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5 Days
Travel Style
Choquequirao trek / Explore experiences

Explore Choquequirao, “the Golden Cradle”, hidden in the heart of the Peruvian Andes.

It was mostly built during the reign of the Inca Pachacuti and it is considered to be the refuge of the last dynasty of the Incas, led by Manco Inca and his sons in 1535. Choquequirao was probably used as a control point for the access to Vilcabamba and it also played an important controlling role between the Amazon and Cusco.     

Creating incredible memories!

  • Discover the archaeological site of Choquequirao, a marvel of Inca architecture still in process of excavation.
  • Travel through varied and sumptuous landscapes.
  • Meet local people and discover the agricultural techniques of the Peruvian Andes


Day 1: Cusco – Cachora – Chiquisca

Day 2: Chiquisca – Playa Rosalina – Marampata – Choquequirao

Day 3: Choquequirao

Day 4: Choquequirao – Marampata – Playa Rosalina – Chiquisca

Day 5: Chiquisca – Capuliyoq – Cachora – Cusco


We’ll leave Cusco by minivan at about 5:20 am. The driving will take about 4.30 h. Until we get to Capuliyoc, going through the village of Cachora (2,850 m). Capuliyoc is our meeting point with the rest of the team: cooks and muleteers, as well as the caravan of horses and mules, who will accompany us throughout this trek. After loading all our camping gear and personal belongings, we’ll start the trek along a flat trail towards the Capuliyoc Pass (2,800 m). Here, you’ll be able to notice the evolution of the landscape and vegetation from the depths of the Apurimac Canyon to the peaks and snow-capped mountains that dominate the Vilcabamba mountain range. We’ll descend into the Apurimac Canyon to the village of Chiquisca (1,830 m), where we’ll spend our first night.

  • Transportation time: 4h.
  • Walking time: 5h.
  • Distance: 11 Km
  • Difficulty level: moderate
  • Meals: L = lunch, D = dinner.
  • Overnight: tent 
  • Climate: warm during the day with mosquitoes and moderate cold at night.
  • Elevation: Cusco (3,400m) – Cachora (2,850m) – Capuliyoq (2,800m) – Chiquisca (1,830m).

After breakfast, we’ll descend to Playa Rosalina (1,550 m). Then, a path of constant ascents will take us to the community of Marampata (2,850 m), passing through some family villages in Santa Rosa (2,100 m).  From Marampata, we’ll enjoy a magnificent view of the archaeological complex of Choquequirao (3,033 m), and part of the road we are heading for. We’ll make it to the archaeological site by sunset. Our campsite is located 20 minutes from the Inca citadel.

  • Walking time: 8h.
  • Distance: 16 km
  • Difficulty level: challenging
  • Meals: B = breakfast, L = lunch, D = dinner
  • Overnight: tent
  • Climate: warm during the day with mosquitoes and moderate cold at night.
  • Elevation: Chiquisca (1,830m) – Playa Rosalina (1,550m) – Santa Rosa (2,100m) – Marampata (2,850m) – Choquequirao (3,033m).

At sunrise, we’ll visit Choquequirao amidst a cloud forest scenery. Currently, only 30% of Choquequirao has been discovered and can be visited. The archaeological site still holds many secrets. We will have enough time to learn more about the Inca culture by visiting the houses of the Andean priests, collcas (Inca storage building), terraces, the llama sculptures sector, palaces, liturgical water fountains, the native flora and fauna among others. After the visit, you will have time to explore Choquequirao some more. We’ll spend the night at the same campsite in Choquequirao.

After visiting one of the most representative Inca citadels of the Inca culture, we hike back to Marampata. Then, we’ll descend to the interior of the Apurimac Canyon and we go past La Playa Rosalina (1,550 m). Before sunset, we’ll set up our last night’s camp in Chiquisca (1,830 m).

  • Walking time: 7h.
  • Distance: 16 km
  • Difficulty level: challenging
  • Meals: B = breakfast, L = lunch, D = dinner
  • Overnight: tent
  • Climate: warm during the day with mosquitoes and moderate cold at night.
  • Elevation: Choquequirao (3,033m) – Marampata (2,850m) – Playa Rosalina (3,030m) – Chiquisca (1,830m)

During the morning, we’ll hike up to the Capuliyoc viewpoint (2,850m), where we’ll take a short break to marvel at the majestic canyon of the Apurimac and try to spot any condors flying around. From this point on, the path will be rather flat (with some small ascents and descents). Our transportation will be awaiting us at the end of the trail to return to Cusco.

