Overview

Choquequirao, known as Machu Picchu’s sister, located in the Apurimac Canyon, one of the deepest ones in the world. Currently, the excavation of the complex is at 30%, and the rest of it lies under the vegetation that has kept it untouched for centuries. The Choquequirao trek will allow you to admire impressive peaks, the spectacular Apurimac River and stunning Inca remains. After exploring every corner of the complex, you’ll take a scenic train ride towards Machu Picchu, the famous Inca citadel. Finally, venture into Tambopata National Reserve and explore the Amazon Rainforest, a region bursting with biodiversity!

Why we love this trip!

  • Discover the unknown Inca site at Apu Wanakaure in a scenery horseback riding excursion.
  • Hike the challenging less-visited trail to Choquequirao, the hidden Inca citadel.
  • Explore Tambopata National Reserve as you wish in an a-la-carte trip.

Itinerary day-by-day

Day 1: Welcome Peru & Cusco

Welcome to Peru! Upon landing at Cusco airport, we will greet you and take you in private transportation to your hotel. We will have a short briefing on your trip, and the rest of the day will be free to relax and acclimatize to the high-altitude. Remember to take it easy on the first day!

Day 2: Sacsayhuaman & Cusco Guided Hike

Get ready for a soft hike around Cusco city center and the surrounding countryside! Start in the outskirts of the city visiting Sacsayhuaman, an Inca fortress overlooking Cusco. Continue with an easy one-hour decent walk through a small portion of an old Inca road, until arriving at the iconic San Blas neighborhood. Our walking city tour will take us not only through the most touristic sites in Cusco, such as the Main Square, Cathedral, and Koricancha. You will walk along ancient streets, local markets, and old neighborhoods where you will discover the magic of Cusco. This hike is the perfect way to get a genuine feel of this marvelous city and its people.

Day 3: Horseback Riding to Apu Wanakaure

Join a horseback riding to one of the most important Apus in Cusco, the Apu Wanakaure! After a warm-up session with your horse and safety instructions, head out through a route full of fields with barley, corn, and potatoes. Cross over a few small rivers and into a eucalyptus trees forest, just before passing by the Andean community of Wilcarpay. After crossing a creek, ascend for 200-yard along an Incan pathway until the Inca complex of Raccay. The ride continues through Puna Cancha and along the flank of the hill until arriving at the imposing Apu Wanakaure. Stop here, take a deep breath, and appreciate the astonishing views. Finally, start your way back to Cusco.

Day 4: Choquequirao Trek, Cusco to Chiquisca & Santa Rosa

Venture into one of the less explored Inca sites, Choquequirao citadel! Head towards the north of Cusco on the main highway to Abancay. On route, enjoy breathtaking views of Apu Salkantay and Humantay. The road continues until the Apurimac River, where you will cross its impressive canyon. A small side road over a ridge takes us down to the village of Cachora, where we’ll find the trailhead and descend into the Apurimac Canyon walking to Chiquisca, and then to the Apurimac River. Climb towards the Santa Rosa Campsite in a challenging hike that will make your next day more relaxed.

Day 5: Choquequirao Trek, Santa Rosa to Choquequirao

After breakfast, start your day with a short hike to Maranpata settlement, enjoying the stunning views of the Apurimac Canyon until getting the first glimpses of Choquequirao. After a two-hour walk, arrive at the citadel. Although only 30% of Choquequirao Inca remains have been excavated, it is quite impressive and well worth the effort to get here. The stonework in Choquequirao is not as sophisticated as the one found in Machu Picchu. Still, the masterly structures suggest that this was a site for the royalty.

Day 6: Choquequirao Trek – Choquequirao To Chiquisca

After breakfast, we will have the chance to continue exploring the little-visited archaeological site of Choquequirao and wander around at our own pace. Then, after lunch, we’ll begin our trek back to Chiquiska, where we will camp below the Andean starry night.

Day 7: Choquequirao Trek – Hike To Capuliyoc & Train To Aguas Calientes

Get ready to begin our three-hour climb to the last part of our trek, the Capuliyoc Pass. After passing this stunning abra, we will say goodbye to our muleteers and depart towards Ollantaytambo village. After lunch, board the train to Aguas Calientes, from where we’ll take you to your comfortable hotel.

Day 8: The Lost City of Machu Picchu Exploration

Today is the big day! After a well-deserved rest, we’ll take a short bus ride up the zigzagging road to Machu Picchu, located in an extraordinary mountain setting. Once here, our guide will give you a 3-hour tour to have a better understanding of Machu Picchu and the Inca culture. Next, return to Aguas Calientes, and board your return train back to Ollantaytambo. Upon arriving, our private transport will be waiting to take you to your hotel in Cusco.

Day 9: Free Day in Cusco

Cusco is a fascinating destination in Peru! Today, enjoy the entire day free to explore the streets, plazas, and markets of this UNESCO World Heritage City at our own pace. As you have already explored the most famous sites of Cusco, we invite you to discover more of this beautiful city with its museums and local shops.

If you are into arts and crafts, you must take a walk around Cuesta San Blas and visit local workshops and galleries. Likewise, we recommend visiting the San Francisco church for a splendid city view, the Inca Museum, or enjoy a cup of coffee and chocolate at a cozy cafe.

Day 10: Arrive In Tambopata National Reserve

Go to the local airport to board our flight to Puerto Maldonado, the gateway to Peru’s Southern Amazon and Tambopata National Reserve. Continue by car and boat along the Tambopata River towards your Refugio Amazonas jungle lodge. After a short briefing, you’ll have some free time to relax and wander around. In the evening, join the Jungle Night Walk, an activity that will give you a once-in-a-lifetime chance to see the nocturnal wonders of the Amazon Rainforest! Your stay at this lodge is an essential contribution to preserve and protect the buffer area of the Tambopata National Reserve.

Day 11: Oxbow Lake & Canopy Tower

One of the main advantages of Refugio Amazonas is that they offer a-la-carte activities to choose from according to your interests. Go on a catamaran paddling excursion around an Oxbow lake looking for wildlife such as hoatzins, caimans, and horned screamers. Join the thirty-minute walk from the lodge to the 25-meter scaffolding canopy tower to have fantastic views of the treetops, and if lucky, observe canopy flocks, toucans, macaws, and raptors! In the afternoon, we suggest joining the ethnobotanical tour, where together with an Ese Eja native guide, you’ll learn about the medicinal use of many plants and trees.

Day 12: Parrot & Mammal Clay Lick

Sail down the river and then walk for one hour to a clay lick used by parrots and parakeets. Here, try to spot the species that descend at this clay lick, such as Dusky headed and Cobalt winged Parakeet. After lunch, we head to an old-growth patch of Brazilian Nut Forest, where you will learn about the whole process of sustainable not harvesting. Then, you can take a twenty-minute walk from the lodge to a peccary clay lick, where wild rain forest pigs eat clay. By night, you can decide to go for another hike looking for animals that are more active by night-time.

Day 13: Farewell Peru

It’s time to say goodbye to our Amazonian friends. This morning, we will board our boat back to Puerto Maldonado and drive to the airport. On route, we’ll pass by the main office to collect any baggage you might have left before proceeding to the airport to board your flight to your next destination.

What’s included?

  • Personalized attention before and throughout your trip.
  • Brief presentation prior departure.
  • All transfers and transports.
  • Entrance fees.
  • Local English-speaking guide focused on personalized trips.
  • Accommodation at well-thought hotels according to your travel style.
  • Mentioned meals.

What’s not included?

  • Services not specified in the program, extras & tips.
  • Domestic flights.
  • International flights.
  • Travel Insurance.

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