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Choquequirao Vilcabamba Trek – Trek Choquequirao Vilcabamba

Retrace the footsteps of Incas with our English-speaking local tour guide on this 10 Days Choquequirao Vilcabamba Trek to Machu Picchu. It is popularly known as Trek Choquequirao Vilcabamba.

The high-altitude trek offers a fantastic opportunity to get a more exclusive view of the cultural and natural highlights of Peru.

Choquequirao in Quechua means Cradle of Gold. It was built in the same era as Machu Picchu by Pachacutec. Choquequirao Ruins are often termed “the sacred sister of Machu Picchu”. It more or less has a similar architecture as Machu Picchu. 

Choquequirao Vilcabamba trek begins just like the 4 Days Choquequirao Trek. We will begin the experience in Cachora, a serene Andean village. This route passes through the Vilcabamba mountain range. It then descends to the canyon of Apurimac River. 

This is one of the best alternatives to the renowned Inca Trail to Machu Picchu. 

It offers stunning views of the peaks of the Pumasillo and Salkantay mountains. Furthermore, you will be descending to the bottom of the deep and impressive canyons carved out by the Apurimac and Blanco rivers. 

On this 10 Day trek, you will be visiting some of the lesser-known Inca sites. These sites played a major role during the Inca civilization. On Spanish conquest, the Incas feared their life and left these sites abandoned. 

Please note that the trek is a high-altitude experience, the highest point is at 4593 meters / 15,065 feet. We highly recommend you to spend some time in Cusco and acclimatize to avoid altitude sickness

The trek takes you through the Andes mountain range. It is subject to two seasons, wet season and dry season.

We also recommend you to experience the trek during the dry season – between March and November. 


Who built Choquequirao?

Choquequirao was built by the Inca Empire in the 15th century. The Inca Empire was a political entity which ruled over the western area of South America during the 15th century and early 16th century.

Is there another Machu Picchu?

Choquequirao is often considered as “another Machu Picchu” due to its location in the southern rainforests of Peru, and its similar architecture to Machu Picchu. It’s worth noting that Choquequirao was visited by Hiram Bingham in 1909, 2 years before his expedition to Machu Picchu. This closeness between both expeditions created the general belief that both citadels were somehow connected.

How difficult is the Choquequirao Trek?

The Choquequirao Trek is moderately difficult, however it should only be attempted by people who are in good physical condition, due to the length of the trek.

  • Destination

  • Departure

    Pick up from your Hotel
  • Departure Time

    5:00 AM.
  • Return Time

    Approximately 6:00 PM.
  • Dress Code

    Warm clothes, including jacket, fleeces, gloves, scarf and beanie/touk
  • Included

    First aid kit and emergency oxigen
    Pick up from your Hotel
    Professional Guide
  • Not Included

    Walking Stick


We will be picking you up from your hotel in Cusco at 0530 AM. Then we will embark on a 4-hour drive to Cachora (2,700 meters / 8855 feet). It is a small Andean village.  As we will reach Cachora, we will have a quick briefing with our wranglers who will be meeting us here with their horses. We will start our 2 and a half hours hike towards the Apurimac canyon.  We will be stopping for lunch in Capuliyoc (2915 meters / 9560 feet). It is a natural viewpoint. From here, you will get the finest views of the canyon and surrounding mountains.  After lunch, we will start our descent for 3 hours to our first campsite at Chiquiska. It is deep in the canyon. On this first evening, we will serve you an exquisite Peruvian dinner, after which it will be time for a much-deserved rest.


After a hearty breakfast, we will start our downhill hike heading further deep into the canyon for about an hour to Rosalina’s Bridge across the Apurímac River (1550 meters / 5085 feet).  From here we will begin a four-hour climb to Maranpata (2925 meters / 9595 feet). We will stop here for lunch as we would get our first view of the Choquequirao archaeological site. This archaeological complex is still not excavated completely.  Locals believe that there are some archaeological remains still hidden under the cloud forest vegetation. This is said to be the natural habitat of butterflies, deer, condors, and the spectacled bear.  From Maranpata it is a further two hours to Choquequirao. We will camp close to the ruins and spend the afternoon relaxing and exploring, before retiring for the day.


We will start the day by exploring the ruins of Choquequirao (3033 meters / 9950 feet) before beginning our trek. We will visit the llama sector, where the Incas decorated the walls of their agricultural terracing with geometric representations of llamas.  This is about 20 minutes from the main site of Choquequirao. After climbing the hillside for about 40 minutes we will have a spectacular view of the terraces of Pinchayunuyoc.  We will then start descending as far as the Blanco River (1990 meters / 6525 feet). Here we will stop for lunch and take a dip in the clear waters of the river. We will camp at this idyllic spot, closer to a lesser-known and atmospheric archaeological site.


We will hike up the mountain for about four hours to an extraordinary place called Maizal (3500 meters / 11,480 feet). Maizal is known for its serenity which will leave you feeling at peace with yourself as you contemplate the surrounding scenery.  This is one of the highlights of the trek, as the fine views compensate you for all the effort expended getting to this remote location.


