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Choequequirao Trek to Machu Picchu (8D/7N)

This trek is perfect for those who wish to combine remote high-mountain hiking with archaeological exploration. The sheer diversity of terrain you will experience on this route will provide a feast for your eyes, and the remoteness and rarefied atmospheres will nourish your soul. You’ll see fantastic rock formations, deep, colorful canyons, flutes of glacial ice, and nebulous cloud forests during this incredible eight-day trek, culminating with a visit to the Inca citadel of Machu Picchu.

See you on the trail!


Location: Cusco Peru 

Duration: 8 Days / 7 Nights 

Season: March – November 

Group Departures: Last Monday of Every Month

Minimum: 2 Passengers

Difficulty: 1-2-3-4- 5

Expedition Details 

This trek is perfect for those who wish to combine remote high-mountain hiking with archaeological exploration. The sheer diversity of terrain you will experience on this route will provide a feast for your eyes, and the remoteness and rarefied atmospheres will nourish your soul. You’ll see fantastic rock formations, deep, colorful canyons, flutes of glacial ice, and nebulous cloud forests during this incredible eight-day trek, culminating with a visit to the Inca citadel of Machu Picchu.

The route starts at the famous citadel of Choquequirao, passes through the Apurimac Canyon and the Cordillera Vilcabamba, and finally reaches the ancient complex of Machu Picchu.

We invite you to check out the full itinerary for a preview of the incredible discoveries you’ll make along the way. Don’t forget to check our tips on the left-hand side of the page. They will advise you on how to prepare for this intense, life-elevating experience.

See you on the trail!

Location: Cusco
Duration: 8 days / 7 nights
Season: March – November 
Group Departures: Last Monday of every month
Minimum: 2 passengers
Difficulty: 1-2-3-4-5

Starting at $1625     

Duration 8 Days/ 7 NIghts

Last Monday of every month from March to November

Day 1: Cusco – Capuliyoc – Chikisca

In the morning we will be leaving from Cusco headed due north on the main highway to Antapampa, a fertile agricultural valley. Once we begin to descend into Limatambo, we’ll visit the Inca site of Tarawasi, with some beautifully precise Inca geometry found in its structures and stone walls. The road continues until we reach the Apurimac River, an impressive gorge, where we can observe the frothy river winding below. We will drive past the village of Curawasi and on to the Sayhuite archaeological site. Among its features is an enormous monolithic rock carved with various geometrical and animal figures. Some archaeologists consider it to have been a kind of engineering map that showed the extensive hydraulic systems and irrigation channels used to convey water in the area.

A small side road over a ridge brings us down to the village of Capuliyoc, and onto the roadhead where we start today’s hike. Here we will meet the rest of our field crew and we’ll attain our first view of the Apurimac Canyon with the snow-capped peaks of Nevado Padreyoc front and center, and Nevado Qoriwayrachina to the left. We begin our descent and make camp at a cozy site on the riverside at Chikisca, at 1850 masl (6069 fasl).
(L / D)

Driving distance: 175 km (108.8 mi) – Time: 4:30 hours
Trekking distance: 7.4 km (4.6 mi) – Time: 3 hours 

Day 2: Chikisca – Marampata – Choquequirao

We get up with the sunrise, and after a hearty breakfast, begin the day’s trek, crossing the river over a footbridge. From here an uphill walk of half a day brings us to a small meadow where we’ll enjoy a picnic lunch. As we ascend the steep trail, we will be confronted with panoramic views, sheer drops, and the beauty of the Apurimac Canyon. The afternoon hike is less steep as we approach the hanging valley through verdant misty forest to the site of Choquequirao. We’ll set up camp on the level ground at the section known as Marampata, as we begin our explorations of this isolated Inca site and the surrounding cloud forest. We can also visit the Choquequirao main plaza, which features a network of terraces with Llama Figures called ¨the Llamas of the Sun.” We will camp at available campsites.
(B / L / D)

Trekking distance: 12.8 km (8 mi) – Time: 8 hours

Day 3: Choquequirao – Pinchiunuyoc

We will spend this entire day exploring the various archaeological sites located at different points on the hillside overlooking the Apurimac River. We begin by passing alongside the stream of Chunchumayo, with spectacular views of the other side of the canyon. We will have a chance to explore some of the restored buildings: these include storage facilities, living quarters, a garrison, and impressive ceremonial sites. The very first written reports of a visit to this complex date from 1768 by the explorer Cosme Bueno. He was followed by a variety of explorers, scientists, and treasure hunters through 1909, when Hiram Bingham also visited the area, even before his historic re-discovery of Machu Picchu.

