The Choquequirao to Huanipaca Trek is perfect for those looking to get away from the crowds or who are looking for the most adventure and something different than a trek to Machu Picchu. The Choquequirao trek is an established and famous hike that plunges down into the Apurimac canyon and then up again to the fascinating ruins of Choquequirao. While this is a tough hike, you are rewarded with spectacular views the whole way.
The trek takes you to the sister city of Machu Picchu, Choquequirao (The Cradle of Gold) which sits high above the Apurimac Valley. The ruins of Choquequirao, perched on a ledge high above are not as extensive as Machu Picchu, but probably more fascinating and much more remote.
In previous years it was necessary to trek to, and then return from Choquequirao along the same trail, which was not an ideal situation. We believe that this new route that exits via Huanipaca enhances the Choquequirao experience! This new exit route offers you a wide variety of flora and fauna, beautiful scenery and a chance to interact with the locals in remote areas. Overall, the Choquequirao Trek is the adventure of a lifetime.
Starting Altitude - 2900m / 9515ft.
Highest Altitude - 3050m / 10,005ft
Walking Distance - 64 km / 40 miles
Longest Day - Day 1, approximately 25 km/15.5 miles
Overall Difficulty - Difficult
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The CHOQUEQUIRAO TO HUANIPACA trek tour departs daily and it can be hiked year round although the months of April till October are probably more comfortable since the weather is drier. June, July and August are the high season when this tour can be fully booked so be sure to make your reservations in advance. The months of January, February and March are in the wet season so hiking the trail requires that you have a good rain jacket and waterproof tent.
The CHOQUEQUIRAO TO HUANIPACA trek is rated difficult, but not at high altitude. It is challenging due to steep ascents and descents. It is important to be in good health and feel comfortable walking for extended periods of time. You must also be well prepared specially because altitudes of 3050m are reached, so ensuring that you are well acclimatized is important. If arriving from sea level, plan to spend at least 2 full days in Cusco prior to commencing the trek. This should allow plenty of time for acclimatization and give you sufficient opportunity to visit the city of Cusco and nearby Inca ruins at Sacsayhuaman, Q'enko, Pucapucara and Tambomachay, as well as spending a day or two exploring the Sacred Valley of the Incas visiting the tradition market town of Pisac and the fascinating Inca fortress at Ollantaytambo
Let’s start the adventure!!!!
We depart Cusco early in a private car for a four hour drive to Cachora. On the way, we will visit the archaelogical site of Saywite. Saywite’s mysterious monolith is said to represent the Inca cosmology. Animals, water canals and other structures are carved into the grey boulder.
The 7.5 feet high and 13 feet in diameter rock is only part of an extended Inca site; a ceremonial platform or “ushnu” is located south of the “pacchas” (a set of steps running down by a canal that used to symbolize water flowing in nature). The Capaq Ñan (Main Inca Pathway) remains abandoned nearby, used by motor vehicles that disregard its historic importance.
After Saywite, we will begin descending to the mountain village of Cachora, (2909m / 9543ft), a last minute opportunity to buy supplies.
After lunch, it is a 2 hour hike to Capuliyoc (2915 metres/ 9561 feet) from where we have our first beautiful views of the Apurimac valley stretching below as well as the snow-capped peaks of Padrayoc and Wayna Cachora. From here its a steep downhill descent for approximately 3 hours to our campsite.
Distance Travelled: 19 km / 11.80 ml
Approximate Walking Time: 6 hrs
Accommodation: Camping at Chiccisqa (1836m / 6023ft).
Today is Choquequirao!!!
Departing early, we descend to Playa Rosalinas and the magnificent Apurimac River (1550 metres/ 5084 feet) about 1 hour of hiking. We then begin our steep climb to Santa Rosa (2095m / 6873ft); where we can take a refreshing break, rest and buy water. We continue upwards, towards Marampata (2913m / 9557ft), a flat place where we can rest in similar conditions to Santa Rosa; enjoying a splendid view of Choquequirao. This spot also has bathrooms and we will have lunch here.
