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From Choquequirao to Machu Picchu

  • The trip
  • Itinerary
  • Price
  • Organization

The trip

In Summary

A trip for the lovers of large open spaces, wanderings and unusual encounters. It starts on the banks of the Titicaca lake, in the heart of an Aymara community. Then, the trek of the “golden crib”, the Choquequirao, will immerse you in a true “Inca adventure” that will end on a high note with the majestic Machu Picchu citadel.

The strong points of the trip  « From Choquequirao to Machu Picchu »

  • A trip for the experienced sportsmen
  • A walk to acclimate on the Titicaca lake
  • The discovery of two of the most important Inca citadels via unique treks

Map


Afficher De Choquequirao au Machu Picchu sur une carte plus grande

Itinerary

This itinerary is an example of a trip; you can change as you desire the steps and activities. If you wish to do so, please refer to the tab “Sur mesure”. 

 

DAY 1: ARRIVAL IN LIMA

Upon your arrival in the airport of Lima, you will be welcomed and brought to your hotel. You will have the evening free in the dynamic neighborhoods of the Peruvian capital.

 

DAY 2: LIMA – JULIACA (3830 m) - LLACHON (3850 m)

You will be transferred to the airport to take your flight to Juliaca. When you arrive, you will be welcomed by your local guide and taken to the mythical Titicaca Lake. By a road crossing the high plateau, you will reach the Capachica peninsula and the typical little village of Llachon, community of fishers living by the banks of the lake at an altitude of 3820m. A little way from the village, Felipe and his family will welcome you to stay the night in their adobe house. Dinner and night in homestay accommodation. 

 

DAY 3: LLACHON (3850 m) – CAPACHICA PENINSULA

On this morning, you will begin a hike up to the tip of the Capachica peninsula. It is the occasion to discover Llachon and its surroundings, while enjoying a magnificent view of the Titicaca Lake. On the way, you will reach the heights of the peninsula from where you can have an exceptional view of the Royal mountain range (Bolivia), with its snowy peaks reflected in waters of the lake.

About 5 hours of walk

 

DAY 4: LLACHON (3850 m) - UROS - AMANTANI (3850 m) – PUNO (3820 m)

In the morning, departure by boat from the pier of Llachon to the Uros islands, where the Aymaras habitantsbuilt in reeds and moored to pickets to avoid the drift.  They live of fishing, crafts and hunting. You will continue sailing on the Titicaca Lake (which signifies “stone puma”) until the Amantani island, where you will roam the paths by foot to fully enjoy the spectacular view of the royal Bolivian mountain range. You will meet the local population who lives in harmony with ancestral Inca traditions. Guided visit of the archeological site of the island. Lunch in a typical restaurant and departure by boat to Puno.

 

DAY 5: PUNO (3820 m) – CUSCO (3350 m)

Early morning departure for Cusco. You will cross the Colla plateau, where you will stop in the Pukara village. It is one of the last places testifying of the pre-Inca culture of the same name. You will then cross the La Raya pass (4360m), symbolizing the end of the Altiplano and the start of the Cusco region. At Sicuani, you will try a typical lunch before continuing driving towards Raqchi. Then, you will visit the spectacular inca sanctuary of Raqchi, before continuing to Andahuaylilas village and its San Pedro church, known as “Sistine chapel” of South America notably due to its lavishly painted ceiling. Arrival in Cusco and check in to hotel.

 

DAY 6: CUSCO (3350m)

You begin the visit of the Inca capital, starting with the cathedral, impressive building that holds many paintings of the Cusquenian School as well as true goldsmithery treasures. You will continue your discovery with the Santo Domingo monastery, ancient temple of the Sun, also known as Qorikancha. Free afternoon.

 

DAY 7: CUSCO (3350 m): 4 RUINS – PISAQ (3400 m) – OLLANTAYTAMBO (2750 m)

You will leave Cusco for the Sacred Valley. On the way, you will visit the four principal archeological sites in the periphery of Cusco: Saqsayhuamán, stunning fortress built on a hill dominating the city of Cusco. This site is characterized by its gigantic blocks of stone, accurately interlocked, with some standing over 9 meters tall and weighing more than 550 tons; then Q’enqo, Tambomachay, and finally Pukapukara. You will then continue to Pisaq, archeological complex composed of terraces, fountains, observatories and even a necropolis, the largest of the region (about 10000 persons are buried here). It is from here that the Incas controlled and dominated the Sacred Valley. On your way back down, you will stop at the traditional artisanal market of Pisaq before continuing your itinerary towards Ollantaytambo, driving by the sacred Urubamba river.

