Choquequirao 5 articles
Cusco-Choquequirao-Machu Picchu Route
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Cusco-Choquequirao-Machu Picchu hiking trail

The most complete and challenging adventure in Cusco is the Cusco – Choquequirao – Machu Picchu hiking trail. It is estimated that this little known walk by tourists travels a total of 115 kilometers through places of incredible landscape beauty.

Learn a little more about this adventure of 8 days and 7 nights through the most hidden shelters of the Incas.

The Choquequirao Route
Trekking Cusco-Choquequirao-Machu Picchu, one of the most complete and challenging adventures

The most important points of this route are the archaeological complex of Choquequirao, known as the ‘last Inca refuge’ and the Inca Citadel of Machu Picchu, one of the Wonders of the modern World.

Choquequirao, the last Inca refuge

  • The ruins of Choquequirao are an ancient Inca city located between the mountains belonging to the snowy Salkantay in Cusco.
  • In 1909, the American explorer Hiram Bingham visited this place of difficult access. However, it was not until the mid-1970s that the first excavations of this archaeological site began.
  • Currently only 30% of the immense site was excavated. Despite this it is one of the most mysterious tourist attractions due to its similarity with Machu Picchu.
  • It is known as the last Inca refuge due to the belief that the remnants of Manco Inca were hidden there after the Spanish conquest.
  • It is also known as the ‘Sacred Sister of Machu Picchu’ due to the architectural similarity with the Inca Citadel.
  • The only way to get there is through a 2-day hiking trail along rivers, high mountains and breathtaking landscapes.

Machu Picchu, Wonder of the World

  • Machu Picchu is an Inca site located in the eastern part of the central Andes.
  • It belongs to the foothills of Salkantay, in southern Peru.
  • It is believed that this site was the urban, religious center and residence of the Inca Pachacutec, who commanded its construction in the early fifteenth century.
  • With the Spanish conquest, the place was gradually abandoned until it was covered by the abundant vegetation characteristic of the area.
  • In 1911, the American explorer Hiram Bingham made known to the world the importance of the archaeological complex.
  • In 2007, the Inca llaqta was chosen as one of the Wonders of the modern World. Since then, tourist traffic has skyrocketed.
  • Today, its mysterious stone constructions around beautiful mountainous landscapes are one of the most visited places on the planet.
  • It is estimated that around 1 million people visit it a year.
Tourist in Machu Picchu
Machu Picchu, the end of this amazing hiking trail

The hiking trail Cusco – Choquequirao – Machu Picchu

  • The hiking route from the city of Cusco to Choquequirao and from this point to Machu Picchu is the most complete and challenging one that exists in the ancient ‘Capital of the Incas’.
  • Travel through ancient Inca roads surrounded by the most picturesque landscapes. On average it travels 115 kilometers in 8 days and 7 nights of intense trekking.
  • The main points are Choquequirao and Machu Picchu. You reach heights of up to 5,085 meters above sea level (masl) to sites of only 2,000 masl

Below is a summary of this hiking route little known to tourists.

Day 1: Cusco – Cachora – Rosalina Beach

  • The adventure begins with a trip by bus (3 hours) from the city of Cusco to the town of Cachora in the department of Abancay.
  • After lunch, you will go on a 4 or 5 hour walk to the so-called ‘Playa Rosalina’ where you camp and have dinner.

Day 2: Rosalina Beach – Marampata – Choquequirao

  • Very early, you leave on foot towards the hamlet of Marampata (4 or 5 hours) where you have lunch.
  • Then you continue with a short route (1 hour and 30 minutes) you reach the archaeological site of Choquequirao.
  • That afternoon is destined to tour the Inca constructions on this site.

Day 3: Choquequirao – Río Blanco – Maizal

  • The day begins with a demanding climb to the Río Blanco sector (approximately 3 hours) where there is a lunch break.
  • Then the walk continues to the area of ​​Maizal, where camping and dinner.

Day 4: Maizal – Victoria Mines – Yanama

  • This day is not as arduous as the previous one. It ascends for 3 hours to the Abra de Yanama (also known as the ‘Abra Victoria’).
  • Then the descent continues to the Victoria mines, where silver was extracted and which is currently abandoned.
  • After lunch you descend to the Yanama camp where you spend the night.

Day 5: Yanama – Totora – Collpa

  • The difficulty is less that day. It descends through some slopes where you can appreciate the abundant flora and fauna characteristic of the place.
  • In the area called ‘Totora’ there is a lunch break.
  • Then continue with the walk to the Collpa camp, where there are products offered by the population.

Day 6: Collpa – La Playa

  • One of the most relaxing days. It goes up through an open and descends until you reach the camp ‘La Playa’, nominated for the waterfall that refreshes visitors.
  • It goes through coffee plantations and banana plantations.

Day 7: La Playa – Hydroelectric – Aguas Calientes

  • Very early you start by a regular walk to the Hydroelectric station very close to Machu Picchu (approximately 5 hours).
  • After a lunch you will travel for 2 hours in parallel to the Vilcanota River until you arrive at the town of Aguas Calientes, at the foot of the Wonder of the World where you will spend the night.

Day 8: Aguas Calientes – Machu Picchu – Cusco

  • The last day is destined to know the Inca Citadel of Machu Picchu. You have breakfast very early (on foot or by bus) to the entrance door of the Wonder of the World.
  • After a guided tour of the archaeological site, the visitor will have free time to enjoy the site on their own.
  • That day you return to the city of Cuzo on a train trip and then by bus.
Walk to Choquequirao
Incredible landscape on the trekking towards Choquequirao

The 8-day route that connects Choquequirao with Machu Picchu can be done with an organized tour or on your own. The safest option is to do it with a tour. If you go on your own do not forget to buy your tickets to Machu Picchu.

Recommendations to visit Choquequirao and Machu Picchu

  • The hiking route of Cusco – Choquequirao – Machu Picchu is one of the most extreme and adventurous experiences in Cusco.
  • Tour the 2 most enigmatic sites that the Incas built over 600 years ago: Choquequirao and Machu Picchu.

Due to the physical effort required by the 8 days of trekking, it is necessary to take some precautions.

  • Before starting the route it is important to have a previous acclimatization in the city of Cusco. Simply drinking plenty of water and accustoming the body to the height are enough to avoid probable discomfort.
  • The walk is of medium-high difficulty. While you don’t need to be an expert mountaineer, it is important to be in a proper physical form to do so.
  • The tours that offer this route generally include a specialized guide, food and camping. The visitor must provide sleeping bags, walking sticks and other accessories.
  • Admissions to the archaeological sites of Choquequirao and Machu Picchu are also generally. It is recommended to look for an authorized travel agency.
View of the ancient Inca city of Choquequirao
View of the ancient Inca city of Choquequirao