DURATION

DIFFICULTY

8 DAYS

DEMANDING

Prices 

2 Pax - $2,500

3 Pax - $1800

4 Pax - $1,750

5 Pax - $1,690

6 Pax - $1,480

CHOQUEQUIRAO TO VITCOS, VILCABAMBA 8D/7N

This is a wonderful route to really immerse yourself in the breath-taking scenery and challenging terrain of the Andes. Off the beaten track, you’ll face a demanding trek with all the rewards you would anticipate; incredible snow-capped mountain ranges, high passes, ancient archaeological sites, blue lagoons and a fabulous sense of accomplishment. Do not underestimate this route, this is a trekkers trek!

 

DAY BY DAY ITINERARY

DAY 1 - DRIVE TO CACHORA AND TREK TO CHIQUISCA


The first day of this exhilarating itinerary takes us first to the pretty village of Cachora. We leave Cusco early in our private transport to meet our trek crew at our starting point. Cachora is a comfortable 4 hour drive west of Cusco travelling through some beautiful countryside out into the rural district of Apurimac. Once heading out on the trail, we’ll get a good sense of our expedition. Incredible mountain ranges and glaciers come into sight, building our anticipation for this challenging trek. A few hours in brings us to our first mountain pass and the beginning of today’s long descent. From this viewpoint, with a clear sky, we will catch a glimpse the magnificent Choquequirao. The downhill is very steep, quite unforgiving and can be painful for our knees (if you have knee problems we suggest “knee braces” or supports). Chiquiska is our camp tonight almost at the bottom of the Apurimac River canyon. A little piece of paradise, this green oasis is a welcoming, restful place. Please note, as we are lower and near the Apurimac river a strong mosquito repellent is essential. A fulfilling dinner and early to bed is the order of the day, ready for our demanding climb tomorrow! Start Height: 2900masl / 9514ft. Max Height: 2941maslm / 9648ft. Approximate Walking time: 6-7 hrs Distance travelled: 19km / 11.80 ml Meals: L, D. Snacks




DAY 2 - CHIQUISCA TO CHOQUEQUIRAO


After our first night on the trail and a breakfast of champions, we walk down cross the river and ascend to our Choquequirao camp site (2847m /9340ft), situated about 1500m above the Apurimac River. The ascent is steep and tough but as we switchback up from the floor of the canyon we are rewarded with spectacular views of the surrounding landscape. On reaching Marampata we will get a ‘birds eye view’ of the impressive and powerful Apurimac river. The hike to our campsite is flatter than our challenging uphill and if we arrive early and energy levels are high it may be possible to spend some time at Pacchayoq. This is the lower sector of the archaeological complex, where we will see ancient Inca water channels, ceremonial rocks and much more. After a hard days hiking we will return to our campsite for a delicious meal and well deserved rest. The sky here is light pollution free and on a clear night stargazing is second to none! Start Height: 2847m / 9340ft Max Height: 3100m / 10170ft. Approximate Walking time: 8 hours Distance travelled: 14km / 8.69 ml Meals: B, L, D. Snacks




DAY 3 - CHOQUEQUIRAO CAMPSITE TO CHOQUEQUIRAO CITADEL


After a tasty breakfast we leave camp and hike up to the ruins. For now, Choquequirao is a breath- taking destination of an ‘unspoiled’ trek and you won’t see many tourists. You will find a sense of peaceful tranquility at the top of this mountain, and if you are lucky you may even see condors soaring by. The best part is you get to spend the whole day here and after a guided tour and some self-exploration, there will even be time for you to find a quiet space, lie down in the grass, relax and simply absorb the contemplative experience of being in an ancient Inca City. Those of us with enough vigour may even choose to descend to see the famous white stone llamas. If you can, do, it’s a sight not to be missed. After an unforgettable day of discovery, we return to camp to dine, relax and contemplate our encounter with this mysterious archaeological site. Meals: B, L, D. Snacks




