Choquequirao Trek 4D/3N
Choquequirao is considered “the other Machu Picchu” or the “sister city of Machu Picchu”. It is also considered the “enigmatic refuge of the Incas” and one of the “great lost cities of the world“. Although more difficult to achieve than Machu Picchu, the ascent is not only rewarded with a great architectural beauty, but also with an unbeatable and spectacular location above the Canyon of the Apurimac River. The views from here are equally or even more impressive than those at the Grand Canyon of the Colorado River. In addition, you can still find here a very little altered Andean flora and fauna and on many occasions it’s even possible to watch condors.
This make it the perfect choice for a traveler who prefers less tourists along the way.
The level of difficulty of this trek is challenging. Make sure you are well acclimatized to the altitude, and are in good shape and health.
Day 1: Cusco – Cachora – Chiquisca
You will leave Cusco very early and travel by van for several hours through one of the most beautiful Andean landscape of Peru until the sleepy village of Cachora (2850m) is reached. This is also the starting point of the trek. Here your guide, the horseman and the beast of burden (for camping equipment) will join the group. The first destination to achieve on the trek is the Pass of Capuliyoc (2800m). Here you can appreciate the great scenery of the beautiful snow mountain Padreyoc and the deep Apurimac Canyon. Descending towards the inside of the canyon, you arrive after 6 hours of hiking at Chiquisca (1930m), where you will overnight.
Hiking time: 7 hours
Altitude campsite: 1930 m.a.s.l.
Day 2: Chiquisca – Playa Rosalina – Marampata – Choquequirao
This day begins continuing the trek toward the depth of the canyon until reaching Playa Rosalina (1550m). Here, crossing the Apurimac River, the trek continues to Marampata (2850m). From here you have a splendid view over Choquequirao. Finally you will ascent to end your hike of today at the campsite (3033m), only half an hour away from Choquequirao.
Hiking time: 7 hours
Altitude campsite: 3033 m.a.s.l.
Day 3: Choquequirao – San Ignacio – Carmen
Early in the morning you will head to Choquequirao to explore the citadel and its natural environment, together with the explanations of the guide. Choquequirao is larger than Machu Picchu. Still a lot of the site is hidden in the forest, only a third of the ´Golden Cradle´ has been exposed now. The most impressive parts of this site are the temples, astronomical observatories, and water channels. All this, in combination with the incredible views of the Apurimac canyon leaves an unforgettable impression.
After having explored the site you will return again to the deepest part of the canyon. Then you have to cross the river to get to the remnants of the old hacienda San Ignacio (1500m). From that point the hike leads up to a warm valley with cactus, bromelas and strange trees (ceibos and acacias) until the camp, which is located in the gardens of El Carmen (2000m) is reached.
Hiking time: 6 hours
Altitude campsite: 2.000 meters
Day 4: Carmen – Tambobamba – Huanipaca
The Gardens of El Carmen are located close to the hacienda Tambobamba (2500m), which is a center of a vast and fertile territory, dominated by landowners during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. The vestiges of this are present in the huge mansion, which bears the same name.
From here you will get on a touristic transportation (car or bus) to return back to Cusco. After a 5 hrs hike and 5 hrs drive you will have seen unforgettable landscapes.
Hiking time: 5 hours
Transportation time: 5 hours