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7 days

The Choquequirao to Machu Picchu trek perfectly combines remote high-mountain hiking with archaeological exploration. The sheer diversity of terrain you will experience on this route will provide a feast for your eyes, and the remoteness and rarefied atmospheres will nourish your soul. You’ll see fantastic rock formations, deep, colorful canyons, flutes of glacial ice, and nebulous cloud forests during this incredible seven-day trek, culminating with a visit to the Inca citadel of Machu Picchu. The route starts at the famous citadel of Choquequirao, passes through the Apurimac Canyon and the Cordillera Vilcabamba, and finally reaches the ancient complex of Machu Picchu. We invite you to check out the full Choquequirao to Machu Picchu itinerary for a preview of the incredible discoveries you’ll make along the way. Don’t forget to check our tips on the left-hand side of the page. They will advise you on how to prepare for this intense, life-elevating experience. See you on the trail!

7 day Choquequirao to Machu Picchu

On the incredible 7 day Choquequirao to Machu Picchu trek, you will explore not one but two great ruins, and traverse some of the most beautiful mountain terrain in Peru.

seasonMarch - October
group departuresEvery last Monday
mininum: 2 passengers
maximum: 12 passengers
shared plan
private plan
shared plan:You will travel with other adventurers heading to the same destination.

In the morning we will be leaving from Cusco headed due north on the main highway to Antapampa, a fertile agricultural valley. Once we begin to descend into Limatambo, we’ll visit the Inca site of Tarawasi, with some beautifully precise Inca geometry found in its structures and stone walls. The road continues until we reach the Apurimac River, an impressive gorge, where we can observe the frothy river winding below. We will drive past the village of Curawasi and on to the Sayhuite archaeological site. Among its features is an enormous monolithic rock carved with various geometrical and animal figures. Some archaeologists consider it to have been a kind of engineering map that showed the extensive hydraulic systems and irrigation channels used to convey water in the area. A small side road over a ridge brings us down to the village of Capuliyoc, and onto the roadhead where we start today’s hike. Here we will meet the rest of our field crew and we’ll attain our first view of the Apurimac Canyon with the snow-capped peaks of Nevado Padreyoc front and center, and Nevado Qoriwayrachina to the left. We begin our descent and make camp at a cozy site on the riverside at Chikisca, at 1850 masl (6069 fasl).

Bus ride: 175 km (108.74 mi)
Time: 4:30 hours
Trekking distance: 7.4 km (4.60 mi)
Time: 3 hours

We get up with the sunrise, and after a hearty breakfast, begin the day’s trek, crossing the river over a footbridge. From here an uphill walk of half a day brings us to a small meadow where we’ll enjoy a picnic lunch. As we ascend the steep trail, we will be confronted with panoramic views, sheer drops, and the beauty of the Apurimac Canyon. The afternoon hike is less steep as we approach the hanging valley through verdant misty forest to the site of Choquequirao. We’ll set up camp on the level ground at the section known as Marampata, as we begin our explorations of this isolated Inca site and the surrounding cloud forest. We can also visit the Choquequirao main plaza, which features a network of terraces with Llama Figures called ¨the Llamas of the Sun.” We will camp at available campsites.

Trekking distance: 12.8 km (7.95 mi)
Time: 8 hours

We will spend this entire day exploring the various archaeological sites located at different points on the hillside overlooking the Apurimac River. We begin by passing alongside the stream of Chunchumayo, with spectacular views of the other side of the canyon. We will have a chance to explore some of the restored buildings: these include storage facilities, living quarters, a garrison, and impressive ceremonial sites. The very first written reports of a visit to this complex date from 1768 by the explorer Cosme Bueno. He was followed by a variety of explorers, scientists, and treasure hunters through 1909, when Hiram Bingham also visited the area, even before his historic re-discovery of Machu Picchu. We will have time to wander through this extended settlement, spending most of the day marveling at the different buildings. In the afternoon, we’ll pack our equipment and move to the next campsite. We’ll begin our ascent from our campsite to the Pass of Choquequirao (3250 m / 10,660 ft), finally entering the moist cloud forest where we’ll find Polyepis trees, bromeliads, and epiphytic plants including exotic, colorful orchids, and bright green ferns. We’ll descend to Pinchiunuyoc, a terraced agricultural complex that supplied Choquequirao with agricultural products and prepare our camp for the evening.

Trekking distance: 1.8 km (1.12 mi)
Time: 2:30 hours

We continue our descent to the gushing Yuracmayo River, finally arriving at and crossing the riverbed. Now, we begin our ascent to Maizal, a vista point with panoramic views of the Yurahmayo and Yanama gorges, as they join together and rush towards the Apurimac Canyon. The landscape in front of us sweeps out to the Cordillera Vilcabamba range, from where the Inca staged a rebellion after the Spanish conquest. At this natural west-facing viewpoint, we can observe a beautiful sunset before getting settled for the evening.

Trekking distance: 1.8 km (1.12 mi)
Time: 2:30 hours

The trail ascends steeply towards Mina Victoria, once an Inca mine, and later a colonial copper mine. We’ll hike along Qoriwayrachina Hill, a ruin that was used as a way station for travelers during the time of the Inca, where fairly recent excavations have taken place. Once over the pass (3900 m / 12, 792 ft), we’ll enjoy a hearty lunch and begin our descent to the village of Yanama, with panoramic views of Mt. Pumasillo in the distance. This night we will camp at Yanama.

Trekking distance: 10 km (6.21 mi)
Time: 7 hours

We will drive along a recent road that was built from Yanama to Machu Picchu Hydroelectric, where you will take the train directly to Machu Picchu Village. If you prefer to hike, you can also choose to go on a soft hike through the railways that lead you to Machu Picchu Village.

Bus ride: 77.4 km (48.09 mi)
Time: 7 hours

After an early breakfast, we’ll hop on board the bus up to the ruins, a half-hour ascending ride. Your English-speaking guide will accompany you as you explore the breath-taking ruins and learn about the various structures and buildings, and the lifestyles of its former inhabitants. You’ll be immersed in the sheer beauty of the complex and its verdant surroundings, as you breathe in the rarefied air of the cloud forest. Return to the village below in the afternoon, where you’ll board a train back to Cusco or Ollantaytambo. (Hotel overnight and dinner on your own).

Bus ride: 79 km (49.09 mi)
Time: 2 hours
Train ride: 43 km (26.72 mi)
Time: 1:45 hours
Our safety standards are the best in the business
  • Transportation
  • Professional bilingual guide
  • Hotel in Machu Picchu Village
  • Train from Hidroeléctrica to Machu Picchu Village and from Machu Picchu Village to Cusco
  • Bus ticket Machu Picchu – Machu Picchu Village (round trip)... keep reading
no included
  • Personal travel insurance
  • Dinner in Machu Picchu Village on Day 4
  • Laundry service
  • Airline tickets
  • Sleeping bags (rent available)... keep reading
what to take
  • Regular and long wicking first layer for cold weather, like polyester, nylon, or merino wool
  • Short-sleeved shirts or t-shirts, breathable fabrics, like nylon and polyester
  • Light colored long-sleeved shirts o t-shirts
  • QuickDry Pants, trekking pants, and shorts
  • Insulation long-sleeve jacket (fleece, synthetic, down, merino wool)... keep reading
Personal First-Aid Kit
On each trip we carry a medical kit, but we suggest you bring a small personal First-Aid Kit for bruises and blisters. Knee and ankle braces are sometimes useful especially if you suffer from weak knees or ankles. Include any special medication your doctor might suggest for you.

Book Choquequirao to Machu Picchu

$1,550.00/7 days and 6 nights
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