Choquequirao Trek – Huanipaca 4 Days

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4 Days – 3 Nights

Max Guests: 8

Max. Altitude: 1500 – 3030m

Act. Level: Challenging

Overview

Choquequirao was most likely built during the reign of the Inca king Pachacuti Inca Yupanqui and is considered to be the last bastion of resistance and refuge of the Sons of the Sun, who fled from the city of Cusco when it was under siege in 1535. Led by Manco Inca Yupanqui, they took refuge in Choquequirao. Presumably, it was used both as a check point to access the Vilcabamba Area and as a cultural and religious center.

The city played an important role as it was a connection between the Amazon Jungle and the city of Cusco. The region has a lot of microclimates and a landscape full of snow-covered peaks of about 6000m (19685f).

Inca Trail Availability - 2023/2024

Itinerary

Day 1Cusco – Cachora – Chiquisca

We will leave Cusco (3350m/10991f) approximately at 5:30 am. First, we will head for the village Cachora (2850m/9350f) to meet our horsemen and the mules that will carry all the camping equipment during the expedition. Thereafter, we will continue our journey towards the pass of Capuliyoq (2800m/9186f).
The trek offers a beautiful view of the mythical mountain Padreyoc, of the deep canyon and of the river Apurímac, meaning “speaking river”. Thereupon, we will descend towards the canyon’s interior named Chiquisca (1930m/6332f), where we will spend the night.

  • Hiking time: 7 hours
  • Climate : Warm

Day 2 Chiquisca – Playa Rosalina – Marampata – Choquequirao

After breakfast, we will descend to La Playa Rosalina (1550m/5085f). From there, we will continue heading for Marampata (2850m/9350f), where we will have a beautiful view of the archeological complex of Choquequirao (3033m/9951f). Our camping site is located 25 minutes from the settlement.
-Climate : both cold and warm

  • Hiking time: 7 hours
  • Climate : both cold and warm

Day 3Choquequirao – San Ignacio – Carmen

At sunrise, we will first visit the archeological site of Choquequirao. By now, only 30% of this “golden cradle” has been exposed. Thereafter, we will descend to the Apurímac canyon’s deepest part called San Ignacio at 1500m/4921f and have lunch. After that, we will ascend to our camping site in the beautiful gardens of Carmen (2000m/6562f).

  • Hiking time: 6 hours
  • Climate : moderate climate with mosquitoes

 

Note: Due to the ecosystem’s constant changes, this day is considered to be the most beautiful one. Nevertheless, the route from Choquequirao to San Ignacio is at some parts very slippery. Therefore, we ask you to watch your steps carefully. Moreover, we recommend carrying sufficient water with you.

Day 4Carmen – Tambo bamba – Huanipaca

The gardens of Carmen are situated close to the manor of Tambo bamba (2500m/8202f), a region having been governed by landowners during the 19th and 20th century and considered to be one of the most fertile valleys to cultivate maize and a variety of potatoes. We will pass little villages such as Pacobamba and Huanipaca (3150m/10335f) and will return to Cusco by bus.

  • Climate: moderate, warm
  • Hiking time: 5 hours
  • Transport time: 5 hours
Gallery
Inclusions

Includes

  • Private transport from the hotel to Cachora.
  • Transport back from Huanipaca to Cusco.
  • Entrance to the settlement of Choquequirao.
  • Professional bilingual guide (Spanish - English or French speaking guides).
  • 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 are for 2 persons. Mattresses, eating tent with table and chairs, bathroom tent).
  • Meals during the excursion (Breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks/Option vegetarian)
  • Cook and cooking equipment.
  • Horseman, porters and mules, for all camping equipment and personal luggage.
  • Emergency horse.
  • First-aid kit and oxygen bottle.

Excludes

  • Sleeping bag (If you don’t have a sleeping bag, there is the possibility of lending one)
Travel Info

Briefings

All briefings are done at our office at 7:00 PM one or two nights before your trek. If you are unable to make this time, you need to coordinate another time with a member of the Xtreme Tourbulencia office team. Briefings are approximately 40 minutes long.

