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12 Day Choquequirao Trek to Machu Picchu (Land)

The Choquequirao Trek 12 Days to Machu Picchu is a unique trip because you will be exploring a relative new archeological site which much bigger in comparison to Machu Picchu. Inca constructions, have their own construction signature and most of the times, the temples or buildings are being in harmony with the nature elements around it.  Choquequirao has been regarded lately as the 'sister of Machu Picchu' because there is similarities between both of them.  

The origins of name Choquequirao, come from the Quechua language as a "Clash Kiro" meaning "metal tooth" because the ‘peak’ in the shape of feline canine. There are days in which the feline shaped peak displays luster as coinciding with mineral sites there.

The Choquequirao trek will lead you to a fascinating past, full of stories and culture. Discovered by a French explorer in the 18th century, took the attention of explorers during the 19th century like Hiram Bingham before his discovery of Machu Picchu. The Choquequirao trek has recently been promoted by COPESCO (the official body responsible for tourism in Peru) and due that partially cleared the site, so there still remains a lot more to be discovered.

To complete the Choquequirao Trek 12 Days to Machu Picchu tour, are included optional touring activities to take advantage and get the most of your travelling in the land of the Incas.


Details


Itinerary at a Glance


  • DAY 1

    Arrive in Cusco

  • DAY 2

    Open day for leisure

  • DAY 3

    Cusco to Cachora - Chiquisca

  • DAY 4

    Chiquisca – Choquequirao

  • DAY 5

    Choquequirao archaeological site (Cradle of Gold)

  • DAY 6

    Choquequirao - Rio Blanco – Maizal

  • DAY 7

    Maizal - Minas Victoria – Yanama

  • DAY 8

    Yanama – Totora

  • DAY 9

    Totora - La Playa

  • DAY 10

    La Playa - Aguas Calientes

  • DAY 11

    Machu Picchu – Cusco

  • DAY 12

    TRANSFER OUT, BYE CUSCO!



  • Itineraries


    Start
    Arrive in Cusco

    As soon as you arrive to the local Cusco airport, a Valencia Cusco representative will give you a welcome and take care of you and transfer you to your hotel in the city centre.

    At this stage, on your Choquequirao Trek 12 Days to Machu Picchu tour, either you can enjoy the Inca city and colonial heritage on your own and provide you some tips to eat at some local restaurants.  Or you might want to rest and wait until later on in the evening, when Cusco city shows off its night live. At night time, there is several places to have a delightful night and eat too.

    You other option for this first part of your Choquequirao Trek 12 Days to Machu Picchu tour, is to get onto a half day tour at an additional price of USD 30 per person. The  half day city tour starting at 13:00 hrs and cover the following places:

    • The Koricancha: Temple of the sun.
    • The Cathedral: Marvel of the religious art.
    • Sacsayhuaman: Majestic place with impressive works in stone, some up to 120 tons.
    • Q´enqo: (Labyrinth) a religious center dedicated to the adoration of the Earth.
    • Puca Pucara: (reddish place) that was used as a military control center.
    • Tambomachay: (Temple of the Water) a center of adoration and worship of water.

    Included:

    • Transportation
    • Professional English speaking guide.

    Not included:

    • Tourist ticket for entrance to attractions (extra USD 33)
    • Dinner
    • Gratuity

     

     

    DAY 1
    Open day for leisure

    As a part of your Choquequirao Trek 12 Days to Machu Picchu tour,, we will travel to the Sacred Valley. As you know The Inca Trail to Machu Picchu is one of the most famous routes worldwide and begins at some point within this Sacred Valley. The Sacred Valley is one of the most representative and beautiful landscapes of Cusco.  

    We need to leave Cusco during the morning time at around 08:00 am and head towards Pisac village.  We have choose this location as part of our Choquequirao Trek 12 Days to Machu Picchu tour, because Pisac offers you a fantastic artisans market and a well preserved Inca architecture of the same name as the village.  The artisans market is worthy to visit as all the hand made products are using organic materials, very well made and designed too.

    After been in Pisac market,  the Inca ruins in this valley of Pisac is awaiting our visit.  We will head up on a private transport and to have also a panoramic view of this impressive and beautiful Sacred valley.  If visiting Pisac did charm you, then Ollantaytambo will not be less.  We are leaving Pisac in direccion to Urubamba towards Ollantaytambo but before getting to our final destination, we will have a delicious lunch buffet at Tunupa restaurant.   

