Choquequirao Trek – Choquequirao Peru 4 Days

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Choquequirao Trek Details
Choquequirao Peru

Nestled deep in the Peruvian Andes, there’s this somewhat off-the-radar spot from the Inca Empire era – Choquequirao. It’s pretty much the Inca’s under-the-radar treasure, not getting as much attention as it deserves but still a total gem. At Explore Peru Guide, our mission is to provide you with the complete Choquequirao Trek adventure.

Kicking off in Cusco, hitting up the Choquequirao Trek is way more than just a regular hike. It’s like jumping into a time machine back to the Inca days. This trek takes you through some incredible views around the Cusco area and gets you up close with the history and mystery of a civilization that was all kinds of impressive. Sure, Machu Picchu usually steals the spotlight, but Choquequirao is like its underrated sibling, serving up some serious Inca culture vibes.

Diving into the Choquequirao Trek: A Real Adventure into Inca History

Hitting this trail is like the ultimate adventure. Imagine this: trekking up high mountain paths, winding through stunning landscapes with epic views of the Apurimac Canyon, and even zipping across on a cable car for that extra bit of excitement. It isn’t just any hike; it’s a full-on journey that’s as enlightening as it is challenging.

The Choquequirao Trek is legendary around these parts for good reason. Every step gets you closer to the Choquequirao ruins, which played an important role in the Inca Empire. These ruins sit on a ridge, looking all majestic and giving us a glimpse into when the Inca culture was at its peak. Plus, they’re strategically placed for some mind-blowing views over the canyon.

Having someone like Explore Peru Guide with you is a game-changer. We get all the nitty-gritty of the archaeological site and help you tackle the trek’s challenges head-on, ensuring a smooth trip. With our help, your’re not just trekking; you’re connecting with the place, learning heaps, and diving into a major South American adventure.

So, if you’ve got a thing for Inca ruins and the idea of following in the footsteps of an ancient civilization beneath the Andes gets your heart racing, then you’ve got to check out the Choquequirao Trek. Let’s take a trip back in time together, walking paths filled with history, and exploring the secrets of Choquequirao, Peru.

Departure Time

04:30 AM

Choquequirao Trek Includes

  • Transportation: Round-trip transport from Cusco to the starting point of the trek and back.
  • Guided Tour: A professional, bilingual guide who's well-versed in the history and significance of the region.
  • Entrance Fees: Admission to the Choquequirao archaeological site.
  • Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks during the trekking days.
  • Porters or Mules: To carry the heavy equipment, camping gear, and possibly personal items.
  • Camping Equipment: Tents, sleeping pads, and other necessary camping gear.
  • First Aid Kit: Including emergency oxygen for high altitude adjustments.
  • Accommodation: Camping spots or basic lodges, depending on the trek's design.
  • Cooking Equipment and Staff: Including chefs to prepare meals during the trek.

Choquequirao Trek Excludes

  • Travel Insurance: Comprehensive travel insurance that covers trekking and medical emergencies.
  • Personal Gear: Such as hiking boots, clothing, sleeping bags, walking poles, and other personal items.
  • Tips: For the guide, driver, or any other staff.
  • Additional Meals and Drinks: Meals not specified in the itinerary and alcoholic or bottled beverages.
  • Extra Activities: Such as horse riding, extra side trips, or other additional activities.

Recommended To Carry

  • Backpack: A 30-40 liter day pack to carry personal items and a rain cover to protect it.
  • Trekking Poles: They offer stability and reduce stress on your knees during descents along the Choquequirao Trek.
  • Footwear: High-quality, well-fitting hiking boots that are broken in. Also, consider bringing lightweight camp shoes or sandals.
  • Clothing:Lightweight, moisture-wicking base layers.
    Warm mid-layers (e.g., fleece or wool).
    Waterproof and windproof outer layers (jacket and pants).
    Trekking pants and shorts.
    Moisture-wicking socks and sock liners.
  • Headgear: Wide-brimmed hat for sun protection and a beanie for the cold. Don't forget sunglasses with UV protection.
  • Handwear: Lightweight gloves for warmth
  • Personal medications and a basic first aid kit.
  • Sleeping Bag: Suitable for temperatures down to at least -5°C (23°F), depending on the season.
  • Hydration: Water bottles or hydration bladder, plus water purification tablets or a portable water filter.
  • Sun Protection: High SPF sunscreen, lip balm with sunblock, and a lightweight long-sleeved shirt.
  • Insect Repellent: Preferably with DEET or another effective active ingredient.

Day 1Cusco to Santa Rosa via Capuliyoc

Just as the sun starts throwing its early morning gold vibes, we’re rolling out from the historic vibes of Cusco. You can feel the buzz in the air, like an adventure is just around the corner waiting for us.

