CHOQUEQUIRAO DELUXE (8 Days, 7 Nights)

This journey offers adventurers the opportunity to travel to both Choquequirao and Machu Picchu! Kusa Treks is honored to be one of the first trekking companies to take adventurers to Choquequirao. Choquequirao is a newly uncovered set of Incan Ruins, similar to Machu Picchu, however 4 things make Choquequirao unique from its more famous sister: 

  1. It is much more difficult to access 
  2. Because of #1 It is infinitely less crowded than Machu Picchu
  3. Tourist Treks to Choquequirao are relatively new
  4. It is 3X larger than Machu Picchu! 

Choquequirao is another example of how incredible the Incas were at using their resources to thrive in an unforgiving landscape. Choquequirao was once used by the Incas to perform rituals to honor the mountains and agriculture. At the risk of sounding like a pushy cars salesman, the opportunity to explore Choquequirao with fewer than 50 people there will not last forever!

During this trek you will not only see Choquequirao, we will also hike to and explore Machu Picchu.  

DURATION: 8 Days, 7 Nights 

TYPE: Trek with camping (tents provided) 

DIFFICULTY (1 - 5): 5, Multiple days of hiking. Includes several severe inclines and declines. Experienced hikers only. 

MAJOR HIGHLIGHTS

  • Choquequirao was voted as Lonely Planet's #1 destination for 2017!
  • Trek on the Inca Trail, the exact same path used by the Incas to reach Choquequirao and Machu Picchu
  • Includes 2 nights of camping on Inca ruins 
  • One full day of exploring the ancient city (Choquequirao is so large, we'll need the full day!)
  • All of our treks are led by experienced guides, who are fluent in English
  • Full day tour of Machu Picchu, starting with a sunrise entry (hours before the crowds arrive)
    • You'll learn about ancient Incan history and discover hidden gems only accessible to Kusa Trek customers 
  • This trek is not for beginners, you should have plenty of hiking experience and be in relatively "good shape", the ascents on this trek are much steep and long
  • If you have questions about whether or not you'll be able to handle this trek, please reach out, we're happy to answer any questions and provide plenty of detail.

PRICING:  

DEPOSIT for both PRIVATE and GROUP Tours: $200/Trekker. We use this deposit to secure your hiking permits and your tickets for Machu Picchu in advance. The $200 will be deducted from the Total Price below. 

PRIVATE TOUR PRICE BREAKDOWN: A "Private Tour" is just your group and our guides. 

2 PEOPLE - $1040.00

3 PEOPLE - $940.00

4 PEOPLE - $940.00

5+ PEOPLE - $880.00

 

GROUP TOUR PRICE: $880.00

A "Group Tour" means you or your smaller group will be paired with other individuals and/or smaller groups that are doing the same hike on the same dates as you. 

 

*A 5% Transaction Fee will be added to the Total Cost. We are charged to convert and transfer money. We do our best to keep this rate as low as possible.* 


WHAT'S INCLUDED:

TRANSPORTATION: All transportation is included. However, if you would like to take the Vistadome train back to Cusco after Machu Picchu, rather than the "normal" train, tickets are an additional $70. 

FOOD: All food is provided. In fact, we'll be hiking with a professional chef! Our chef and his staff will cook you some of the best meals you've ever eaten, and they'll do it in the middle of the Andes. Please notify our staff of any food allergies or restrictions and we will ensure that the food is prepared property. 

WATER: Your guides will supply all of the water you'll need on the trek. The water will first be boiled, then filtered and then cooled. You'll need to bring your container for the water (Camelback, Nalgene etc.), we recommend carrying at least 2L, water will be refilled a each meal. 

PROFESSIONAL GUIDES: Kusa Treks strives for greatness and this starts and ends with our people. All of our trek leaders are locals to this region and studied Tourism and/or Archeology in University. They are all fluent in English and are passionate about their work. Trust me when I say, there is no better person to be on the Trail with than a Kusa Treks guide, you are in incredible hands. 

PERMITS & TICKETS: Once you pay the trip deposit we will purchase your permits for the Inca Trial. The government issues permits in your name, under your passport number and for a specific timeframe; they cannot be changed once confirmed, which is why the initial deposit is non-refundable. We will also secure your train tickets and entrance tickets to Choquequirao and Machu Picchu. 

MEDICAL EMERGENCY: Alright, emergency sounds a bit dramatic. However, you can be confident in your Trek Leader. All of Kusa Trek's guides receive extensive First Aid training from a qualified and licensed physician, and we conduct mandatory review/training sessions twice a year. Your Trek Leader will carry a Hiking First Aid kit (including oxygen), and should the need arise we will get you off of the trail and to a medical facility as quickly, and comfortably, as possible. 

