The Choquequirao Ultimate Challenge
If you’re addicted to challenging physical activity, love nature, and are passionate about the history of ancient civilizations, this route is the perfect choice for you. Discover this off-the-beaten-path architectural jewel of the Incas on a trek that will challenge your physical and mental limits and provide you with the most epic adventure imaginable.
In Quechua, Choquequirao means “Cradle of Gold.” This incredible site sits high looking over the Apurimac River, and snowy peaks surround it. Tourists rarely visit it due to the fact it’s not as ‘famous’ as Machu Picchu, and you can only get there by hiking. It’s three times bigger, though, and just as impressive! Join us and discover the secrets of this beautiful site and learn why it’s only recently being uncovered.
- Before You Go
- Enquire Now
If you want to leave the crowds behind and venture on a challenging, exciting, and stunning trek, this route is perfect for you. You can join us as a couple or with a group of family or friends. We take care of every last detail so you can enjoy your trip to the max.
The Choquequirao Route is truly spectacular and very rarely visited by tourists. In other words, it’s barely known, seldom visited, and rarely explored. Choquequirao is believed to be the legendary last city inhabited by the Incas when the Spanish conquest reached Peru. You’ll be amazed by the sheer size of the site since it’s much larger than Machu Picchu.
Prepare yourself for a journey through time, leaving modernity and worries behind as you wander through the stony streets of Choquequirao. You’ll easily be able to imagine a lifestyle where great importance was given to the community and where there was a deep love and respect for Mother Nature or Pachamama as the Incas knew her. This intense and valuable connection between human beings and nature allowed the ancient civilization to create true wonders of architecture and engineering.
During this amazing adventure, you’ll travel the ancient paths that the Incas used hundreds of years ago, climb high Andean peaks, contemplate the majesticness of the glaciers, descend through deep canyons where the gigantic condors fly, and cross through completely different ecosystems in this fantastically biodiverse country.
Itinerary at a Glance
Cusco | Capuliyoc - Chiquisca - Playa Rosalinas - Santa Rosa
Enjoy this first day by taking in the incredible scenery of the Apurimac River and valley before you get to Santa Rosa, where you’ll spend the night.
Santa Rosa | Marampata - Choquequirao
Trek to Marampata this morning to enjoy astounding panoramic views and then keep hiking to our camp at Choquequirao. This afternoon, you can unwind and explore before going to bed.
Choquequirao | Marampata - Santa Rosa - Playa Rosalina - Chiquisca
Today, you’ll have plenty of time to explore every part of Choquequirao and learn all about it from your guide before heading to your camp in Chiquisca.
Chiquisca | Capuliyoc - Saywite Monolith - Conoc - Cusco
Trek to Capuliyoc and bid farewell to the trekking team before heading to Saywite rock and then the Conoc hot springs to relax. After, head back to Cusco.
What's it like
- Get away from the crowds and enjoy this outstanding experience in peace and be at one with Mother Nature.
- Trek through stunning Andean landscapes and see how they change drastically from one area to the next.
- Explore Choquequirao, the largest Inca site in existence, without many other people around.
- Hike through the pretty Apurimac landscape and see canyons, the rushing river, and snowy peaks.
- Immerse yourself in this epic trip and feel like you’ve been transported back in time to the last days of the Inca empire.
Why Travel with us
Cusco | Capuliyoc - Chiquisca - Playa Rosalinas - Santa Rosa
Highlight of the day: Trekking through some of the most beautiful scenery in the world.
Hike Through the Beautiful Andean Landscape and Breathe the Fresh Air
We’ll pick you up at dawn and head for breakfast in Capuliyoc before starting our hike. You’ll join the rest of the trekking team and set off. The hug Apurimac valley is sure to blow you away, and you’ll see lots of other fantastic scenery along the way. When you reach Chiquisca, you’ll enjoy your first lunch.
This afternoon, you’ll keep walking through mountainous landscapes and by the rushing Apurimac River that many extreme sports fans love to canoe or raft on. You’ll end the day in Santa Rosa at our camp to eat dinner and enjoy a rest.
Your epic trip begins at 4:30 am when we collect you from your accommodation in Cusco and drive for five hours to Capuliyoc in our private transport. Along the way, you’ll be treated to spectacular views of the Salkantay and Humantay snowy mountains.
