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Choquequirao to Machu Picchu Trek

6 days | 5 nights | 43 miles hiking | 4 nights camping

Why this trek?

  • Visit a newly discovered set of Inca ruins + Machu Picchu in one unique trek

  • View Machu Picchu from unique perspective on Day 8

  • Private campsites in the ruins!

  • Explore various ruins

  • Unique and remote trek

  • Be one of the first visitors to discover these newly uncovered ruins

What is Included?

High quality, name brand tents for trek 

Guided tour of Choquequirao & Machu Picchu

Six days hiking in Andes range

All transportation for the trek

All meals during trek

All professional guides and staff

All permits, tickets, taxes, and fees

Combine Choquequirao with Machu Picchu on the same trail as explorers of old

You get to Cusco and we will handle the rest!

Schedule Overview

Day 1

The Journey Begins

Pick up from Cusco hotel around 4AM

2.5 hour drive from Cusco to trail head 

6-7 hours of hiking to first campsite 

Day 2

Hike + Choquequirao

Early start 

Arrive to Choquequirao in the afternoon

Tour Choquequirao

Day 3

Choquequirao + Hike

Lunch in Choquequirao

Professional tour of sites of interest

Hike down hill to Rio Blanco

Day 4

Hike to Highest Point

Highest point of the hike

Best photo spot of the the hike

Drive to local village

Day 5

Hike + Coffee Farm

Coffee Farm Visit

Homestay with hot shower

Day 6

First View of Machu Picchu

Start with hike through jungle

First view of Machu Picchu

Arrive in Aguas Calientes

Day 7

Machu Picchu Tour

Guided Machu Picchu tour

Train back to Cusco

Schedule Overview

Popular Questions

Short answer: "shoulder seasons", the Spring and Fall of North America. These months provide the best combo of good weather and lower crowds.

High elevation effects everyone differently. Two general pieces of advice: take it easy on your first day in Cusco and hydrate

We've compiled the ultimate packing list depending on which trip you're planning to take. Check it out at the link below

Ready for your adventure?

Day 1
Day 2
Day 3
Day 4

Schedule Details

Let's get specific...

Day 1

The Journey Begins

  • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  • Max Altitude: 9,750ft. (2,970m)

  • Min Altitude: 4,900ft. (1,500m)

  • Distance Hiked: ~7.5 miles (12.2 km)

  • Ascent: 4,850ft. (1,470m)

  • Walking Time: 6-7 hours


Note: Our trekking times are approximate and will vary depending on: weather conditions, group ability and other factors.



Today’s journey starts early! A Kusa Treks van will pick you up from your hotel at 4:00AM and drive to the trail head called Capuliyoc. Upon arrival you’ll enjoy the first of many professionally prepared meals by our chef and his staff. During breakfast you’ll meet the crew that will be hiking with you including the Porters, the chef, and assistant guides. You’ll snap a quick family photo (before we lose anyone to the Andes), with gorgeous snow-capped peaks as the backdrop!

After the picture, you will start your life-changing expedition to Choquequirao and then continue forward to be among the few brave ones to make your way all the way to Machu Picchu.

The first leg is a 3-hour descent (caution to those with knee issues!). This section of Inca Trail can be a bit slippery if there has been recent precipitation. However, with trekking poles and good hiking shoes you’ll make it through just fine! After hiking for 3-4 hours, you will reach your lunch spot, where a hot meal in a meal tent awaits.


After taking a break to enjoy lunch, the hike will continue downhill. All of today’s hike will be downhill, and you will take your time and take breaks along the way. Your guide will pause to show you incredible vistas along the way. This part of the Andes is one of the most remote places on the planet, and you will feel a sense of overwhelming wonder and awe at the incredible scenery that surrounds you.

After hiking for another 3-4 hours (tough last 2 hours uphill), you will reach the first campsite. Our campsite is further down the trail then the more popular sites, and so you will have a quiet and private evening to soak in the stars overhead.


Each night you will have a family “tea-time”, where you’ll enjoy hot chocolate, a variety of teas and snacks together to wind down from the efforts of the hike. You’ll swap stories and prepare to eat a delicious, hot dinner prepared by our chef and his staff. If the weather allows, your guide will show you the Inca Constellations in the millions of bright stars that stretch overhead.

After dinner your Tour Guides will go over our plans for Day 2. Buenas Noches!