The drive’s going to take us through these winding roads leading straight to Capuliyoc, our trek’s kick-off spot. The scene shifts from lively towns to the straight-up stunning natural world, setting us up for the day ahead.

Once we hit Capuliyoc, it’s like the Apurimac Canyon unfolds before us in all its magnificent splendor. This view’s just a taste of what’s coming, making it difficult not to stop and snap a few photos before we explore the canyon.

Hiking down, the path keeps us on our toes with its twists and turns and all kinds of terrain. Every bit of effort pays off with these insane views of the Peruvian Andes you just can’t get anywhere else. We’ve got bird tunes for company and the sound of the trees kinda sets the beat for our march.

By the time mid-afternoon hits, we catch sight of this picture-perfect small town, Santa Rosa, tucked away in nature. It’s the chill spot we need after a day of trekking, where we’ll camp out, go over the day’s highs and lows, and gear up for whatever’s next on this adventure. Thus, the first day of our Choquequirao Trek adventure comes to an end.

First Day Choquequirao Trek Statistics:

  • Distance Covered: 20 kilometers (12.4 miles)
  • Highest Altitude: 2,900 meters (9,514 feet) at Capuliyoc
  • Lowest Altitude: 1,550 meters (5,085 feet) at Santa Rosa
  • Level of Difficulty: Moderate to Challenging

Day 2Santa Rosa to Choquequirao via Marampata

Welcome to Santa Rosa, a cozy retreat where the first light of dawn and the gentle melodies of nature invite you to awaken to adventure. Here, where the air is crisp and the spirit of exploration thrums, your journey into the heart of the Peruvian Andes begins with a hearty breakfast, fueling you for the day’s ascent to Marampata.

You remember the importance of perseverance as you navigate the trail’s steep inclines. Yet, the promise of breathtaking views from Marampata propels you forward, with the dense, green canopy of the Andes enveloping you in a world of serene beauty and the occasional soundtrack of distant bird calls enhancing the sense of isolation from the hustle of the modern world.

Upon reaching Marampata, a quaint village perched with panoramic grace, you’re encouraged to pause and soak in the vistas of the Apurimac Valley below—a testament to nature’s grandeur and a well-deserved moment to catch your breath.

Yet, the journey’s pinnacle, the enigmatic Choquequirao, beckons. With your guide leading the way, navigate through a mixture of gentle paths and challenging ascents, each step heightening the anticipation of uncovering one of the Inca Empire’s hidden gems. This lesser-known sibling to Machu Picchu unfolds before you, its ruins a mosaic of history and mystery, inviting you to step back in time and connect with the past.

As night falls, your set up camp under the Andean stars, near the silent stones of Choquequirao. Here, under the vast, starlit sky, you’re not just ending a day of exploration but embarking on a night of dreams, pondering the ancient treasures you’ve uncovered.

Second Day Choquequirao Trek Statistics:

  • Distance Covered: 14 kilometers (8.7 miles)
  • Highest Altitude: 3,050 meters (10,007 feet) at Choquequirao
  • Lowest Altitude: 1,550 meters (5,085 feet) at Santa Rosa
  • Level of Difficulty: Challenging

Day 3Choquequirao to Chiquisqa via Marampata

The gentle chirping of birds greets us as we rise at the historic site of Choquequirao. With the ancient ruins as our backdrop, we savor our morning meal, reminiscing about the discoveries of the previous day. However, our Choquequirao Trek must go on, and today brings a different set of challenges and vistas.

We will commence our descent from Choquequirao, with the trail leading us back towards Marampata. Though familiar, the path takes on a different charm when treaded in the opposite direction. The panoramic views of the mountains, the glimpses of the Apurimac Valley below, and the ever-changing play of sunlight on the terrains keep our spirits high.

Upon reaching Marampata, we pause to refresh ourselves. It’s a brief moment of respite, for the descent continues, leading us towards our next destination: Chiquisqa. The trail becomes steeper, testing our endurance, but the lush green surroundings and the ever-present songs of nature keep us company.

Finally, as the evening hues paint the sky, Chiquisqa emerges on the horizon. This welcoming village is our haven for the night. Here, amidst the heart of nature, we’ll set up camp, allowing the memories of the day to wash over us, and eagerly anticipating what the next day of our trek holds.