When we arrive in Capuliyoc, you’ll devour a delicious breakfast and meet the cook and horseman who’ll make up your trekking team. They’ll make sure your belongings arrive safely at each camp and ensure you’re well-fed.
Once we start hiking, you’ll make your way through the beautiful Apurimac landscapes through a huge valley on a 3-hour downhill walk. You’ll spot two more gigantic mountains, Padreyoc and Qoriwayrachina before we reach our lunch spot at Chiquisca.
When you’re full and reenergized, we’ll continue for another hour and fifteen minutes to the bottom of the valley. Here, you’ll be confronted with the rushing Apurimac River, which is known as “Speaking God” in Quechua. The water boasts class V rapids, making it perfect for canoeing or rafting.
Finally, we’ll make the last 2-hour descent until we reach Santa Rosa (1,970 m / 6,463 ft), our first campsite. You’ll enjoy a tasty dinner before heading to bed for some well-earned sleep.
Santa Rosa | Marampata - Choquequirao
Highlight of the day: Entering Choqequirao for the first time and being in awe.
Arrive at the Epic Choquequirao Complex
We’ll begin the day by walking to Marampata, from where you can take in stunning views of the canyon and panoramic landscape. We’ll then continue on our way until we arrive at our Choquequirao camp for a nutritious lunch.
You’ll be able to explore a little this afternoon and feel the powerful energy of the ancient archaeological complex. You’ll head back to camp for a wonderful dinner and another night of peaceful, uninterrupted sleep.
This morning, you’ll be served a large breakfast to give you the energy you need to get going, and then be on your way at around 5:30 am. To begin with, we’ll be making a 3-hour zig-zag uphill climb to a place called Marampata (2,900 m / 9,514 ft). There, you’ll be astounded at the incredible scenery and have the opportunity to capture some shots of the canyon and snowy peaks.
After a short rest, we’ll keep hiking for another hour and thirty minutes to our campsite for the night in the colossal Choquequirao. When you get there, you’ll enjoy a nutritious lunch prepped by your chef.
This afternoon, you’ll get the chance to really immerse yourself in the surroundings and let the energy of this ancient site take over. You’ll be able to stretch your muscles and explore a little before observing a beautiful sunset that floods the astounding landscape with its soft glow.
In the evening, we’ll return to our camp for another great dinner and to wind down for the night. Once the sun has gone down, you’ll notice the night’s sky fill with stars and constellations. Contemplate their meaning before you head to bed.
Choquequirao | Marampata - Santa Rosa - Playa Rosalina - Chiquisca
Highlight of the day: Discovering the ancient secrets of this colossal archaeological site, Choquequirao.
Explore This Incredible Ancient Site
Today, you’ll enjoy another tasty breakfast before making your way to the Choquequirao complex to explore and discover its secrets. You’ll head to every corner and learn all about the site before you take a break for lunch.
After a short rest, we head back to Chiquisca, where we’ll spend the night and enjoy a delicious dinner.
You’ll start the day with another hearty breakfast before we head out on the most exciting part of the whole journey; our tour of Choquequirao. We’ll take our time and discover every part of the complex located in the deep canyon. You’re already probably imagining the stunning landscapes that await you. Your guide will take you around the whole site and teach you all they know about the history and other interesting stories.
Choquequirao is a lot bigger than Machu Picchu, although experts believe that only 40% is currently uncovered, so there will likely be a lot more to explore in the future. You’ll visit squares, food stores, temples, and impressive platforms. It’ll all make you wonder how the ancient civilization was able to build such a feat on the top of these mountains.
Don’t miss out on some of the more significant parts of the complex, like the white stone flames that were built to protect the important mountain that looks over the area known as the Apu Qoriwayrachina. Choquequirao is still a mystery in many ways, and we imagine that in the years to come, we’ll learn more. You’ll stop off to enjoy lunch in the middle of the day.
After a short rest, it’ll be time to head on and return to Chiquisca, a small town we passed through on the way to Choquequirao. We’ll spend the night there and enjoy a tasty dinner while we talk about all the exciting things we witnessed today. You’ll be more than ready for bed when the time comes.
Chiquisca | Capuliyoc - Saywite Monolith - Conoc - Cusco
Highlight of the day: Ending your challenging trek with a well-deserved rest in the hot springs.
