All kilometres and altitude gains & loss cited are approximate and considered a guide only.

Day 1: We depart Cusco at 7am in a private car for a 4 hour drive to the charming village of Cachora, situated on the edge of the Apurimac canyon and surrounded by impressive snowcapped peaks. 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. Our total hiking time today is about five hours. Accommodation: Camping at Chiccisqa 1950 m 16 km descending 1200m in altitude – cachora to chikisca
Day 2: Departing early, we descend to the magnificent Apurimac River (1550 metres/ 5084 feet) before beginning our climb to Santa Rosa and then onto Maranpata where we will have lunch. The climb from the river takes about 4 hours and is tough. From our lunch spot we can see the ruins of Choquequirao, from here we have two hours more 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 3033m 13 km ascending 1600 m in altitude -Chikisca to Choquequirao
Day 3: We have a chance to more fully explore the ruins and have a little rest in the morning. In the afternoon we will climbing over a ridge hike to the ruins Pinchinuyoc, where we will camp the night. This is definately the easiest day of the trip! Accommodation: Camping at Pinchinuyoc about 3000m/ or depending on the group at Rio Blanco, a further 1.5 to 2 hours descent. 10 km descending 1450 m in altitude – Choquequirao to Rio Blanco
Day 4: After 2 hours of walking, we will arrive at the canyon of the Rio Blanco (1990 metres/6527 feet) where will have a rest before starting a difficult climb to our campsite of Maizal. The climb is 3- 4 hours. Accommodation: Camping at Maizal 3000m 8km ascend 2000 m in altitude – Rio Blanco to Mina Victoria
Day 5: We depart at 7am, and walk uphill for about 3 hours through semi-jungle, to the Victoria Mines. We visit the ancient mines and some Inca Ruins before climbing an hour more to the pass of Abra Victoria. (4130 metres/ 13 546 feet). The newly discovered Coryhuayrachina ruins are between Yanama and Maizal and we do follow well constructed inca steps at an area that we call «Mina Victoria» (we started calling it this because that’s what the muleeteers called it) the newly discovered ruins of Coryhuarachina are nearby There are spectacular views from the pass as we descend to the charming village of Yanama. (about 2 hours walk). Accommodation: Camping at Yanama 4100m 12km 500m descend and ascend 600m in altitude – Mina victoria to Yanama
Day 6: A day of mountain peaks. In this day we walk for seven hours, preferably rising early to appreciate the chain of snowpeaks that we can see from here. We lightly ascend to the second pass which is the highest of our trek at 4850 metres/ 15908 feet. After the pass we descend for three hours to the Valley of Totora, where will spend the night. Accommodation: Camping at Totora about 3900m 18km 700 m ascend and descend 1900m in altitude – Yanama to Colpapampa
Day 7: A day of botany. Today we also walk for seven hours, but the whole day is descending and we can easily notice the changing scenery and different varieties of plants typical of the high jungle – known in Spanish as the «eyebrow of the jungle». Accommodation: Camping at La Playa 2125m Please note that from Day 7 onwards, you will be joining the more touristed Salkantay trek. If you are a «purist» who prefers solo hiking experiences please consider that you will be joining the heavily touristed Salkantay trek but if you want to take the Choquequirao – Machu Picchu route you have to join the Salkantay trek at some point. Otherwise you might like to consider the Last Bastion of the Incas trek which is rarely done but does not end at Machu Picchu. OR you could do Last Bastion of the Incas and then do a Machu Picchu extension. Ultimately, as you get closer to Machu picchu there are going to be more tourists. 16 km 800 m descend in altitude Colpapamap to La playa (or Lucumabamba) or Colcamayu A day of exploration. Today’s walk is about 7 and a half hours as we walk from La Playa to the interesting ruins of Llactapata, from where we have our first tantalising glimpse of Machu Picchu across from us on a ridge. We have three hours of climbing, two hours of descent and 2.5 hours of relatively flat walking as we follow the train tracks into the village of Aguas Calientes. A soak in the thermal baths here are often the perfect respite for aching muscles!!! Accommodation: Hostel in Aguas Calientes 14 km – Santa Theresa to Aguas Calientes (if the group takes the option to go via Llactapata/Patallacta its 10km extra)
Day 8: Cultural day. We have a guided visit of the lost city of the Incas, Machu Picchu Early in the morning (before dawn) we will take a bus up to the ruins of Machu Picchu. (Bus included in price) so that you can appreciate this famous city in the dawn light and before the crowds arrive. You will then have a 2.5 hour guided tour of Machu Picchu with your guide. After your tour you can further explore the ruins by yourself or climb Wayna Picchu for that classic photo of Machu Picchu. Please note that new regulations (designed to protect the ruins and for the safety of visitors) mean that there are two entry times to Huayna Picchu – at 7am and 10am, and each time has a limit of 400 enries. Also try to fit in a visit to the Temple of the Moon or Uyna Huayna Picchu while visiting Huayna Picchu. Normally, during high season those people who climb Huayna picchu spend a extra day at the ruins just to get in the queue for the mountain and then spend a good amount of time on this classic mountain. If you don’t get to do Huayna Picchu, other options are:

  • Inti Punku (gate of the sun) this is the location where the classic inca trail arrives.
  • Inca Bridge
  • Machu Picchu mountain.

