The Classic Choquequirao Trek to Machu Picchu is one of the most beautiful and spectacular treks in the Cusco region. This trek is an extended version that continues past Choquequirao to Aguas Calientes and Machu Picchu. This hike was listed on the National Geographic 2021 list of the best trips in the world! Due to its incredible landscapes that you can find along the route, the hike will be very rewarding for the adventurous trekker. The difficulty of the Choquequirao trek is comparable to the hike to Mount Everest Base Camp.

On this 8 Days trek, you will see the great Choquequirao ruins and have a real adventure, enjoying the spectacular views of snow-capped mountains, great valleys, and amazing canyons. You will also see native animals such as Andean condors, native flora and fauna such as orchids, and so much more.


We leave Cusco very early, at 4:30 a.m., for the 4-hour drive to Cachora in our private transportation. On the way, we will stop to have breakfast, admiring the wonderful Limatambo Canyon and the Salkantay and Humantay Mountains. We then continue to the little village of Cachora. After meeting our expedition support crew, known as arrieros, we start our amazing hike through this historically rich territory. It is a 4-hour downhill hike to reach the lunch stop at Chikiska-Chikiska. This is a small village with fruit plantations, and along the way we have our first beautiful views of the Apurimac valley and river below, as well as the snow-capped peaks of Padrayoc and Wayna Cachora Mountains. We then descend further, and the climate becomes noticeably warmer and the flora and fauna begin to change. We continue hiking until we arrive at the bottom of the valley, where we meet up with the raging “Speaker God” Apurimac River, famous for Class 5 Rafting Rapids. We have another 2-hour uphill hike until we reach our campsite at Santa Rosa (1,800 m/5,906 ft).

• Hiking distance: Approximately 18km/11.2mi (7–8-hour hike).

• Meals: lunch, dinner, snacks, boiled water at lunch and camp

• Overnight:   Tent 


After an early breakfast, we continue our trek with a 2-hour uphill hike until you reach Marampata (2900 m/9,514 ft), which has beautiful views of the canyon and snow-capped peaks. This uphill climb consists of lots of switchbacks and zigzags. At the end of this path, we will see the archaeological complex of Choquequirao for the first time. It is an easy 2-hour hike to the Choquequirao ruins (3035 m/9,957 ft), and on the way we will see a variety of plants and flowers. As soon as we arrive at this Inca complex, we will enjoy lunch. After lunch, we will enjoy a guided tour of this large ruin site, visiting the most important areas (religious, observatory, llama terraces, and more) and watching the sunset over the mountains. We then return to our campsite nearby. Here you can taste “cambric,” a local beverage made from sugar cane.

• Walking distance: Approximately 10km/6.2mi (5–6-hour hike).

• Meals: breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks, boiled water at lunch and camp

• Overnight: Tent 


After an early breakfast, we begin our hike for the day. It’s approximately 40 minutes uphill to reach the first Choquequirao Pass at 3,500 m/11,483 ft. This is a great place to look through the dense vegetation for the famous orchids and flowers that bloom here year-round. It is a further 30-minute flat hike before we descend along the switchback for 1.5 hours to the Inca site of Pinchauniyoc. Pinchauniyoc was used as an agricultural site by the Incas as well as a rest stop when they traveled on their expeditions to Machu Picchu. After a brief explanation by the guide, we continue walking downhill for another 1.5 hours until we reach the river called Rio Blanco (1750 m/5741 ft), where we will have lunch. Make sure you bring a good mosquito repellent, especially for this segment of the trail. After lunch, we hike 4 hours uphill until we reach our campsite at Maizal (3000 m/9,843 ft). Here we’ll see amazing views of the Andean mountains!

• Walking distance: Approximately 14km/8.7mi (8–9-hour hike)

• Meals: breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks, boiled water at lunch and camp

• Overnight: Tent 


During breakfast, we watch a magical sunrise over the mountains. We begin our trek today with a 4-hour uphill hike along a rocky path, with some great views of the surrounding mountains, lush green valleys, and arid mountain peaks along the way. Once you reach the top of the pass (4200 m/13,780 ft), you will enjoy a packed lunch provided to you by your trekking chef. The views are stunning from the pass: snow-capped peaks, valleys, and, if you’re lucky, a rare condor (the largest bird of the Andes). After snapping a few fantastic pictures, we hiked downhill for 3.5 hours until we arrived at our campsite at Yanama-Yanama (3800 m/12,467 ft). This is a small, indigenous village where, if time permits, we can visit some local family homes to learn about how people here still live their lives according to ancient traditions.

• Walking distance: Approximately 15km/9.3mi (7–8-hour hike)

• Meals: breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks, boiled water at lunch and camp

• Overnight: Tent 


Today we will begin hiking through the famous Vilcabamba mountain range (Vilcabamba was the last city of the Incas). We hike for 5 hours until we reach the Yanama Pass (4500 m/14,764 ft), with stunning views and plenty of rest stops and explanations along the way. Once we reach the pass, we will enjoy a packed lunch provided by your chef. Since this is the last leg of the journey to Machu Picchu, you will enjoy being in the highlands for the last time, and the views of Salkantay and Humantay—grandfather glacier peaks—are really something special! It will be 5 hours until we reach the campsite, and the paths can sometimes be a bit slippery in the rainy season or dusty and rocky in the dry season. Along the way, you may expect to see some black bears and amazing Andean birds—falcons, eagles, hawks, condors, and geese. Finally, we arrive at the campsite and enjoy hot drinks and a delicious dinner.