Third Day Choquequirao Trek Statistics:

  • Distance Covered: 16 kilometers (9.9 miles)
  • Highest Altitude: 3,050 meters (10,007 feet) at Choquequirao
  • Lowest Altitude: 1,930 meters (6,332 feet) at Chiquisqa
  • Level of Difficulty: Moderate to Challenging

Day 4 Chiquisqa to Cusco via Capuliyoc

Woke up at the crack of dawn in Chiquisqa feeling super excited for the adventure. The vibe? Totally ready to crush the last part of this trip. With all the incredible memories from the past few days fueling us, we’re all set to hit the road, circling back to the legendary city of Cusco.

So, we start off from Chiquisqa, making our way up to Capuliyoc. Every step uphill is like a throwback to Day One, but the scenery’s always throwing us new surprises, keeping us hooked. And the reward? Unreal views of the Apurimac Canyon that just blow your mind every single time.

Hitting Capuliyoc again feels like coming full circle. We take a second here to just soak it all in, feeling pretty proud of tackling such an epic route.

But hold up, the adventure’s not done. From Capuliyoc, we’re off on this scenic drive back to Cusco. The scenes keep changing, from the wild Andes to the quaint streets of Cusco. And as we roll into the city, the setting sun paints everything gold, marking the end of our trek but kicking off what’s gonna be an endless stream of stories to tell. Thus, our exhilirating Choquequirao Trek comes to an end.

Fourth Day Choquequirao Trek Statistics:

  • Distance Covered: 12 kilometers (7.5 miles)
  • Highest Altitude: 2,900 meters (9,514 feet) at Capuliyoc
  • Lowest Altitude: 1,930 meters (6,332 feet) at Chiquisqa
  • Level of Difficulty: Moderate

How difficult is the Choquequirao Trek?

The Choquequirao Trek is considered moderate to challenging. Factors include the high altitudes, long trekking days, and steep descents and ascents.

How long is the Choquequirao Trek?

Typically, the trek spans 4 to 5 days, covering approximately 58 kilometers (36 miles) round trip, though this can vary based on the specific route and stops.

When is the best time to do the trek?

Yes, as with any high-altitude trek in the Andes, there’s a risk of altitude sickness. It’s recommended to spend a couple of days in Cusco or another high-altitude area to acclimatize before beginning the trek.

What wildlife might I see?

The region is home to various wildlife species, including condors, hummingbirds, spectacled bears, and orchids, among other flora and fauna.

Are there any facilities along the Choquequirao trek?

While there are some basic facilities and campsites, it’s a remote trek. It’s essential to be well-prepared with all necessary supplies. Some small shops or stalls might offer basic provisions, but they’re not guaranteed.

How does the Choquequirao Trek compare to the Inca Trail?

While both treks offer stunning views and archaeological sites, the Choquequirao Trek is less crowded and more off-the-beaten-path than the more famous Inca Trail to Machu Picchu. It provides a more secluded experience with nature and Incan history.

Do I need a permit for the Choquequirao Trek?

As of the last update, you don’t need a special trekking permit like the Inca Trail. However, you’ll need to pay an entrance fee to access the Choquequirao archaeological site. Always check the latest regulations before setting out.

Is it possible to continue from Choquequirao to Machu Picchu?

Yes, there’s a longer, more challenging route that connects Choquequirao to Machu Picchu, typically taking an additional 4 to 6 days. However, this requires careful planning and additional permits.

5 Reviews
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Solo Traveller

I was initially hesitant about a 4-day trek, but Explore Peru Guide made it a breeze. They catered to our every need, ensuring we were well-fed, comfortable, and enlightened about the history surrounding us. The Choquequirao ruins were the highlight, and standing there, overlooking the canyon, was a moment I’ll never forget.

October 20, 2023


Couple Traveller

What an adventure! I loved every moment of the Choquequirao Trek. Explore Peru Guide truly delivered, from the delicious meals to the expert guidance on challenging terrains. If you want an authentic and unforgettable experience, this is the trek for you!

September 27, 2023


Couple Traveller

Explore Peru Guide’s 4-day trek to Choquequirao was a profound journey for me. Not just the physical trek, but diving deep into the mysteries of the ancient Inca Empire. Our guide had a passion for storytelling, which brought the ruins to life. I returned with memories I’ll cherish forever

September 22, 2023

Lucas T

Family Traveller

I’ve done several treks around the world, but the Choquequirao Trek with Explore Peru Guide ranks at the top. The team was professional, ensuring our safety and comfort throughout. The landscapes of the Cusco region were mesmerizing, and visiting the ‘cradle of gold’ was a dream come true!

September 21, 2023


Solo Traveller

The 4-day Choquequirao Trek with Explore Peru Guide was nothing short of magical. Our guides were knowledgeable, sharing the rich history and stories behind every ruin and vista. The journey felt personal, and the beauty of the untouched landscape was simply breathtaking. Highly recommended!

September 12, 2023