DAY 4 - CHOQUEQUIRAO TO MAIZAL


Well rested, breakfasted and ready for a demanding day we will leave the magnificent Choquequirao behind us, moving onwards and upwards to our next camp at Maizal. Determined and motivated by our incredible achievement and awesome surroundings we will relish the challenge of today’s hike. We will start off with a gradual ascent to the high pass, a great viewing point to take in the beautiful lush and varied flora of this area. Once over the pass our route continues with a slight decent to the interesting ruins of Pincha Unuyoc and then a steep and demanding downhill to Rio Blanco to have a wonderful and recovering lunch. Now we begin our difficult and steep zig zag ascent leading us to our camp tonight. Dinner will be prepared for us by our trek team as we rest a little and take stock of how far we’ve come and what we’ve accomplished! Start Height: 2954,7 masl / 96938.9764 ft Max Height: 3308 masl / 10853.02 ft. Approximate Walking time: 8 - 9 hours Distance travelled: 10 km / 6.21 ml Meals: B, L, D. Snacks




DAY 5 - MAIZAL TO YANAMA


This morning we continue uphill. This section of our journey is truly a visual delight. We will be passing through cloud forest, Andean Puna grassland, the Victoria mining area (where rocks have a captivating shimmer), ancient but well-maintained Inca trails and we cross the high pass, Abra San Juan at 4000masl (13123ft). This day offers us a fabulous perspective of the astonishing panorama of the Cordillera Vilcabamba mountain range and the high pass is a fantastic vantage point for photographs. Our descent requires measured caution as we hike down to the delightful Andean village of Yanama, our camp spot tonight. After a scrumptious meal an early night is recommended tonight, we have long day ahead of us tomorrow. Start Height: 3128,7 masl / 102647.63 ft Max Height: 3977 masl / 13047.9 ft. Approximate Walking time: 8 hours Distance travelled: 8.2km / 5.09 ml Meals: B, L, D. Snacks




DAY 6 - YANAMA TO QUELLQA MACHAY


Today is a long distance trek day.. We shall start the day early to allow good timing. The incomparable and spectacular scenery of the snow-capped Andes will continue to motivate and reward us as we follow remote mountain trails towards our camp at Quellqca Machay. Tonight will be a cold camp night. Start Height: 3516 masl / 11535.43 ft Max Height: 3516 masl / 11535.43 ft Approximate Walking time: 8 hours Distance travelled: 8.7 km / 5.04 ml Meals: B, L, D. Snacks




DAY 7 - QUELLQA MACHAY TO HUANCACALLE


Another long distance day. Hopefully a beautiful clear morning awaits us with splendid views of the Andes, what a way to greet the day! We’ll breakfast and set out to conquer the highest pass of our trek the almighty Apu Choquecatarpo. Climbing to 4600masl we will really feel the altitude, we will set our own pace and enjoy the sensation of remote trekking; the serenity of nature and wide-open space. On descent to Huancacalle we’ll pass by beautiful lagoons where we can take a break and marvel at our location. On reaching Huancacalle we have dropped to a much more manageable 2900masl and this is our camping ground. We head to camp where our trek team will have set up our tents, for the last time, and created a delicious dinner. We’ve reached our destination, tomorrow we explore the remarkable ruins of Vitcos. Start Height: 3451masl / 11322.18 ft Max Height: 4595 masl / 15078.4121 ft. Approximate Walking time: 9 - 10 hours Distance travelled: 19 km / 11.8 ml Meals: B, L, D. Snacks




DAY 8 - HUANCACALLE TO VITCOS TO ABRA DE MALAGA TO CUSCO


After two considerably tough trek days we can allow ourselves a more relaxed wake up, heading out we will spend the morning at the ruins. Here we have a trek loop to see the fabulously unique and historically thought-provoking White Rock or Ñusta Hispana at the Vitcos Inca site, considered to be the last stronghold of the Incas. After lunch our private transport will meet us for the considerably long drive back over the Andes and the high pass of the Abra Malaga back to Cusco. Start Height: 2900 masl / 9514 ft Max Height: 4350 masl / 14271 ft Approximate Walking time: 4 hours Distance travelled: 4.7 km / 2.92 ml Meals: B, L.