    Our Choquequirao Trek 12 Days to Machu Picchu tour, to Ollantaytambo Inca site, shows you the magnificent temple of the sun.  This Inca tour  shows you also the enormous blocks of rock perfectly carved and polished, stone water fountains, stairs and terraces similar in a way to Machu Picchu.

    Looking at the people of Ollantaytambo, you will notice, their pride in keeping their traditions reflected in their beautifully wearing of typical dresses.  This village is surrounded by their local sacred mountains and Valleys.

    Finished our journey to Ollantaytambo, we will be visiting Chinchero market and then return to Cusco at about 18:30-19:00 hours.

    Sacred Valley (extra cost $45 - please consult)

    Included:

    • Transportation
    • Professional English speaking guide.

    Not included:

    • Tourist ticket (extra USD 70 aprox)
    • Meals
    • Gratuity.

    DAY 2
    Cusco to Cachora - Chiquisca

    Today we will collect you from your hotel or meeting point and leave Cusco city.  Our Choquequirao Trek 12 Days to Machu Picchu tour, being from the location of Cachora, and we will travel on bus for 4 hours  on that direction, to the trailhead at Cachora 2,800m/9,184ft.

    Before embarking on our trail, we will revise all our equipment, load our horses and leave Cachora, to start climbing for two and a half hours to the Capuliyoc pass at 2750m/9020ft.  In our way up, you will see the magnificent views of the Apurimac Choquequirao Trek 12 Days to Machu Picchu,canyon, and the landscapes.  We will be hikking for around two and a half hours to Chiquisca.  At this last location we will set our camp for the night at an altitude of  1,800 m. So far will be covering on today's Choquequirao Trek 12 Days to Machu Picchu, a walking of 19 km with an estimated walking time of 8 hours.  This trek will us to a maximum altitude point of 3,100 m so there will be some physical endurance during this day. 

    DAY 3
    Chiquisca – Choquequirao

    Another day to enjoy to the full, after taking some breakfast, and getting our energy in place, we will be hiking the magnificent Andean mountain range and admiring the landscapes of this valley.  This time our Choquequirao Trek 12 Days to Machu Picchu, will take us to Play Rosalina.  We will descending for around one hour and have a break there.  Afterwards, we will continue and cross the Apurimac River.  We will begin to climb steeply for around two hours until we arrive at the community of Santa Rosa where and rest in the shade.

    Finished our break time, we will be carry on climbing for another two and half hours until we reach Marampata mountain and get the best views from it meanwhile we are eating our lunch.

    Finished our lunch, we will have another two walking hours and not physical effort will be made. Our trail will takes us to our campsite at Choquequirao (3103m/10178ft). This time the total distance of our Choquequirao Trek 12 Days to Machu Picchu,16 km and has take us around a walking time of 7 hours and maximum altitude point of 3,100m.  

    DAY 4
    Choquequirao archaeological site (Cradle of Gold)

    As soon we get up and enjoy our daily breakfast, we will get ready to explore the main site of Choquequirao.  Out of our Choquequirao Trek 12 Days to Machu Picchu, tour, we will spend the day, looking at the different buildings, and our guide will explain to you some the use of different chambers we see. For examples,  some rooms were used as a living quarters, others as a ceremonial centers, garrisons or warehouses. During this guided tour on Choquequirao archeological site, we will be learning aspects of the Inca culture and their relation between Choquequirao and Machu Picchu.  

    For most archeologist, Choquequirao remains a mystery on its origins in comparison to Machu Picchu.  Originally, discovered in the 17th century by the Spanish, it laid abandoned and forgotten until recent years. Thanks to the affluent of tourism to Machu Picchu, another Inca site starting to get the interest from the local government in get recover. Thus, the exploration began less a decade ago with a genuine interest to discover more.  Due the great amount of forest in the area and the high cost involved in cleaning the site, it has come only to the light a 25% of exploration. It means many of Choquequirao secrets still wait to be discovered. Features on this day, out of our Choquequirao Trek 12 Days to Machu Picchu,, walked around 5 hours, at a maximum altitude of 3,200m.

