Choquequirao Trek 2020

4-DAY/3-NIGHT TRIP

SISTER RUINS TO MACHU PICCHU | LESS TOURISTY | ENGLISH-SPEAKING GUIDE

$700 PER PERSON

What to Expect on my Choquequirao Trek Tour

If you’re looking to get away from the crowds, Choquequirao Trek is the one for you. This 4-day/3-night trek takes you to the sister ruins to Machu Picchu, Choquequirao, also known as “The Cradle of Gold.”

Choquequirao is thought to be the last Inca refuge.  The ruins are positioned in a strategic geographical area between Andean mountains and the edge of the jungle. Choquequirao sits above the Apurimac River and is surrounded by the beautiful Vilcabamba mountain range. Choquequirao is twice as large and much more isolated than Machu Picchu and was very recently cleared by Peru and much remains to be discovered. Make sure you catch this trek and these ruins before everyone else catches wind of it and becomes as popular as Machu Picchu.

Included in Choquequirao Trek Package:

 

  • English-speaking tour guide
  • Entrance to historical Choquequirao site
  • Chef
  • Porters (carries group gear)
  • Duffel bags for personal items that are carried by horse
  • Personal transportation to and from hotel
  • Dining Tent
  • 3 breakfasts, 3 lunches, 3 snacks, and 3 dinners. (We are able to accommodate most diets variations)
  • Hot coffee/Hot tea
  • Nightly pisco drinks
  • Clean water
  • 4 person tent per 2 people
  • Clean private pop-up toilet (no one likes going to the bathroom in a gross outhouse)
  • First Aid Kit

Not included in Choquequirao Trek Package:

 

  • Sleeping bag – $40
  • Trekking poles – $20
  • Therm-a-Rest comfort sleeping mattress – $30
  • Horses (for personal gear) – $70
  • Single person tent/hotel room – $75
  • Personal items
  • Breakfast on the first day and lunch/dinner on last day
  • Porter/Guide tips

We are very happy we booked with Cachi Life. Not only was the communication and organization top, but the company is also giving back to the people, paying fair salaries to the guides, cooks, and chaskis (porters) and last but not least support small native communities like the Rayan community.

Cachi Life may not be the cheapest option to book trips in Cusco, but if you are looking for quality, good communication and a reliable company check out cachilife.com and their excellent podcast.

We enjoyed the time and many talks with our guide Frank on the trail. Also Modesto our chef and the Caskis Jose, Silverio, Seledonio, and Gavino are a great team. Modestos food was some of the best we tasted in Peru!

David and Frank gave us a short briefing in the hotel lobby before taking us on a spontaneous evening trip through the local markets of Cusco.

We had some rain on the trail, but with the rain came mystique clouds, which presented us with amazing views.

In the beginning, we thought a slightly larger group would have been nice, but soon we realized that spending more time with our guide Frank and the team was priceless.

We did not have enough time to see everything in Cusco, but we will come back and we will definitely book with Cachi again.

Jochen M.

DAY 1: CUSCO THROUGH CAPULIYOC TO CHIQUISCA 

The first morning starts with an early pick up at your hotel followed by a 4.5-hour drive to Capuliyoc. Upon arrival at Capuliyoc, we will have lunch followed by the start of the trek. 

After brunch, we descend for three to four hours into the Apurimac Valley where we will see our first views of Choquequirao. 

Our campsite for the night will be in Chiquisca which is on the other side of the Apurimac River. 

DAY 2: CHIQUISCA THROUGH MARANPATA ONTO CHOQUEQUIRAO

After an early breakfast, we will start possibly the hardest day of the trek. We will descend to the magnificent Apurimac River and then hike up to the village of Maranpata for lunch. After lunch, we will walk to the magnificent archaeological site of Choquequirao for a guided tour. 

During the Choquequirao tour, we will explore various archaeological sites, such as the palaces, temple, ritual water fountains, Usno (ceremonial platform), agricultural terraces, llama´s section and more. We will then hike to our second campsite located about 20 minutes from the Choquequirao ruins, where we will have dinner. At our campsite, you will be able to relax surrounded by the beauty of the nearby canyons and snow-capped mountains (Soray 5,428m/17,808 ft and Tuncarway – 5,910m/19,389 ft) and hopefully have the opportunity to see the condors.

Throughout the day we will see bromeliads, orchids, and bamboo in addition to birds such as Quetzals, Toucans, hummingbirds, and condors.

DAY 3: CHOQUEQUIRAO TO CHIQUISCA

After an early breakfast, we will continue to explore some of the stunning sections of the Choquequirao ruins. This will be via a 3-hour guided tour of the ruins. We then head back towards the Apurimac River. It will take about three hours to reach the river.