We will have time to wander through this extended settlement, spending most of the day marveling at the different buildings. In the afternoon, we’ll pack our equipment and move to the next campsite. We’ll begin our ascent from our campsite to the Pass of Choquequirao (3250 m / 10,660 ft), finally entering the moist cloud forest where we’ll find Polyepis trees, bromeliads, and epiphytic plants including exotic, colorful orchids, and bright green ferns. We’ll descend to Pinchiunuyoc, a terraced agricultural complex that supplied Choquequirao with agricultural products and prepare our camp for the evening.
(B / L / D)


Trekking distance: 1.8 km (1.1 mi) – Time: 2.5 hours

Day 4: Pinchiunuyoc – Maizal

We continue our descent to the gushing Yuracmayo River, finally arriving at and crossing the riverbed. Now, we begin our ascent to Maizal, a vista point with panoramic views of the Yurahmayo and Yanama gorges, as they join together and rush towards the Apurimac Canyon. The landscape in front of us sweeps out to the Cordillera Vilcabamba range, from where the Inca staged a rebellion after the Spanish conquest. At this natural west-facing viewpoint, we can observe a beautiful sunset before getting settled for the evening.
(B / L / D)

Trekking distance: 5 km (3.1 mi) – Time: 6 hours

Day 5: Maizal – Mina Victoria – Yanama

The trail ascends steeply towards Mina Victoria, once an Inca mine, and later a colonial copper mine. We’ll hike along Qoriwayrachina Hill, a ruin that was used as a way station for travelers during the time of the Inca, where fairly recent excavations have taken place. Once over the pass (3900 m / 12, 792 ft), we’ll enjoy a hearty lunch and begin our descent to the village of Yanama, with panoramic views of Mt. Pumasillo in the distance. This night we will camp at Yanama.
(B / L / D)

Trekking distance: 10 km (6.2 mi) – Time: 7 hours

Day 6: Yanama – Hornopampa – Lucmabamba

Recently a road has been built that can accommodate four-wheel-drive vehicles. We will trek along a trail skirting this narrow road. Heading up the Yanama Valley, past fields of native farmers going about their chores, we reach the trailhead below the Quiswar Pass (4180 m / 13,710 ft). Depending on the road conditions, a vehicle will pick us up along this trail. Crossing over the pass, we’ll marvel at the majestic views of Mt. Salkantay and Mt. Humantay, in the distance. Descending to the valley of Totora below, we’ll reach Hornopampa and then continue to our next campsite in the region near Lucmabamba. We will begin to notice signs of other humans in the area, as we pass small settlements of farmers growing coffee and tropical fruits.
(B / L / D)

Trekking distance: 9 km (5.6 mi) – Time: 7 hours
Driving distance: 60 km (37.3 mi) – Time: 2:30 hours

Day 7: Lucmabamba – Paltallacta – Machu Picchu Village

Traversing dense cloud forest with a chance to hear myriad birdcalls and observe a great diversity of flora, we’ll pass the pre-Inca site of Paltallacta, with its symmetrical Inca terracing and ancient stonework. From here we’ll attain a magnificent view of Machu Picchu’s northern face. We will now descend to the Urubamba Valley, with a chance for a refreshing dip in the Aobamba River, meandering along the path to the hydroelectric plant. In the afternoon, we’ll board the train to Machu Picchu village, where we will spend the night at a local hotel.
(B / L)

Trekking distance: 10 km (6.2 mi) – Time: 7 hours
Train ride: 11.3 km (7 mi) – Time: 30 minutes