  • Transportation time: 4h.
  • Walking time: 5h.
  • Distance: 11 km
  • Difficulty level: moderate
  • Meals: B = breakfast, L = lunch  
  • Overnight: on your own
  • Climate: warm during the day with mosquitoes and moderate cold at night.
  • Elevation: Chiquisca (1,830m) – Capulilloc viewpoint (2,800m) – Cusco (3,400m).



  • Informative briefing in your accommodation 1 or 2 days before the hike. We’ll confirm the details after booking is made.
  • Private transportation from your accommodation in Cusco to Capuliyoc (Cachora), the beginning of the hike.
  • Private transportation from Capuliyoc to Cusco. Drop off at your accommodation.
  • Choquequirao entrance fee.
  • Professional, bilingual tour guide (English-Spanish). For other languages contact us in advance. Bear in mind there may be extra charges.
  • Camping gear: 2-people professional tents (Doite Pro Aconcagua 3 or Eureka tent), mats, toilet and utility tents (toilet, kitchen and dining tents with tables and chairs).
  • -10° sleeping bag.
  • Cook.
  • Kitchen gear.
  • Meals: breakfasts, lunches and dinner. We pay special attention to dietary restrictions (vegetarian, vegan and allergies). Meals are prepared by an expert cook and they include: pancakes, omelettes, soups, spaghetti, rice, chicken, fish, beef, fresh fruit, hot drinks (including coca leaves infusions which are great for altitude) among others.
  • Tasting of selected wines, craft beer and champagne.
  • Snacks: selection of cheeses, cold meats and olives.
  • Boiled water to refill your water bottles.
  • Hand biodegradable liquid soap.
  • Biodegradable dishwasher for the kitchen gear.
  • Hot water for personal use in the camp in the morning and evening.
  • Muleteer and mules to transport the camping gear and food.
  • Transportation of participant’s personal bags (up to 10kg, including the sleeping bag).
  • A safety horse during the hike.
  • Duffel bag for personal use.
  • Communication radios.
  • Trekking poles.
  • First-aid kit (including oximeter and thermometer) and oxygen bottle.

Not included

  • Breakfast on day 1 or dinner on day 5.


  • The hike previously described may vary due to weather conditions, landslides, participants walking pace or other factors. Our professional guide will make the right and best decisions along the way for the benefit and safety of the group.
  • The Andean weather is quite unpredictable. Thus, we suggest bringing warm clothes, a hat/cap, sunglasses, a scarf, gloves, jacket, high protection sun cream and 2 liters of mineral water per person.
  • During this trek we’ll reach 3033 masl. This combined with the weather conditions can make the daily hiking even harder. As to enjoy the trek better, we recommend you to be healthy and in good physical condition and to acclimatize in Cusco for at least 2 days before the trek.
  • We recommend our visitors to spend the first night in the village of Santa Rosa to fully enjoy the archaeological site of Choquequirao. Depending on the possibilities (walking pace, weather, etc) the guide will provide more information about the camping site.
  • The hike to Choquequirao should not be underestimated. Especially the second day which involves a lot of physical effort to finish the day. Combined with the altitude and the extreme dry climate and heat of 29°C average (it can be very hot), the trek can be difficult. The trail is strewn with constant ascents and descents. We strongly recommend that you first acclimatize to the altitude and be in good shape.
  • Camping sites: The camping sites on the route may vary from those described in our itinerary, due to the limited number of campsites that are known to the general public. Our guide and representative will recommend to the group the best option given the circumstances.

Optional services to be hired

  • Extra Porter / Horseman: In accordance with the law (31614) of the Ministry of Labour, the collaboration of an extra porter will be granted at the request of the client. However, the customer’s luggage must not exceed 12 kilograms. The service of an extra porter / horseman has a cost of 140 USD, which includes transportation, entrance to the Inca Trail, food and camping equipment.