We will set off early at 06:15 am from the campsite. We will pass through lush green vegetation, where native flowers include several species of orchids. Following a section of the original Inca highway.  On the way, we will also be crossing mines that have been functional for centuries. We will then commence our ascend to the Victoria Pass (4150 meters / 13,610 feet). Here, we will see Andean condors flying around.  We will be in the heart of the Vilcabamba mountain range, one of Peru’s most strikingly beautiful ranges. From this pass, it is a 3-hour hike down to the village of Yanama (3650 meters / 11,970 feet), where we will stop for lunch. We will spend the rest of the day here.


We will be leaving Yanama village at around 06:30 AM. After a brief descent, we will climb to Choquetacarpo Pass (4593 meters / 15,065 feet). This is a particularly beautiful section of our trek. We will be hiking along a trail surrounded by local flora and imposing scenery.  Passing the clear waters of small streams, we will arrive at our picturesque campsite at Kelkamachay, where there will be time to relax. You will have time to contemplate the scenic beauty as we will be serving you a typical Andean dinner.


We will start our hike up to the final pass of the trek, Kelkamacha. Most part of the trek will be along a section of the original Inca highway. We will be passing through the valley to Vilcabamba.

Vilcabamba was the last stronghold of the Incas. It was left abandoned when the Spanish invaded the Inca empire. In Vilcabamba, we will have dinner and spend the night.


After a good night’s rest, we will begin our day early at 07:30 AM. Usually, it is a four hours walk to the fascinating and seldom visited archaeological sites namely Rosaspata and Ñustajispana (White Rock).  After lunch, we will provide you with private transportation to the village of Santa Teresa (1800 meters / 5900 feet). Here you will have ample time to take a dip in the natural hot springs of Cocalmayo. We will be camping at Santa Teresa.


Our day will begin at 7:30 am as we head along the Urubamba River, enjoying the beautiful scenery. Here, the climate is generally tropical. We will be passing through plenty of flora and fauna. Once in the hydroelectric station, we will stop for lunch.  We will then continue our for two and a half hours along the railway tracks to the small town, Aguas Calientes. This town serves as the gateway to Machu Picchu. Here you will be staying in a comfortable room with an ensuite bathroom.  We will gather at night at an elegant restaurant in the heart of the town for a celebration dinner as we will be completing our 10-day trek.


Early in the morning, we will be hiking through the tropical forest to the lost city of Incas, Machu Picchu. It will be a two hours hike from Aguas Calientes town. Optionally you can opt for a 25 minutes bus ride. It costs 12 USD per person each way.  On reaching the entrance of Machu Picchu, our guide will assist you in entering the citadel. Once inside, you will be welcomed by clearing clouds as the golden rays of the morning sun would beam the golden rays on the walls of the citadel.  We will then give you a two hours guided tour. You will be visiting the prominent sites in the citadel like the remains of royal quarters, the main square, the Inca temple, and more. After the guided tour, you will have some free time to sit and contemplate the beauty of Machu Picchu. If you have booked to hike Huayna Picchu or Machu Picchu mountain, our guide will be directing you to the respective trailhead.  We will then hike back to Aguas Calientes town. You can stop at a local restaurant for lunch. Later in the evening, we will be taking a train back to Ollantaytambo train station.  Our representative will meet you on arrival. We will be driving you back to Cusco through the Sacred Valley of the Incas. We will be reaching Cusco by 09:00 PM.

Tour Location



Overall 0


  • Margaret S
    January 10, 2022 at 13:32

    This was a really comfortable experience. Although the trail goes first down 1,500 meters of elevation and then again up the same (and then back again), as long as you don’t try to outpace somebody but walk at your own comfortable pace, you’ll be completely fine.

  • George B
    January 10, 2022 at 13:35

    This was the trek of a lifetime! It was truly incredible. The scenery and people exceeded all expectations. We couldn’t have asked for a better trekking team, and I would definitely recommend the Choquequirao Trek to anyone looking for an adventure! Be aware, you should be physically fit for this trek, because there is a lot of steep hiking up and down. Hiking poles are a must.