We highly recommend walking down from Machu Picchu to get a feeling for the vegetation and also the audacity of its builders. Its a 1.5 hour walk back to the village of Aguas Calientes. We return to Cusco in the afternoon by the backpacker train (leaves either at 6pm) and are met by a driver at Ollantaytambo who will transfer you directly back to your hotel. You will arrive in Cusco approximately 4 hours after your train’s departure from Aguas Calientes.

Itinerary Notes

  • The times cited in this itinerary are approximate. Walking times depend on the group and the guide can change lunch spots and campsites, depending on the progress of the group. Each guide has their own preferred route and it might not correspond exactly to the route described here.
  • This is an adventurous trip. You should be sure to bring an open mind, flexibility and a sense of humor. Most of all you should be prepared to go with the flow.
  • If required, riding horses or horses to carry luggage can be arranged at a reasonable daily rate.
  • An extra night in Aguas Calientes can easily be arranged. We can change the date of your train ticket to the following day. Hotels costs and costs associated with returning to Machu Picchu the following day are additional to trek costs. Please also note that your entry ticket to Machu Picchu is valid for one day only, if you wish to visit the ruins on a second consecutive day you will need to purchase the ticket again, valued at approx $40 US.
  • The Choquequirao to Machu Picchu trek is an adventurous trek, crossing several high passes and the Rio Blanco which does not have a substantial bridge and can be dangerous to cross in periods of heavy rain. We do not recommend this trek during December, January, February, and March but this recommendation depends on the current weather conditions.
  • A reasonable level of fitness is required for this hike in a 8 day/ 7 night itinerary. If you would like to do this tour but feel that you need more time, a longer tour is recommended
  • This region is not frequently visited by tourists, therefore tourist infrastructure is limited. This tour incorporates public transport, and use of local facilities. Visitors should be aware that things change, or may not go to plan. This is all part of the adventure!

What’s included?

  • 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.
  • English/Quechua/Spanish speaking professional guide (you will have an assistant guide for groups over 6 people).
  • Entry fees: Choquequirao and Machu Picchu.
  • Tents – 2 people in a 4 person tent which allows for greater comfort, and also storage of backpacks. All tents were purchased in 07/08.
  • Basic foam mattress. If you require greater comfort during the trek we can hire you an inflatable mattress (eg. Thermarest) for $5 per day.
  • Cook and Cooking equipment (Assistants are provided for larger groups)
  • 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 (up to 5 kg per person). If you wish to take more, you can hire an extra mule at a cost of $8 per day.
  • 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, sleeping bags & mattresses plus a budget for their meals.
  • First aid kit including emergency oxygen bottle – but not blister treatments as known in western countries.
  • Bus from Ollantaytambo to Cusco
  • Train ticket (Backpacker service) Aguas Calientes to Ollantaytambo.
  • 1 night accommodation in Aguas Calientes in a basic hostal. This will be a nice, clean and safe hostel with breakfast included and private bathroom. If you wish to upgrade from this hotel, please check out the options
  • Bus one way to Machu Picchu (valued at $8 US)
  • Celebratory dinner in Aguas Calientes village

What is not included?

  • Breakfast on the first morning.
  • Entrance to the thermal springs
  • Sleeping bags (can be hired from us for US$5 per day) 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. If there are any substantial items or backpacks, passengers will need to hire an additional mule at a cost of $8US per day.

You should bring:

  • 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.
  • 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 etc.
  • Small towel or sarong
  • Bathers/swimsuit (if you intend on swimming in hot springs)
  • Cash – sufficient for your final lunch in Aguas Calientes, tips and souvenirs.
  • Original passport & ISIC card (if you have one).
  • Walking sticks or poles (we can hire these to you. Please note poles with metal tips cannot be carried into Machu Picchu and should be left at your hotel on the final day)
  • Binoculars (if you have them)

Optional extras:
we can hire the following.

  • Sleeping Bag suitable for -5deg. ($4.00 per day)
  • Deluxe Sleeping Bag suitable for -10deg. ($6.00 per day)
  • Walking stick lightweight aluminum ($1.00 per day)
  • Inflatable mattress (eg. Thermarest) ($5.00 per day)
  • Two sticks are recommended for tough hikes.
  • Mule – $9.00 per day most people carry their own day pack with up to 5-10kg of their things – a change of clothes and wet weather gear etc. However, if you think that you will have much luggage and you want a very light day pack (eg. just camera and water) then its advisable that you hire an extra mule .

Single supplement for tent – prices for these treks are calculated on a share basis. If you would like a tent to yourself you need to pay a single supplement – $25 for the whole trek.