Day 8: Machu Picchu – Cusco

After an early breakfast, we’ll hop on board the bus up to the ruins, a half-hour ascending ride. Your English-speaking guide will accompany you as you explore the breath-taking ruins and learn about the various structures and buildings, and the lifestyles of its former inhabitants. You’ll be immersed in the sheer beauty of the complex and its verdant surroundings, as you breathe in the rarefied air of the cloud forest. Return to the village below in the afternoon, where you’ll board a train back to Cusco or Ollantaytambo. (Hotel overnight and dinner on your own).
(B / L)

Trekking distance: visit Machu Picchu – Time: 3 hours
Bus ride to Machu Picchu (RT): 12.4 km (7.7 mi) – Time: 1 hour
Train ride: 43 km (27 mi) – Time: 1:45 hours
Driving distance Ollantaytambo to Cusco: 79 km (49 mi) – Time: 2 hours

End of services
B- Breakfast / BL- Box Lunch / L- Lunch / D- Dinner ​

Choequequirao Trek to Machu Picchu
Mar 30 - Apr 06, 2020
From $1625 USD
Apr 27 - May 04, 2020
From $1625 USD
May 25 - Jun 01, 2020
From $1625 USD
Jun 29 - Jul 06, 2020
From $1625 USD
Jul 27 - Aug 03, 2020
From $1625 USD
Aug 31 - Sep 07, 2020
From $1625 USD
Sep 28 - Oct 05, 2020
From $1625 USD
Oct 26 - Nov 02, 2020
From $1625 USD



Make a Deposit
Choequequirao Trek to Machu Picchu
Mar 30 - Apr 06, 2020
Deposit from $500 USD
Please note that here you can pay a part of the amount for your trip (deposit) . After the payment you'll receive a deposit code for this tour and you'll be able to pay the rest of the amount later.

Apr 27 - May 04, 2020
Deposit from $500 USD
Please note that here you can pay a part of the amount for your trip (deposit) . After the payment you'll receive a deposit code for this tour and you'll be able to pay the rest of the amount later.

Inquire about this Tour

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Why we love Explorandes

Explorandes (1975) has been a pioneer in adventure travel. We were the first company to operate the Inca Trail trek, spearheading tourism in remote and rural regions of Peru. Our founders discovered ancient ruins, hidden trails, and the last uncharted rivers in the most fantastic and varied natural landscapes of the Andes. As innovators and passionate adventure enthusiasts, Explorandes gives back to the places we love exploring by creating top quality tailor-made travel experiences.

Explorandes is certified by the Rainforest Alliance and has a long record of upholding sustainable practices and giving back to the local community.

What’s Included on your trek? 

  • Transportation
  • Professional bilingual guide
  • Bus ticket Machu Picchu – Machu Picchu Village (round trip)
  • Double occupancy tents with Thermarest sleeping pads
  • Guided tour in Machu Picchu
  • Lunch in Machu Picchu Village on day 5
  • All meals during trek
  • Non-alcoholic drinks
  • Kitchen and dining tents
  • Cook and field staff
  • Horses and drivers
  • Entrance tickets
  • Solar energy lamps
  • Eco toilets
  • Adequate garbage disposal
  • First aid kit and oxygen tank
  • Hotel in Machu Picchu Village
  • Train from Ollantaytambo to Machu Picchu Village and from Machu Picchu Village to Cusco
  • Personal travel insurance
  • Dinner in Machu Picchu Village on Day 4
  • Laundry service
  • Airline tickets
  • Sleeping bags (rent available)
  • Personal gear
  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Additional services
  • Tips
  • Extras
  • Regular and long wicking first layer for cold weather, like polyester, nylon, or merino wool
  • Short-sleeved shirts or t-shirts, breathable fabrics, like nylon and polyester
  • Light-colored long-sleeved shirts or t-shirts
  • QuickDry Pants, trekking pants, and shorts
  • Insulated long-sleeve jacket (fleece, synthetic, down, merino wool)
  • Liner gloves
  • Light cap and beany
  • Rain jacket (in the rainy season, bring rain pants)
  • Breathable sports socks or hiking socks
  • Warm socks for nights
  • Swimsuit
  • Multifunctional headwear (e.g. Buff)
  • Waterproof and breathable hiking boots
  • Comfortable and lightweight shoes for campsite
  • Sleeping Bag (0°/32° to -15°/ 5°) (rent available)
  • Day Pack (preferably with rain cover)
  • Trekking Poles (available to rent)
  • Waterproof duffle bag
  • Sunglasses
  • Headlamp
  • Microfiber towel
  • Sunblock, lip balm, and insect repellent
  • Reusable water bottle or vacuum bottle
  • Portable Power Bank (to charge lamps, etc)
  • Personal First Aid Kit (recommended)