 

DAY 8: OLLANTAYTAMBO (2750 m) – MARAS (3300 m) – MORAY (3500 m) – CHINCHERO (3780 m) – CUSCO (3350 m)

After breakfast, visit of the archeological site of Ollantaytambo under the first rays of sunlight.  You will then take the road to the Maras saline. These saline date of the pre-Inca period and continue to be used like old times by the inhabitants of the village. The water coming from a salted source is canalized to a series of ponds where it evaporates gradually. A fine layer of salt is deposited and can be collected.  After this visit, you will continue to Moray, real agricultural laboratory which was used more than 500 years ago to test the resistance of certain botanical species at the altitude. To finish, you will go to Chinchero, the “rainbow city”. Visit of the ruins and return to Cusco at the end of the day.

 

DAY 9: CUSCO (3350 m) – CACHORA (2850 m) – CHIQUISCA (1850 m)

You will leave in a private vehicle to Cachora and Capuliyoc. The road goes through the Anta plateau which offers a magnificent view of the Vilcabamba mountain range and of the summits of Salkantay (6250 m) and Huamantay (5127 m). You will then go to Limatambo and Curahuasi, region known for its alcohol from sugar cane and anise. On the way, visit of the Saiwite archeological site, where you can find stones carved in shapes of monkeys, felines and birds. You will go through Cachora and continue to Capuliyoc. Here, you will meet your team of mule-drivers. After loading your belongings, you will begin the first stage of your trek, going to the belvedere of the Apurimac valley from where you can enjoy an unobstructed view over the canyon. You will then go down to Chiquisca where you will set camp.

2 hours of walk, -1000m of height difference

 

DAY 10: CHIQUISCA (1850 m) – ROSALINAS (2100 m) – CHOQUEQUIRAO (3100 m)

You will go down to the village of Playa Rosalina (1500m) to cross the Apurimac river. After, you will go up to Santa Rosa (2100m), then to Marampata (2900m) from where you can distinguish the Choquequirao site, with the snowy summits of the Vilcabamba mountain range as a background: the Padreyoc (5771m), the Corihuayrachina (5404 m) and the Ampay (5228 m). But, in order to access the site, you still need to cross the forest. Here, you will discover a very rich fauna and flora with flowers, tropical plants and many species of birds. Arrival at the Choquequirao campsite.

6 hours of walk, +1550 / -300m of height difference

 

DAY 11: CHOQUEQUIRAO (3100 m) – RIO BLANCO (1950 m)

Early in the morning, you will finish the visit of the Choquequirao citadel begun the day before. Around 9:30, you will continue your walk on the Inca path until the Choquequirao pass (3270m), before going down to the Pinchaunuyoc archeological site (2450m), still under restoration. After this, you will continue to the Rio Blanco canyon, where camp is set. If you wish, you can swim in the river.

6 hours of walk, +200 m / -1350m

 

DAY 12: RIO BLANCO (1950m) – MAIZAL (2850m)

You will continue the itinerary until the village of Maizal, where your camp will be set by the only family of the hamlet. For logistical reasons, and depending on the capacity of the group, the guide can decide to set camp a little higher.

5 to 6 hours of walk, + 900m of height difference

 

DAY 13: MAIZAL (2850 m) - COL VICTORIA (4150 m) - YANAMA (3500 m)

You will continue your trek using part of an ancient Inca trail. On this day, you will take on one of the most difficult parts of the itinerary due to the hot and humid climate of the region. Because of this, you will have to walk slowly, but this means you will be able to appreciate the beauty of the local fauna and flora until you arrival at the Victoria pass. From here you will make the most of will have a superb view of the glaciers of Panta (5640m), Choquetacarpo (5512m), Pumasillo (5199 m), Yanama (5347 m) and Sacsarayoc (5936 m). Finally, you will go down to the Yanama community, where camp will be set for the night.

7 to 8 hours of walk, +1300m / -650m of height difference

 

DAY 14: YANAMA (3500 m) – TOTORA (3600 m)

You will start the day by crossing the Yanama valley, walking by the river of the same name. Then, the itinerary will take you to the Yanama pass (4500m), the highest of your journey. From here, you will use a rocky path to go to Yungas, zone of a semi tropical vegetation characteristic of the Vilcabamba valley. You will go through the communities of Hornopampa and arrive at Totora, where your camp will be set.

6 hours of walk, +1000m / -900m of height difference

 

DAY 15: TOTORA (3600 m) – PLATERIA (2100 m)

You will start the day crossing the Totora valley until Plateria. It will be the occasion to observe the change of vegetation as you enter in the tropical zone. Your camp will be set at Plateria.

4 to 5 hours of walk, -1500 m of height difference

 

DAY 16: PLATERIA (2100 m) – LLACTAPATA (2800 m) – HIDROELECTRICA (1760 m) – AGUAS CALIENTES (2040 m)

You will use an Inca path crossing many fields and orchards where typical fruits of the region are grown. You will go through the Playa village, then the Lucmabamba village (2085m) before arriving at the Llactapata archeological site. The itinerary will then take you to the hydro electrical power station located at the foot of Machu Picchu. From here, you will take the train to Aguas Calientes. Check in to hotel.