The climb from the river takes about 5 hours and is tough. From our lunch spot we can see the ruins of Choquequirao, from here we have two hours more to hike to the ruins. (3110 metres/ 10120 feet) We will spend the late evening in the ruins, where we will watch the sunset and have the chance to see condors.
Accommodation: Camping at Choquequirao campsite (bathrooms and cold water showers)
Distance Travelled: 14 km / 8.69 ml
Approximate Walking Time: 7-8 hrs
After a heartwarming breakfast!!!
In the morning we will have a second visit to the archaelogical site of Choquequirao, further understanding its importance within the Inca Empire.
After a rest, we will begin our descent to cross the Apurimaq River over the San Ignacio Bridge. The descent is very very steep and so we take our time, descending slowly. This path will demonstrate how steep this river valley is, as well as exposing some impressive and unforgettable views (approx 4 hours to descend).
We will rest at the ex Hacienda San Ignacio, after crossing the river and climbing a gentle hill. this is the lowest point fo the trek at 1450m. From here its a gentle climb upwards along the river valley of the Tambobamba river for 2 hours towards the hotel at Villa de Los Loros. Villa de Los Loros lodge was designed to be in full harmony with the surrounding environment. While it has a rustic and natural feel, it also has very comfortable installations, including bungalow style bedrooms and a cozy dining room. It has 24 hour hot water.
Distance Travelled: 16 km
Approximate Walking Time: 6 hours
Accomodation: Villa de los Loros
Today we take it easy!!!
Today allows us a sleep in, and then we can visit some of the surrounds of Villa de Los Loros, including a working farm. We will have an early lunch, around 11am, so that when our private car arrives, we will be ready to go. Its approximately 6 hours back to Cusco from Villa de los Loros.We will arrive in Cusco between 5 and 6pm.
• Pre trek briefing
• Collection from your hotel in the morning of trek departure.
• Transport from Cusco to the trailhead at the beginning of the trek in private car
• Entry fee to Saywite and Choquequirao
• English/Quechua/Spanish speaking professional guide (you will have an assistant guide for groups over 6 people).
• Tents - 2 people in a 4 person tent which allows for greater comfort, and also storage of backpacks.
• Basic foam mattress. If you require greater comfort during the trek we can hire you an inflatable mattress (eg. Thermarest)
• Cook and Cooking equipment (Assistants are provided for larger groups)
• Toilet tent
• Meals as indicated in the itinerary (optional vegetarian food). Our professional cooks prepare meals that incorporate elements of the western diet and also traditional Peruvian delicacies. (Please communicate with your guide/cook during the trek if you have a preference for certain types of dishes). Salads, if served, are washed in boiled water.
• Horses (for equipment and personal items) including horsemen. They carry camping equipment, food and kitchen utensils. We provide duffel bags at your briefing for your personal items and sleeping bag (up to 7 kg/15lbs per person).
• 1 emergency horse which can be ridden if you are feeling ill or if are a little slower
• Dining tent with camp tables and chairs & Kitchen tent for the cook to prepare meals
• Tents for our staff to sleep in
• First aid kit including emergency oxygen bottle
• 1 night accomodation on a twin share basis at Villa de los Loros Lodge. (if you are a single traveller you will need to pay a supplement) If the lodge is booked out, accomdoation will be camping.
• Private transport from Cachora to Cusco
• Lunch on the last day is included in this itinerary.
• A light day pack with a change of clothes for the whole period of the trek - prepare for a vast range of changes in temperature
• Rain gear (jacket and pants if available) or rain poncho. Plastic ponchos can be bought for about $1 in Cusco
• Strong footwear, waterproof trekking boots recommended. Extra socks are a must.
• Sandals or plastic slip on thongs are also good to give your feet a chance to breath in the evenings if you wish to carry them.
• Warm clothes, including jacket, fleeces, gloves, scarf and beanie/touk. Thermal clothing is also recommended, especially for sleeping.