Terms & Conditions 


All prices hold for the duration of the calendar year in which they were set. At the end of each calendar year, all prices are reevaluated and/or adjusted. Due in large part to our good relations with hotels, transport companies and operators, we are able to maintain competitive prices. All of our prices include administrative and operational costs.

IMPORTANT: Some properties and third party providers do increase their rates around special holidays and dates, including, for example, Christmas, New Year’s, Inti Raymi, and any other national holiday or special date. In these situations, the price may be higher than the prices we have set and listed for the calendar year.

Payment & Booking: 

 In order for us to guarantee the highest quality guides, space in the best hotels, and many other ancillary services for your trip, our policy is that we pre-pay for any contracted services before the passenger’s arrival date. Additionally, a large portion of the passenger’s deposit goes towards acquiring the necessary permits required by the governments of the destinations they will be visiting, which is usually a non-refundable fee.

For these reasons, we have set the following payment policies:

– Deposit: Upon booking with Explorandes, $500 deposit per person. Subject to booking value, an additional deposit may be required and we will advise at the time of quotation.

– Balance Due in full: 60 days prior to arrival.

Cancellations & Refunds

In the event that a passenger needs to cancel their trip with Explorandes, a cancellation fee will be charged to the passenger. The amount of the cancellation fee is set according to the number of days in advance of the passenger’s arrival that Explorandes was notified of the cancellation. The amount of the cancellation fee is also dependent on the policies of each provider to whom Explorandes has already issued payment in preparation for the passenger’s trip. Some third-party providers do require Explorandes to pre-pay well in advance of a trip to confirm space and services, and many times these payments are non-refundable.

Explorandes’ cancellation refund policy is as follows:

Cancel 0 – 30 days prior to arrival = 100% non-refundable of total trip cost.

Cancel 31-45 days prior to arrival = 75% non-refundable of total trip cost.

Cancel 46-59 days prior to arrival = 50% non-refundable of total trip cost.

Cancel 60 or more days prior to arrival = loss of deposit

Insurance & Medical 

We strongly recommend that every passenger that travels with Explorandes purchase a travel/medical insurance plan before their trip. The passenger can purchase an insurance plan directly through an insurance company of his/her preference at home. If a member of the group gets sick or is incapacitated, Explorandes will help the sick or injured passenger by getting them to a qualified doctor. Any extra costs associated with hospitalization, emergency evacuation, and/or any other costs associated with the illness or injury will be assumed by, and the responsibility of, the individual passenger.


Important – Please read carefully We, Explorandes SAC, reserve the right to modify or withdraw from any travel arrangements when deemed necessary, and when it is in the best interest of our clients. Any bags or luggage are carried at the owner’s own risk throughout the entire duration of the tour. Explorandes SAC acts only in the capacity of an AGENT upon the legal conditions that, while exercising every possible precaution, Explorandes is not responsible for injury, sickness, damage, loss, additional expenses, accidental delay, or other irregularities which may be caused either through willful or negligent acts or omissions on the part of companies or individuals providing or engaged in transportation, accommodation, or other services related to the accomplishment of the tour, or through natural disasters, social upheavals or acts of nature. On day trips, you will sometimes be asked to sign an affidavit, which acts as a release form for risks incurred during your excursion, which is a usual practice for some operators.

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