The Choquequirao complex trek is very fascinating and one of the most popular trips in the Cusco area. And it’s no surprise as it´s surrounded by fantastic natural landscapes with valleys, snow-capped mountains and an amazing variety of plants, birds and animals.
It is situated in the spur of the Salkantay Mountain range, at over 3030 meters above sea level, surrounded by the Apus (mountain gods) of Yamana, Ampay, Chokecarpu, Pumasiyo and Panta, on the left bank of the Apurimac River. During the time of the Incas, everything was connected and in communication with Machu Picchu through a complex network of trails.
Choquequirao is considered "The Last Refuge of the Inca Empire". Visitors will have a chance to discover a complex hydraulic system, most likely for domestic, ceremonial and agricultural use. The geographic location of Choquequirao in reference to other religious centers of the same period tends to indicate that its function was that Inca enclave toward the valleys of the Apurímac River. There are many similarities between Choquequirao and Machu Picchu.
At 5:00 am we will pick you up from your hotel and leave Cusco in our private van that takes us to the town of San Pedro de Cachora (2800m). There you have plenty of time to try a local breakfast (not included in the package, though the price is fairly reasonable). We will meet the rest of our team (cooks and horse handlers) and start our long trek for the day, which takes us between 7 and 8 hours in this mountainous region. Along the way we will observe diverse landscapes typical to the different climates in the area with views such as the Pedroyoc snow-capped mountain or even the diverse flora and fauna that enhance our experience.
We will finally arrive at the viewpoint of Capulichayoc from where we will be able to observe the deepest canyon in the world, the Apurimac, with the Apurimac River at the bottom. It is here we have our first lunch and our first sights of Choquequirao. Once we rest, we continue descending until Chiquisca (1800m) where we set up the tents and spend the night surrounded by the wonderful landscapes.
Meals: Lunch – Dinner
After a good breakfast, we start a 5 hour strenuous uphill hike until our lunch stop at Marcapata. Here we will have a guided tour of Chokequirao (the "Golden Cradle"), considered the Sister City of Machu Picchu for the many similarities they share. Chokequirao hangs 1500 meters above the Apurimac Canyon while Machu Picchu looks over the Urubamba canyon, they have the same latitude, and both are large citadels of more than 8 hectares with only one third having been uncovered so far.
Archeologists make new discoveries every day. We will explore the three levels of the excavated ruins, appreciating the various houses, terraces and other elements of this late Inca town. We will camp next to Marcapata.
We can view the sunrise over the ruins at dawn and after a good breakfast, start going down using the same way we came, until we reach our camp at Chiquisca.
Meals: Breakfast – Lunch – Dinner
An early start today will help us to avoid the worst of the heat in the canyon and guarantee us some magnificent views of the Apurimac and the surrounding peaks. On our journey we reach the lookout at Capuliyoc one final time where we say goodbye to the fabulous views of the Choquequirao ruins. We will also see the majestic snow-covered peak of Padreyoc overlooking the Apurimac Canyon while surrounded by the flora & forna special to this area. We will then climb to our final destination of San Pedro de Cachora to return to Cusco by bus.
Meals: Breakfast – Lunch.
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