CHOQUEQUIRAO THE LAST INCA REFUGE 11D - 10N

The Choquequirao Trek is perfect for those looking to get away from the crowds or who are looking for something other than Machu Picchu during their trip. The trek takes you to the sister city of Machu Picchu, Choquequirao (The Cradle of Gold) which sits high above the Apurimac Valley.


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CHOQUEQUIRAO THE LAST INCA REFUGE

Cusco is a city with a special charm, whose Spanish Colonial and Inca structures tell an epic tale of the rise and fall of two great empires. During this cultural experience you will see the most significant Inca places and around Cusco as well as appreciate the grandeur of the main square and the cathedral. In the Plaza de Armas, or Main Square, of Cusco, we will see the 17th century baroque Cathedral built on the site where Inca Wiracocha’s palace once stood, in part with stones taken from Sacsayhuamán Fortress. It boats an altar of solid silver, paintings by the lauded Cusco School (including Zapata’s last supper with Andean guinea pig gracing the table), the largest bell in South America, known as the María Angola, and various chapels filled with masterpieces of precious materials, including the Señor de Temblores (Lord of the Earthquakes), credited with saving Cusco during the 1650 earthquake. We will then move backwards in time to the prior religious center of Cusco and most sacred spot in Cusco during Inca times, Qoricancha (Golden Temple), the Temple of the Sun, where offerings were rendered to the supreme Inca deity, Inti (Sun). Though its gold was looted by the Spanish, you’ll still get a chance to see some of the finest Inca stonework in Cusco.

Sacsayhuaman – Qenqo – Tambomachay - Pisaq

We will move along the outskirts of Cusco, where you can marvel at the massive stones which form Sacsayhuaman and after we continue to Qenqo (Labyrinth/Zigzag), a shrine dedicated to the earth deity Pachamama and astronomical calendar, Tambomachay (Resting Place, canals and aqueducts channeled through the terraced rocks, supplied by nearby springs, and Puka Pucara, believed to have been a fortress protecting the entry to Tambomachay. The Sacred Valley of the Incas or Urubamba Valley is a valley in the Andes of Peru, close to the Inca capital of Cusco and below the ancient sacred city of Machu Picchu. The valley is generally understood to include everything between Písac and Ollantaytambo, parallel to the Urubamba River, or Vilcanota River or Wilcamayu, as this Sacred river is called when passing through the valley. It is fed by numerous rivers which descend through adjoining valleys and gorges, and contains numerous archaeological remains and villages. The valley was appreciated by the Incas due to its special geographical and climatic qualities. It was one of the empire's main points for the extraction of natural wealth, and the best place for maize production in Peru. Here we experience a vibrant atmosphere of communities, traditions and bartering. There are many handicrafts and textiles made in true pre-Columbain style to purchase.

Sacred ValleyIt is here in this most beautiful, strategic spot, 60 kilometres from Cusco, that the Inca Pachacutec built his fortress of Ollantaytambo. It is a beautiful setting and the hills that surround it hide some of the most impressive ruins in the Valley. It contains structures such as the Temple of the Sun, the Royal Hall, the Incahuatana and the Banos de la Princesa (Princess Baths). This site is one of the few places that the Spaniards lost a battle during the conquest.The remains of what was the royal hacienda of Tupac Inca Yupanqui, as well as a beautiful colonial temple built on Inca foundations. After this we are going to continue to Moray the unique places that has circular terraces was used as a laboratory or greenhouse.

Choquequirao trail to Machupicchu

This experience will bring us to one of the most beautifull sites in the Cusco-area and Peru CHOQUEQUIRAO. The archaeological site of CHOQUEQUIRAO is part of the complex system of Andean towns in Vilcabamba Valley. In the time of the Incas, it was united and in communication with Machu Picchu by a complex network of trails. Choquequirao is situated in the spurs of the mountain range of Salcantay, at 10.000ft, surrounded by the snow capped mountains of Yanama, Ampay, Choquetacarpo, Pumasillo and Panta on the right side of Apurimac river in the Santa Teresa district, the Convention province of the department of Cusco. Choquequirao is an Inca town formed by small sites spread out in rubblework that in its adjoining constructs a complex metropolis similar to those of the other regions placed on the crest of the hill by the same name- Choquequirao.

Altitude: 1550-4670m./5085-15321f.

Highseason: Whole year

Level of difficulty: Moderate

Climate: warm

Hiking time: Approximately 6 hours

We will leave Cusco early in the morning at about 5:30 am. First we will head for the little village Cachora (2850m/9350f), a nice place surrounded by beautiful mountains and the majestic glacier Padreyoc (5571m/18278f). Here, we will also meet our horsemen who will accompany us during the trip. After having passed the overlooking Capuliyoc (2800m/9186f), we will continue descending to our campsite called Chiquisca (1930m/6332f).

After breakfast, we will first descend to La Playa Rosalina (1550m/4921f) and then climb up to the village of Marampata (2850m/9350f). From here, we will have a nice view of the archeological complex of Choquequirao (3033m/9951f). If we are lucky, we will even see a condor flying at nightfall. Our camping site in Choquequirao is about 25 minutes from the Choquequirao inca site at 2950m/9678f.

Climate: both warm and cold

Hiking time: 7 hours

At dawn, we will first head for the ancient cityl of Choquequirao (3033m/9950) called “Cuna de Oro” - the ‘Cradle of Gold’ - and enjoy the quietness at this place. Beyond, we will explore this archeological site, of which only 35 % is restored, in more detail: we will visit the section of the palaces, the liturgic fountains, the temple of the high priest, the section of the llamas and the Ushnu. Thereafter, our trek continues towards the pass of Choquequirao (3270m/10728f) and passes the archeological site of Pinchaunuyoc (2450m/8038f). Finally, we will head down to the deepest point of the small canyon known as Río Blanco (1900m/6234f) or Río Silvestre where our camping site is situated.