Retrace Your Steps and Unwind in the Hot Springs of Conoc
You’ll enjoy the final breakfast before we start out on the last stretch of the hike to Capuliyoc. When you’re there, you’ll say farewell to the rest of the team and visit the Saywite rock. Then, you’ll be able to unwind in the hot springs at Conoc and enjoy a tasty lunch there.
This afternoon, it’ll be time to board our private transport back to Cusco. On the route back, you’ll observe the beautiful scenes out the window and enjoy this last chance to soak it all up. We’ll drop you off at 6:00 pm at your accommodation in Cusco.
You’ll enjoy your last breakfast of the journey as you listen to the roaring Apurimac River and then be off on an early start to avoid walking in the hot sun. Take some last deep breaths and let Mother Nature guide you on his last section of the trek back to Capuliyoc.
When you get to the town, you’ll bid farewell to your trekking team that has accompanied you the whole way. It’ll be time to board our private vehicle that’ll take you to see the colossal rock known as Saywite. While there, you’ll learn that this rock was of great religious importance to the Incas and focused on water.
After your small history lesson, you’ll head to Conoc hot springs and enjoy a dip in the relaxing waters to rest your muscles after all the trekking. You’ll enjoy your final lunch here before continuing in our transport back to Cusco.
Make the most of your last chance to observe the pretty snowy mountains and take some memorable photos of the incredible landscape. You’ll likely be physically tired at this point, but you’ll have such a sense of satisfaction and achievement that none of it will matter. We’ll arrive back in Cusco and take you to the door of your accommodation at around 6:00 pm for you to unwind and get as much rest as you need.
At Salkantay Trekking, we specify the included and non-included services under all the tour itineraries listed on our website. We take care of all the logistics, but please pay attention to the details, so you don’t miss anything. Some items may be different for specific programs, so please read carefully before booking with us.
What Is Included?
High Quality Service & Safety
You’ll meet your trekking guide and group in our office for an orientation before your trek. There, we’ll provide you with the duffle bags, which our horses will carry. The meeting will be at 5:00 pm the evening before the trip begins.
Experienced Tour Guide
English and spanish speaking, professionally educated, and official tour guide. Your guide will explain the culture and surroundings along the entire route, including leading your group in ancient ceremonies! He or she will keep you safe, sound, and comfortable on your trek so that you can enjoy your time worry-free!
Private Camping Equipment
You’ll have spacious dining and kitchen tents where you can enjoy your food without problems. All our equipment like tables, chairs, cooking equipment, etc., will be carried by our horses.
Portable Travel Toilet
One Duffle Bag
On the trek, you can carry your personal belongings up to a maximum weight of 7 kg / 15.4 lb (this weight includes your sleeping bag).
Our camping mattresses will help you sleep comfortably whilst camping!
Medical Kit or First AID Kit
All Salkantay Trekking guides have received specialized training in first aid. We hold mandatory training sessions with our guides every February. Your guide will always carry a first aid kit to face basic emergencies (altitude sickness, travelers' diarrhea, cuts, scrapes, etc.) as well as oxygen. If necessary, we’ll evacuate you from the path as quickly as possible and ensure that you arrive at a clinic for treatment.
Extras Included in our Service
We believe that attention to small details is what sets us apart from other local companies. You’ll receive a cover to protect your backpack on the road and a rain poncho.
Customer Service 24/7
We have telephone service available 24 hours/day for ease of communication with Salkantay Trekking leading up to your trek.
Our main priority will always be the tranquillity of our clients. All of our guides are prepared for emergencies in the mountains; however, being a phone call away from any doctor, hospital, or friend helps you feel more secure. For this reason, each Salkantay Trekking guide has a satellite phone that can be used anywhere on the mountain to call anywhere in the world.
3 Nights Accommodation in Tents
Salkantay Trekking uses the best equipment to ensure your safety and comfort. Every 2 people will share Eureka Timberline or Mountain Hard Wear tents with a capacity for 4 people.
4 Breakfasts, 4 Lunches, and 3 Dinners
Our chef prepares the best dishes in the middle of the mountain. Our passengers love our food! We respect all diets (vegetarian, vegan, or special menus are available at no extra cost), so let us know if you have any particular allergies or restrictions on your reservation form and remind your guide during the briefing. You’ll enjoy breakfast, lunch, and dinner, in addition to hot drinks and snacks.