• It gets hot in the Apurimac canyon, you should also be prepared for hot conditions on this trek.
• Sleeping bag (we can hire these to you)
• Torch/ Flashlight and spare batteries
• Camera, films and batteries (batteries consume more quickly under cold conditions)
• Hat or cap to protect you from the sun, rain and cold
• Sun block
• After-sun cream or hydrating cream for face and body
• Insect repellent - minimum recommended 20% DEET - although no malaria risk has been reported
• Toilet paper, pack in & pack out
• Snacks: biscuits, energy bars, chocolate, raw fruits, muesli, etc.
• Non-disposable canteen (Nalgene type) and water for the first morning.
• We advise you to bring water sterilizing tablets in case you collect water from streams.
• Your own medical kit with any special medications that you might require, paracetamol, second skin for blisters etc.
• Small towel or sarong
• Bathers/swimsuit (if you intend on swimming in hot springs )
• Cash - sufficient for tips and souvenirs, or any drinks or snacks you might want to buy along the way.
• Original passport & ISIC (International Student Identity Card) if you have one.
• Walking sticks or poles (we can rent these to you.
• Binoculars (if you have them)
• Breakfast on the first morning.
• Dinner on the last night.
• Sleeping bags - If you haven't got a sleeping bag or you don't want the hassle of bringing one all the way to Peru with you, then we have sleeping bags for hire.
• Tips for the guide, cook and porters
• Additional horses for passengers luggage.
• Extra mule to carry YOUR things - $10.00 per trip day
• Extra riding mule and muleteer to lead it - $18 per trip day
• Sleeping Bag suitable for – 10deg $4.00 per trip day
• Deluxe Sleeping Bag suitable for -15deg. $5.00 per trip day)
• Walking stick lightweight aluminum ($2.00 per day, per stick) Two sticks are recommended for tough hikes.
• Thermarest inflatable mattress - $4 per trip day
• Inflatable pillow - $2 per trip day
• Comforting Camping trek upgrade $40.00 per trip day
• Single tent supplement (ie you don’t want to share a tent) $25.00 per person
• The Choquequirao to Huanipaca Trek is non-transferable, non-reimbursable and the participant cannot change the date of departure.
• If during the length of the program the traveler abandons the excursion due to altitude, health, or for any other reason, no reimbursement will be made and no claim will be accepted. RAINBOWMOUNTAIN.CENTER does not cover the expenses made by the traveler due to abandonement such as meals, hotel, return transportation, medical expenses, etc.
• Certain Services might be interrupted or even cancelled due to weather conditions, natural disasters or other disturbances such as civil unrest, worker strikes, etc. These are out of the control of hotels, Service suppliers, RAINBOWMOUNTAIN.CENTER or its partners and therefore, no refund will be given.
• In case of force majeur, when a trek or tour cannot start or be completed, RAINBOWMOUNTAIN.CENTER will find an alternative. If this alternative is of lower value than the originally booked tour, RAINBOWMOUNTAIN.CENTER will refund the difference.
• It is compulsory that all clients have personal travel insurance. This insurance must cover personal accidents, medical expenses, loss of effects and all other expenses which might arise as a result of loss, damage or injury occurring to the client. RAINBOWMOUNTAIN.CENTER cannot be considered responsible for any accident or loss of personal belongings the customer caused by his/her acts
The Client may cancel this tour package at any time provided that the cancellation is communicated to email@example.com in writing. Cancellation charges will be applied as shown below calculated from the day written notification is received by firstname.lastname@example.org. All reservations cancelled are subject to a cancellation fee:
|Cancelation Notice Received||Cancelation Penalty %|
|16+ Days advanced notice||$20 Penalty|
|10-15 Days advanced notice||60% Penalty of total booking paid|
|7-9 Days advanced notice||80% Penalty of total booking paid|
|0-6 Days advanced notice||100% Penalty of total booking paid|