Classic Choquequirao Trek

Classic Choquequirao Trek 

Journey to a set of newly excavated Inca ruins that are 3X the size of Machu Picchu
Activity Level: 4  | Duration: 5 days, 4 nights | Group Size: 2-16 | Price: $640

Overview

Kusa Treks is honored to be one of the first trekking companies to take adventurers to Choquequirao. Choquequirao is a newly uncovered set of Inca Ruins, similar to Machu Picchu.

Four things set Choquequirao apart from Machu Picchu:
   1. It is more difficult to access
   2. Because of #1 It is infinitely less crowded than Machu Picchu
   3. Treks to Choquequirao are relatively new
   4. It is 3X larger than Machu Picchu!

Choquequirao is another example of how incredible the Incas were at using their resources to thrive in an unforgiving landscape. Choquequirao was one of the places the Incas used to perform rituals for the mountains and agriculture. At the risk of sounding like a pushy cars salesman, the opportunity to explore Choquequirao with fewer than 50 people there will not last forever!

Trip Highlights

  • Voted as Lonely Planet's #1 destination in 2017!
  • Hike on a path built by the Incas 
  • Includes 2 nights of camping on Inca ruins
  • One full day of exploring the ancient city
  • Note: This trek does not go to Machu Picchu

Activities

  • Hiking
  • Scenery
  • Wildlife
  • Cultural Experiences 

Accommodations

  • Kusa Treks camp for 4 nights
Elevation Map

WHAT'S INCLUDED:

TRANSPORTATION
All transportation for the trek.
This includes: 
   - Private van pickup from your hotel in Cusco to start of hike
   - Private van drop-off at your hotel in Cusco
FOOD
All food is provided. In fact, we'll be hiking with a professional chef! Our chef and his staff will cook you some of the best meals you've ever eaten, and they'll do it in the middle of the Andes. Please notify our staff of any food allergies or restrictions and we will ensure that the food is prepared properly.

NOTE: All of the meals prepared by our chef are made with locally sourced, organic ingredients. 
WATER
Your guides will supply all of the water you'll need on the trek. The water will first be boiled, then filtered and then cooled. You will need to bring a container for the water (Camelback, Nalgene, etc.), we recommend carrying at least 2L of water. Your water containers will be refilled at each meal.

Please ensure that your water containers are filled when you leave the hotel on Day 1 to begin the trek. Our staff will provide clean water for the rest of the trek. 

NOTE: As a company that strives for 100% sustainability, we highly encourage our clients to bring "permanent" water containers made of metal or hard plastic. We discourage the use of cheap plastic water bottles that can be harmful to the Peruvian environment.
PROFESSIONAL GUIDES
Kusa Treks strives for greatness and this begins and ends with our people. All of our Lead and Assistant Guides are locals to this region and studied Tourism and/or Archaeology in University. They are all fluent in English and are passionate about their work. Trust us when we say, there is no better person to be on a trip with than a Kusa Treks guide. You will be in incredible hands!
PERMITS & TICKETS
Once you pay the trip deposit, we will purchase your hiking permits as well as your entrance tickets for Choquequirao. The government issues this permit in your name, under your passport number, and for a specific time-frame; they cannot be changed once confirmed, which is why the initial deposit is non-refundable after 24 hours. 
MEDICAL EMERGENCY
Alright, emergency sounds a bit dramatic. However, you can be confident in your Lead Guide and his staff. All of Kusa Trek's guides receive extensive First Aid training from a qualified and licensed physician, and we conduct mandatory review/training sessions twice a year.

Your Lead Guide will carry a Hiking First Aid kit (including oxygen), and should the need arise we will get you off of the trail and to a medical facility as quickly and comfortably as possible. *We have never had to evacuate a hiker.*

Note: Please bring whatever personal medication, such as prescriptions, that you know you will need. Our staff will be prepared with a general emergency kit, but personal medication is your responsibly. 
SUPPORT STAFF
In addition to your incredible guides, this trek requires a support staff including: chef, assistant chef, horse master and porters. We started Kusa Treks for several reasons, one of which was to provide living-wage jobs for local Peruvians.

We employ individuals passionate about Peru's culture and nature and who want to share their incredible country with our clients. You will be absolutely amazed at how hard these people work to provide you with an incredible trip.

NOTE: This trek includes a personal porter in the price. 
EQUIPMENT
Your tents are provided. They are comfortable, roomy and cozy. We provide a 4-man tent for every 2 people (unless otherwise specified).

We also provide a foam sleeping mat throughout the trek. 

