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Choquequirao to Machupicchu 9d/8n

choquequirao-to-machu-picchu

Trip Overview

Trip Overview

Service: Private
Duration: 9 days / 8 Nights

Choquequirao is situated at 3055 meters/10023 feet above sea level. It is located on a large Andean plateau in the province of Convencion, in the middle of the Vilcabamba valley. Its archaeological sites are as important as Machupicchu, and that is why it has been called Peru’s “other lost city”. Archaeologists think that it is one of the many lost citadels in Vilcabamba where the Incas took refuge in 1536 following the Spanish invasion. Choquequirao is an extraordinary complex with hundreds of terraces, rooms, and irrigation systems, though currently only 30% of the ruins are accessible.

The Choquequirao archaeological center is made up of nice sections including the religious-political center, the irrigation and fountain systems, and the group of main doors. The architecture is distributed around a main square and then complemented by surrounding teraces. The archaeological sites are distributed on the lower part of the Choquequirao hill and they are grouped into different quarters. Each one is separated a little from the next, probably with a functional or social purpose.

The trip to Choquequirao is long and tiring, but unforgettable at the same time. To get to Choquequirao, we will leave Cusco on the road to Abancay and at km 154 we will turn towards Cachora Village where the trek will begin. The route starts at 2900 meters/9514 feet above sea level. On the second day we will hike up to 3085 meters/10121 feet above sea level to where Choquequirao is located.

Itinerary

Itinerary

Day 1: Cusco – Cachora – Santa Rosa

At 6:00 am we will pick you up from your hotel and start the journey to Cachora town, we will be there at around 9:300 am, there we will meet our muleteers and arrange the equipment on the mules and horses. Already from the village of Cachora we can see the majestic Padrayoc snow-covered peaks, the highest at 5482 m.a.s.l. The hike in this first day is 21.7 km or 10 hours. On the way there we can observe Padrayoc and Wayna Cachora snow-covered peaks. We can appreciate the beautiful change of the landscape from cliffs to snowy mountains. The walk starts off as quite a flat one, with views of snow-covered peaks and small farms on the steps of the mountains. From the viewpoint in Capuliyoc, where we might see some condors, the descent towards the Apurimac canyon starts. As the vegetation is changing from Agave and Tunacactus forest to a dwarf tree forest. We will have a lunch break at Chiquisqa (1950 m.a.s.l.). From here we will continue the descent to the abundant Apurimac river at 1550 m.a.s.l. in the impressive deep canyon of the same name. After a short break at the river we wil start the steep climb towards Santa Rosa, where we will camp for the night in a small sugarcane plantation (2115 m.a.s.l.).

Day 2:   Santa Rosa – Choquequorao – Raqaypata

Early in the morning after breakfast, we will continue our hike up to Choquequirao. The first 2-3 hours are very steep, but then it will change between flat and a little steep for the rest of the way. We will be surrounded by outstanding vegetation with several varieties of orchid. We will arrive at the Choquequirao archaeological place fater 5 hours. After a good lunch and a little break we will walk to the main square of Choquequirao, to enjoy and appreciate the majestic place, where we will observe the 3 levels of the excavated ruin. Approximately at 3 o’clock in the afternoon (depending on the weather) we might be lucky enough to appreciate the flight of the condors. The guide will then decide where to set up camp in Raqaypata (2910 m.a.s.l.).

Day 3:  Raqaypata – Pinchinoyoc

After breakfast we will have a decent amount of time to enjoy the majestic archaeological site. We can see houses, terraces, and other parts of this late Inca town. We will also see the excavation progress that will finally uncover unexplored areas that can tell us about this last refuge of the oppressed Inca empire. After we have lunch we will walk through Choquequirao, with all of our equipment to go to our next camp. We will follow the ancient water canal for a while before we start the 3-hour walk to the Pinchinoyoc ruins, found in 1998. First we will walk through cloud forest, but then It all becomes a steep open prairie with unobstructed views of the mountains and valleys. The Pinchinoyoc ruins are something very special, they will appear all of a sudden in the cloud forest, almost invisible because of the thick layer of mosses and other vegetation that covers it. Here we will spend the night, right on ancient Inca terraces.

Day 4:  Pinchinoyoc – Maizal

This morning we will walk down through an interesting vegetation known as the Dry Andean Highland Forest. Trees and plants here are very different from what we have seen before. We will get to the Victoria river after a few hours of hiking. We will use the break here to have a refreshing bath in the cold and clear river water. We will then walk across the river, since there are no bridges. After our break we will start the long and steep climb up to our camp in Maizal, high over the river close to the sacred Apus of the Incas. On the way up we will catch out breath in the shade of small trees and other vegetation. In maizal we will enjoy our lunch, and also relax the whole afternoon, with only optional physical activiti. Maizal is the most beautiful camp in the whole location. From here we will be able to see 3 valleys and an amazing snow peak right across from us. A good place to meditate.