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  • The times mentioned in this itinerary are approximate.
  • The exact trekking times will depend on how the group progresses.
Departure date :
  • Departures are available throughout the year although weather conditions mean that the best time to trek this route is between April and November.
  • These discounts are not cumulative.
  • Students: US$ 29 students require a valid International Student Identity Card. Please note that Youth Travel Cards are not valid.
  • Teenagers: US$ 20 up to 16 years of age, passport copy required for all bookings.
  • Children: US$ 46 up to 10 years of age, passport copy required for all bookings.
What is included?
  • Pre trek briefing.
  • Hotel transfer to the trailhead at the beginning of the trek in a private car.
  • English/Quechua/Spanish-speaking professional guide. (you will have an assistant guide for groups over 6 people)
  • Entrance ticket to the archaeological complexes at Choquequirao, Vilcabamba, and Machupicchu.
  • Tents – 2 people in a 4 person tent which allows for greater comfort, and also storage of backpacks.
  • One textile snack bag per person, to avoid the usage of plastic bags that contaminate our environment.
  • Bio-degradable personal hand soaps.
  • Horses (for equipment and personal items) including horsemen. They carry camping equipment, food and kitchen utensils. We provide duffel bags at your briefing for your personal items. (up to 7 kg/15 lbs per person)
  • Basic foam mattress.
  • 1 emergency horse which can be ridden if you are feeling ill or if are a little slower.
  • First-aid kit including emergency oxygen bottle.
  • Toilet tent.
  • Toilet paper, pack-in & pack out.
  • Tents for our staff to sleep in.
  • 1-night accommodation in Aguas Calientes (El Mistico) in a basic hotel.
  • Bus up and down from Aguas Calientes – Machu Picchu.
  • Train or equivalent luggage from Hydroelectric Station to Aguas Calientes.
  • Train ticket (Expedition service) from Aguas Calientes to Ollantaytambo.
  • Private transport from Ollantaytambo to Cusco.
  • Meals (optional vegetarian food). Our professional cooks prepare meals that incorporate elements of the western diet and also traditional Peruvian delicacies. (Please communicate with your guide/cook during the trek if you have a preference for certain types of dishes) Salads, if served, are washed in boiled wáter.
  • Others: hot water every morning and evening for washing purposes / boiled water to fill in your water bottle every morning and night, and at lunchtime, if requested with enough time ahead.
  • Cook and Cooking equipment. (Assistants are provided for larger groups).
  • Dining tent with camp tables and chairs & Kitchen tent for the cook to prepare meals.
  • Celebratory dinner in Aguas Calientes Restaurant Indio Feliz.
  • Lunch on the last day is included.
What is not included?
  • Dinner on the last night.
  • Huayna Picchu entrance fee: if you would like to climb this mountain an additional fee of US $16 per personal applies Breakfast on the first morning
  • Entrance to the thermal springs.
  • Sleeping bags – If you haven’t got a sleeping bag or you don’t want the hassle of bringing one all the way to Peru with you, then we have sleeping
  • bags for hire.
  • Tips: please note that our agency staff is well paid so please feel free to tip or not as you wish.
What we recommend you to bring:
  • A light day pack with a change of clothes for the whole period of the trek – prepare for a vast range of changes in temperature.
  • Sandals or plastic slip on thongs are also good to give your feet a chance to breathe in the evenings if you wish to carry them.
  • Warm clothes, including jacket, fleeces, gloves, scarf and beanie/touk. Thermal clothing is also recommended, especially for sleeping.
  • Sleeping bag. (we can hire these to you)
  • Hat or cap to protect you from the sun, rain, and cold.
  • Sunblock.
  • After-sun cream or hydrating cream for face and body.
  • Insect repellent – minimum recommended 20% DEET – although no malaria risk has been reported.
  • Snacks: biscuits, energy bars, chocolate, raw fruits, muesli, etc.
  • Non-disposable canteen (Nalgene type) and water for the first morning.
  • Your own medical kit with any special medications that you might require, paracetamol, second skin for blisters, etc.
  • Small towel.
  • Swimsuit (if you wish to go to the hot springs.
  • Cash in soles and/or US$.
  • Original passport.
  • Rain gear (jacket and pants if available) or rain poncho. (plastic ponchos can be purchased in Cusco)
  • Strong footwear, waterproof trekking boots recommended.
  • Flashlight/headlamp and batteries.
  • Camera and batteries. (batteries consume more quickly under cold conditions)
  • Water container and water for the first morning. Important notice: plastic water bottles are no longer allowed into Machu Picchu. Plastic water
  • containers (ie. Nalgene) or metal ones are recommended.
  • Optionally: water- sterilizing tablets in case you pick up water from streams or rivers along the route. Otherwise, we provide filtered boiled water,
  • which is safe to drink and has not reported any health problem so far.
  • Original International Student Identity Card (in case you have applied for a student discount.
  • Optional: walking sticks or poles. (rubber covers required in order not to damage archaeological sites)
How to book this trek?
  • If you would like to make a reservation for this program, please write to us.
  • Once you have chosen your tour, please read the Booking Terms & Conditions, as your booking is subject to these terms.
  • Then fill out and submit the Reservation Form that you will find in the Booking Online section of this website.
  • In case your reservation is confirmed, a money deposit will be requested to secure your reservation.
  • Once we confirm the deposit reception, your booking is confirmed. A Service Confirmation Form will be sent to you including all the details of your program.
  • In case you have any doubts, queries or require additional information, please contact us, we will be very glad to assist you.

Optional Extras

    • Sleeping bag $5 per day.
    • Single Tent Supplement $6 per day.
    • Inflatable Mettress $5 per day.
    • Walking Stick $2 per day.


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Person2345-67-89-12Per Person USD
$ USD181013451105985935865X
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