Find out more about one of the greatest Inca fortresses. The last discovery in Peru’s history, Choquequirau has been compared to Machu Picchu because of its extension and importance. Choquequirau means “golden cradle” in Quechua and is located in a big Andean plateau in the province of La Convention, in the Vilcabamba Valley. Archeologists figure that it was one of the many lost cities of the Incas where they found refuge since 1536, with the arrival of the Spaniards. Only 30% of the giant complex has been cleared to national and international tourism, which gives us an idea of the great dimensions this complex will acquire when it will be totally cleared. The journey is long but it will be an unforgettable experience for those who visit it.
Day 1 / Cusco - Cachorra - Capuliyoc - Santa Rosa
We will meet at Plaza San Martín, in Cusco, and we will leave from there at 5:30 am. Five hours later, after having passed through Limatambo, Curahuasi, Cachora, we will arrive at the Capulliyoc Viewpoint, where we will meet the muleteers and start the trek. After loading the equipment, we will begin the descent to the Apurimac Canyon. It will be three and a half hours of somewhat steep descent, so we recommend wearing well-fitting shoes and good socks. We will stop for lunch and a little rest at the Chiquisca camp. We will then continue to walk down until we reach the bottom of the canyon, where Playa Rosalina camp is located. We will have a few minutes to take some pictures and then cross the bridge to start the ascent. About an hour and a half later, we will reach the Santa Rosa 1 camp, where we will spend the night.
Day 2 / Santa Rosa - Choquequirao
Today’s first hike will begin at 6 am and most of it will be upwards. After three hours, we will reach our first goal of the day: Marampata, a town inhabited by ten families, where there is wifi and from where you can have the first view of the upper part of Choquequirao. A half an hour of rest later, we will continue the walk for two more hours until finally reaching the Choquequirao camp. While this part is flat, the others are short ups and downs, some quite steep. In the afternoon, we will start walking from 2 pm until we reach our first view of the lower part of the sanctuary, a place called Pacchayoq; we will get a view of its impressive platforms and the priest’s house. In this part of the site, water is worshiped in a beautiful waterfall. After touring the area, and if there’s good weather, we will take a nice dip before returning to the camp for dinner.
Day 3 / Choquequirao full day
After breakfast, we will start our trek to the Choquequirao site. We will begin our visit at the administrative part of the site, followed by a visit to the Ushnu, a sacred place located on the top of a hill, where we will make an offering ceremony to the Pachamama. This area has a ceremonial oval platform surrounded by a small wall. From this place you can see much of the archaeological site of Choquequirao. We will continue through the Hanan area, which includes an upper main square with buildings and an aqueduct that goes down through stone fountains. Then we will visit the sector of the llamas, an almost unknown part of the site, since to reach it you must go pass fairly steep roads, although it is worth the effort. After a break we will start to head back. Our next stop will be Marampata, where we will have lunch. After a short rest, we will walk a little more (this time downwards) until we reach the Santa Rosa 2 camp, where we will spend the night.
Day 4 / Choquequirao - Chiquisca
Early in the morning we will embark on a two-hour walk down to the river. Once we are there, we will rest our knees for a few minutes, then we will continue to walk uphill towards the Chiquisca camp, where we will spend the night. This part will take us about two and a half hours. Here we can find a refrigerator, which means access to ice cold beers. In addition, the locals have an assorted farm, where they grow cucumbers, watermelons, avocados, mangoes, papayas, beets, string beans, sweet potatoes, yuca roots, and an endless number of organic vegetables and fruits that we will eat for dinner. We will have the rest of the day off to relax.
Day 5 / Chiquiska - Capulliyoc - Cusco
The last day of the trek and also the last great effort. We will leave Chiquisca very early, at around 5 am, to avoid the sun rising on us. Today is a day of ascent and we will have to walk upwards for about 4 hours until we reach the Mirador de Capuliyoc, where the car that will take us back to Cusco will be waiting for us.
Includes / Not included
INCLUDES: Private transportation from Cusco – Capulliyoc – Cusco. Private tour to Choquequirao and the necessary equipment for the tour: tents, mules, tickets. Entrance to Choquequirao.
Food:All meals except breakfast on the first day and dinner on the last day.
Staff: Driver, muleteers, cook, driver tour and official bilingual guide.
NOT INCLUDED: Tips, sleeping bag, walking sticks and matra.