    Return to our campsite at the end of the excursion.

    DAY 5
    Choquequirao - Rio Blanco – Maizal

    Today we will leaving our campsite early and carry on our Choquequirao Trek 12 Days to Machu Picchu. We will passing Choquequirao at 3,250m or 10,660ft and identifying out the cloud forest, polylepis trees, epiphytes and bromeliads.

    During the descending time we will get to pass some water terraces that supply water from Yuracmayo river to Choquequirao, until we arrive at the river bed and cross it.  Than again, we will continue this time ascending until reaching Maizal, a balcony with an impressive view of the Yurahmayo and Yanama gorges. as they join and rush towards the Apurimac Canyon.  It’s a natural viewpoint, looking out to the west with beautiful sunsets where we camp. The features of this day out of our Choquequirao Trek 12 Days to Machu Picchu, we have covered a distance of 18 km with an estimated walking time: 8 to 9 hours and our maximum altitude will be 3,500m.

    DAY 6
    Maizal - Minas Victoria – Yanama

    After having a succulent breakfast, we will get ready and start our hiking day. The Choquequirao Trek 12 Days to Machu Picchu, will lead us to climb few hours towards an abandoned mine named Victoria.  The Victoria mine goes back to Inca times which was later worked during the colonial era.  We will carry on our hike along a hill called Qoriwayrachina, where recent archaeological explorations have taken place. Once over the pass at (3,900m / 12, 792 ft), we have lunch and begin our descent to the village of Yanama with views of the mountain country and Mt. Pumasillo towering above us and our campsite below. On this day out of Choquequirao Trek 12 Days to Machu Picchu we had cover 16km and a estimated walking time of 6 to 7 hours. Our maximum altitude of 4,400 m.  

    Overnight at: The Campsite at 3,600.

    DAY 7
    Yanama – Totora

    We carry on our Choquequirao Trek 12 Days to Machu Picchu journey and this time we are heading up the Yanama valley and some physical effort will be needed.  We will see fields of farmers until we reach the trailhead below the Quiswar pass. We cross the Quiswar pass, and get a beautiful views at distance of the Mountain Salkantay and Humantay on a clear day.

    Later on will be descend the winding trail to the valley of Totora below, camping at a 3,300m in the vicinity of the Totora Village. Out of the Choquequirao Trek 12 Days to Machu Picchu, we have covered a walking distance of 19 km and an estimated walking time of 8 hours.  Our maximum altitude point was 4,700 m making this day one of the hardest day to climb off. 

    DAY 8
    Totora - La Playa

    Today after having our daily breakfast we will continue our Choquequirao Trek 12 Days to Machu Picchu and hike to the Salkamayo River. Most our trail will be a descending one, and as we are walking down the changing of the scenery will follow too.  The landscape will be more like a forest one because we will be entering into the lower jungle. We will enjoy the lush passing waterfalls, passion fruit and coffee plantations. After few hours walking will be reaching by afternoon time our campsite 2,100m at the village of La Playa (2155m/7068ft), and refresh in the river before dinner time.  On this day, out of the  Choquequirao Trek 12 Days to Machu Picchu, we have covered 15km, with an estimated walking distance of 6 hours, at a maximum altitude of 3,200m. 

    DAY 9
    La Playa - Aguas Calientes

    We will get up very early and after finish our breakfast, we leave la Playa, to get ready our walk on al steady hill. On our way up for around 3 hours, we will pass through  coffee and fruit plantations to until we reach El Mirador (2860m/9,381ft).

    Once we climb the top of the hill, we will be reaching the Mirador of the Llactapata Inca site, in fact this was part of a fort custodying the valley.  

    At distance, we will distinguishing the figure of Machu Picchu mountain and surrounding valleys.  We will feel a accomplishment out of our 12 day Choquequirao trek to Machu Picchu we are getting closer each time.

    At the Mirador of the Llactapata Inca site , We will enjoy a last lunch (2,650m/8,692ft) with views of both Machu Picchu and Salkantay.  Afterwards, we began a 2-hour descent to the small train station of Hydro- Electric. At this location we will take a short train ride to Aguas Calientes town and after check in at a hostel for the night.