Pickups

Xtreme Tourbulencia is one of the only companies to pick you up directly from your hotel. As long as your hotel is in the center of Cusco city, we will coordinate this pickup based on a time that your guide will discuss at the briefing. Pick up times may vary 30 – 45 minutes based on traffic conditions and previous pickups.

Cusco is an old city with cobblestoned streets and very narrow passageways. Smaller hotels and Airbnbs are often located on streets that cars can´t pass through. They also are frequently on hillsides with long steep climbs, making it difficult to carry luggage. We highly recommend that you book accommodations with better access. We have a list of hotels that are all comfortable with easy access to pick up and drop off. HOTEL LIST HERE.

Some treks will allow for pickups in the Sacred Valley, which is outlined below.

Huaynapicchu/Machu Picchu Mountain

Machu Picchu is most beautiful when seen from above, which is why hiking one of the mountains next to the ruins is very popular to do after your tour.

Huaynapicchu is the most popular and must be booked in advance since it sells out very quickly. This hike takes approximately 1 hour to the top, and another 45 minutes back down. Tickets are sold in time sessions stating when you can start this hike. The first session is from 7-8 AM, and the 2nd session is from 10-11 AM. Again, this refers to the timeframe when you can start your hike. We usually book the second session so you can enjoy your tour with your guide first. You will do this hike on your own, but your guide will show you where to begin.

Machu Picchu Mountain is a bit longer and a bit less popular. It takes 2 hours to the top and another 1 hours to the bottom. Again there are two time windows – from 7-8 AM and 9-10 AM and we usually purchase the second time window. 4 Day treks, the Trekkers CAN NOT do this hike and enjoy a tour of the ruins. Time will not allow for this.

Hiking either mountain will allow you to have some extra time at the ruins once you complete, as listed above.

Machu Picchu Entrance Times

Machu Picchu now has two different time windows of when you can visit: either morning or afternoon. Your entrance ticket will be for only one session, morning session, and when your time window is over, the Rangers will ask you to leave.

MORNING SESSION: 6AM – 12PM

AFTERNOON SESSION: 12PM – 15:00PM

** If you have tickets to hike either Huaynapicchu or Machu Picchu Mountain, you will need extra time 3:00 hours.

Health Concerns

You must be honest with your guide about any health conditions or concerns you might have. While our guides are not medical professionals, they do have first aid training. We also work with a clinic in Cusco that can help assist our team.

You are responsible for assessing whether a Tour is suitable for you. You should consult your physician to confirm your fitness for travel and participation in any planned activities. You should seek your physician’s advice on vaccinations and medical precautions. Xtreme TourBulencia will not provide medical advice. It is your responsibility to assess the risks and requirements of each aspect of the Tour based on your unique circumstances, limitations, fitness level, and medical requirements.

If you develop extreme altitude sickness or any other illness that prevents you from hiking, and you still wish to visit Machu Picchu by train, we will work with you to coordinate this trip. Since this will be a new trip, it may require additional fees. We will use as much of the original itinerary to keep costs low.

If you experience issues while hiking and can not continue, a porter will accompany you to the closest road and wait while a car comes to pick you up and bring you to the nearest health clinic.

Group Tours

Group tours are made up of all different types of people, with various hiking skills and ages. By agreeing to a group tour, you agree that some people might be slower or faster than you are. Everyone can go at their own pace for the trek, and the guide will work with the group to spend time with everyone. Groups might request some modifications to the tour, and the guide will work with everyone to make the best decision for the group.

Strikes

Unfortunately, strikes are frequent in Peru and can disrupt our tours. Roads are often blocked, and trains stopped. We will make sure your trek continues as planned, even if that means leaving the night before your start date. Under these circumstances, tours might need to be canceled. But our operations department will coordinate with you in this situation. Your safety is always our top concern and will dictate how we decide.

Lost Items

You are responsible for your items throughout the Tour. Please be diligent about where you leave your things and remember to remove all items from our vans, your tents, restaurant, etc. Do not leave anything unintended during your hike. Other trekkers or teams might pick it up not knowing whos it is.

