The trek that will lead us from the archeological site of Vilcabamba to the ruins of Choquequirao is one of the richest in majestic landscapes and Inca history which this part of the Andes has to offer us.
This is a physical trek because of the large change of altitude during the trek, sometimes hot temperatures with heavy climates can be found there. We’ll hike trough a lot of different landscapes that will take your breath away… Going from deep canyons, cloud-forests or snow-peaks through high fields, the entrances of the jungle, lakes and a lot more… The whole is covered with signs of Inca-presence, ruins of different importance that rely Vilcabamba with Choquequirao.
Because of all these different altitudes and therefore climates, we’ll come upon an incredible variety of fauna and especially flora with some plants yet unknown to science.
The occidental light of the Cordillera of Vilcabamba bathes the landscapes in a beautiful emerald shine at certain hours of the day. Hidden in foggy clouds appears now and then before our eyes great constructions of impressive Inca walls and terraces with perfectly curved stones seem to reach for the sky.
The trek that leads us from Vilcabamba to Choquequirao is an absolute must for all those who love to explore in an attempt to rediscover some of the Incas lost past in these miraculous sites while hiking through some of the most beautiful landscapes of this part of the Andes.
Vilcabamba and Choquequirao 8 Days Itinerary:
Altitude: 1550 - 4600 m. / 5085 - 15091 f.
High Season: May - November
Duration: 8 days / 7 nights
Level of Difficulty: Moderate / Challenge
*A minimum of 2 people is needed for this trek
1st Day: Cusco – Málaga Pass – Chaullay -Vilcabamba (3350 – 4317 – 1200 -3100m)
Dawn over Cusco (3350m) is just the sight we need to start our journey going west from this Inca archeological capital. During our trek we’ll see magnificent snow-peaks such as Salkantay, Chicon, Veronica etcetera. Once in the Sacred Valley of the Incas we’ll arrive at Ollantaytambo (2850m) and a little bit further we’ll cross the high pass of "Abra de Malaga" (4317m) and go down from there to the cloud forest called Valley of Amaibamba and its deepest part called Chaullay (1200m). From there we’ll immediately hike up again to Vilcabamba, the Incas last refuge, a place with a large net of Inca trails where of leaves the one for the archeological complex of Choquequirao. Arriving at Vilcabamba we’ll visit some important archeological sites such as Vitcos Rosaspata, Ñustahispana and recent excavations within that zone. After a 2 hours walk we’ll arrive at our campsite in the town of Huancacalle (3100m).
Included are the lunch-box and diner.
Transport-time: about 8 hours
Hiking time: about 2 hours
2nd Day: Vilcabamba – Choquetacarpu pass – Chichicara (3100 – 4600 – 3700m)
At dawn we’ll begin walking up halfway an Inca trail up to the pass of the glacier Choquetacarpu (4600m) where we’ll see an enclosure of Inca construction called Huaywas with a function of Tambo (resting place along the Inca Trail). From this peak you have wonderful panoramic sights of hills and snow-peaks such as Corihuarachina and Sacsarayoc within the Vilcabamba Cordillera. Continuing we’ll walk down halfway an Inca trail to the Quewiñaytankay Valley where we’ll see an Inca construction called “The Cave of Quellqamachay”. This place is near our campsite called Chichicara (3700m).
Included breakfast, lunch-box and diner.
Hiking Time: about 8 hours.
3rd Day: Chichicara – Yutupata – Yanama (3700 – 3350 – 3530m)
This day we’ll hike downwards then upwards halfway the Yutupata Valley, with a very gentle climate, while visiting local communities. We’re going to be close to the Yanama community (3530m), surrounded by majestic snow-peaks. This will be the time and place to set up our camping equipment.
Included breakfast, lunch-box and diner.
Hiking Time: about 7 hours.
4th Day: Yanama – San Juan pass – Maizal – Silvestre River (3530 – 4170 – 3000 – 1900m)
From the community of Yanama (3530m) we are leaving different Inca trails where one of that leaves for Machu Picchu, one for Vilcabamba, Vitcos Rosapata, Ñustahispana, Espiritu Pampa, etc. In the morning we’ll be hiking upwards on the pass called San Juan (4170m) with a magnificent view over the majestic snow-peaks such as Corihuayrachina, Sacsarayoc , Sacrachayoc, Choquetacarpo, Panta, Pumasillo and Ampay (in the department of Apurimac). Around the San Juan-pass we’ll see a mining-area that, according to the chronics and historians, had been exploited by the Andean culture in order to curve and cut images to honor their gods. Walking down on an Inca trail, halfway a wooded zone is situated the village of Maizal (3000m). Continuing downwards we’ll come upon the deepest part of this Canyon called River Silvestre (1900m). Included are breakfast, a lunch-box and diner.
Hiking Time: about 8 hours.
5th Day: Silvestre River – Pinchaunuyoc – Choquequirao Pass - Choquequirao (1900 – 2450 – 3270 - 3033m)
In the morning we’ll begin hiking up to the ruins of Pinchaunuyoc that were recently restored by an archeological group. The second part of the trek is in a distinct ecological altitude with a dry climate. The highest point is called the Choquequirao Pass (3270m). The ruins of Choquequirao are very near now, situated in some sort of enchanted forest incredibly rich in flora and fauna. One of the main attractions today will be the sunset over the ruins of Choquequirao which is an unforgettable sight. With any luck we’ll be able to see also the sacred company-bird of the Incas and messenger of the sun, the Andean Condor. We’ll camp in Choquequirao (3033m) tonight.