WHAT'S NOT INCLUDED:

ADDITIONAL EQUIPMENT
We have high quality equipment you can rent:
   - Sleeping Bag: $25
   - Inflatable Air Mattress (Therm-a-Rest): $15
   - Trekking Poles (2): $20
   - Personal Tent: $35
   - Hiking Backpack: $20

NOTES:
   - Rental prices are in USD and are for the duration of the entire trek. 
   - If you decide not to rent, you are responsible for providing this equipment.
INTERNATIONAL FLIGHTS
The Choquequirao Trek begins and ends in Cusco, Peru. You are responsible for getting to Cusco. We do offer a flight booking service. The price for international flights will depend on origin city, time of travel and preferred class of cabin. If you are interested in having us book your flights, please inform our team at the time of booking.
HOTEL(S) IN CUSCO
We include the accommodations you will need for the 5 days and 4 nights of this trek. We highly recommend that you arrive to Cusco at least 2 full days before starting a trek to ensure proper acclimation to the high elevation.

You are responsible for booking your own hotels in Cusco before and after the trek. Here is a list of our recommendations.

As with flights, we do offer a hotel booking service. The price for hotels in Cusco will depend on your preferred class of hotel. If you are interested in having us book your hotels, please inform our team at the time of booking.

Pricing:

GROUP TREK PRICE: $640
A "group trek" means you will be paired with other people. 

PRIVATE TREK PRICES:
A "private trek" is just your group and our guides. 
2 - 3 People: $800
4 - 6 People: $715
7 - 9 People: $675
9+ People: $640

PRICES ARE PER PERSON AND IN U.S. DOLLARS ($)

NOTE: We require a minimum of 2 people to guarantee a trip start date.  For solo travelers, we will do everything possible to pair you with an existing group on, or close to, your preferred start date. In the event that we do not have a group doing your desired trip during the dates you are available, we can find a “partner company” to pair you with.

CHOQUEQUIRAO Itinerary 

CLASSIC CHOQUEQUIRAO TREK

High Level Itinerary:

DAY 1: The Journey Begins!

Pick up from your hotel in Cusco at 4AM. 2.5 hour drive to the trail head. 6-7 hours of hiking through beautiful scenery to our first campsite.

DAY 2: Challenge Day and then…Choquequirao

Early start with an uphill hike up a mountain…all day. Choquequirao is at the top of the hike. Camp right on the ruins of Choquequirao.

DAY 3: Exploring Choquequirao

Spend the entire day exploring the vast Inca city of Choquequirao. Camp again on the ruins.

DAY 4: Leave the way you came in

Hike back the same way you came in, this time in reverse. Hike downhill all day to reach the same campsite used on Day 1.

DAY 5: Hike in the Morning, then van back to Cusco!

Uphill hike in the morning. You will be met by a Kusa Treks van at the end of the hike to take you back to the hotel in Cusco, arrival between 6-7PM.


Details For Each Day:

DAY 1: The Journey Begins!
  • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
  • Max Altitude: 9,500ft. (2,900m)
  • Min Altitude: 4,900ft. (1,500m)
  • Distance Hiked: ~8miles (12.8 km)
  • Descent: -4,600ft. (-1,400m)
  • Walking Time: 6-7 hours

Note: Our trekking times are approximate and will vary depending on: weather conditions, group ability and other factors.

MORNING

Today’s journey starts early! A Kusa Treks van will pick you up from your hotel at 4:00AM and drive to the trail head called Capuliyoc. Upon arrival you’ll enjoy the first of many professionally prepared meals by our chef and his staff. During breakfast you’ll meet the crew that will be hiking with you including the Porters, the chef, and assistant guides. You’ll snap a quick family photo (before we lose anyone to the Andes), with gorgeous snow-capped peaks as the backdrop!

After the picture, you will start your life-changing expedition to Choquequirao. There is only one trail to reach Choquequirao, so you will take the same path on the way out that you will hike on the way in.

The first leg is a 3-hour descent (caution to those with knee issues!). This section of Inca Trail can be a bit slippery if there has been recent precipitation. However, with trekking poles and good hiking shoes you’ll make it through just fine! After hiking for 3-4 hours, you will reach your lunch spot, where a hot meal in a meal tent awaits.

AFTERNOON

After taking a break to enjoy lunch, the hike will continue downhill. All of today’s hike will be downhill, and you will take your time and take breaks along the way. Your guide will pause to show you incredible vistas along the way. This part of the Andes is one of the most remote places on the planet, and you will feel a sense of overwhelming wonder and awe at the incredible scenery that surrounds you.

After hiking for another 3-4 hours, you will reach the first campsite (which you will see again on Night 4).

EVENING

Each night you will have a family “tea-time”, where you’ll enjoy hot chocolate, a variety of teas and snacks together to wind down from the efforts of the hike. You’ll swap stories and prepare to eat a delicious, hot dinner prepared by our chef and his staff. If the weather allows, your guide will show you the Inca Constellations in the millions of bright stars that stretch overhead.

After dinner your Tour Guides will go over our plans for Day 2. Buenas Noches!


