Choquequirao: trekking to the secret Inca city

    Visit the sister city of Machu Picchu, an archeological site in very good condition with a walk through the Apurimac canyon.

    Choquequirao is Larger than Machu Picchu, it is resting almost desolate at the top of the deepest canyon in America. Here, tourists do not arrive in comfortable trains, but real adventurers who, after days of intense hiking, encounter the absolute silence of their mysterious ruins. Archaeologists have estimated that only 40% of the city has been exposed, with various government projects underway to reduce their tourism potential. This is why you should leave for Choquequirao now, before the crowd deprives you of an authentic encounter with our historical past.

    The Inca citadel of Choquequirao, is located on the branch of the Salkantay mountain range, at over 3030 meters above sea level, surrounded by the Apus (gods of the mountain) of Yamana, Ampay, Chokecarpu, Pumasillu and Panta, on the left bank of the Apurimac river. At the time of the Incas, everything was connected and in communication with Machu Picchu through a complex network of trails.

    Choquequirao Trek
    The Inca Citadel of Choquequirao

    What was this really?

    Choquequirao is considered “The last refuge of the Inca Empire”. Visitors will have the opportunity to discover a complex hydraulic system, most likely for domestic, ritual and agricultural use. The geographical location of Choquequirao in relation to other religious centers of the same period suggests that its function was this Inca enclave towards the valleys of the Apurimac river. There are many similarities between Choquequirao and Machu Picchu.

    What is the trekking to Choquequirao?

    The hike to the Inca citadel begins in the small town of Cachora, to cross the canyon of Apurimac until reaching the ruins of Choquequirao. It is a difficult circuit, 2 times more demanding than the classic Inca Trail, because one day you descend 1 kilometer of slope (which takes about 5 hours) and the next day you go up (and then you have to come back). But the effort is rewarded every second thanks to the impressive views offered by the canyon. While in Machu Picchu you fight side by side with 2,000 tourists to take the best photo, around 30 people arrive in Choquequirao during the high season, making it the real lost city of the Incas.

    How to trek to Choquequirao?

    At “Sunrise Peru Trek”, we have three alternatives, Choquequirao Trekking Challenge 3 Days; Choquequirao Classic Trekking 4 Days, Choquequirao Outstanding Trekking 5 Days; with transfers from Cusco (includes the return), and another of larger extension that connects Choquequirao to Machu Picchu in an 8-day trekking. The information in this article corresponds to the classic circuit. It is important to mention that, to relieve your load, there are mule drivers who load the camping equipment and your mule backpack, from one campsite to the next.

    Quick Information for classic trekking

    • Duration 4 days
    • Distance 32 kilometers
    • High difficulty
    • Trails: The trail is well maintained and easy to follow.
    • Maximum height 3050 m
    • Entrance ticket 60 soles per person / 30 student soles with ISIC card
    • Best period from May to October.
    The Choquequirao Trekking
    The zone of Capuliyoc, the begining point of Choquequirao Trek

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    Trip Facts

    Duration:Multidays
    Accommodation:tents
    Difficulty:moderate
    Altitude:3350
    Group Size:8 persons

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    Choquequirao Map

    Avoiding Altitude Sickness

    We highly recommended that you spend at least two days in Cusco acclimatizing before beginning your Choquequirao Trek. We’ll assist you to organize hotels and excursions in Cusco for these all important acclimatization days. Cusco is unfortunately relatively high at 3,400m / 11,150ft so you will undoubtedly start feeling the altitude as soon as you arrive. Try not to exert yourself whilst in Cusco and drink lots of water. You can read more about acclimatisation and altitude sickness here.

    Trekking route profile to Choquequirao