Day 2

Santa Rosa - Choquequirao

  • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  • Max Altitude: 10,000ft. (3,050m)

  • Min Altitude: 6,900ft. (2,100m)

  • Distance Hiked: 5.7 miles (9.3 km)

  • Ascent: +3,100ft. (1,500m)

  • Walking Time: 5-6 hours


Your day will start early with Porter’s waking you up with a fresh cup of hot tea at 5:30AM. As our staff packs up camp, you will eat a nutritious, warm breakfast. Today’s hike will begin by hiking up to Marampata, a hard 3-hour hike and your first break site. 

You will use switch backs to hike up a severely steep hill (mountain, it’s really a mountain). However, the views of sugarcane farms and the gorgeous valley that surrounds you will take some of the edge off of the hike’s difficulty. This climb is one of the most challenging stages of our trek, but the end goal is your first view of Choquequirao.


A little more than halfway through today’s climb, you will stop to rest and eat a refreshing lunch at the Choquequirao campsite. This stretch of the hike to reach the lunch site is visually stunning and not as difficult as the morning. After lunch, you will have your first guided tour through Choquequirao and enjoy the quiet majesty of these remote and impressive ruins. To this day, only ~30% of the ruins have been uncovered, but what can be seen will be well worth the challenging journey. 


Each night you will have a family “tea-time”, where you’ll enjoy hot chocolate, a variety of teas and snacks together to wind down from the efforts of the hike. You’ll swap stories and prepare to eat a delicious, hot dinner being prepared by our chef and his staff. If the weather allows, your guide will show you the Inca Constellations in the millions of bright stars that stretch overhead.

After dinner your Tour Guides will go over our plans for Day 3. Buenas Noches!

Day 3

Exploring Choquequirao

  • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  • Maximum Altitude: 10,100ft (3,300m)

  • Minimum Altitude: 6,200ft (1,900m)

  • Distance Traveled: ~9 miles (12 km)

  • Walking Time: 6 hours


Enjoy a warm and energy-packed breakfast after which you will spend the morning exploring the newly uncovered Inca ruins of Choquequirao. This day will include several historic and archaeological lessons from your guide. Choquequirao is 3X the size of Machu Picchu and some of it is still covered by trees, bushes and vines!


The site itself is spread out over the mountain with several “mini-cities”, within it. You can explore as much of Choquequirao as you would like and see the areas that you missed during yesterday's tour.


After a busy morning of touring and exploring, the group will take a break to eat lunch inside the ruins themselves and discuss all of the fascinating things seen. After lunch you will restart your hike and say goodbye to the ruins of Choquequirao. 

The hike begins with a 1 hour climb, and then a steep 3 hour descent to the ruins of Pinchiunuyoc, where you will stop and listen to your guide about the significance of these ruins. Afterwards, you will continue your descent for ~2 hours to camp at Rio Blanco- insect repellent is a MUST!


Following this picture perfect ending to a perfect day, you will eat dinner and learn about tomorrow’s itinerary. After dinner your guide will show you how to identify the Inca Constellations in the Southern skies as stars stretch out infinitely above you. We hope you enjoyed this once-in-a-lifetime experience, sleep well chicos and rest for tomorrow’s return journey.

Day 4

The Hike Continues

  • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

  • Maximum Altitude: 13,600ft. (4,250m)

  • Minimum Altitude: 6,200ft. (1,900m)

  • Distance Traveled: 8 miles (13 km)

  • Ascent: 7,400ft. (1,500m)

  • Walking Time: 7-9 hours


After another delicious (but early) breakfast, you will have a difficult climb up to an agricultural clearing on the mountain of Maizal. This is the hardest part of the hike, with a steep trail up many switchbacks for 3-4 hours. At Maizal, you will have lunch and rest from your tough morning


After lunch, you will climb for another 4-5 hours through the cloud forests to the site of Victoria Mines. From here, you will have another break and witness the sun reflect off the mineral-rich mountinside that was mined for hundreds of years. You will continue your hike to your campsite at Pajonal. 


Be prepared for a cold evening, due the altitude of your campsite. You will have pristine views of the Apurimac valley from where you just hiked from and enjoy the family "tea time", a hot dinner, and a early night's sleep after such a hard day. 

Day 5

The Hike Continues, Coffee Farm

  • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner

  • Maximum Altitude: 13,600ft (4,250m)

  • Minimum Altitude: 6,900ft (2,100m)

  • Distance Traveled: 3.7 miles (6 km)

  • Descent: 6,700ft (2,150m)

  • Walk Time: 3-4 hours


After another early breakfast, you will hike uphill for ~1 hour to Victoria Pass where you will be able to take, perhaps, the best pictures of the entire trip. The views on a clear day are spectacular from this spot and the views continue as you descend for ~2.5 hours to the local village of Yanama. Here, you will have lunch with locals and then bid farewell to your muleers and other members of the crew.


