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Choquequirao Hike

Choquequirao Hike

The Hike to Choquequirao Cradle of Gold is long and strenuous, but certainly unforgettable. It starts from Cusco by the road that goes to Abancay. At kilometer 154, take the detour to the town of Cachora, the last town before reaching the archaeological complex. From there he goes on horseback or on foot. The road has recently been extended and arranged. To travel through it, it is now more comfortable and safe. Arriving in Choquequirao requires good physical condition and adequate equipment.

The trek to Choquequirao Trek is the most extraordinary adventure that we put at your fingertips because it is the greatest wonders of Inca architecture. The environment along the circuit is impressive for the presence of an abundant variety of flora, fauna and the adaptation they have had in the variations of temperature, as for the fauna we can find mainly condors, vizcachas, foxes, variety of birds like the cock of the rocks and hummingbirds, in the flora they emphasize the ferns, ichu and great variety of orchids besides an incomparable geography that presents mountains of great height, snowed, innumerable rivers, canyons, falls of waters, valleys, variety of flats ecological, and many more.

Before you go

Quick Itinerary 

Day 01: Cusco - Cachora - Playa Rosalina 

Day 02: Playa Rosalina - Choquequirao 

Day 03: Choquequirao - Raqaypata 

Day 04: Raqaypata - Coca Masana 

Day 05: Coca Masana - Cachora - Cusco


Highlights of Choquequirao Trek 

  • Explore the Choquequira Archaeology 
  • Discover the second lost city of the Incas 5 day hike with professional tour guide, cook and horses 
  • Guided Tour of Choquequirao ruins

A golden cradle in the middle of the mountains... 

Choquequirao is located in the Andean mountain chain of the Salkantay mountain, under whose shade it served as a cultural and religious focus, as well as a link between the jungle and the rest of the empire. Although the citadel of Choquequirao was successively discovered since the mid-eighteenth century, it is currently estimated that only a third of this complex has been cleared and explored. The cradle of gold (a Quechua phrase to which its name is equivalent) still has many hidden mysteries waiting to be discovered.

What is choquequirao? 

  • Choquequirao is named after the Quechua Chuqi K'iraw, the golden cradle. Located at just over 3,000 meters high, they are terraces and complex Inca buildings to understand, very similar to the citadel of Machu Picchu, in terms of its architecture. Some even call it the "sacred sister of Machu Picchu" or "second Machu Picchu". The site is not as big as Machu Picchu, but it is much less crowded by travelers, since it can only be accessed on foot, with a tour operator, it is the longest and most complete road in Peru, after this expedition you will not want more make another path the same.

The Sacred Sister of Machu Picchu: 

Choquequirao is only 60 kilometers from Machu Picchu, which leads experts to believe that both maintained a close relationship and were even part of a very important commercial route in the Inca period. On the other hand, the similarities of style and construction techniques of both lead us to think that they were built at the same time. The perfection of the angles, the monolithic pieces, the impossible traces of their channels, as well as the impeccable urban design with full respect for the natural environment, are some signs of this brotherhood.


  • During the Inca civilization it was a cultural and religious center for the region. It is presumed that this citadel was used as a checkpoint to ensure access to the areas of Vilcabamba, which connected the jungle with other important centers such as Pisac and Machu Picchu. It is also estimated that the citadel played an important role serving as a link between the Amazon rainforest and the capital of the Inca Empire (Cusco). In the transitional period that lasted approximately 40 years, Choquequirao is considered one of the last strongholds of resistance and refuge of the Incas, who by order of Manco Inca, left the city of Cusco to take shelter in the cities of the Vilcabamba region, when around the year 1535 Cusco was controlled by the Spaniards. It was in this place (and in general throughout the valley of Vilcabamba) where Manco Inca and the last Inca descendants of Vilcabamba where they resisted the attack of the Spaniards, until the capture and execution of Tupac Amaru I that happened in the year 1572.

How to get to Choquequirao?

Getting to this citadel is not as easy as it is today to travel to Machu Picchu. The only route is by land and is reserved for those people who love adventure tourism. The cares that must be taken during the route are many, due to the steepness that the road becomes in some sections, without counting the precipices and the narrow portions of the road. The trip lasts a maximum of five days, depending on the route chosen, in which mountains are crossed, valleys are forded and high altitudes are reached. However, no effort feels excessive when finally the magnificent Choquequirao appears in sight.

Main areas of the Choquequirao

Among the nine zones clearly defined in the visible design of Choquequirao, is the area of houses, the administrative area and the artisanal one. The citadel is also crossed by an intricate system of risk channels, some of which flow into the platform area, an impressive combination of more than 180 cultivation steps that reach the river. If your dream is to unveil the mysteries of the Andean mountains and their millenary wealth, do not hesitate to take a trip to the incredible Choquequirao, an Inca treasure in the middle of the mountains. 

