This experience is made for those looking escape from the conventional and combine a number of different activities to complement the perfect trip to Machu Picchu. With a mixture of water sports, visits to communities and the sojourn in the ancient city of Cusco, we will embark on one of the more challenging hikes into the heart of the Tawantinsuyo.
This trek is perfect for those who like to combine walking and archeology with mountains. You’ll be engrossed to in the diversity of ecosystems you will see along the way will amazing rock formations, flutes of ice created by glaciers and cloud forest.
The route starts at the famous citadel of Choquequirao, across the Apurimac Canyon and the Cordillera Vilcabamba full of Inca trails reaching the citadel of Machu Picchu.
We invite you to check out the full itinerary so you can read over the many incredible things you can discover along the way. Do not forget to check our tips on the left side of the web, we want you in good condition.
See you on the trail!
5 Days / 4 Nights
March – December
Once arrived to Cusco, it is important to take half a day off to acclimatize. In mid- afternoon, you will be picked to do a walking tour in the city where you can appreciate different angles of the Cusco city. We will spend the night in the city of Cusco.
In the morning you will be picked to go to Piuray Outdoor Center, where you can take some yoga classes and do activities Water as Kayaking and Puddle Surf , may eat a Pachamanca rich and then proceed to meet weavers Chincheros, community with we work.
Leaving Cusco due north on the main highway towards Lima, we leave the city behind, cross into Antapampa with views of Mt. Salkantay and Humantay at first and as we leave this high plateau area, Mt Pitusiray, Chicon and Veronica come into view. The road continues until we reach the Apurimac River, an impressive gorge. Past the village of Curawasi, visiting the Sayhuite – stone – a carved map of the Inca Empire, it is said. A small side road over a ridge brings us down to the village of Cachora, where we start today’s hike. Taking our daypacks we start walking along the edge of the mountain. At Capuliyoc, we get our first view of the Apurimac canyon and the trail that lies ahead. We begin our descent and camp by the river, at a small campsite next to the river at Chiquisca at 2,450m (8,036 ft.). (Trek: 12 km / 6-7 hours). L/D
Early departure, crossing the river on a footbridge marking the start of the day. From here, an uphill walk of half day brings us to a small meadow where we have lunch. As we ascend on the steep trail, we begin to appreciate the canyon land vegetation and environment on both sides of the Apurimac canyon. The afternoon hike is not as steep as we approach the hanging valley where the site of Choquequirao is found. We camp at an available flat part at Marampampa – as we begin to explore the isolated Inca sites and the surrounding thin cloud forest. We can also visit the Choquequirao main plaza where we can appreciate a group of Terraces with Llama Figures called ¨the Llamas of the Sun¨ (Trek: 12.8 km / Time: 8 hrs.) B/L/D
We will spend the whole day exploring the various archaeological sites located at different points on the hillside overlooking the Apurimac River. We pass the stream of Chunchumayo; the views from here to the other side of the Canyon are spectacular. The restored buildings were areas used for storage, living quarters, a garrison, and the ceremonial sites are impressive. First reports of a visit to this complex are from 1768 with many more later-explorers, scientists and treasure hunters all the way through 1909 when Hiram Bingham also visited the area reportedly his first contact with a lost citadel of the Incas. We will have time to wander through this extended settlement spending most of the day looking at the different buildings. Return to our campsite at Marampata at the end of the excursion. B/L/D
We start our ascent from our campsite to the Pass of Choquequirao (3.250 m / 10,660ft), entering cloud forest where we find polylepis trees, epiphytes and bromeliads. On the other side, as we descend the Yuracmayo River, we pass some terracing that supplied Choquequirao and finally arrive at the river bed, which we cross. We continue our ascent 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 is a natural viewpoint, looking out to the west with beautiful sunsets where we camp. (Trek: 5 km / 6 hours). B/L/D
The trail starts climbing steeply towards Mina Victoria, an Inca and later colonial mine. We 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. (Trek: 10km / 7hrs). B/L/D
Recently a road has been built for four-wheel drive vehicles. We will find a trail skirting this narrow road. Heading up the Yanama valley, past fields of farmers we reach the trailhead below the Quiswar pass at (4,180m – 13,710ft). Cross over the pass, beautiful views of Mt. Salkantay and Humantay on a clear day. Descend on the winding trail to the valley of Totora below, until Hornopampa where a vehicle will pick us up and take us to our next campsite. We will begin to pass small settlements of farmers growing coffee and tropical fruits. (Trek: 9 km / 7 hrs.) B/L/D
Traversing dense cloud forest with a chance to hear bird – calls, we pass a pre Inca site of Paltallacta. From here we get a magnificent view of Machu Picchu from its northern face. We descend down to the Urubamba Valley, with a chance for a refreshing dip in the Aobamba stream following the path to the hydroelectric plant. In the afternoon we take the train to Machu Picchu village where we will spend the night at a local hotel. B/L
A half hour bus ride will bring you to the citadel for a guided visit which on average takes three hours as your official guide walks you through the different sectors of the hill-top citadel, with astonishing views, learning about the aspects of Andean life taking you back in time. In the afternoon, you will return to the village where the train will take you to back to Cusco or Ollanta. (Hotel overnight and dinner on your own). B/L
We will transfer back to the airport when your flight. On your free time , we will recommend important places of Cusco so you can visit (restaurants, museums and local markets).
B- Breakfast / BL- Boxed Lunch / L- Lunch / D- Dinner