Day 5:   Maizal – Yanama

We leave our camp in Maizal and walk towards the San Juan pass. Another long climb, but we will get to hike in a breathtakingly beautiful area, first with cloud forest and then over Andean Puna with the well-known ichu grass. WE will rest in some of the Victoria mines, where metal shining stones tell us about a high concentration of minerals and metals. On our way through the Puna we will walk on very well-preserved Inca paths, among other characteristics with the classic zigzag. We have lunch on the pass at 4000 m.a.s.l. with a view of the Choquetakarpo mountain. We will then start the descent towards Yanama, a small isolated settlement at the bottom of a long valley surrounded by mountains.

Day 6:    Yanama – Totora

We continue from Yanama up through the valley towards the highest point of the tour, the Yanama pass being 4500 m.a.s.l. On the way we will have a great view of the snowcap Sacsaraoy. Once again we will have the chance to see the condors, and this morning’s smooth climb will bring us through new landscapes, specially the wet grass fields under the snowline that stands out from anything else seen on the tour. As we walk through the pass, we might end up walking in snow. The descent will be a long foggy hike through grassy fields and bush areas. We will also cross small wood and dirt bridges on the way towards the community of Totora, were we will spend the night.

Day 7:  Totora – Playa

We will walk around 2 km down through the changing vegetation to the warmer camp in the La Playa village. Approximately 7 hours of walking. On the way we will see small waterfalls and have a refreshing natural bath. The area also has a big variety of bird life. It will now be obvious that both the climate and vegetation have totally changed, we will now see different plants and several kinds of orchids. La Playa is the biggest village that we will walk through, where we can find some small shops to buy snacks and any other things. In this area we can see small coffee and banana plantations.

Day 8: Playa – Llactapata – Aguas Calientes

From La Playa to the Hydro at the Urubamba River. This morning we will go up a recently opened Inca path. This trail was originally used to transport agricultural products to the Machupicchu population. This path will aslo take us through an area with coffee plantations and subtropical fruits and crops. As we go higher in the trail the vegetation changes from dry to grassy with flowers and a moist cloud forest. In the pass we will suddenly be in a cool dense forest filled with trees covered by thick mosses. Shortly after we will see Machupicchu for the first time. 10 more minutes walking we will arrive at our lunch spot called Lactapata. Here we will have pur lunch while we enjoy the view of Machupicchu and the beautiful mountains. We will then hike the last part of the trail, downhill and along the river to the Hydro. Here we can visit the Intihuatana while we aite for the train, or we can also continue walking to Aguas Calientes where we will arrive in the afternoon. We then spend the night in a nice hotel.

day 9: Aguas Calientes – Machupicchu – Aguas Calientes

We walk or take the bus from Aguas Calientes to Machupicchi. We start our visit with a 2-3 hour guided tour, which will take us through the most important locations in the archaeological site. The guide will also tell us about te great importance of Machupicchu as an astronomical and religious center. We will spend the rest of the day in this amazing ruin and you will have the chance to climb the Wayna Picchu mountain or to visit the beautiful moon temple. In the afternoon we meet in Aguas Calientes where we will take the train to Ollantaytambo and then the bus back to Cusco. Once in Cusco, we will go to a centered hotel close to the main square.

* Campsites are subject to change according to our guide’s criteria and the evolution of the group.

Included

Included

Private Serv.
Transfer by bus from Cusco to Cachora yes
Profesional Guide (english speaking) yes
Cook  (In charge of meal preparation) yes
Horsemen and Horses to carry tents, food and cooking equipment yes
Plus 1 emergency horse yes
Horses can carry your backpack for a maximun of: 10 kilos
Meals: 8 breakfast, 8 lunches, 8 dinners yes
2 people in each 3-person-capacity tent yes
Matress (sleeping pad) air
Dinner tent, bathroom tent, kitchen tent, tables and chairs, table settings, first Aid kit, including emergency oxygen bottle. yes
Tranfer from Kiteni to Cusco yes

Not Included / aditionals

Service Price
Feather sleeping bag US$5 per day
Sintetic sleeping bag US$4 per day
Trekking poles rental US$5 per day
Single accommodation US$5 per day
Buffete lunch in Aguas Calientes US$ 20

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