Choquequirao is one of the ancient lost Inca cities discovered by Hiram Bingham in 1909. Considered the last Inca refuge to resist the Spanish invasion for decades, Choquequirao is located in the Apurimac River canyon at an altitude of 3,050 m/10,006 ft. The ruins are located in a strategic geographical area between the Andean mountains and the edge of the jungle.
It is an archaeological site of difficult access, the only way to get there is by taking a walk that can last 4 days.
Itinerary - What to expect
We leave Cusco at 6:00am for the 4 hour trip to Cachora in our private transport. On the way we will stop for breakfast admiring the wonderful Limatambo Canyon and the Salkantay and Humantay mountains. Then we will continue to the small town of Cachora. After meeting our expedition support team, known as muleteers, we will begin a gentle walk through this historically rich territory. It is a 3-hour hike to Capulichayoc (2915m/9,564ft) from where we have our first beautiful views of the Apurimac Valley and the river below, as well as the snow-capped peaks of the Padrayoc and Wayna Cachora mountains. We then descend to Coca Masana (2330m/7,644ft) where the climate becomes noticeably warmer and the flora and fauna begin to change. Finally we arrive at Playa Rosalina at 1550m/4,954ft next to the furious Apurimac River “The God Who Speaks”, famous for its class 5 rapids. We recommend the use of wooden sticks or canes and the use of insect repellent is essential. The walking distance is approximately 17km/10.5mi (7-8 hours walk).
After an early breakfast we will walk for about 1 hour to get to Playa Rosalina, near the Apurimac River (1500m/4,921ft), where we will cross a typical local bridge and walk through a forest of cactus, agaves and local exotic fruit trees. Here we begin a smooth and gradual 3 to 4 hour climb (1400m/4,593ft gain) from the banks of the Apurimac River to Marampata (2900m/9,514ft) where we will have lunch. At the end of this trail we will see for the first time the archaeological complex of Choquequirao. It is an easy 2 hour hike to the ruins of Choquequirao (3035m/9,957ft), and on the way we will see a variety of plants and flowers. As soon as we arrive at this Inca complex, we will visit the Paqchayoc farming terraces and the waterfall house, after which we will return to our camp near Choquequirao. Here you will be able to taste “cambric”, a local brandy made from sugar cane. The walking distance is approximately 14 km (7-8 hours).
Today he is dedicated to exploring the incredible Inca ruins of Choquequirao. Your guide will explain the history and importance of the site. After the tour you will have free time to visit the many sectors of the complex. At the end of the afternoon we will start the walk back and camp the night in Raqaypata (2,190m/7,185ft). The walking distance is approximately 4km/2.5mi (3-4 hours walking).
After breakfast, we continue our walk back with a steep descent to the Apurimac River where we stop for lunch. In the afternoon we will climb for about 4 hours until our last camp in Coca Masana. The distance of the hike is approximately 15km/9.3mi (7-8 hours walking).
After breakfast we start a 3-hour climb to Capuliyoc. From there there is a fairly flat road back to the village of Cachora. We will say goodbye to our muleteers (expedition horse guides) and take our private transport back to Cusco. Along the way we will stop at the archaeological site of Saihuite to explore and have lunch. Another 4 hours in private transport will take us back to your hotel in Cusco.
What to Bring
When preparing your luggage, remember that the rainy season in Choquequiraro is from December to March. The winter, between May and August, is especially cold, so we recommend that you bring this items:
- Your valid Passport
- Good backpack (the smaller the better)
- Camelbaks for 2 or 3 liters.
- Comfortable hiking boots.
- 3 wick shirts
- 3 trekking pants
- 4 sets of underwear.
- 4 sets of hiking socks
- 1 Fleece
- 1 warm feather jacket: it is very cold at night
- 1 Rain jacket and pants
- 1 hat for the sun
- 1 wool hat
- Headlight: essential
- Waterproof gloves (even if they are ski gloves, take them)
- Comfortable shoes for the camp
- Walking boots
- Waterproof jacket/waterproof poncho
- Quick drying towel.
- Small soap bottle.
- Battery charger: No place to plug in while walking!
- Large plastic bags: to help organize and keep clean from dirt.
- Sleeping bag: Sleeping bags are recommended for -10C at least.
- Facial Moisturizer
- Bug spray
- Hand Sanitizer
- Wet Wipes
- Toothbrush and toothpaste
- Toilet paper
- Personal medication…
- First aid kit: bandages, moleskin, etc.
- Water: we provide clean water at every meal. You are responsible for your first morning of water, as we will not have time to filter the water until your first lunch.
- Sun hat
- Rain gear.
- Music (Spotify Offline)
- Hand Sanitizer
- Toilet paper and a small plastic bag for waste
- Extra money for souvenirs, drinks and tips