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Hanan sector from the Usnu

Hanan sector from the Usnu

Summary of the program

Day 1: Cuzco - Chikiska

Day 2: Chikiska - Choqekiraw

Day 3: Choqekiraw

Day 4: Choqekiraw - Pinchaunuyoq

Day 5: Pinchaunuyoq - Rio Blanco - Maizal

Day 6: Maizal – Highpass Mina Victoria – Yanama

Day 7: Yanama - Abra Apacheta - Totora

Day 8: Totora - Colpapampa - Playa Santa Teresa

Day 9: Playa Santa Teresa - Llaqtapata - Hidro - Aguas Calientes

Day 10: Tour of Machu Picchu – Return to Cuzco

Stone flowers – Inca decorated wall in Tarawasi

Stone flowers – Inca decorated wall in Tarawasi

View of the snow-capped peak of Padreyoq on the way to Choqekiraw

View of the snow-capped peak of Padreyoq on the way to Choqekiraw

Difficulty

It is important to remember that this trek is classified as challenging, and so it is necessary to be in good physical condition, as well as having two days to acclimatise in the city of Cuzco.

Hydraulic in Pinchaunuyoq sector

Hydraulic in Pinchaunuyoq sector

Apu Salkantay from Abra Apacheta

Apu Salkantay from Abra Apacheta

Splitting the mountain range in two

Splitting the mountain range in two

Patallaqta and Apu Salkantay under a beautiful mountain sky

Patallaqta and Apu Salkantay under a beautiful mountain sky

Majestic Machu Picchu

Majestic Machu Picchu

The depth of Pacchayoq

The depth of Pacchayoq

June solstice sunset. Apu Wiraqochan

June solstice sunset. Apu Wiraqochan

Water channel to the Urin sector

Water channel to the Urin sector

Gift in the rainy season

Gift in the rainy season

Architecture developed by the Incas

Architecture developed by the Incas

Beautiful vertical terraces in Llamachayoq

Beautiful vertical terraces in Llamachayoq

Machu Picchu

Machu Picchu

Choquekiraw - Machu Picchu Trek 10d/9n

When faced with the Spanish invasion, Inka rebels lead by Manco Inka II travelled to the Vilcabamba mountain range, using it as their last hiding place during the resistence, and staying hidden for almost 40 years. The site of Choqekiraw was possibly used by this last Inka dynasty.

The Archaeological parks of Choqekiraw and Machu Picchu are located in a chain of mountains dominated by the Apu (Sacred Mountain) Salkantay, linked by a spectacular trail full of history, geography, flora and fauna. The scenery will take our breath away.

For this alternative Inka trail it is necessary to be in good shape, as the walk is classified as CHALLENGING, including steep climbs, long descents and high mountain passes over 4600 masl/ 15091 ft. The path takes us over muddy and rocky terrain.

The best time of year to visit this area is between the months of March and November; is it mainly dry, nights are cold (0ºC / 32ºF), and solar radiation is strong during the day (25ºC / 77ºF). We also operate during the rainy season as we have the equipment to face an adverse climate.

Program itinerary

Day 1: Cuzco - Chikiska

We leave the city of Cuzco early, driving along the road which goes north-west across the famous Pampas de Anta or Yawar Pampa (Blood Pampa, because of the ferocious battle between the Inkas and the Chankas over possession of Cuzco city). We cross the mountains and descend to the warm town of Limatambo (2600m / 8530ft), where the archaeological site of Tarawasi is found.

We continue in the direction of the Cunyac Bridge over the Apurimac River, the natural border between the Cuzco and Apurimac regions. We follow the road to the settlement of Curahuasi, famous for its aromatic liquor: Macerado de Anis. Our next stop is the enigmatic and famous Stone of Saywite. All these places can be visited on our last day, on our way back to the city of Cuzco.

Our final stop is the town of San Pedro de Cachora (2909m / 9543ft), in the Apurimac region. We leave our motorized transport for the next 4 days. We have lunch. Here in Cachora, as it is usually called, we can buy any last things we want to take.
We begin our walk, leaving the town to the north, with a spectacular view of the Nevado Padreyoq. We cross the Cachora creek and climb through a refreshing forest of eucalyptus and native vegetation to the dirt track which is passable by cars; from where the path is flat until the lookout at Capuliyoq (2941m / 9648ft). Estimated time to reach this point is approximately 3 hours. From the lookout, we have a spectacular view of the Apurimac River and Choquekirau.