Water on the trail
We’ll provide you boiled, filtered, and cooled water during your trek. For this, you need to bring a camel bag or an empty bottle (we recommend a capacity of 2 liters).
Wake up tea
Every morning at the campsite, you'll be woken up with a cup of hot coca tea. Our staff will provide you the tea in your tent so that you will be warm from inside out before you start your day.
Tea Time or Happy Hour
Every afternoon before dinner, the cooks will provide you popcorn, biscuits/cookies, coffee, hot chocolate, teas, hot water, etc. After a long day of hiking, you won't have to wait until dinner to relax, warm-up, and enjoy a bite to eat!
Snacks on the trail daily
Before starting your trekking, your tour guide will provide you a cloth bag with local fruits, cookies, chocolate, caramels, etc. Every morning, we’ll refill it so that you can enjoy your snacks during the walk.
One cloth snack bag per person
To avoid the usage of plastic bags that contaminate our environment, we'll give you a cloth bag for your snacks.
Products for hygiene
You’ll be provided with a small towel and soap before each meal to clean your hands.
- Day 1: You'll be picked up from your hotel in the morning and will travel in our private transportation to Capuliyoc, the trek's starting point.
- Day 4: Once you complete the tour, we'll take you back to the door of your hotel in Cusco.
While trekking, cargo mules will carry all the camping equipment and your baggage allowance (7 kg / 15.4 lb). Our muleteers will be responsible for your duffle bag and personal items, and they’ll hand them to you when you get to each camp.
Permits & Entrance Tickets
Entrance Ticket for Choquequirao Trek
What Is Not Included?
You can rent one from our company if you don’t have your own. Our sleeping bags are effective and durable to protect you from temperatures as low as -18ºC (0ºF). They are mummy-form and include a sleeping liner. The bags are cleaned after every use and have a maximum usage of 30 trips.
US$ 20.00 per person
Walking Sticks (with rubber tips) can be very useful on rough terrain and for ascending and descending. You can rent a set from our company if you’d like.
US$ 20.00 per person
Day 4 Dinner in Cusco
Hiking Clothes & Gear
Tips for our staff
Tipping is the norm on any excursion to Machu Picchu. Although we pay good salaries to our entire team, something extra is always welcome, especially considering the hard work they do. Typically, group participants collect their tips to hand out to the horsemen and chefs together.
Additional costs or delays beyond our control
Landslides, bad weather conditions, itinerary modifications due to a safety concern, illness, pandemia, government policy changes, political instability, strikes, act of God, etc.
We want to make your trip to Peru as memorable and as easy as possible. In this section, you'll find speedy answers to all those questions you had about hiking in Peru with Salkantay Trekking in one place. Please read the following information carefully – it will help you with any questions about our services. Please read carefully the following information – it will help you with any questions you may have about our services.
Have another question that we haven’t answered here? Drop us a line and we will get back to you asap!
How many days do I need to acclimate in Cusco before the Trek?
It’s very important to be well acclimated to the altitude before exerting yourself on a trek. We recommend that you arrive in Cusco at least 2 or 3 days before the trek starts to help you adjust and avoid possible problems with altitude sickness while on the trek.
You might have already been in another area of Peru at a high altitude before arriving in Cusco. In that case, we still recommend you have a whole day in Cusco to rest, recover from your travel, and enjoy the sights and sounds of Cusco before departing for the trek.
Here some suggestions for activities to do in the Cusco vicinity before starting your adventure trek:
Briefing or Informative Meeting
All information meetings and briefings are held in our main office in Cusco (or your hotel) at 5:00 pm, one night before the tour begins. These meetings last approximately 30 to 45 minutes. If you’re unable to attend, you must coordinate another time by email, by phone or at the Salkantay Trekking office.
Trek Balance Payment (in Cusco)
The trek has to be paid for in full at most 7.30 pm one day before your departure (generally after the briefing).
It would be much appreciated if you pay the trek balance in cash US dollars or local currency at our office in Cusco. You can withdraw some money from several ATMs along Avenida Sol (either in US dollars or local Peruvian Soles). You can pay by credit card or PAYPAL online, but you will have to pay an 5% service charge, charged by VISA and PAYPAL. We do not accept bank checks or payment of the balance by traveler’s checks.
Duffel Bag or Canvas Case
You’ll receive a canvas case or duffel bag during your briefing. Our horses will carry them, and the horsemen will hand them to you when you get to each camp. They measure 60 x 24 x 22 cm (23.6 x 9.45 x 8.66 in).