More adventures at:

Day 01: Cusco - Cachora - Coca Masana - Playa Rosalina

We pick you up at your hotel at 4 am and take you with our private van to the town of Cachora (2,892 MASL). During the trip, we can enjoy the first beautiful views of the typical villages, valleys and snowy peaks. We find our porters and their horses that we carry. Full of enthusiasm, we set out on our trek for an ascent of about 2 hours and arrived at the town of Capuliyoc. We took advantage of the great view over the Apurimac Canyon and the snow-covered Padrayoc (5571msnm), as well as the location of Choquequirao. Then, you will start a slow descent to Coca Masana, into the canyon (2,330MASL). Finally, you reach to the next campsite at Playa Rosalina (Rosalina Beach) (1,550  MASL) where a delicious lunch awaits us. We enjoyed the tropical tranquility of the place and spent the night.

Day 02: Rosalina Beach - Choquequirao

At the beginning of the day we crossed the river on a pedestrian bridge. From here we walk uphill for half a day until we reach Raqaypata, where we have lunch. As we climb the steep path, we can appreciate the entire area of ​​the canyon, its vegetation and the environment that surrounds it. The afternoon walk will not be as steep as we approach the valley that houses the Choquequirao complex. We camped in a flat area near the archaeological site that we can explore a little after the lunch.

Day 03: Choquequirao - Raqaypata

Beautiful day! We will be as amazed as the vast majority of visitors by a guided tour of this fascinating archaeological site. Choquequirao is scattered on both sides of the spur of the God Corihuayrachina and until now only 30% of the site has been brought to light. Then we need all day to fully explore the place and admire the different palaces, temples and ceremonial fountains, a great "Usnu" (ceremonial center) as well as the amazing agricultural terraces. With a little luck we will have the opportunity to see a condor. Then we will return to our Raqaypata camp where we will spend the night.

Day 04: Raqaypata - Coca Masana

This morning we will start the return hike with a steep plunge towards the Apurimac River, where we will have lunch. We continue descending until we reach the campsite Coca Masana at 2,330 MASL, where we could have time to appreciate the  Apurimac River Canyon. We are camping and having dinner here.

Day 05: Coca Masana - Cachora - Cusco

During the morning, we have the ascent, observing the majestic Apurímac canyon and with a bit of luck the flight of the Condor. From the campsite the level of the route is flat (with some small ascents) to the town of Cachora, where our mobility awaits us to return to the city of Cusco.


  • Pre-trek briefing. 
  • Private transportation to Cachora 
  • Accommodation: Campsites (4 nights). 
  • Entrance fee to the Choquequirao. 
  • Meals: 4x breakfast, 4x lunch, 4x dinner and 4x afternoon hot beverages 
  • Professional bilingual 
  • Tour Guide. 
  • Professional Cook. 
  • Horses to carry food, camping and cooking equipment and 5 kg of each passenger's stuff  
  • Camping equipment: tents, sleeping bag, tables and chairs, a cooking tent with cooking equipment, dining and toilet tents. 
  • Duffel bag

Not Included

  • Breakfast on the day 1 and lunch on the last day. 
  • Travel insurance 
  • Tips to local staff

Suggested Items

  • Backpack. 
  • Trekking boots 
  • Clothing that shelters at night. 
  • Rain clothes. 
  • Binoculars. 
  • Lantern. 
  • Cap or Hat 
  • Long pants, we do not recommend that you wear jeans. 
  • Poles 
  • Small towel 
  • Toilet paper, handkerchiefs. 
  • Disinfectants of hands. 
  • Sunscreen. 
  • Repellent for insects. 
  • Medicine or personal items (liquid for contact lenses). 
  • Bottle of water, must take a lot of water in the walk. 
  • Purifying tablets. 
  • Original Passport
  • Money Cash in small denominations Soles. 
  • Camera

Frequently Asked Questions

Appropriate clothing along this hike: 

Trousers and hiking shirts are recommended during the day, eventually complemented by sweaters, and jackets in the afternoon. We recommend convertible walking pants and / or shorts, as some parts of the route run at low altitude and warm weather. It is also very convenient to have light raingear available in the backpack (rain poncho or jacket and / or rain pants) as the weather changes easily and the rains may occur suddenly. At night, warm clothing is required along the route. 


Choquequirao Trek Weather:

The climate of Cusco is divided into two distinct seasons: the rainy season, from November to April (the strongest rains generally occur between January and March); And the dry season, from May to October. The dry season is colder, so temperatures can drop below 0 degrees at night. Along the route to Choquequirao, the temperatures oscillate between 15-25ºC during the day if it is sunny, at 10-20ºC during the day if not sunny. Temperatures go down at night, especially in Choquequirao, at a higher elevation, reaching 5ºC but rarely below. The warm clothes are therefore necessary for this walk. 

Choquequirao Trek Difficulty: 

Very difficult: The route has strong ups and downs, with changes in altitude on a day of more than 1600m / 5200 feet and generally warm weather during the day due to low altitude vs. Cusco. We recommend allowing an acclimatization of a day in Cusco before the departure of the walk.

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