After lunch, you will board a van and drive ~3 hours through the high jungle to the village of Lucmabamba. Here, you will have a coffee tour from a local grower and learn about their traditional process. 


You will have your choice to stay at a homestay with the villagers or camp out one last night. The warm climate makes for great sleeping conditions after the last few chilly nights high in the Andes. The homestay does cost extra, but you will have a hot shower and a comfortable bed. But before that, enjoy "tea time" and dinner together with your trekking family one last time and celebrate a job well done.

Day 6

Final Stretch, First View of Machu Picchu

  • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner

  • Maximum Altitude: 9,200ft (2,800m)

  • Minimum Altitude: 5,900ft (1,800m)

  • Distance Traveled: 9 miles (12 km)

  • Descent: 3,300ft (1,000m)

  • Walk Time: 5-6 hours


You will start your last day of hiking early and climb for ~3 hours through the jungle, before descending back down to the ruins of Llactapacta. After a break and tour of these ruins, your trail will continue downhill for another 2 hours until you reach the impressive Machu Picchu Hydroelectric Station. This is our spot for lunch, and for anyone who still has energy left, you can take a quick detour to the ruins of Inihuatana. This is also where you will have your first view of Machu Picchu. 


After lunch, you will board the train that will take you to Aguas Calientes, ~1 hour ride. You will check into your hotel, shower, and get ready for a celebratory dinner. Congrats!!


Your guide will take you out to dinner to celebrate your successful hike from Choquequirao to Machu Picchu, and then we suggest going to bed to get ready for your tour of Machu Picchu tomorrow. 

Day 7

Machu Picchu Tour, Return to Cusco

  • Meals: Breakfast


IIt is entirely up to you when you would like to start this exciting day! Today you will discover Machu Picchu, the world famous Sacred City of the Incas. The majority of travelers choose to wake up around 4:30AM, so that you can eat a quick breakfast and head over the bus station where you will attempt to catch the first bus from Aguas Calientes to Machu Picchu.

The drive to reach Machu Picchu Park is 25 minutes, uphill on a road full of switchbacks. The gates to Machu Picchu open at 6AM as the sun is rising over the lost city. It is truly magical to experience a sunrise over these ruins, as the mists part and the city rises from the clouds stone by stone.

Your official guided tour of Machu Picchu will begin at 8AM and end at 10:30AM, if you have permits to climb Huyana Picchu or it will begin between 6 and 7AM and end between 9 and 10AM if you choose not to climb Huyana Picchu. All of our guides have been to Machu Picchu hundreds of times and know this site incredibly well! The walking, guided tour will start with the impressive Temple of the Sun. You will see several iconic areas of Machu Picchu including: The Citadel, The Royal Tomb, the Main Plaza, the Condor Temple and much more.

NOTE: Due to new regulations (effective Jan 1. 2019), the paths that lead through Machu Picchu are all “one-way”, meaning you are not able to backtrack during your visit to Machu Picchu. Each visitor without a permit to climb Huyna Picchu or Machu Picchu Mountain will have ~4 hours to spend inside the park and those with permits to climb either Huyana Picchu or Machu Picchu Mountain will have 6 total hours to spend inside the park (including the 2 hour climb).


After touring Machu Picchu your guide will take you to the bus stop just outside the gates of Machu Picchu Park. You will take this bus for a third time to get back to to Aguas Calientes. Depending on your train departure time (see below), you will either need to head straight to the train station, or you can go to one of the many fantastic restaurants in Aguas Calientes for lunch (not included).

There are several train class options for the ride back to Cusco. The main two trains are the “Expedition Train” (included in the price) and the “Vista Dome Train” (additional $70 USD per ticket). Our team usually tries to get tickets for a train leaving in the 15:00 (3PM) hour, which will have you back to your hotel in Cusco around 19:00 (7PM).


If you have a preference for departure/arrival time, and provide us with 4+ months notice, we are able to book tickets for the following departures:

Expedition train departure times (train ticket included in price):

  • 14:55, 15:20, 16:20, 18:10

Vista Dome train departure times (additional $70 USD per ticket):

  • 15:20, 16:20, 17:10, 18:20

  • 13:37, $25 USD...only available for those who do not do the Huyana Picchu hike

All trains that depart from Aguas Calientes will arrive at one of two stations:

  1. Ollantaytambo station, 2 hour drive back to Cusco

  2. Poray station, 30 minute drive back to Cusco

Your arrival station will depend on the time of year of your trip, departure time and class of train. Once you arrive to either station a Kusa Treks van and driver will be waiting for you at the station to take you back to your hotel.

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