Tips

Tipping is part of the tradition of any trek to Machu Picchu. While we pay good wages to our entire team, anything extra is always appreciated. Please know that this is not obligatory and that you should never feel pressured into this.

Typically the participants in a group pool their tipping money together for the porters and chef. The amount recommended is different per trek and listed below. For the guide, this is more personal and needs to be decided based on your relationship with them and done separately from the group. Porters and Chefs prefer soles if possible. Guides are happy with U.S. dollars, Peruvian Soles, or even your credit card ????

Travel Insurance

Travel insurance is inexpensive and strongly recommended. With trips being planned months ahead of time, you never can predict what could happen. Adventure travel includes more risk than the average trip. Insurance is a way to protect the investment you have made on this journey. We can help recommend an agent to walk you through this type of insurance if needed.

Weather

Of course, the weather is unpredictable. Typically the dry season in Cusco is from April through October, but this does not stop rain from falling in June or the sun from coming out in December so just be prepared. No matter what month you are doing the trek, make sure that you have rain gear that includes a waterproof jacket, pants, poncho, and waterproof gloves. Many people forget about gloves, but being cold and wet makes hiking very unpleasant.

Also, prepare for four seasons. Several of the treks through the Andes involve various microclimates and you will need to be prepared. Layers are always key since they are easy to adjust to different temperature changes. Be prepared with a warm packable down jacket since the evening will be cold.

It’s also important to note that the weather can change a listed itinerary. There are times that routes become impassable, and our guides will be forced for your safety to rework your tour.

Altitude Sickness

As soon as people book their trip to Peru, specifically Cusco, they start wondering about altitude sickness. The air at high altitudes contains less oxygen than at sea level and forces your body to work harder to get the oxygen it needs. Over several days at high altitude, your body adjusts to the lower amount of oxygen in the air. For this reason, we always recommend spending at least two days in Cusco before beginning any trek in the Andes. Cusco is a marvelous city with lots to do, so if you have more time to acclimate you won´t be bored.

With altitude sickness, you may first feel like you have the flu or a hangover. You may have a headache, tiredness, loss of appetite, nausea or vomiting, dizziness, trouble sleeping, trouble breathing during exercise. If any of these effects become severe, please contact our office, and we will help you get to a doctor.

Most of the time, these symptoms will be mild. We always recommend easing into activity slowly, allowing your body to adjust. Drink plenty of fluids such as water or coca tea. Coca tea has been used since ancient times to help prevent altitude sickness. Leaves from the Coca Plant contain alkaloids that help bring oxygen into your blood, helping your body avoid the effects of altitude sickness. Avoid drinking a lot of alcohol and coffee. They will cause you to urinate more often and become dehydrated. Avoid smoking. Smoking makes it more difficult for your body to get oxygen. Avoid sleeping pills. They may cause shallow breathing at night, making it more difficult for your body to absorb oxygen while you sleep.

Remember the trek to Machu Picchu is not a race. Even those in the best shape will suffer from altitude sickness if they race to the top of the mountain too quickly. Go slow, and it will give your body time to adjust to the elevation.

Your healthcare provider may prescribe medications, such as acetazolamide and dexamethasone, to help prevent altitude sickness. Start the medicine two days before you get to a high altitude. Continue to take it while you are at high altitude.

You must remember that this is your holiday and you do not want to stress out about the possibility of getting sick from the mountains. Do everything slowly and drink lots of water, and enjoy the coca tea. If anything does happen and you, unfortunately, get sick, let your guide know right away. Xtreme Tourbulencia guides are trained to help you get through it.

Getting To Cusco

The airport in Cusco currently is only for domestic flights, so all international travelers by plane must disembark in Lima and go through Customs. Even if your flight to Cusco is the same day by the same airline carrier, you must grab your bags in Lima and then check them back in.

The best way to get to Cusco is by air, and there are several options in airlines. LAN tends to be the most expensive but has the most options and flights. Expect delays or flight cancellations. Due to the high altitude of Cusco, it tends to be difficult to land, and any acclimate weather will stop air traffic. Bus travel is always available, and while the trip can be long, especially from Lima, the buses in Peru are very well maintained and comfortable. This option is strongly encouraged if coming from a city closer to Cusco, like Puno. Lima buses will take about 20 hours to arrive.