    On this day, out the Choquequirao Trek 12 Days to Machu Picchu we have cover a total distance of 12km and walk for around 6 hours to a maximum altitude point: 2,700 m.

    Accommodation: Hotel in aguas calientes (included) at 2,000 mts.

    DAY 10
    Machu Picchu – Cusco

    he Inca, the son of 'Inti' (The Sun) was allow to enter to the glory and enjoyment of his royal house, Machu Picchu.  Today you will trace his steps and complete the whole Choquequirao Trek 12 Days to Machu Picchu.

    After taking your breakfast at 05:45 am we leave this town and get the first bus to Machu Picchu. The ride will take us around 20 minutes to get to the top of the hill.  Our aim is to get to the ancient citadele when the sunrise over the city.

    The first impression of Macchu Picchu is its fantastic location which mix very well with the whole nature around it.  Very far away at the back the Andean mountains and snow peaks. The whole view it will just take your breath away that is for sure.

    Our guide will give you a 2 hour guided over this Inca tour and after this you can explore the mysterious city by yourself.

    If you have done the arrangements during your Choquequirao Trek 12 Days to Machu Picchu tour, you will know that in order to climb the mountain of Huayna Picchu at 2.720m/8,890ft above the sea level, you will need a permit. To climb the Huayna Picchu mountain which is the one facing the ancient city, It takes around 45 minutes to reach the top.

    Once you finish exploring the city or part of it,  your guide will meet you in Aguas Calientes to have lunch and to receive your train tickets back to Cusco. The return to Cusco takes about four hours with a bus transfer in Ollantaytambo to Cusco.

    Please note: allocations or Itineraries are subject to change depending on time of bookings and campsites provided by INC (National Culture Institute that runs the Inca Trail).

    DAY 11
    TRANSFER OUT, BYE CUSCO!

    We want to thank you in joining this Choquequirao Trek 12 Days to Machu Picchu  and now you have become part of our extended Inca family.  Our reward will be to pass now your experiences of this tour to your friends and family.  

    Finished your breakfast, you will get transfer to the local airport for you to take your flight back (according to your airline schedule).  Have a safe journey.

    DAY 12
    End

    Highlights


    Price Includes

    • All pick-ups from the airport to the hotel and vice versa
    • All hotel accommodations (Casa Andina Cusco classic *** OR similar standard)
    • All breakfast included in the accommodations
    • 2 Lunches ( Day 7 and Day 8)
    • Guided tour by bus from Puno to Cusco + entrance fees
    • Uros and Taquile islands tour + entrance fees

    Price Not Includes

    • Single supplement fee: US$400 (for the solo travelers or the odd numbered in your travel group)
    • Extra night room with extra cost
    • Local Airfares with extra cost (Lima – Cusco / Juliaca - Lima)
    • Sleeping bags
    • Inflatable mattress
    • Walking sticks
    • For the Inca trail – first breakfast and last lunch are not included
    • Extra Personal porter
    • Gratuity, (tip)
    • Meals where not stated
    • Optional tours: (City tour and sacred valley).
    • Entrance fees for the optional tours

    Success stories from our clients


    @curiousgeorge1052, From Los Ángeles

    "Valencia Travel Cusco provided my family a top-notch experience in Peru. We went on the 10-Day Andian Highlights—The Best of Peru and Machu Picchu. Many kudos to our tour leader and guide Claudio Andia. Our group included people that ranged from my nine-year old to retirees, and Claudio went out of his way to make sure that each of us were well. He w...."

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    @morgan_daigle, From Las Vegas - Nevada

    "Incredible experience overall. I have nothing but amazing things to say about Valencia Travel. We did the Sacred Valley tour as well as 4 day trek to Machu Picchu. Alex and Rene were our tour guides and they were both very informative and helpful. Alex was so passionate about his culture and history lessons that it felt even more special. The porters as well as the chef..."

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    @HettieJoubert, From Gauteng - Sudáfrica

    "What an unforgettable experience! Valencia was extremely helpful in answering all our questions and assisting with additional arrangements before the trip. The trail itself was not easy, but worth every step. The guides' knowledge was remarkable, and their friendliness and willingness to help went a long way to make things easier for us. The food was superb - even a ca..."

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