• Walking distance:  Approximately 16km/10 miles (10 hours)

• Meals: breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks, boiled water at lunch and camp

• Overnight: Tent


Once we have done with our breakfast, we start the day with a 3-hour downhill hike to Ccolpapampa, where our Choquequirao trail now joins the Salkantay Trek trail. At Ccolpapampa, we’ll enjoy lunch and then say farewell to our horsemen, as it is time for them to go back home. After lunch, we continue our adventure, hiking for 5 more hours until we arrive at our campsite at La Playa (2400 m/7,874 ft). Along the way, you will see waterfalls and fruit plantations as we descend from cloud forest and high mountains into the more tropical forest of the high jungle. Today we can also visit some coffee plantations if time permits.

• Walking distance: Approximately 16km/10 miles (8-9 hours)

• Meals: breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks, boiled water at lunch and camp

• Overnight: Tent 


Today is our last day of hiking! We’ll hike for about 6 hours total today, starting with a gentle climb along the original Inca Trail. We hiked 3 hours uphill along the hillside with great views of the Santa Teresa Valley and some coffee and passion fruit farms. Once we arrive at the top of this mountain, we will be at the famous Inca site of Llactapata. You will also see a distant view of Machu Picchu from this location and have amazing views of the surrounding areas (the valleys and mountains of Machu Picchu, Huayna Picchu, and Machu Picchu Mountains). Then we will walk the last 3 hours, descending down to the hydroelectric train station. Here we will enjoy our last lunch and say farewell to our trekking chef and porters. At the train station, you will receive your duffle bags and take the 1-hour ride to Aguas Calientes (2000 m/6,562 ft). Once in Aguas Calientes, we will check in at the hotel, where you can relax and take a nice hot shower! If you like, you can visit the famous hot springs before or after our dinner at a local restaurant. Then rest up in order to get up early, as the next day is Machu Picchu!

• Walking distance: Approximately 12km/7.5 miles (6 hours)

• Meals: breakfast, lunch, snacks on the trail, dinner in a local restaurant, boiled water at breakfast and lunch

• Overnight: comfortable hotel room in Aguas Calientes


Wake-up call and breakfast are very early (approximately 4 a.m.) in order for us to take one of the first (5:30 a.m., 25-minute ride) buses directly to Machu Picchu (2,400 m/7,875 ft). Once we arrive at Machu Picchu, you’ll show your entrance ticket and passport. If you are a student, you must bring your ISIC card to the entrance, or you will not be permitted entry. 

From the entrance, it is a 15-minute walk to the famous views from the upper zone of the farming terraces at the end of the Inca Trail. Enjoy watching the sun rise over the ruin site and the fascinating tour of Machu Picchu with your guide, who will unfold the mysteries of this magical site, explaining the history and flora. Your guide will spend about 2 1/2 hours relating interesting and amazing stories and explaining temples and special sectors. 

Your tour of Machu Picchu will finish between 9 and 9:30 a.m., after which you will have a little free time to take photos and explore. The new rules for 2019 have split the entrance times into three slots per day. Our tour includes the first ticket (6–10 a.m.), so at 10 a.m., you would need to exit the ruin site unless you choose to purchase an extra time slot (or two). If you wish to do one of the extra hikes within Machu Picchu (Wayna Picchu or Machu Picchu Mountain), you would need to pre purchase a permit as well as an extra time slot in Machu Picchu (these new rules are dictated by the Peruvian government, and we are sorry for the inconvenience).

 After you are done exploring the ruin site, either at 10 a.m. or later if you’ve booked more time, take one of the many frequent buses down to Aguas Calientes. There are many restaurants to choose from, and your guide can also help suggest a nice place to eat. 

After grabbing a bite to eat, you will take the train back to Ollantaytambo, where private transport will drive you back to your hotel in Cusco.

Meals: Breakfast in the hotel, snacks on the tour


• Pre-Trek briefing the night before the trek to go over the itinerary, meet your guide(s), and answer any questions

• Collection from your Cusco hotel in the morning of the first day

• Private bus transport to the starting point of the trek

• English-speaking professional guide

• Horses to carry your overnight gear up to 8 kg/17.6 lbs

• Duffel bag in which to put your overnight gear so it won’t get wet or dusty on the trail

• 3-person, 4-season tents (2 people in a large and comfortable tent)

• One-inch-thick foam mattress pad

• Dining tent with tables and stools

• Chef and cooking equipment and kitchen tent

• Full meals on the trek (3 meals per day, tea time every afternoon, and snacks on the trail)

• Dietary needs: able to cater to any dietary preference or need

• First-aid kit, including emergency oxygen tank and emergency horse

• Horsemen and horses (to carry tents, food, and cooking equipment)

• Hot water every morning and evening for hand washing purposes

• Boiling water to fill your water bottle every morning and afternoon

• Entry ticket to the Choquequirao Archaeological Complex

• Guided tour of Choquequirao ruins, plenty of time to explore on your own

• Hydroelectric Train to Aguas Calientes

• Round-trip tourist train from Aguas Calientes to Ollantaytambo

• One entrance fee to the Machu Picchu Archaeological Complex (first entrance time: 6 a.m. to 10 a.m.)

• A guided tour of Machu Picchu

• Round-trip bus tickets from Aguas Calientes to Machu Picchu and back

• Hotel (double room) in Aguas Calientes

• Private transport back to the hotel in Cusco


First breakfast 

Sleeping bag

Trekking Poles

Water bottle on the first day (available to buy long the first day)


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