The Choquequirao Ruin site is one of the ancient lost Inkan Cities that Hiram Bingham discovered in 1909. Considered the last Inca refuge that resisted the Spanish invasion for decades, Choquequirao is located in the canyon of the Apurimac River at an altitude of 3,050 m/10,006 ft. The ruins are positioned in a strategic geographical area between Andean mountains and the edge of the jungle.
This is an excellent alternative trek to see a spectacular Inca Ruin site that is larger than Machu Picchu. Just like on the Ausangate trail you will run into few other trekkers. The 5D/4N trek to Choquequirao is 64km/39.76miles and ascends to 3,050m/10,006ft.
Minimum trekkers necessary for trek departure: 2 people (1 person or private/custom treks possible with extra fee). Maximum trekkers per group: 10 people (special, private party groups can exceed maximum).
Cusco Hotel Transfer
We will be leaving Cusco at 6:00am for the 4 hour drive to Cachora in our private transportation. On the way we will stop to have breakfast admiring the wonderful Limatambo Canyon and the Salkantay and Humantay Mountains. We then continue to the little village of Cachora.
After meeting our expedition support crew know as arrieros we start a gentle hike through this historically rich territory. It is a 3 hour hike to Capulichayoc (2915m/9,564ft) from where we have our first beautiful views of the Apurimac valley and river below, as well as the snow-capped peaks of Padrayoc and Wayna Cachora Mountains.
We will then descend toward Coca Masana (2330m/7,644ft) where the climate becomes noticeably warmer and the flora and fauna begin to change. Finally we arrive at Playa Rosalina (Rosalina Beach) at 1550m/4,954ft beside the raging “The Speaker God” Apurimac River, famous for Class 5 rafting rapids.
Here we will set up camp and spend the night. Walking poles or wooden sticks are highly recommended and insect repellent a must.
After an early breakfast we will walk for approximately 1 hour to arrive at Playa Rosalina near the Apurimac River (1500m/4,921ft), where we will cross a typical local bridge and hike through a forest of cactus, agaves, and exotic local fruit trees.
Here we start a gentle, gradual 3-4 hour climb (1,400m/4,593ft gain) from the shores of the Apurimac river to Marampata (2900m/9,514ft) where we have lunch. At the end of this path we will see the archaeological complex of Choquequirao for the first time.
It is an easy 2 hour hike to the Choquequirao ruins (3035m/9,957ft), and on the way we will see a variety of plants and flowers. As soon as we arrive to this Inca complex we will visit the farming terraces of Paqchayoc and the house of the waterfall, after which we return to our camping site near Choquequirao. Here you can taste “cambric,” a local cognac made from sugar cane.
The trekking guide’s wealth of knowledge about the area’s history and culture made the journey truly captivating. We ventured through breathtaking landscapes and encountered hidden marvels, immersing ourselves in the essence of the region.