We begin our descent on a zigzagging footpath, crossing scrub and later a forest of native trees called Phaty, in around 3 hours. Our campsite awaits us at Chikisca (1836m / 6023ft). We can expect a warm night in the valley, at our friend Uriel’s campsite.
Estimated total time is 6 hours, and a distance of 19km / 12miles.

Meal: lunch and dinner

2900 masl / 9514 ft

1860 masl / 6102 ft

19 km / 11.80 ml

6 hrs

Day 2: Chikiska - Choqekiraw

We leave very early in the morning to avoid the blazing midday sun. We descend to the Apurimac River to cross over the Playa Rosalinda brigde. Here our climb to Choqekiraw begins. We pass by Santa Rosa, where we will meet our good friend Julian who owns agricultural land and a small shop where we can buy anything from water to rehydrating drinks.
We continue uphill until we reach Marampata; now we are getting close to Choqekiraw. We will have lunch here and rest, enjoying the wonderful view of the Apurimac River and Choqekiraw, to then continue on a path of short uphill and downhill sections until we arrive at the INC campsite. Dinner and overnight.

Meals: breakfast, lunch and dinner

3061 masl / 10043 ft

1836 masl / 6024 ft

14 km / 8.69 miles

8 hrs

Day 3: Choqekiraw

After a good rest and a delicious breakfast, we will have the whole day to explore the ruins of Choqekiraw, visiting the principal complex for around 6 hours. We will then return to the campsite to have lunch, and in the afternoon we will visit the lower part of the complex. Dinner and overnight.

Meals: breakfast, lunch and dinner

Day 4: Choqekiraw - Pinchaunuyoq

We will have a short extra visit to the principal complex, and then continue our walk towards Pinchiunuyoq. After an uphill stretch climbing through a wood of native trees, we arrive at a pampa before the descent to Pinchiunuyoq, where we will have lunch and in the afternoon we will visit this archaeological site. Dinner and overnight.

Meals: breakfast, lunch and dinner

3300 masl / 10826 ft

2500 masl / 8202 ft

4.50 km / 2.97 ml

6 hrs

Day 5: Pinchaunuyoq - Rio Blanco - Maizal

We leave very early in the morning, and descend to the Rio Blanco. We cross the river and climb up to the small village of Maizal, through a wood of native trees, where we have the chance to observe various species of birds.

Meals: breakfast, lunch and dinner

3012 masl / 9881 ft

1500 masl / 4921 ft

5.20 km / 3.23 ml

6 hrs

Day 6: Maizal – Highpass Mina Victoria – Yanama

We leave our campsite and continue uphill, crossing a beautiful forest of native trees on a stone path before arriving at the high-pass Mina Victoria, where we will have a spectacular view of the cordillera of the snow-capped peaks of Choqetacarpo and Pumasillo. We descend to our lunch spot and after a brief rest, we continue on to the community of Yanama, where we will have dinner and spend the night.

Meals: breakfast, lunch and dinner

4200 masl / 13779 ft

3800 masl / 12467 ft

8 km / 4.97 ml

7 hrs

Day 7: Yanama - Abra Apacheta - Totora

The big day. We leave early and climb up the ravine of the Yanama River upriver. It begins as a gentle slope and becomes steeper and steeper as we approach the high-pass. We can appreciate a beautiful contrast of ecological levels as we arrive in the puna, to then descend into the Totora River Valley, where we will have dinner and spend the night in the community of Totora.

Meals: breakfast, lunch and dinner

4600 masl / 15091 ft

2860 masl / 9383 ft

18.32 km / 11.38 ml

9 hrs

Day 8: Totora - Colpapampa - Playa Santa Teresa

We leave very early in the morning, following the Totora River towards the point where it meets the Chalan River, to then follow it downstream to the Santa Teresa River. Exuberant vegetation and beautiful waterfalls line our path to the playa Santa Teresa.

Meals: breakfast, lunch and dinner

2860 masl / 9383 ft

2088 masl / 6850 ft

8 km / 4.97 ml

6 hrs

Day 9: Playa Santa Teresa - Llaqtapata - Hidro - Aguas Calientes

After breakfast we say goodbye to our mule-handlers, and begin our walk to Lucma area where we will take a path to the archaeological site of Llaqtapata. We climb up through beautiful coffee plantations and native trees, to arrive at this interesting place, from where we can see both Machu Picchu and the Apu Salkantay.
We descend to the Aobamba River valley, to get to the train station at the Hydroelectric plant, and take our train to Aguas Calientes. Accommodation in chosen hotel.