TENT: Your tents are provided, they are comfortable, roomy and cozy. Sleep well chicos! 

 

WHAT'S NOT INCLUDED:

HIKING EQUIPMENT: To complete the Inca Trail, you will need a sleeping bag, some type of air mattress (ThermaRest), and walking poles (with rubber tips). If you do not wish to purchase or travel with these items, we have high quality equipment you can rent: 

  • Sleeping Bag: $25
  • Inflatable Air Mattress: $15
  • Trekking Poles (2): $20

PERSONAL PORTER: Porters are local men from the Andes who help carry the majority of our supplies during the trek (tents, food, cooking equipment, etc.). You can choose to hire a Porter who will carry up to 19.8lbs. (9kg) of your belongings, we will provide a bag for you to put your belongings in, which the Porter will take and run ahead of our group. If you choose to hire a Porter you will be responsible for carrying the things you need throughout the day (sunscreen, snacks, rain jacket, etc.), you will not have access to the things the Porter carries until we reach camp at night. 

PRICE: $80/Porter.

NOTE: You can always "split" a porter with another trekker, you would each pay $40 and the Porter will carry ~10lbs. of each of your belongings. 

Learn more about Porters on our FAQ page under "Porter's...Men or Superhero's?". 

HUAYNA PICCHU (Wayna Picchu): Huayna Picchu is the pointy, tall mountain in the background of all the pictures of Machu Picchu. Tickets to climb it are available for travelers who wish to hike up an ancient staircase to the top of Machu Picchu's sister mountain. Hiking to the top of it provides adventurers with incredible, unique views of Machu Picchu. This secondary hike will have a 1-hour ascent, 15 minutes to take selfies and high-five at the top of the mountain, and then a 45-minute descent. FYI, the ascent and descent are pretty steep, but totally worth it! Price: $75/person

NOTE: tickets to ascend Huayna Picchu are limited, and are sold on a first-come-first-serve basis.

VISTA DOME TRAIN: On the way back from Machu Picchu to Cusco, we will book tickets on a "regular" train. However, there is a company that offers a train ride in a "Vista Dome Train" through the Sacred Valley. This train has glass walls and a glass ceiling, which provide panoramic views of the surrounding beautiful Andes mountain-side. Tickets include in-trip meals and entertainment. Price: $65/ticket. 


DETAILED ITINERARY:

DAY 1: THE START OF OUR JOURNEY

  • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
  • Max Altitude: ~9,500ft. (2,900m)
  • Min Altitude: 5,000ft. (1,500m)
  • Distance Travelled: ~11.2 miles (18 km)
  • Descent: 4,500ft. (1,400m)
  • Trekking Time: 8-9 hours

Get ready for an incredible adventure! You will will be one of the first people to complete this difficult, yet rewarding journey. We'll get started early, with a 4AM pick-up from your hotel. We'll drive in Kusa Treks' private transportation to the trail head. Once we reach the trail head, we'll unload and meet the crew over a warm breakfast. The crew consists of your trek leader and his assistants, the chef and his cook crew, and the Porters; all of whom are dedicated to making this excursion as amazing and enjoyable as possible! 

After breakfast we'll start our hike with a 4-hour steep downhill climb, if you didn't have knee problems before today, you might after this descent! You will definitely need good hiking boots and trekking poles for this trek. We'll reach our lunch stop around 1PM, where our food tent will be waiting for us with a rejuvenating, warm lunch prepared by our professional chef and his team. While you eat, sit back and enjoy the stunning vistas of the Andes that surround us. 

Following lunch, the weather is going to get a lot warmer because we'll have descended almost an entire mile into a hotter climate. You'll want to shed some of your warm clothes and put on sunscreen for the next stage of our hike, which will will be 2 more hours of steep downhill followed by 2 hours of a strenuous ascent. After hiking up a hill (I mean that literally) for 2 hours we'll reach our campsite for the night. 

At the end of each day we'll share a "family tea-time", where you'll be served a relaxing cup of the tea of your choice (or hot chocolate), along with finger foods and enjoyable conversation. After tea-time you will have some free time to recharge from the hike and stretch your legs while dinner is being prepared. During a delicious dinner we will discuss plans for the next day, after which we'll retire to our tents to rest for tomorrow's adventure; but make sure to absorb the incredible display of stars overhead first! 

