The name Choquequirao salkantay means “Cradle of Gold.” The Inca arqueological site is considered, the sister to Machu Picchu, it is less known and 3 times larger than Machu Picchu. It was one of the last refuges, for those Incas who continued to resist Spanish occupation after the conquest. The site was eventually abandoned and became covered by dense cloud forest vegetation and to this day archeologists continue to discover new sectors of the city.
On this adventurous trek we will walk on Inca highways, hike through high andean landscapes with magestic glaciers, descend into deep canyons where the condors fly and pass through biologically diverse cloud forest ecosystems. You’ll also visit Inca silver mines and isolated Inca communities.
This program combines visits to two major archeological sites: remote and seldomly visited Choquequirao and legendary Machu Picchu. It is a fascinating adventure through part of the old empire of the Incas and one of Peru’s most unspoiled wilderness areas.
|Package Name :||Choquequirao Salkantay & Inca Trail 12 Days|
|Trek Duration :||12 Days / 11 Nights|
|Accommodation:||1 nights Hotel and 11 nights in tent|
|Type of Trek :||Culture, Adventures and Trek on the Andes|
|Activities :||Trekking & Walking, Cultural Tours & Sightseeing|
|Group Size :||Maximum 8, no minimum required|
|Level of difficulty :||Moderate, scale (0 to 5) it is 4 relative|
|Departures Day :||Any day with two people. We offer affordably priced tours for 2 people so that you can depart when it suits you best.|
|Highlight :||Doing a Peru famous trek! Family trips recommended for nature passionate and adventure.|
|Acclimatization :||Minimum 1 days at altitude recommended.|
|Open season :||The dry season (April to December)|
|Location :||Apurimac and Cusco area, vilcabamba valley and sta Teresa valley 5 hrs. drive from Cusco to start point.|
It is a new start in our lives that will be the new experience to get the top in trek. Hotels provide breakfast and late to pick up you and drive a car for 5 hours to begin of the travelers crossing Cachora, once we will meet the rest of team (horseman and horses).
Then we will begin trek go slop up, passing through the pass of Capuliyoc, where we might see condors and great view of the Apurimac Canyon toughly the valley there are exist the microclimate and stopping to pointing and Choquequirao location.
Finally we descend through Cactus forest to playa Rosalina on the banks of the Apurimac River the main tributary of the Amazon River, along to go down river we’ll have the microclimate. Camping at playa Rosalina(1550m).
That will be the first thick breakfast, and pick up snack bags to get some food on the back pack during the day, because the ascent is 4 hours of uphill trek through a long and narrow trail in switch back, our adventure start crossing the cable car the wild river and surrounded by dense vegetation with several varieties of orchids.
Half way up stop for lunch at Maranpata, that is the begin of the mainly view to Choquequirao trek complex then continue hiking two more hours to Choquequirao (Golden Cradle), is considered the sister city of Machu Picchu, because of several similarities, it hangs 1500m above the Apurimac Canyon, and Machu Picchu hang above the Urubamba canyon.
Afternoon is free time to have the sunset views and the canyon is spectacular; it is also possible to see Andean Condors soaring in the mountains. Camping near of Choquequirao (3050m).
Before the Breakfast we recommended go to appreciate the sun rise and late will have at 6am breakfast and then start our trek passing and exploring the Choquequirao remain, uphill through cloud forest, Mountains and valleys to reach the Choquequirao pass.
After 5 hours trekking the trail continue through agricultural terraces called Pinchinoyoc which means (water jumping forward - 2750m). There will observe different species of birds, different varieties of orchids, and local coca plantations. We will have our lunch near the Rio Blanco;
we use the brake here to get a refreshing bath in the cold and clear river water. We cross walking through the river, since there are no bridges.
After our brake we start the long and steep climb to our camp in Maizal, high over the river close to the sacred Apus of the Incas. From Rio Blanco we climb up to Maizal for about 3 hrs. This is one day with many challenge and microclimate, camping at 3000m.
After 2 hours of walking, we will arrive at the canyon of the Rio Blanco (1990 metres/6527 feet) where will have a rest before starting a difficult climb to our campsite of Maizal. The climb is 3- 4 hours.
Accommodation: Camping at Maizal 3000m 8km ascend 2000 m in altitude – Rio Blanco to Mina Victoria
We depart at 7am, and walk uphill for about 3 hours through semi-jungle, to the Victoria Mines. We visit the ancient mines and some Inca Ruins before climbing an hour more to the pass of Abra Victoria. (4130 metres/ 13 546 feet).
The newly discovered Coryhuayrachina ruins are between Yanama and Maizal and we do follow well constructed inca steps at an area that we call "Mina Victoria" (we started calling it this because that's what the muleeteers called it) the newly discovered ruins of Coryhuarachina are nearby There are spectacular views from the pass as we descend to the charming village of Yanama. (about 2 hours walk).
A day of mountain peaks. In this day we walk for seven hours, preferably rising early to appreciate the chain of snowpeaks that we can see from here.
We lightly ascend to the second pass which is the highest of our trek at 4850 metres/ 15908 feet. After the pass we descend for three hours to the Valley of Totora, where will spend the night.
A day of botany and glaciers. Today´s hike is mostly up, as we will climb from Totora or Colpampa, upwards, to the Salkantay pass (4600m). You will clearly note the changing scenery as you pass through different varieties of plants typical of the high jungle - known in Spanish as the "eyebrow of the jungle".