4 to 5 hours of walk, + 700 m / - 1040m of height difference

 

DAY 17: AGUAS CALIENTES (2040 m) – MACHU PICCHU (2450 m) – CUSCO (3350 m)

Very early in the morning, you will take the bus to go up to the most famous Inca site of the country: Machu Picchu, “old summit” in Quechua. You will there discover the architectural complex, still enveloped in the morning mist, built on top of a ridge and surrounded by precipices: a stunning view that evolves with the progression of the sun. You will roam through the streets of the citadel, its areas, squares, royal houses, agricultural zones, paths and observatories. After a 3h guided tour, you will dispose of free time to discover by yourselves, if you wish, the Huayna Picchu (entry at 10AM*), the Sun Gate (“Intu Punku”) situated at 2700m, or even the Inca bridge. For the less sporty, you can wander peacefully in the city. Return to Aguas Calientes in the afternoon to take the train back to Ollantaytambo. Check in to hotel and free evening.

*We have chosen the 10 o’clock trip in order to give you time to visit Machu Picchu with your guide and enjoy a clearer view of the citadel. However, the number of entries to Huayna Picchu being limited, we cannot guarantee the access to this part of the site.

 

DAY 18: CUSCO – LIMA – INTERNATIONAL FLIGHT

Transfer to the airport of Cusco, where you will take a flight to Lima, the Peruvian capital. Connection with your international flight.

END OF OUR SERVICES

Price

THE PRICE INCLUDES:

- Accommodation in 3*** hotels (local standards)
(To be upgrated, please contact us)

- The meals during the treks, and those mentioned as “included”

- Private and group ground transportation

- Assistance at airports

- The guide, mule-drivers and cook during the treks

- Local English speaking guide at every stage

- The train Hidroelectrica  – Aguas Calientes and Aguas Calientes – Ollantaytambo

- Excursions on the Titicaca Lake and in the Sacred Valley

- The entrances to the sites scheduled in the program

- The domestic flights Lima – Juliaca and Cusco – Lima

 

 

THE PRICE DOES NOT INCLUDE:

- International flights

- Entrance to the Aguas Calientes hot springs

- Insurance

- Lunches and dinners not mentioned in the program (expect 5 to 10 USD per meal)

- Drinks

- Tips (2 USD/day/person for the guide and 1 USD/day/person for the carriers, mule-drivers, cooks)

- The single supplement (please ask us)

- Eventual entrances to museums not mentioned in the program

 

Organization

PERSONNEL

You will be accompanied by a local private English speaking guide at every leg of the journey. This means you will have a different guide for each region you will visit, depending on their specialization. The level of English of the guides varies from one region to another.

A few exceptions:

- For the Puno – Cusco trip, you will travel in a group touristic bus with an English / Spanish guide

- The trips in public transports (buses, shuttles, trains and internal flights) are not escorted.

 

ACCOMMODATION

In Peru, the hotel standards are different to what you may be accustomed to. Here are a few useful details on every type of accommodation:

- Camp: thanks to the perfect organization of our cook(s) and muleteer(s), you could really rest after a good day of walking. We have a tent for the kitchen, another one for to take the meals, another one for the bathrooms. For two persons, you will have a 3 places tent for more comfort. We also supply you a comfortable mattress and a basin of hot water at the beginning and at the end of the day for your toilet; and of course we prepare you warm and complete meals.

- Homestay accommodation: Basic comfort, communal toilets, no hot water and sometimes no running water, simple but clean rooms, sometimes no electricity  and the doors do not lock (however, there are no security problems).

- 2** and 3*** hotels (local standards): comfortable rooms, simple and clean, private bathroom with hot water; some hotels offer rooms equipped with a safe, heating system, mini bar, …

As far as our possibilities, we choose hotels whose geographical location will allow you to fully enjoy the town and its attractions.

 

MEALS

In order to allow you more freedom during your trip, only a few meals are included in our programs: these are the meals during the treks (cold at noon and hot in the evening) and during certain excursions when the conditions make it necessary (on the Puno-Cusco road, in the Sacred Valley, etc).

For the non-included meals, expect 5 to 10 USD per person. This allows you to choose the time, place and menu according to your desires!

 

TRANSPORTS

Most of the time of your trip, your travels will take place in private vehicles: you will have at your service a private vehicle with a Spanish speaking driver who will adapt to your rhythm (photo stop, shopping, etc. …).

Exceptions:

- For the Puno – Cusco / Chivay – Puno and Arequipa – Puno trips, you will travel in a group touristic bus that will make several stops and visits on the way.