Finally, we will hike uphill for one hour to our third evening´s campsite at Chiquisca.

DAY 4: CHIQUISCA THROUGH CAPULIYOC TO CUSCO

After breakfast, we continue hiking up to the Capuliyoc pass. Once there we may enjoy the spectacular views of the surrounding mountains and the Apurimac Canyon.

At Capuliyoc, our transportation will be waiting for us for our return trip to Cusco. On the way home, we will visit the archaeological site of Saywite and have time to explore. Your dropoff will be at your hotel in Cusco. 

CHOQUEQUIRAO TREK DAY-BY-DAY ITINERARY 

CHOQUEQUIRAO TREK FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Can I have my own tent?

Yes as an upgrade for $75. If this is a request please consult your travel expert prior to departure.

When should I make Choquequirao Trek reservations?

As far in advance as possible. However, we can book up to seven days prior to the trek.

How fit do I need to be?

The Choquequirao Trek is a 64km (40 mile) strenuous hike through mountainous regions involving trekking for 5-7 hours at high altitude and over rough terrain. The maximum altitude is 3050m (10500 ft) above sea level. The Choquequirao Trek is a difficult trek and you should be well prepared and healthy prior to starting it. Try to spend 2 or 3 days in Cusco (3400m) prior to starting the trek. If you do not exercise regularly, have heart, respiratory, knee or back problems do NOT consider doing the trek.

Is there an age restriction?

Cachi Life, Inc does not accept reservations for children under the age of 8 years old and adults over 67 years old. All children under 18 years old must be accompanied by an adult. Trekkers over 64 years old must also consult with their doctor prior to starting the trek to check that they are fit to participate in the trek. We require proof of physician consult if you are over the age of 64. We recommend that clients over 64 years old arrive in Cusco at least 3 days prior to starting the trek. We recommend that all clients over 59 years old talk to their doctor in advance about how best to plan for the trek and also to ensure that their travel insurance covers such adventure activities.  We do not accept bookings from hikers over 60 years old traveling on their own and group bookings where everyone in the group is over 64 years old.

What sort of meals do you offer?

We offer standard meals as well as a vegetarian meal option. Please let us know your meal preference when booking your tour. We do not offer vegan meals. Please note that all meals are made using the same pots. We will do our best to wash dinnerware and cookware, but there may be contamination.

Meal options:
Standard (no dietary requirements, eats everything),
Vegetarian
No red meat
No fish
Lactose-free
Gluten free

What if I have food allergies?

Please give us details of your allergy at time of booking. Please indicate the severity of the reaction and what type of medicine you have to take in case of emergency. If your allergy is severe, you must be accompanied by a trekking partner on the trek who is aware of your allergy and the location of any required medicines. We do not accept clients with life-threatening allergies. Due to the nature of the remote geographical and lack of suitable nearby medical facilities, Cachi Life, Inc will not accept any responsibility, either directly or indirectly, for any problems due to your special medical/dietary requirements. Check with your physician prior to booking.

What about medical conditions?

You must disclose at the time of booking any medical condition that could affect your ability to do the Choquequirao Trek. Cachi Life, Inc reserves the right to deny a trek booking if we feel that a medical condition may put your life or the lives of any of our trekking staff or other clients at risk on the hike. People with mild asthma/diabetes must bring a medical note from their doctor stating that they are fit to undertake the trek. They will also be required to be accompanied by a trekking partner on the trek at all times who will trek at their sides and be familiar with any medicine required in case of an emergency. Cachi Life, Inc reserves the right to cancel the booking of a client if the client has not fully disclosed at the time of booking a medical condition that may pose a risk to the health of the client and/or other hikers. No refund will be given.

Due to the nature of the remote geographical location of the trail and the lack of suitable nearby medical facilities along the trail Cachi Life, Inc will not accept any responsibility, either directly or indirectly, for any problems due to your special dietary requirements/medical condition. We suggest that you check with your doctor before booking the trek.

When's orientation?

Orientation will take place at your hotel prior to the trip. We know everyone’s travel plans are different therefore we try and accommodate. Once your trip is booked you will be assigned a travel expert who will help you organize a time and place for your guide to meet you.

Where do I store my luggage during the Choquequirao Trek?

You will have to make your own arrangements. Most hotels will hold your luggage for free or with a fee.

How's the weather?

You should prepare for any type of weather. We run rain or shine. January through March tend to be the rainy season.

How many people can be in a group?

No is no minimum limitation for booking. 

Can I rent a sleeping bag or hiking poles?

If you prefer to not bring your own hiking poles or sleeping bag, we do have these available for rent. Sleeping bag rental is $40 per person, sleeping pads are $30 per person and hiking poles are $20 per person.

