Trek to Choquequirao

choquequiraoChoquequirao ruins in Peru alternative to Machu PicchuSituated amongst the Salkantay Mountain Range, Choquequirao, (Cradle of Gold in the Quechua language), rises high above the Apurimac River. It bears a striking similarity in structure and architecture to Machu Picchu and is referred to as its 'sister'. Choquequirao receives far fewer tourists than its sister site but the ruins are no less impressive. Unlike Machu Picchu, Choquequirao cannot be reached by train or bus. The only way to visit the site is to go on a very spectacular hike from Cachora, a small community four hours from Cusco.

As future tourism will spread from Machu Picchu to Choquequirao and to the small Andean community of Cachora, the locals will struggle to maintain their culture, environment and homes. Often exploited by larger tour operators, members of the community work for nothing, sell their homes for pennies, and stand back watching their village change as the tourists roll in.

Join Crooked Trails on this once-in-a-lifetime adventure and help us in supporting one of the only hostels and trekking companies started and operated by an original Apurimac family and run by Cachora community members. (If you have more time and want to trek longer, you might also consider our Trek to Choquequirao and Machu Picchu program, or add on the Galapagos.)

Special opportunity! Add a day before or after your trek to volunteer in Cachora at NO COST. Ask for info when you apply.

  • Please note: there are 2 return route options on the trek. You will find descriptions for each option on Days 5 & 6 in the itinerary below.

On the trail to Choquequirao Peru   Trekking Choquequirao view from the tent   Camp site on the Choquequirao trek Peru

Sample Itinerary

Our itineraries are designed to let the country and its people guide your experiences. Please be flexible and allow the program to unfold.



You will need to arrive in Cusco no later than the day before your Choquequirao trip begins. Let us know what hotel you are staying at, or allow us to book it for you. Your guide will arrive at 7pm on this night to brief you on the trek and answer questions.

MEALS:  None



Your guide and driver will arrive at your hotel at 1pm and you'll depart in private transport to the small hamlet of Cachora. The drive will take about 4 hours along the picturesque Panamerican Highway through the Andes, with spectacular views of snow-capped mountains. (Cachora is at 2909 m/ 9544 ft elevation.)

Arrive in the quaint and colorful town of Cachora and get settled into your locally owned and operated hostel. Enjoy a stroll and take in the outstanding views of Nevado Padreyuc.




Enjoy a delicious breakfast at the hostal at 7:00am, then at 8:00 am you will be transferred to Capuliyoc Lookout (2,941m / 9649 ft) where you will meet your trek staff, horsemen and horses and begin the trek. From there you will take the trail heading north from town, following the valley of Cachora with a spectacular view of the Nevado Padreyoq. Along the way you will have spectacular views of the Apurimac River Canyon. The trail zig-zags, crossing scrub and forests of a native tree known as pahty. Even from here you will be able to make out the archaeological complex of Choquequirao in the distance. The trail continues downhill for about 5 hours, until you arrive at the campsite of Chikiska (1,863m). After losing so much altitude you can expect a warm night in the valley.

Maximum Altitude: 2900 m / 9514 ft
Minimum Altitude: 1860 m / 6102 ft
Distance Travelled: 8 km / 4.97 m
Approximate Walking Time: 5 hrs




This morning you will depart camp early (5 am), and continue downhill for about one hour, to the Apurimac River, where you'll cross the Playa Rosalinda bridge. We begin our walk uphill, arriving in 2 hours at Santa Rosa for a rest.

After the break, you will continue uphill for approximately 2 hours until arriving at Marampata (2,913 m). Have lunch here and enjoy the rest of the afternoon visiting the local family land and sharing in their daily activities.

Today you will be stopping at the home of your guide Juan where you can freshen up and enjoy the chicha (corn beer) which is made here, known as 'chicha de jora'. In addition you can walk in their organic gardens, pick vegetables and get a feel for life of the rural people in the Andean mountains.

Overnight at Marampata campsite.

Maximum Altitude: 2913 m/ 9902 ft
Minimum Altitude: 1600 m/ 5249 ft
Distance Travelled: 10 km / 6.21 m
Approximate Walking Time: 6 hrs




Get an early start on the trail after breakfast today. It will take about 2 hours walking to arrive at the principal archaeological complex of Choquequirao. Here you can explore the Usnu, Priests House, Llamayoq, Anan and Urin Sectors and Administrative Sector. The excursion to the Choquequirao complex takes several hours. Lunch will be a packed box lunch, and upon your return you will have a snack before dinner. You can relax at the end of the day, enjoying the spectacular views and your Choquequirao campsite.

Maximum Altitude: 3100 m/ 10170 ft
Minimum Altitude: 2892 m/ 9488 ft
Distance Travelled: 5 km / 3.10 m
Approximate Walking Time: 7 hrs




After waking up and having a late breakfast, we pack up our equipment to begin our return to Marampata where we have our lunch. After lunch you will continue trekking back to Chikiska, where you spent the first night, returning by the same trail. The gradient of the path is Peruvian flat at the beginning, then descending to the Apurimac River, where we will rest. The rest of the path is uphill for 2 hours. Once at our destination it’s time to set up camp and enjoy dinner.

Maximum Altitude: 1860 m/ 6102 ft
Minimum Altitude: 1600 m/ 5249 ft
Distance Travelled: 14 km / 8.69 m
Approximate Walking Time: 7 hrs


Wake up to incredible views of the Apurimac Valley below, and bid farewell to the city of Choquequirao off in the distance.

After breakfast, you’ll begin the trek to Hacienda San Ignacio. The first part of today’s trek is about 3 to 4 hours of steep downhill hiking to reach Playa San Ignacio. Here, you cross a bridge over the Apurimac River and stop to rest. After a short break, you will continue hiking up a steep incline for another 2 hours to reach Hacienda San Ignacio, where we will camp today. After lunch, we will take our time to explore the Hacienda, which was constructed around 1950 and is now locally own by the community of Kiuñalla. Here, you will encounter fruit trees such as orange, avocado, banana, and a local fruit called lucuma.

Maximum Altitude: 1860 masl / 6102 ft
Minimum Altitude: 1600 masl / 5249 ft
Distance Travelled: 11 km / 7 ml
Walking Time: 6 to 7 hrs




We begin the day as early as possible to avoid the
midday sun, which can be especially exhausting. The first part of the path is uphill, the last part of the climb is challenging. We arrive at the Capuliyoc Lookout where we began our trek. Total time, approximately 5 hours.

We will get unpacked and enjoy lunch in Cachora before taking private transport back to Cusco.

Maximum Altitude: 2900 m / 9514 ft
Minimum Altitude: 1860 m/ 6102 ft
Distance Travelled: 8 km / 4.97 m
Approximate Walking Time: 5 hrs


We begin the day as early as possible to avoid the midday sun, which can be very draining. The first part of the trail is mostly flat with some uphills for about five hours. This part of the trek takes us on a different side of the valley of Apurimac Canyon, ending the trek at Tambobamba village, an alternate point where just a few Choquequirao hikers finish their adventure.

We will get unpacked and enjoy lunch before taking private transport back to Cusco.

Maximum Altitude: 2900 masl / 9514 ft
Minimum Altitude: 1860 masl / 6102 ft
Distance Travelled: 6 km / 4.0 ml
Walking Time: 5 hrs



$1190 based on 2 people


6D / 5N


Custom departures available year-round




Cusco - Cachora - Chikiska - Marampata - Choquequirao - Chikiska/San Ignacio - Cusco


Village Experience


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