 

Day 2: Challenging Ascent to Choquequirao 

  • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
  • Max Altitude: ~10,330ft. (3,150m)
  • Min Altitude: 5,900ft. (1,800m)
  • Distance Travelled: ~6.2 miles (12 km) (UPHILL)
  • Ascent: 4,500ft. (1,400m)
  • Trekking Time: 4-5 hours

We'll start off the day with an early breakfast. This part of the trek is a very difficult uphill hike using switchbacks. The threat of heat exhaustion combined with the altitude makes it very important to drink plenty of water and take breaks along the way. We will hike uphill until we reach Marampata Mountain (10,200 ft. / 3,100 m), where we will stop to rest and take incredible pictures of the canyon and mountain peaks that surround us. 

After we're rested and ready to continue we will start a 2-hour descent into Choquequirao where we will stop for the day. The first thing we'll do at Choquequirao is enjoy a warm lunch and recover from our strenuous hike. After a sufficient break we will explore the ancient ruins of Choquequirao and enjoy a guided tour of the most important features of the site including the Sun Time, the Astronomical Observatory and the Terraced stone Llama carvings. You will have the rest of the afternoon and evening to explore as much of the ancient Incan city as you would like. We will take a family picture together and enjoy a stunning sunset over the the valley and mountains that stretch out below us. 

Afterward we'll head back to camp, where we'll share another tea-time, swap stories and prepare for dinner. After dinner your guide will point out Incan constellations in the dazzling display of stars above you. And then it will be time to jump in our warm and comfortable tents to sleep and recharge for tomorrow's hike, which will not be easy! 

 

Day 3: Challenge Day #1

  • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
  • Max Altitude: ~11,500ft. (3,500m)
  • Min Altitude: 5,000ft. (1,500m)
  • Distance Travelled: ~9 miles (14 km)
  • Ascent: 6,500ft. (2,000m)
  • Trekking Time: 9-10 hours

We need to get off to an early start today because we have a lot of ground to cover and most of it is a severe uphill ascent, we'll want to be on the trail between 6:00 and 6:30AM. If you've ever wondered what it would be like to hike in Middle Earth...well now's your chance! Saddle up Legolas! We'll start with a 45-minute uphill climb to the Choquequirao Pass (11,500ft / 3,500m), which has an extraordinary view of the valley along with a dense vegetation of vibrant flowers. After we take a quick break and snap some sweet pictures we'll have the only stretch of "flat" terrain on today's hike and it'll last a whopping...30 minutes. 

After that wonderfully easy, flat bit of walking we'll have a hard descent on a trail full of switch backs for 1.5 - 2 hours before we reach the Incan archeological site called Pinchauniyoc, which was an agricultural farm used by the Incas as an integral "rest stop" during their expeditions to and from Machu Picchu. Your guide will give you a brief tour of this site, while we rest and prepare for the next leg of our journey, which is 1.5 - 2 hours, downhill, to Rio Blanco (5,750ft. / 1,750m.), which is our lunch stop today. As we just descended ~6,000ft. the climate here will be much warmer and you'll want to wear plenty of sunscreen and insect repellent.    

Following lunch, we'll start the hardest portion of our day, which is a severe 4-hour ascent up a mountain! Please take plenty of breaks and drink ample water throughout our hike, stop and enjoy the incredible views surrounding you and we will all make it to camp just fine. Our campsite tonight will be in Maizal, which has breathtaking views of the Andean mountain range. 

After a relaxing dinner, most of you will want to head to your tent early to rest from today's exertions and prepare for another challenging day tomorrow. Rest well chicos! 

 

Day 4: Challenge day #2

  • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
  • Max Altitude: ~13,800ft. (4,200m)
  • Min Altitude: 7,500ft. (2,300m)
  • Distance Travelled: ~9.5 miles (15 km)
  • Ascent: 6,300ft. (1,900m)
  • Trekking Time: 9-10 hours

Your Porters and guides will wake you up early with a hot cup of tea, followed by a delicious, energy-packed breakfast. You refill your water containers, load up on snacks and start the second "challenge" day of our journey, which will start with a 4-hour steep, uphill hike on a rocky path. You'll enjoy incredible views of the surrounding mountainside, lush valleys and an abundance of wildlife. 

We'll stop at the peak of the pass (13,800ft / 4,200m) for lunch and enjoy an incredible backdrop of snow-capped mountains and abundant wildlife (including the majestic condor). After taking some selfies, we'll continue our trek with a sharp descent for 3.5-4 hours to our campsite for the night at the bottom of the valley. 