DAY 2: On Top of the World!
  • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
  • Max Altitude: 9,842ft. (3,000m)
  • Min Altitude: 4,900ft. (1,500m)
  • Distance Traveled: 9.5 miles (15.2 km)
  • Ascent: +4,942ft. (+1,500m)
  • Walking Time: 6-7 hours
MORNING

Your day will start early with Porter’s waking you up with a fresh cup of hot tea at 5:30AM. As our staff packs up camp, you will eat a nutritious, warm breakfast. Today’s hike will begin by crossing a huge river using a cable car, and then the hard part begins!

You will use switch backs to hike up a severely steep hill (mountain, it’s really a mountain). However, the views of sugarcane farms and the gorgeous valley that surrounds you will take some of the edge off of the hike’s difficulty. This climb is the most challenging stage of our trek.

AFTERNOON

A little more than halfway through today’s climb, you will stop to rest and eat a refreshing lunch. The views during lunch are incredible, as you are over 9,000ft. up and the valley below you is filled lush forests, a rushing river and wildlife. Hopefully you will be able to spot the King of the Andes: the Condor.

After lunch you can stretch out and rest to prepare for the next section of our hike. The last stage of today’s hike is 2-3 hours, which will take you to the “door step” of Choquequirao. This stretch of the hike is visually stunning and not as difficult as the morning. After an hour or so, you’ll be able to see Choquequirao below you along with the Apurimac Canyon and the snow-capped peaks of the Andes. Once you reach the campsite, those with energy left can walk 30 minutes uphill to enjoy the dazzling sight of the sun setting behind the Choquequirao ruins.

EVENING

Each night you will have a family “tea-time”, where you’ll enjoy hot chocolate, a variety of teas and snacks together to wind down from the efforts of the hike. You’ll swap stories and prepare to eat a delicious, hot dinner being prepared by our chef and his staff. If the weather allows, your guide will show you the Inca Constellations in the millions of bright stars that stretch overhead.

After dinner your Tour Guides will go over our plans for Day 3. Buenas Noches!


DAY 3: Exploring Choquequirao
  • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
  • Max Altitude: 9,842ft (3,000m)
  • Min Altitude: 9,842ft (3,000m)
  • Distance Traveled: ~2 miles (3.2 km), walking around the ruins
  • Walking Time: 4-6 hours
MORNING

Enjoy a warm and energy-packed breakfast after which you will spend all day exploring the newly uncovered Inca ruins of Choquequirao. This day will include several historic and archaeological lessons from your guide. Choquequirao is 3X the size of Machu Picchu and some of it is still covered by trees, bushes and vines! The site itself is spread out over the mountain with several “mini-cities”, within it. You can explore as much of Choquequirao as you would like. Your guide will start with the more “impressive” structures including the temples and astronomical observatories.

AFTERNOON

After 4 hours of touring, the group will take a break to eat lunch and discuss all of the fascinating things seen. After lunch you can choose to explore other parts of the city on your own or with one your guides. You’ll definitely want to check out the agricultural terraces and llama carvings, which are a 30-minute downhill walk from the “main part” of the city.

This section of Choquequirao has stone walls with llamas carved into the edifice, made over 500 years ago! Towards the end of the day, your guide will lead you to the Usno portion of Choquequirao, where you can see the sunset below the Andes and take a family picture.

EVENING

Following this picture perfect ending to a perfect day, you will eat dinner and learn about tomorrow’s itinerary. After dinner your guide will show you how to identify the Inca Constellations in the Southern skies as stars stretch out infinitely above you. We hope you enjoyed this once-in-a-lifetime experience, sleep well chicos and rest for tomorrow’s return journey.


DAY 4: Leave The Way You Came In
  • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and dinner
  • Max Altitude: 9,842ft. (3,000m)
  • Min Altitude: 4,900ft. (1,500m)
  • Distance Traveled: 9.5 miles (15.2 km)
  • Descent: -4,942ft. (-1,500m)
  • Walking Time: 6-7 hours
MORNING

In its current state, Choquequirao has one way in and one way out. You will journey back out the same way you came. However, what was an incredibly hard ascent to Choquequirao is now and an incredibly hard descent to leave. You will absolutely require trekking poles and determination! You’ll take breaks along the way and try to spot the plentiful wildlife around us including: black bears, condors, llamas, hummingbirds and more.

AFTERNOON/EVENING

After hiking for 3-4 hours, you’ll stop for a lunch break. During this adventure, you will be hiking in one of the most stunning landscapes on the planet, so take your time and enjoy the view. After lunch you’ll have another 2-3 hours hiking downhill to reach the campsite for the night. You’ll share tea-time and dinner and prepare for the final stretch tomorrow.


DAY 5: Hike in the Morning, then van back to Cusco!
  • Meals: Breakfast and Lunch
MORNING/AFTERNOON

Enjoy an early breakfast and then a 4 hour hike uphill until reaching the trail head where you started on Day 1.

A Kusa Treks van will be waiting to take you back to Cusco. You’ll eat a final meal all together with the Porters, guides and chefs and then, after a tearful goodbye, you will say farewell! You will then have a 3 hour trip by car to Cusco, where you will arrive around 6:00PM.