You finally arrive at the pass after 5 hours of hiking. This is the second highest point of the trip. (4,600 metres/13451) All day you will have been going “against the flow” as this is a popular trekking route, but in reverse. So expect to meet a lot of people along the trail during this day.
From the pass you will descend about 2hours to Salkantaypampa (4100m) where the group may camp, depending on how well you have progressed during the day. You might continue onwards to Ichupata. 18km 1700m ascend, and descend 500m Colpapampa to Ichupata
Alter a cold night, we continue our hike to start the 3-4-hour steep climb towards the Incachiriasca pass (4850m/15908ft), the equal highest of the entire route, offering impressive views of the Salkantay snow peak.
After a celebratory rest on the pass we will then descend towards our lunch spot at Sisaypampa, a flat area from which one can observe the Salkantay´s neighboring valleys (it is possible that you will see condors in this area).
After lunch we continue towards the Pampacahuana community, located next to an original Inca canal, where we set our second camp and spend the night.
In the morning you will see that the valley begins to narrow and the river becomes a canal. The Incas frequently cut canals through valleys to increase the agricultural land.
From Pampachuana it's a 3 hours hike down the narrow, steep valley to the Inca fortress of Inkaracay (also known as Paucarcancha). This is a site well worth exploring and little known to the vast majority of visitors to Peru.
It's about another ½ to 1 hours walk down to the small village of Wayllabamba which is the point that we join the Traditional (or Classic) Inca Trail to Machu Picchu.
As mules are not allowed on the Traditional Inca Trail, at this point we say goodbye to our mules and muleteers and welcome our porters who will accompany us for the next few days In the afternoon, we leave Wayllabamba behind to start our way up the Warmihuañusca mountain pass (Dead Woman’s pass) through an abrupt and steep ascent that stretches for 9 km.
We only climb part way up the pass, stopping at Ayapata, where we camp and spend the night. (also known as Yuncachimpa)
Today we continue our trek up to the highest point in the Inca Trail (but not on this trek), reaching the mountain pass of Abra Warmihuañusca (4200m/13776ft) after about 2 hours. Immediately after the pass, we descend into the Pacaymayo valley (3600m/11808ft), from which we then continue to climb to the second pass, the Abra Runkurakay (3970m/13022ft), stopping halfway to visit the very impressive archaeological complex Runkurakay.
This site, located at 3800m/12464ft, consists of a small oval structure that is believed to have served the purpose of a watchtower. After going over the pass, we descend towards Yanacocha (Black Lagoon) and enter the cloud forest to finally arrive at Sayacmarca (3624m/11887ft).
This is a beautiful complex made up of a semicircular construction. Only 20 minutes away is Chaquicocha – 3400m (dry lake in Quechua), where we will camp.
After breakfast we have an easy climb, to arrive at the third pass, the Abra de Phuyupatamarca (3700m/12136ft). Phuyupatamarca is one of the most complete and best-preserved archaeological complexes along the Inca Trail to Machupicchu, and is located on the highest point of a mountain.
Curiously, Phyupatamarca means ¨town over the clouds¨. From here we also have impressive views of the Urubamba River valley. We descend by stone to Wiñaywayna (2650m/8692ft). At this campsite we will find a lodge with a restaurant, bar and bathrooms with hot showers. The campsite has the same name as the complex located only five minutes away from the lodge.
Wiñaywayna is an impressive complex made up of an agricultural center with numerous terraces, a religious sector and an urban sector – even if you are tired and enjoying the relative luxury of this campsite, don’t miss this archaelogical complex!
On this last day we get up at 4.00 am to leave Wiñaywayna at approx. 5am and climb to the Intipunku, or the Sun Gate. This will take an hour of hiking along a trail of flat stones on the edges of cliffs in highland jungle.
From this fabulous spot, we may see the sunrise over Machu Picchu. From Intipunku we descend into Machupicchu, and 40 minutes later we enter this famous city.
We then descend to the control point where we register ourselves and leave our backpacks. We immediately begin a complete guided tour Machu Picchu that will take approximately two hours.
After your tour you can further explore the ruins by yourself or climb Huayna (Wayna)Picchu for that classic photo of Machu Picchu. You need to buy the Huayna Picchu entry separately.
Also try to fit in a visit to the Temple of the Moon or Uyna Huayna Picchu while visiting Huayna Picchu. Normally, during high season those people who climb Huayna picchu spend a extra day at the ruins just to get in the queue for the mountain and then spend a good amount of time on this classic mountain. If you don't get to do Huayna Picchu, other options are:
- Inti Punku (gate of the sun) this is the location where the classic inca trail arrives.
- Inca Bridge
- Machu Picchu mountain.
We highly recommend walking down from Machu Picchu to get a feeling for the vegetation and also the audacity of its builders. Its a 1.5 hour walk back to the village of Aguas Calientes.
We return to Cusco in the afternoon by the backpacker train (leaves either at 2.30pm or 6pm) and are met by a driver at Ollantaytambo who will transfer you directly back to your hotel. You will arrive in Cusco approximately 4 hours after your train's departure from Aguas Calientes.
Price in US Dollars per Reservation:
|2||3 – 4||5 – 7||8 – +|
|$ 1850||$ 1750||$ 1700||$ 1600|
|Months:||From: January to December|
|Days:||2, 5, 8, 11, 14, 17, 20, 23, 26, 30.|