A maximum of 7 kg / 15.4 lb is allowed for each duffel bag, including the weight of your sleeping bag, sleeping mat, clothes, and other personal items.
Can I store my luggage at your office?
Of course! During the trip, your main luggage can be stored at our office (you can organize it with us on the briefing day or by email) or at your hotel, both free of charge.
Any equipment that you won’t need on the trek can be stored safely in your hotel. Nearly every hotel will provide this service. Don’t leave items of value with your bags; put them in the hotel safe and obtain an itemized receipt (in the unlikely case of theft, many insurance companies require that you have a copy of the receipt itemizing everything). It’s best to put items such as credit cards inside a sealed, signed envelope for extra peace of mind.
Pick up of guests
Salkantay Trekking can pick you up from your hotel, as long as it’s in the Historical Center of Cusco. Your guide will coordinate the pickup time in the briefing session, but please keep in mind that the time may vary between 30 and 45 minutes due to traffic.
Cusco is an old city, meaning it has many narrow cobbled streets. Some hotels and Airbnbs may be located on streets without access to cars or on long, steep slopes, making it difficult to transport luggage. We strongly recommend that you book accommodation with good access.
Group tours are made up of different types of people, then physical conditions and ages can vary. By agreeing to be part of a group tour, you also accept that some people may be faster or slower than you. Therefore, each person can go at their own pace on the route. It may be the case that a group wishes to modify the tour; however, the guide will be the one who decides, after consulting with all the participants, if such modifications are possible.
Strikes and demonstrations
Strikes and demonstrations are usually common in Peru, and this may interrupt some of our tours. Roads can be blocked, and train tracks can be taken over. However, we will try to keep your trip as originally planned, even if it means leaving the night before the scheduled date. Under these circumstances, tours may also be canceled. In case of changes or cancellations, everything will be coordinated with you by our operations department. Your safety is our highest priority, and our decisions will be made to protect it.
Please pay attention to where you leave your things and remember to take everything once you leave our transport, tents, or restaurants. You’re the only one responsible for your objects during the tour.
The "Choquequirao Express 4 Days" can leave any day of the week, from March through January. We do not run this trek in February because rainy season & maintenance.
2022 Land Cost
Group Price: US$ 450.00 per person.
Required Pre-payment: US$ 200.00 per person.
Balance (Cusco): US$ 250.00 (Commonly paid in Cusco after the briefing).
This small-group journey is guaranteed to operate with just two guests.
Notice that PayPal charges a fee of 5%, which we ask the client to cover since it's due to the use of its service. This tax is just for online deposits so that you will pay the remaining in cash (the briefing day in Cusco) without charges.
Please, after your deposit, send us the transfer number to firstname.lastname@example.org; only after that, we'll be able to confirm your deposit and reservation.
Extensions & Offers
There are several extensions you can include to your Peru Adventure.
- Rainbow Mountain: US$ 100.00 US$ 80.00
- Sacred Valley: US$ 60.00 US$ 50.00
- City Tour: US$ 30.00 US$ 20.00
There are additional items you can include in this trip. Below is a quick list of prices.
- Sleeping bag:: US$ 20.00
- Walking poles (pair): US$ 20.00
Once your booking has been confirmed, we guarantee the price won’t increase, whatever the circumstances. So please, before booking, ensure you’ve read all our important tour information.
Student discounts apply to anyone 17-years-old or younger, and we need a copy of their passport at booking time. Please send all documentation to email@example.com.
Thank you for your interest in having an adventure travel experience in Peru curated by Salkantay Trekking. Please take a moment to complete our short form, so one our friendly Adventure Consultants could provide you all the information for your trip of a lifetime in Peru.
Our Pledge | Your privacy is respected and protected. The Salkantay Trekking Company will never share, sell, or make public any of your personal contact information to third parties.
Remember | One of our Travel Experts will contact you soon to confirm the availability of the trip you chose, give you more information, and/or provide you alternative options. Once availability is established, we will ask for a deposit and a completed online registration to confirm your spot on the trek. Please call us at (+51) 958 191 179 with any questions or to confirm availability over the phone.
Note | Due to the rainy season and trail maintenance, we don't offer this trek during the whole month of february. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause you, we are working to provide you a better service!