What is the cancellation policy?

Unfortunately, no refunds can be provided within 30 days of departure. The payment is used to purchase and reserve your spot on the private bus, pay the porters, chef, guide and secure your permits to Machu Picchu. Any cancellation over 30 days is subject to a cancellation fee as outlined in the terms and conditions.

When is payment due for the Choquequirao Trek in Peru?

A non-refundable deposit is due at time of booking. The full payment is due at 30 days prior to tour departure. If booking within thirty days of the tour, full payment of the tour is required. This guided tour is $700 per person. This provides payment for your transportation, tour guide, food, porter, horse, chef, tour guide payment, etc.

Does the Choquequirao Trek in Peru close?
During the wet season heavy rains can result in landslides that can block part of the trail or close some of the campsites. Usually, these partial trail closures are just for a few days but they can be for several weeks or even months. In the event of such closures Cachi Life, Inc will do our best to find an alternative route to get to Machu Picchu. If we can’t offer a suitable alternative then we will have to cancel the trek and refund any payments less any costs already spent or committed to operating the trek. You will have to reclaim the remaining proportion from your travel insurance.

Do I need a passport for the Choquequirao Trek?

No passport is required for the Choquequirao Trek. This does not go to Machu Picchu unless you add a day to Machu Picchu as a part of your trip. A visit to Machu Picchu would require a passport to obtain your permits.

Can I hike with my friends/family?

Yes, and we encourage it! However, if your friends reserve later they may not be guaranteed a permit with your group. Permits are issued on a first-come-first-served basis for Machu Picchu. We recommend everyone in your group books your trek at the same time

Do I have to get acclimated to the elevation?

We require everyone to be in Cusco at least two nights prior to starting the trek, three nights is preferred. This ensures that everyone in the group is well acclimatized to the altitude before starting the trek.

What should I bring?

We recommend you pack a backpack, sleeping bag, rain jacket, good footwear, hiking poles, one change of clothing, long underwear, hat, gloves, sweater, jacket, water carrying device flashlight and batteries, cap for sun protection, sunblock, insect repellent, hand sanitizer, toiletries and toilet paper, selection of small snacks, chocolate, dried fruit, biscuits etc, camera and spare batteries in addition to any other articles you may need. There is nowhere to charge batteries during the Lares Trek.

We provide tent, food, cooking gear, water, a Therm-A-Rest sleeping mattress and you may rent a sleeping bag at a cost.

There will be a horse available for rent of $65 that will be able to carry up to 15kg or your gear. There are no half porters for hire on this trek.

Wear clothing and footwear that is sturdy, comfortable and can withstand the rigors of the trail. We highly recommend that your boots are waterproof. Make sure you bring layers. This trek is at high elevation. Nights WILL be cold.

Yes, we recommend hiking poles. However, metal tips are NOT allowed on the trail. Please use rubber tips/protectors. Rubber protectors can also be bought in several shops in Cusco. Please do not use wooden poles as many of these are obtained from deforestation.

Please bring cash to tip your horseman, cooks, porters, and guides.

We recommend that you bring antibiotic for travelers diarrhea or UTI, antibiotic for severe bacterial infection, medication for upset stomach/indigestion, anti-diarrhea medication, anti-nausea medication for motion sickness/altitude sickness if needed, cold/flu medication, general painkiller/fever reducer, and have all your vaccinations up to date (MMR, tetanus, etc).

 

Who carries my gear?

A horse can be hired for $75 for each traveler that will carry your personal gear. The horse will be able to carry up to 15kg of your gear. Keep in mind, the horse will not stay with you while you are trekking. You will need to carry any of your personal gear that you want for the day in a small daypack.

Are there bathrooms on the Choquequirao Trek?

We provide you with a popup tent toilet that is clean and sanitary. There are bathrooms built in the Choquequirao Trek including all of the major campsites, however, they can be a bit disgusting. Each bathroom block has cold running water. We recommend that you bring hand-sanitizer to use after visiting any bathroom.

Will there be drinkable water?

At meal times we will give you teas, coffees, etc to drink. We will have some boiled water for the group each day. However this should not be relied upon. A cold night may not allow us to boil water for your usage. You may have to use a mountain spring, fountain or small stream approximately every 2 hours along the trail where you can fill up your water bottle. You should use a water filter or sterilization tablet. We do not provide these tablets or filters. You will have to bring them for your own personal use.

When should I arrive in Cusco?

We require everyone to be in Cusco at least two nights prior to starting the trek, three nights is preferred. This ensures that everyone in the group is well acclimatized to the altitude before starting the trek.
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