Meals: breakfast and lunch

3000 masl / 9842 ft

1800 masl / 5905 ft

10 km / 6.21 ml

2 hrs (by car)

Day 10: Tour of Machu Picchu – Return to Cuzco

Early in the morning we take the bus from the town of Aguas Calientes to the archaeological site of Machu Picchu.
The tour of Machu Picchu will allow us to understand what a high level of development the Andean civilization achieved under the Inkas.
A supreme religious site, Machu Picchu demonstrates the superior knowledge achieved in astronomy and astrology. This knowledge is indispensable for measuring weather cycles (rainy and dry seasons) through the solstices, for the development of agricultural activity; the primary means of survival in the Andes. We will try to spend as long as possible in the archaeological complex, depending upon what time our train leaves to return to the city of Cuzco.

Meals: lunch

2437 masl / 7995 ft

2070 masl / 6791 ft

1.50 km / 0.93 ml

3 hrs

2017 - 2018 Prices - In American Dollars

Private Service - Price per Person

12345678910
5,6603,4302,6502,2602,1852,1802,0151,9001,8201,760

Services included

  • Private tourist transportation Cuzco - Cachora
  • Guide service in Spanish/ English
  • Sleeping bag per person (-10 ºC - Eureka - Cimarron - mummy form, our sleeping bags are cleaned after every use)
  • Sleeping liner
  • Pillow
  • Inflatable sleeping pad (Therm A Rest)
  • Cook and assistant
  • Cooking equipment
  • Snacks
  • Daily tea service
  • Dining equipment including chairs and tables (Travel Chair)
  • Cooking, eating and bathroom (The Pett) tents
  • Portable enviromental toilet (The Pett)
  • Food (9 breakfast, 10 lunch, 9 dinner) - nutritionally balanced menu
  • Vegetarian menu at no extra cost
  • Two person tents (3-people capacity tent used as doubles - Eureka - K2 XT - 4 seasons)
  • Single tents available for extra cost - USD$ 15.00 per night
  • Mule-handlers
  • Mules
  • Saddled horse (for every 6 passengers there is one saddled horse)
  • One Pachatusantrek kit of 100% biodegradable products (toiletries)
  • First-aid kit
  • Emergency oxygen bottle
  • Pachatusantrek water resistant duffel bag for carrying personal stuff (on loan)
  • Pre departure briefing
  • Train ticket Hidroelectrica – Aguas Calientes
  • Guided tour to Machu Picchu
  • Entrance fee to Machu Picchu
  • Round trip bus ticket to Machu Picchu
  • Train ticket back to Cusco
  • Private tourist transportation from the train station to the hotel in Cuzco

Services not included

  • Extra food
  • Optional tip for field staff
  • Extra costs
  • Evacuation costs
  • Hotel in Aguas Calientes

We recommend that you bring

  • Water-resistant trekking shoes and sandals
  • Warm clothing (thermal underwear, fleece, hat, gloves, socks)
  • Waterproof clothing (poncho)
  • Synthetic or cotton clothing (socks, trousers, shorts, t-shirts)
  • Sunhat and sunglasses
  • Sun cream and insect repellent
  • Water bottles such as Nalgene
  • Basic medications
  • Walking sticks
  • Swimsuit and towel
  • Personal items
  • Personal snacks
  • Previous acclimatization in Cuzco city, for at least 2 days and general good health. Pachatusantrek offers easy one day and half day routes which can be completed before the main trek
  • DNI / Original Passport

Please note

  • The distances, times and campsites are for reference, they may be modified by our field staff, depending on the group
  • Available from April to September

Booking and information

Important Environmental Note

Pachatusantrek is committed to following the principles of ecotourism in our operations, and request the understanding and cooperation of trekkers, especially by not contaminating the waters and in the adequate disposal of non-biodegradable waste. We must also respect the customs and traditions of the local people.

“With the protection of mother earth and the permission of the apus …”

We are members of
  • AATC
  • cartuc
  • Dircetur
  • SERNANP PERU
  • Pure Travel
  • Get Your Guide
  • Trip Advisor
  • MinCeTur
Our authorizations
  • Click to enlarge - Pachatusantrek - Cusco, Peru
  • Click to enlarge - Pachatusantrek - Cusco, Peru
  • Click to enlarge - Pachatusantrek - Cusco, Peru
  • Click to enlarge - Pachatusantrek - Cusco, Peru
  • Click to enlarge - Pachatusantrek - Cusco, Peru

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