Hiking Time: about 6 hours.
6th Day: Choquequirao – Marampata - Playa Rosalina (3033 – 2850 – 1550m)
Dawn over Choquequirao’s “Cradle of Gold” is a breathtaking sight, mystical, colorful, and homage to our planet’s beauty… It’s also a natural phenomenal that allowed the Incas to calculate with precision the constant climatologic changes like can be found in these Cloud Forests… The ruins are surrounded by majestic snow-peaks (over 5000meters high) where the Apu’s (Mountain Gods) are watching over us. At the moment only 30% of Choquequirao has been restored where as still 70% remains covered with dense vegetation, with several species of plants still unknown by modern science. Being accompanied by a guide is very important because the ruins are divided in several different levels such as the religious level, the noble sector, graves, Ushno, cemeteries and recent excavations that are being restored by the Copesco Institution. After visiting the ruins of Choquequirao we’ll head towards our next campsite, situated in the Apurímac Canyon, called Playa Rosalina (1550m).
Hiking Time: about 6 hours.
7th Day: Playa Rosalina – Capuliyoc Pass – Cachora (1550 – 2800 – 2850m)
We’ll be hiking upwards almost all day long. The first and toughest part is going up to the Capuliyoc Pass (2800m). The temperatures in the Cañon are rather warm and the trail serpents upwards the hill. Arriving on top of the pass we’ll be able to appreciate the Apu Padreyoc (5771m) in its full splendor where as we can see a river cutting through the landscape in the depths of the Canyon towards Choquequirao. The last part is a lot easier over a trail that leads us to the village of Cachora (2850m). Here we’ll end our exploration through the Cordillera of Vilcabamba, the last Inca Dynasty.
We’ll spend the night on a family hostel in Cachora.
Hiking Time: about 8 hours.
8th Day: Cachora – Hot Spring of Cconoc - Cusco.
Dawn over Cachora will be the time for us to take our transport back to the city of Cusco. On the road we’ll have a stop for a refreshing bath in the hot baths of Cconoc and a good lunch. After this we’ll continue our road to Cusco.
Transport Time: about 5 hours.
Vilcabamba Trek to Choquequirao 8 Days (Private)
- Private transport from Cusco to Huancacalle
- Private transport from Cachora village back to Cusco
- Meals (breakfast, lunch, diner and snacks/optional vegetarian food)
- Cook and assistant cook
- High quality camping equipment (We use professional tents, Doite, Model Kailas 3, extra light / 4.5kgs and Doite, Model Himalaya, extra light / 4.5kgs, both for 2 persons. Air matrasses, eating tent with table and chairs, bathroom tent).
- Horses and horsemen, for all camping equipment and customer's lugagge (Up to 12 Kg).
- Emergency horse
- Basic accomodation in Huancacalle and Cachora village
- Professional bilingual guide (English and Spanish)
- Entrance fees to Vilcabamba
- Entrance fess to Choquequirao
- Oxygen bottle and first aid-kit
- Sleeping bag (If you don’t have a sleeping bag, there is the possibility of lending one)
- Last dinner on 8th day.
(1) Tips for porters, cooks and guides are always welcome. The porters are also very grateful for a small donation, for example clothes or school equipment for their children.
What do I 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 socks and a sweater.
- Long- and short-sleeved polo's/T-Shirts.
- Rainponcho and a hat.
- Bathing suit (for the hot springs in Aguas Calientes).
- 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.
Conditions & Terms:
1) We require an immediate deposit of US $ 150 for all bookings
2) For all tours and treks the balance can be paid up to 48 hours prior to the start of the program. In case of paying the balance in the office of XTreme Tourbulencia we only accept cash payment. Failure to pay the trek balance will result in tour cancellation.
3) If a participant decides to cancel during the breefing 2 days prior to departure, he or she has to pay the full amount of the trek. XTreme Tourbulencia however, will cover the expenses (hotel and transport) made by that participant to visit Vilcabamba and Choquequirao. This offer of ours must be confirmed at the breefing itself.
Period before departure written notification is received
Cancellation fee as a percentage of the holiday price
6 days or less
5) The Vilcabamba Trek is non-transferable, non-reimbursable and the participant cannot change the date of departure
6) If during the length of the program the traveler abandons the excursion as a decision made by him- or herself, no reimbursement will be made and no claim will be accepted. XTreme Tourbulencia does not cover the expenses made by the traveler for a hotel and the transport back to Cusco.
7) Certain Services might be interrupted or even cancelled due to weather conditions, natural disasters or other disturbances. These are out of the control of hotels, Service suppliers, XTreme Tourbulencia or its partners and therefore, no refund will be given.
8) For the student discount of 5% we require a copy of a valid ISIC student card. In the event that we don't receive the scanned copy of the card along with your reservation form, we will process your reservation with adult price.
9) If XTreme Tourbulencia doesn't confirm the reservation, the deposit will be refunded
10) In case of force majeur, when a trek cannot start or completed, XTreme Tourbulencia will find an alternative to go to Choquequirao and Vilcabamba. If this alternative is of lower value than the originally booked excursion, XTreme Tourbulencia will refund the difference.
11) It is compulsory that all clients have personal travel insurance. This insurance must cover personal accidents, medical expenses, loss of effects and all other expenses which might arise as a result of loss, damage or injury occurring to the client. XTreme Tourbulencia cannot be considered responsible for any accident or loss of personal belongings the customer caused by his/her acts
If you are interested in this tour or do you have any questions about it. Please Contact us ..... CLICK HERE.