Climate: warm with mosquitoes

Hiking time: 6 hours

Due to the ecosystem’s constant changes, this day is both the most ardous and the most spectacular one. In Maizal (3000m/9843f) we will have a short break to catch some breath and to enjoy the view of the beautiful landscape. Since the Inca trail in this region is not in good conditions during the rainy season, we ask you to watch your steps carefully. In San Juan (4170m/13681f) we will enjoy the beautiful view of the valleys, the mountains and the glaciers, from which some of the latter peak more than 5000m/16404f. Our camping place will be in the little village of Yanama (3530m/11581f).

Climate: warm and cold with mosquitoes

Hiking time: 5 hours

Early in the morning, we will head for the highest pass of this trip - the Yanama (4670m). If we are lucky we will even see a condor flying. During the day, we will enjoy frequently the view of snow capped mountains such as Salkantay (6264m) and Pintuyu (5450m). Our camping place will be in the valley of Totora pampa (3200m).

Climate: warm with mosquitoes.

Hiking time: 8 hours

In Totora pampa we will get the chance to meet Quechua-speaking Andean people who live from agriculture and cattle breeding. The vegetation on our way gets more and more bizarre and reveals its diversity of orchids, bromelains and other plants. We will also see some plantations for coffee, papaya, passion fruit and avocado. Our camping site will either be in La Playa (2100m/6890f) or in Lucmabamba (2020m/6627f).

Climate: warm whit mosquitoes

Hiking time: 7 hours

Our journey starts early in the morning. First, we will follow the Inca Trail till Llactapata (2650m/8694f). This archeologic site is situated amidst a bizarre vegetation and offers an exceptional view of the mountain Machu Picchu. Our trek continues towards the hydroelectric station (1950m/6398f) from where we will take the train to Aguas Calientes (2050m/6726f). In Aguas Calientes we will spend the night in a hotel

Climate: warm

Hiking time: 6 hours

We will leave our hotel after breakfast at 5:30 am and head for Machu Picchu (2400m/7874f) by tourist bus. We will arrive at the citadel around 6:00 am. After a guided tour around the archeological site, including information about life and culture of the Incas, you will have enough time to enjoy Machu Picchu and Wayna Picchu (2750m/9022f) on your own. We will leave Aguas Calientes by train either at 2:55 pm or at 6:10 pm. Until then, you will have time to have lunch in one of the nice restaurants. Moreover, you can visit the hot springs in Aguas Calientes to relax a bit.

Climate: moderate warm

Hiking time: 02 hours

This program includes

  • Private transport from your hotel in Cusco to the town of Cachora
  • Transport from la Playa to Santa Teresa and the hydroelectric station (for all camping and personal luggage)
  • Train from the hydroelectric station to Aguas Calientes
  • Bus up and down from Aguas Calientes to Machu Picchu
  • Tourist train from Aguas Calientes to Cusco or train from Aguas Calientes to Ollantaytambo and bus to Cusco
  • Basic hotel in Santa Teresa
  • Hotel in Aguas Calientes
  • Dinner in Aguas Calientes
  • Entrance fees to Choquequirao
  • Entrance fees to the sanctuary of Machu Picchu
  • Professional bilingual guide (Spanish and English)
  • High quality camping
  • . Mattresses, eating tent with table and chairs, bathroom tent)
  • Meals during the excursion (breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks / option vegetarian
  • Cook and cooking equipment
  • Horseman and mules, for all camping equipment and customer's luggage (Up to 7kg)
  • Emergency horse
  • First-aid kit
  • oxygen bottle

Does not Include

  • Entrance in the Sacred Valley
  • Lunch in the Sacred Valley ( ask our guide for a good recommendation
  • Sleeping bag
  • Lunch on the last day in Machu Picchu
  • Extra night at Aguas Calientes
  • Last lunch in Machupicchu
  • Entrance to Huayna Picchu Mountain

What do you need to bring

  • Backpack with rain shelter.
  • Sleeping back.
  • Clothing for warm and cold climate like a waterproof jacket.
  • Rain pants and lightweight pants.
  • Trekking shoes.
  • Slippers or sandals (for showers and hot springs).
  • Woolen or synthetic socksand a sweater.
  • Long- and short-sleeved polo’s/T-Shirts.
  • Rainponcho and a hat.
  • Bathing suit
  • Sunscreen, insect repellent, disinfecting alcohol and gel, water bottle and sterilizing tablets, toiletries and toilet paper.
  • Camera (wrapped in plastic bag), a flash light and batteries.
  • Some snacks like chocolate bars and dry fruit.
  • Original passport, original ISIC student card and extra money in soles.
  • Since the weather can be very cold and moistly, your clothes - once gotten wet - won’t dry at night. So take some clothes to change.
  • Personal medication

Optional Extras

  • Sleeping Bag US$25
  • Walking Pole US$8
  • Inflatable Mattress US$20
  • Single Tent Supplement US$25
  • Extra 7kg of personal items US$75
  • You have to know:
  • An extra horse to carry your personal items: US$ 20.00 Per Day. A horse can carry up to 30 kg.
  • Sleeping bag rent: US$ 5.00 Per Day. Our sleeping bags are –18ºC-comfort (0ºF) and mummy form and include a sleeping liner.
  • Walking stick lightweight aluminum ($2.00 per day, per stick) Two sticks are recommended for tough hikes.
  • Single tent supplement (ie you don’t want to share a tent) $25.00 per person
  • Aguas Calientes Extra Day Upgrade Package (optional): This package provides clients the opportunity to stay in Aguas Calientes for an extra night: Price: USD $50 Per Night.

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