Note: The group of Porters/Horsemen and horses are only present in the trekking part.

What we recommend that you bring

  • An ergonomic day backpack for hiking with waterproof cover (30 or 40 liters).
  • A waterproof backpack otherwise requests a duffel bag at your agency for carrying your personal belongings on the horse.
  • Sleeping bag (-10º degrees).
  • Clothing for cold and hot weather.
  • Waterproof jacket, rain pants and light pants, rain poncho, hat or cap.
  • Hiking shoes.
  • Flip flops or sandals (for showers and hot springs in Aguas Calientes).
  • Wool or cotton socks.
  • T-shirts with short and long sleeves.
  • Towel easy dry and swimsuit (in case you want to relax in the hot mineral spring).
  • Sun block.
  • Anti-mosquito spray – minimum recommended 20% DEET (non-toxic – we suggest nature-friendly repellents). No malaria risk has been reported.
  • Anti-itch cream.
  • Disinfectant hand gel.
  • Toilet paper.
  • Plastic water or metal container and water-sterilizing tablets in case you pick up water from streams or rivers along the route. Otherwise, we provide filtered boiled water, which is safe to drink.
  • Toiletries. 
  • Camera (wrapped in a plastic pouch).
  • Flashlight and spare batteries.
  • Snacks, like chocolate bars and dried fruits.
  • Original passport.
  • Original ISIC Student Card (in case you have applied for a student discount).
  • Extra money in soles.
  • Optional: walking sticks or poles are recommended which can help you to reduce the amount of time you spend pounding the trail, taking the pressure off your joints.

More information

1. During high season (May to September), it is difficult to ensure the exact date of entry, due to the restrictions set by the Ministry of Culture to limit the number of entries to the Inca Trail and Machu Picchu; therefore, the date of entry to the Inca Trail could vary for one or two days; then we will adapt the program so you can make the most of it.

2. Entrance tickets to Huayna Picchu or Machu Picchu mountain: To hike up Huayna Picchu or Machu Picchu mountain, it is required to book well in advance, because the entrance tickets are limited to a certain number of people daily. Therefore, we’ll take care of the reservation and confirm your entrance with an additional charge of 75 USD for adults and 55 USD for students.

Note: If you wish to visit any of the extra mountains, please inform us in due time before purchasing the entrance tickets to the Machu Picchu citadel.

3. Tips: for porters, cooks and guides tips are always welcome. Porters are also very grateful for a small donation, such as school clothes or supplies for their children.

4. Cancellation policy: For any cancellation; the costs already incurred by the travel agency will be at your expense. For more details on the cost of cancellations by certain participants, please refer to articles 6, 6.4 and our cancellation policies in the sales terms and conditions.

For more information, you may wish to check or consult our FAQ, Safe and Healthy Travel, and Flexible Booking with Explorandino.


Entrance to the Inca Trail and Machu Picchu citadel having been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1983. Entrance to Machu Picchu is limited to 4,044 visitors per day. Thus, it is important to book at least 3 months in advance, especially during the high season (between May and September). During the low season, between December and January, it is possible to still have some places available before your visit. However, it’s always best to book in advance.

If you are interested in this trek, please contact us for more information.

Connection to Machu Picchu

It is possible to have the train connection to Aguas Calientes town from Ollantaytambo town to visit Machu Picchu during day 6. Please contact us to verify availability of entrance tickets to Machu Picchu citadel, train tickets and for any more information.

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Personal information

What our clients say on Tripadvisor

Sarah K

Trek with the Local Pros!

An incredible experience! Our guide Christian is a local expert and we were in good hands the entire trek. I enjoyed learning history from Christian and he knows so much about the land and how people use natural remedies for ...


Ausengate 7 Lagunas

Our guides were so friendly and were very patient when teaching us Quechua words. They brought a lunch for us that was absolutely delicious and very filling. They were also so attentive to food restrictions and allergies. Would recommend to friends

Vincent S


I was originally scheduled for the Inca trail hike but ended up doing the sacred valley and Machu Pichu tours due to some last minute schedule issues. The tour operator was very accommodating in setting me up with hotels, train tickets and entry passes. Guides were knowledgeable and they...


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