- 5 Days / 4 Nights
Aracari offers private luxury treks on a private basis only, not as a group tour. We offer guided hikes only as part of a tailormade trip, including all guided excursions and hotels, not as a standalone service.
Located above the glacier-fed Apurimac River, surrounded by towering snow-capped peaks and seated on a high ridge, Choquequirao is a remote, rarely-visited ¨lost city of the Incas¨. This superb five day, four night camping trek plunges down into the Apurimac Canyon and up to reach the ruins of Choquequirao. More rigorous than the classic Inca trail, this is an excellent year-round alternative trek to Machu Picchu for hikers. Aracari arranges the Choquequiraro trek on a private basis only, not as a group tour. The trek can only be booked as part of a tailormade trip to Peru, not on a standalone basis.
The Choquequirao trek with Aracari
Drawing on over 20 year’s experience offering discerning travelers authentic, private luxury Peru treks, we use state-of-the-art equipment, first-class guiding and special creature comorts that we consider ”appropriate luxury”. Expect the likes of 3-person tents used for just two, ecological bathrooms, shower tents and top-notch cuisine for a genuine luxury camping experience. We take our social responsibility seriously, paying fair wages that are above the average to all our staff.
Meaning ¨Cradle of Gold¨ in Quechua, Choquequirao is believed to be where the last Inca rulers fled following the loss of the city of Cusco to the Spanish during the conquest.The ruins were first visited and described to the western world by a French explorer during the 18th century. Hiram Bingham also visited the site in 1910, prior to his rediscovery of Machu Picchu in 1911.
Choquequirao Trek itinerary
Cusco – Cachora – Coca Masana – Playa Rosalina
You’ll leave Cusco in the early morning for a four to five hour drive to the town of Cachora (2,900m/9,514ft). Here you will have a late breakfast and meet your wranglers to arrange your equipment on mules and horses. It is a two hour hike to Capuliyoc (2,915m/9,563ft) from where you can enjoy your first beautiful views of the Apurimac Valley stretching below as well as the snow-capped peaks of Padrayoc and Wayna Cachora. Then, descend toward Coca Masana (2,330m/7,644ft), where the climate becomes noticeably warmer and the flora and fauna begin to change. Finally, arrive at Playa Rosalina (1,550m/5,085ft) beside the Apurimac River, where you will set up camp and spend the night. Your total trek today will cover approximately 12 kilometres (7.5 miles), which is about six to seven hours of hiking.
Rosalina Beach – Choquequirao
This day is considered the most rigorous of the trek. After an early breakfast you’ll begin to climb a steep trail. It is a five hour hike to Raqaypata beside the Chunchullumayo River, where you will have a late lunch and a much-deserved rest. Along the way observe a wide variety of orchids, wild flowers and many birds. From Raqaypata to Choquequirao (3,035m/9,957ft) it is another two hour hike. You will arrive at the archaeological site in time to enjoy the sunset and with luck, you may see some condors flying nearby. Your campsite will be just outside the ruins. Your total trek today will cover approximately 15 kilometres (9.3 miles), which is about six to eight hours of hiking.
Choquequirao – Raqaypata
Today is dedicated to exploring the incredible ruins of Choquequirao. After breakfast your guide will explain the history and importance of the site. Then, you will have free time to visit the many sectors of the complex and to enjoy a box lunch. In the late afternoon you will start the return trek and set up camp at Raqaypata (2,970m/9,744ft). Your total trek today will cover approximately 3 kilometres (1.8 miles).
Raqaypata – Coca Masana
After breakfast you will continue your return trek with a steep descent towards the Apurimac River. You will rest and enjoy lunch on the bank of the river, and in the afternoon you will climb for approximately four hours to your final campsite at Coca Masana (2,330m/7,644ft). Your total trek today will cover approximately 17 kilometres (10.6 miles), which is about eight hours of hiking.
Coca Masana – Cachora – Cusco
After breakfast you have a three-hour climb until you reach Capuliyoc. From then on it is a fairly flat trail back to the village of Cachora (2,900m/9,514ft). Say goodbye to your wranglers and then board a bus back towards Cusco. You will stop at the archaeological site at Saihuite for a chance to rest and have lunch. Another four hours by bus will bring you back to Cusco, where you can indulge in a long, hot shower and a hearty meal to reward yourself after the hard work! Your total trek today will cover approximately 6 kilometres (3.7 miles), which is about two to three hours of hiking.
Please keep in mind that distances, altitudes and chosen campsites are subject to minor variations as the route undertaken may vary slightly. In addition, trekking time can vary for each hiker and any times detailed in the description below are averages.