanacocha pass (4,480 masl), and discover part of an Inca trail near the Yanacocha Lagoon and from there we will be 45 minutes to the Tullu ccasa pass (4,520 masl), and then descend for 30 minutes to the Laccococha Lagoon (4,420 masl), where you’ll rest for the night.

Walking hours: 5-6 hours
Distance: 12 km.
Maximum height: 4,480m.

Day 10Laguna Lacco Cocha - Paso Mojon - Escalada Del Nevado 5,100 - Mutuypata - Yanatile - Santa Teresa - Cocalmayo

Today you’ll have the option of mountain climbing, level PD, on the French scale. There will be 2 groups and 2 guides for such expeditions.

Group 1: Departure – 5 am. Group 2: Departure – 2 am. G 1: This day we will leave early to see the sunrise from the Mojon pass (4,500 masl), and be able to enjoy the incredible views of the Wakaywillke or Veronica mountain (5919 masl), and the Machu Picchu mountain. It’ll take almost 1 hour to reach the pass, and then you’ll descend for 2 hours; seeing Salkantay mountain (6,272 masl), and then continue descending to Mutuypata (3,600 masl), 1 hour, where you’ll have lunch. Then continuing descent for 2 more hours, over sections of an Inca trail eroded by the use of mules and cloud forest growth, until you reach the end of the trail.

From there you’ll take a local transport for 1 and a half more hours to finally reach the thermal waters of Cocalmayo, passing through Yanatile and Santa Teresa.

Group 2: You wake up 1 am, to leave 2 am, previous breakfast and arrive to the glacier in 1 hour and a half and from there you’ll climb an ice wall of 50 meters, and 55 degrees of inclination, this will be the only technical part, and then you’ll cross for 2 hours until the east summit of the Nevado 5100, and then descending for 1 hour until you leave the glacier and rappel to the wall and reach group 1 in Mutuypata, where you’ll have lunch and continue together until the thermal waters of Cocalmayo.

Walking hours: 5 hours
Distance: 11 km.
Maximum height: 4,500 meters.

Day 11Santa Teresa - Lucmabamba - Llacatapata - Ahobamba - Hydroelectric - Aguas Calientes

After breakfast, a local transport will take us to Lucmabamba (1,950 masl), 35 minutes from Santa Teresa. From there we will begin the 2 and a half hour ascent along a restored Inca trail until reaching the archaeological site of Llactapata, located at (2,620 masl), from where we will see the mountains of Machu PicchuHuayna Picchu and snow-capped mountains such as SalkantayVeronica and Palqay. Then we will descend for 2 hours to the Ahobamba valley, at (2,040 masl), and go to the hydroelectric plant, (2,030 masl), where you’ll take lunch. Continuing for 3 hours to the town of Aguas Calientes (2,020 masl).

Walking hours: 8 hours.
Distance: 19 km.
Maximum height: 2,620 masl.

Day 12Aguas Calientes - Machu Picchu - Aguas Calientes - Ollantaytambo - Cusco

Leaving from Aguas Calientes, you’ll head towards Machu Picchu Historic Sanctuary. The walk will take 1 hour and a half or 25 minutes by bus (optional) Our guided tour will be 3-4 hours, where you’ll have an introduction to the Incan site of Machu Picchu. Then you’ll visit the main attractions of Machu Picchu, where you will have some free time before returning to the town of Aguas Calientes, to board the train to arrive at either Ollantaytambo or Cusco.
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