Duration: 8 days/7 nights
Departure Dates: Any day you would like!
Please see our group departure calendar for group tour dates.
Pricing: Please contact us for pricing.
Our ChoquequiraoVilcabamba trek is truly among the top routes that exist in Peru. The first stop is the breathtaking Choquequirao ruins, known as the “sister city” of Machu Picchu and recently rated one of the 20 best travel destinations by National Geographic. The site is perched high above the Rio Blanco and Apurimac Rivers, and surrounded by snowcapped peaks. The ruins can be accessed only by foot, so it is not uncommon that trekkers have this incredible archeological site to themselves. After hiking an original Inca trail and enjoying gorgeous natural scenery, we arrive at the important ruins of Vitcos-Rosapata and Ñustahispana. The area was crucial to the Incas after Spanish conquest, with many fleeing here. Our trek culminates with a final day at Machu Picchu, which is always an amazing experience.
As with all Ayni Peru travel, our Choquequirao-Vilcabamba Trek can be customized and combined with tours in Cusco and beyond. Please contact us for custom itineraries, quotes and with questions.
We will pick you up from your Cusco hotel in the morning for travel to the town of Cachora (3.5 hrs). We will meet our muleteers here, and observe the majestic Padriyoc snow covered peaks before departing. The hike on this day is 16 km and takes approximately 6 hours. Along the way we will observe Padriyoc and Wayna Cachora snow covered peaks. We will absorb the dramatic landscape, from precipices to snowy mountains. The walk starts quite flat, crossing through small farms and lush vegetation. We will break for lunch at Capuliyoc, where we may be able to see condors before beginning then descent down the Apurímac Canyon. The vegetation will gradually change from agaves and cactus forest to dwarf tree forest. We will camp at Chiquisca, close to the canyon floor and located at 1550 msnm.Duration: 6 hours / 16km
After an early breakfast we will continue downhill to the powerful Apurímac River. After crossing the river we will take a short rest before beginning the challenging climb to the Choquequirao ruins. The first 4 hours of the hike are steep, until we arrive at the small community of Marampata. We`ll rest and take in the views of the surrounding peaks and valleys, along with Choquequirao in the distance. From Marampata the trail will become more even, as we slowly ascend to the ruins surrounded by multiple varieties of orchids and other wild flowers. Reach Choquequirao in approximately 1.5 hours, and break for lunch before touring the ruins. The view from Choquequirao is spectacular, and we may be able to see Andean condors soaring in the valleys. Our campsite for the evening is below the ruins and within the archaeological complex.
Duration: 6 hours / 10km
We have the morning to explore the ruins in greater depth before beginning the hike to Maizal. We we will begin the hike by ascending to cool, damp cloud forest, before descending to Rio Blanco, at 1909 msnm. From the pass, our surroundings quickly transform to steep, open prairie with expansive views of the mountains and valleys. We will visit the ruins of Pinchinoyoc during the descent. These ruins are seldom visited, and truly special. They appear unexpectedly, almost invisible because of the thick layer of mosses and other vegetation that covers them. Here we spend time on the old Inca terraces before continuing down to Rio Blanco. At the river we will stop for lunch, take a refreshing bath in the cold, clear river water, and rest before beginning the climb to Maizal. After our break we start the long and steep ascent to our camp, high over the river. The hike to Maizal for about 3 hrs, where we will camp for the night at 3000 msnm.
Duration: 6 hours / 11km
In the morning we begin by walking uphill, past impressive Inca mines, Minas Victoria, and toward the Victoria Pass. This is another long climb, but we walk through an amazingly beautiful area – first through cloud forests and then over Andean tundra and through the abundant ¨ichu¨ grass. As we approach Victoria Pass we cross original paved Inca trails. Lunch will be at the pass, with views of breathtaking Choquetakarpo mountain. We may also be able to view condors in flight, depending on the climate. From there, we begin the descent towards Yanama, a small settlement surrounded by snowcapped mountains. Overnight camping in Yanama.
Duration: 3 hours / 6 km
We depart at 7am and will walk on the pretty paths along the edge of mountainsides to our lunch spot, which is surrounded by craggy mountains. After lunch we will walk 2 hours more to our campsite of Quellca Machay. Surrounded by snowcapped peaks, this is a spectacular, yet cold, place to spend the night! In this place we have an opportunity to light a campfire and fish in the river. Camping at Quellca Machay
We depart Quellca Machay at 6am, and after about 4 hours climb will arrive at the Choquecatarpo Pass (4600m), the highest and most spectacular of the passes during the trip. We will have lunch at the Lagunas during the descent and will arrive in the town of Huancacalle (2900m). The total walking time for this day is between 8 to 9 hours. Accommodation: Basic hostal or camping near Nustahispaña ruins.
Continue through the high jungle, passing dramatic waterfalls and small banana, coffee and avocado farms by van. After a break for lunch we’ll continue approximately 3 hours on foot to Aguas Calientes. Overnight in your comfortable Aguas Calientes hotel.
Explore Machu Picchu! We`ll visit famous highlights, plus lesser-known (but equally fabulous) spots. We`ll return by train, arriving in Cusco in the evening.
Ayni Peru offers the option to upgrade your trek, which adds a bit more comfort each night. Our upgrade option includes a larger tent with a higher ceiling, so most people can stand fully upright, extra thick air mattress,-15C sleeping bag , a pair of walking poles, solar-powered lantern in your tent, and wine served each night with dinner. $29.00 per person, per trek day.
“Our coffee and chocolate tour included homestays which were with Peruvian families – the food was incredible, and the experience is one we will never forget.”