 

Day 5: final Challenge day

  • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
  • Max Altitude: ~14,800ft. (4,500m)
  • Min Altitude: 10,500ft. (3,200m)
  • Distance Travelled: ~10 miles (16 km)
  • Ascent: 4,300ft. (1,300m)
  • Trekking Time: 10-11 hours

We'll start off early again this morning, we'll want to be on the trail at 6AM to make sure we're not hiking in the dark later tonight. Today we're going to scale the Vilcabama Mountain, which is the last city of the Incas. We'll have a 5-hour steep ascent, but the picturesque scenery along the way will give us a good excuse to stop and rest. We have plenty of preplanned stops along the way, where you guides will provide interesting information about the scenery and history that surrounds you. 

Lunch will be served around 12PM after we reach the peak of the pass (14,800ft / 4,500m). From this vantage point you'll have incredible views of Salkantay and Humantay Mountains. After resting for a bit, we'll continue on our trek for 5 hours downhill, the downhill grade, while not as steep as Day 1, will still be challenging to navigate, make sure to lengthen your trekking poles and take your time. During our hike be on the look out for black bears and birds including: falcons, hawks, condors and eagles. 

We will arrive to our campsite, tired but feeling accomplished as the most challenging days are now behind us. We'll try to keep our eyes open during another delicious dinner and then turn in for the night.  

 

Day 6: Beautiful views

  • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
  • Max Altitude: 10,500ft. (3,200m)
  • Min Altitude: 6,500ft. (2,000m)
  • Distance Travelled: ~10 miles (16 km)
  • Descent: 4,000ft. (1,200m)
  • Trekking Time: 10-11 hours

After a nice warm cup of tea and breakfast we'll hike for 3 hours downhill to Colpapampa. Once we reach Colpapamba we'll have lunch and meet up with Kusa Trekkers on the Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu. The rest of the day will be a nice, gradual downhill hike to our campsite at La Playa. 

Today's hike is long, but not as difficult and full of beautiful views of rain forests, tropical forests, waterfalls and several fruit plants. Enjoy each step and the break your legs will get after the strenuous 3 previous days. We'll reach our campsite between 6-7PM. 

 

Day 7: Last day of hiking

  • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
  • Max Altitude: 8,850ft. (2,700m)
  • Min Altitude: 6,500ft. (2,000m)
  • Distance Travelled: ~7.5 miles (12 km)
  • Descent: 4,300ft. (1,300m)
  • Trekking Time: 6-7 hours

You should be feeling incredibly proud of yourself...and sore, very sore. We are almost to our final destination, Machu Picchu! Today will be a relatively easy day to end on, we will have 3 hours of gradual uphill and 3 hours of gradual downhill, which is nothing for an experienced Andean hiker like yourself! 

The first stretch will be 3 hours uphill to Llactapata, which is an ancient Incan site used by the Incas to observe the sun during the Winter Solstice. From here you'll be able to see Machu Picchu for the first time, but from a distance. We will trek our final 3 hours downhill to a hydroelectric station, which is where we'll say goodbye to our incredible staff of Porters, cooks and chefs. We'll jump on a train and ride for 1 hour to Aguas Calientes, which is a town directly below Machu Picchu and where our hotel for the night is. 

If you would like to visit some natural hot springs you can for $3, or if you would simply like to eat dinner, (FINALLY) take a shower and turn in for the night you can do so as well. 

 

Day 8: Machu Picchu then cusco

  • Meals: Breakfast 
  • Walking Time: 3-4 hours

It is entirely up to the group 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 we can eat a quick breakfast and head over the bus station where we will catch the first bus from Aguas Calientes, drive 20 minutes to Machu Picchu, and arrive right when the gates 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. 

All of our guides have been to Machu Picchu well over 100 times and will lead you to the best places to view the ruins before the "crowds" arrive that day. Once the city begins to fill with more tourists we will start our walking, guided tour, which will start with impressive the Temple of the Sun. We will see several iconic areas of Machu Picchu including: The Citadel, the Royal Tomb, the Main Plaza, the Condor Temple and much more. After the guided tour you will have plenty of time to explore the City of the Clouds on your own; those who have secured permits to climb Huayna Picchu will do that hike at this time. If you chose not to hike Huayna Picchu you can join your guide on an hour long walk on the Inca Trail up to the Sun Gate, where you will enjoy a spectacular view of Machu Picchu from a higher vantage point. 

The bus back to Aguas Calientes will depart between 2:30-3:00PM, we will enjoy a lunch together before you head to the train station to go back to Cusco. We usually book the 4:20PM train back to Ollantaytambo, where our private van will be waiting for you to take you the remaining 2-3 hours back to Cusco. 

NOTE: If you are interested in taking the Vista Dome train back to Cusco, please let us know at your time of booking.