FAQs

How does the Choquequirao Trek compare to the Inca Trail?

The Choquequirao trek and the Inca Trail are both popular hiking routes in Peru that lead to ancient Incan ruins, but they offer different experiences.

The Inca Trail is a world-renowned trek that takes you through breathtaking Andean landscapes, passing several Incan archaeological sites before arriving at the famous Machu Picchu. The trek typically takes four days to complete and requires a permit, which needs to be booked in advance due to the trail’s popularity.

On the other hand, the Choquequirao trek is a more remote and less well-known route that takes you to the ruins of Choquequirao, which are sometimes called the “sister city” of Machu Picchu. The trek is longer and more challenging than the Inca Trail and can take up to nine days to complete. However, the scenery is equally stunning, and the trek offers a more off-the-beaten-track experience.

Overall, both treks are incredible experiences that offer unique insights into Incan history and culture, and which one is best for you will depend on your preferences and fitness level. The Inca Trail is more well-known and requires less time to complete, while the Choquequirao trek is more challenging but offers a more secluded and rewarding experience.

How far is Choquequirao from Machu Picchu?

Choquequirao and Machu Picchu are located in different areas of Peru and are not particularly close to each other. The distance between Choquequirao and Machu Picchu is approximately 64 kilometers (40 miles) in a straight line, but due to the mountainous terrain and lack of direct roads between the two sites, it is not possible to travel directly from one to the other.

To get from Choquequirao to Machu Picchu, one would need to trek or travel by car or bus to the town of Cusco, which is approximately 125 kilometers (78 miles) from Choquequirao. From Cusco, there are several options for reaching Machu Picchu, including hiking the Inca Trail, taking the train from Cusco or Ollantaytambo, or taking a bus or taxi to the town of Aguas Calientes and then hiking or taking a bus to the site.

How hard is the Choquequirao trek?

The Choquequirao trek is considered a challenging trek, and it is recommended for experienced hikers with a good level of fitness. The trek involves several days of hiking through steep mountainous terrain, with some days requiring ascent and descent of more than 1,000 meters (3,300 feet). The trek is also remote, with limited facilities along the way, which can add to the challenge.

The trek can take anywhere from five to nine days, depending on the route taken and the pace of the group. It is important to be well-prepared for the trek, with appropriate gear and clothing, as well as plenty of food and water.

Overall, while the Choquequirao trek is challenging, it is also incredibly rewarding, offering stunning views of the Andes and the opportunity to explore the lesser-known Incan ruins of Choquequirao.

How long is the Choquequirao trek?

The length of the Choquequirao trek can vary depending on the specific route taken, the pace of the group, and any side trips or rest days taken along the way. However, the trek generally takes between five and nine days to complete.

The most common route is the five-day trek, which starts and ends in the town of Cachora and covers approximately 60 kilometers (37 miles) in total. This route involves four days of hiking, with the first day being a relatively easy downhill hike, followed by three days of more challenging uphill and downhill hiking.

Some trekkers may choose to take a longer route that includes a visit to the nearby ruins of Machu Picchu, which can add several days to the trek. Others may choose to take shorter routes that skip certain sections of the trail, or take rest days along the way.

Overall, the length of the Choquequirao trek will depend on the specific itinerary chosen, as well as the physical abilities and preferences of the trekking group.

What is the altitude of Choquequirao?

The Incan ruins of Choquequirao are located in the Andes Mountains of Peru and sit at an altitude of approximately 3,050 meters (10,010 feet) above sea level. However, some parts of the Choquequirao trek can take you to higher elevations, with some passes reaching up to 4,870 meters (15,978 feet).

It is important for trekkers to be aware of the risks associated with high altitude and to take precautions to prevent altitude sickness. This may include acclimatization days, staying hydrated, avoiding alcohol and strenuous activity at high altitude, and carrying medication for altitude sickness if necessary. It is recommended to consult with a doctor before embarking on the Choquequirao trek or any other high-altitude trek.

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