Challenge yourself to an invigorating 8 day trek into the heights of the Vilcabamba mountain range crossing over passes between 4,200 and 4,668 meters in altitude where you will be awe-struck at the inspiring snow-capped peaks surrounding you. Explore the two most stellar archaeological sites in Peru; Choquequirao, known as the last refuge for fleeing Incas during the Spanish conquest, and Machu Picchu, the "lost city of the Incas", both nestled in the mountainside in a tropical jungle setting. Adventure seekers will get a thrill at crossing high mountain passes and nature lovers will marvel over the sight of Andean condors cruising gracefully in the sky and the wild variety of flora and fauna to be found in the tropical jungle. This is a trek that you simply cannot miss and will remember for a lifetime!
Trekking Day 1: Depart Cuzco - Hike from Cachora village (2,910m) to Chiquisca (1,836m) (L/D)
Today you will be picked up at your hostel as we leave Cuzco early in the morning to journey by road to the small village of Cachora (2,910m) the starting point of the trek. Upon arrival to Cachora, we will be met by our mule drivers, who will load our gear on the horses and mules before we begin our first day’s hike. We will begin hiking along the edge of the Apurímac canyon, with the river almost 2,000 metres below us and breathtaking views of the surrounding Padrayoc and Choke Takarpu mountains. Lunch will be served at Capuliyoc (2,915m) followed by a 2-hour winding descent to Chiquisca (1,836m) ending at our campsite near the Apurimac River.
Trekking Day 2: Hike from Chiquisca to Choquequirao archaeological site (2,850m) (B/L/D)
Today we will have an early breakfast and then start off our day with a 1.5 hour downhill hike to Playa Rosalinda where we will cross a suspension bridge over the Apurimac River followed by an uphill hike leading to Santa Rosa (2,095m). Here we will have a rewarding lunch and have the chance to taste local "cambray" a sugarcane juice from the region. The hike will continue ascending to Marampata (2,913m) village, home to shepherd families. Finally, after a challenging 3-hour trek we will reach our campsite overlooking the Choquequirao archaeological site with panoramic views of the naturally stunning Apurimac river valley and if we are lucky, we might see Andean condors flying overhead.
Trekking Day 3: Hike from Choquequirao to Maizal camp (3,000m) (B/L/D)
An early start will give us the opportunity to see Choquequirao in the early morning light and will give us time to explore the "lost Inca city" of Choquequirao (3,035m). Afterwards, we will hike about 2 hours to the fully restored Pinchaunuyoc archaeological site (2,500m) which is still waiting to be excavated. From Pinchiyoc Unu, we`ll follow a steep and narrow trail to reach our campsite for the night, Maizal (3,000m).
Trekking Day 4: Hike from Maizal camp to Yanama camp (4,100m) (B/L/D)
After an early breakfast, we`ll ascend toward Paso Victoria, passing through lush and dense cloud forest while enjoying spectacular views along the way. The pass (3900m / 12,800 ft ) is a good place for a break, as it offers stunning views of the surroundings. After crossing the pass, we will descend to the small village of Yanama (4,100m) where we will end our day with lunch and a free time to relax in the afternoon.
Trekking Day 5: Hike to the Totora community (4,100m) (B/L/D)
Today we will hike from Yanama to a high pass at 4,668m with amazing views of Salkantay and Huayanay mountains and then cross over Yanama pass at 4,500m where you will feel truly immersed in the heart of the snow-capped Andean peaks. It can be windy and chilly on the pass, so it is a good idea to bring some warm clothes and a pair of gloves for this part of the trek. Here we may have the luck of seeing condors. We will descend through grassy fields to the Totora community to camp overnight (4,100m).
Trekking Day 6: Hike to Santa Teresa town (1,700m) (B/L/D)
Today we will have the chance to see vibrant regional flora and fauna as we continue our descent to the Totora River and near the town of Sayahuaco for lunch. Along the way you will notice the colorful and abundant bird and plant life where you can see hummingbirds and woodpeckers among varied species of flowers such as orchids and begonias. Traversing the tropical region we can see waterfalls, banana, avocado and coca plantations. After lunch we will take a transfer to reach Santa Teresa town (1,700 meters) for the night. Here you can relax in the hot springs before dinner if time allows (Entrance Fee 20 soles).
Trekking Day 7: Hike from Santa Teresa town to Aguas Calientes (2,040m) (B/L/D)
Finally today we have an easy hike over rolling hills along the Vilcanota River in a warm and humid climate towards the Hydroelectric station (1,900m) for lunch. Another 3-hour hike will bring us to our final destination of Aguas Calientes (2,040m) for a well-deserved rest. There are internet cafes, cafes with board games and cards, plenty of shops and places to relax there as well. Enjoy a delicious dinner, followed by a hot shower and a good night`s rest.
Aguas Calientes - Machu Picchu - Cusco
We will catch one of the first busses (05:30 am) to Machu Picchu (25-minute ride) in order to appreciate the magnificent city as the mist dissipates in the early morning light. A walking tour (approximately 2 hours) is given by your guide and after this you can explore the mysterious city by yourselves. You will meet your guide in Aguas Calientes which can be reached by bus or on foot for lunch and to receive your train tickets for the return trip back to Ollantaytambo and bus to Cuzco. *If desired, an extra night in Aguas Calientes town can be arranged. (Please let us know whether you would like to stay an extra night when booking your tour.)
Clients can opt for backpacker or superior services. Both services offer 6 nights camping under star-lit skies in a different trekking site each night! Expect simple yet sturdy and clean lodgings with all the facilities you will need whilst on your trekking adventure of a lifetime!
One night will also be spent in hotel accommodation. Clients opting for backpacker services will be offered shard bathroom facilities, while those using the superior service will enjoy private bathrooms.
Pre tour accommodation is provided at Milhouse Backpackers and Hotel
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Trip Name: Small Group: Choquequirao Trek
Duration: 8 Days
From Price: $1,814
Supplier Tour ID: CUZBCT/158881
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