 

                      The sights were unforgettable. Incredible microclimates with endless kinds of flora and fauna, butterflies, waterfalls, wild strawberries, racing clouds, tree canopies. Thousands of years old aqueducts and.                              ancient Incan ruins, meeting local people along the way. We were awed by the numerous valleys, towering mountain ranges, glaciers, and our summit views. On our 1st night of camp, our bright view of                             the milky-way galaxy was incredible. We loved touring the coffee plantation, zip-lining and very much enjoyed the hot springs on our 3rd day. Our camping tents were perfectly comfortable. Our train ride on Peru Rail and accommodations in Cola de Mono and Aguas Calientes were also very nice. Machu Picchu and its history was unreal and climbing Huayna Picchu was totally worth it!

Laura M

DAY 1 - DRIVE TO CACHORA AND TREK TO CHIQUISCA


The first day of this exhilarating itinerary takes us first to the pretty village of Cachora. We leave Cusco early in our private transport to meet our trek crew at our starting point. Cachora is a comfortable 4 hour drive west of Cusco travelling through some beautiful countryside out into the rural district of Apurimac. Once heading out on the trail, we’ll get a good sense of our expedition. Incredible mountain ranges and glaciers come into sight, building our anticipation for this challenging trek. A few hours in brings us to our first mountain pass and the beginning of today’s long descent. From this viewpoint, with a clear sky, we will catch a glimpse the magnificent Choquequirao. The downhill is very steep, quite unforgiving and can be painful for our knees (if you have knee problems we suggest “knee braces” or supports). Chiquiska is our camp tonight almost at the bottom of the Apurimac River canyon. A little piece of paradise, this green oasis is a welcoming, restful place. Please note, as we are lower and near the Apurimac river a strong mosquito repellent is essential. A fulfilling dinner and early to bed is the order of the day, ready for our demanding climb tomorrow! Start Height: 2900masl / 9514ft. Max Height: 2941maslm / 9648ft. Approximate Walking time: 6-7 hrs Distance travelled: 19km / 11.80 ml Meals: L, D. Snacks




DAY 2 - CHIQUISCA TO CHOQUEQUIRAO


After our first night on the trail and a breakfast of champions, we walk down cross the river and ascend to our Choquequirao camp site (2847m /9340ft), situated about 1500m above the Apurimac River. The ascent is steep and tough but as we switchback up from the floor of the canyon we are rewarded with spectacular views of the surrounding landscape. On reaching Marampata we will get a ‘birds eye view’ of the impressive and powerful Apurimac river. The hike to our campsite is flatter than our challenging uphill and if we arrive early and energy levels are high it may be possible to spend some time at Pacchayoq. This is the lower sector of the archaeological complex, where we will see ancient Inca water channels, ceremonial rocks and much more. After a hard days hiking we will return to our campsite for a delicious meal and well deserved rest. The sky here is light pollution free and on a clear night stargazing is second to none! Start Height: 2847m / 9340ft Max Height: 3100m / 10170ft. Approximate Walking time: 8 hours Distance travelled: 14km / 8.69 ml Meals: B, L, D. Snacks




DAY 3 - CHOQUEQUIRAO CAMPSITE TO CHOQUEQUIRAO CITADEL


After a tasty breakfast we leave camp and hike up to the ruins. For now, Choquequirao is a breath- taking destination of an ‘unspoiled’ trek and you won’t see many tourists. You will find a sense of peaceful tranquility at the top of this mountain, and if you are lucky you may even see condors soaring by. The best part is you get to spend the whole day here and after a guided tour and some self-exploration, there will even be time for you to find a quiet space, lie down in the grass, relax and simply absorb the contemplative experience of being in an ancient Inca City. Those of us with enough vigour may even choose to descend to see the famous white stone llamas. If you can, do, it’s a sight not to be missed. After an unforgettable day of discovery, we return to camp to dine, relax and contemplate our encounter with this mysterious archaeological site. Meals: B, L, D. Snacks




DAY 4 - CHOQUEQUIRAO TO MAIZAL


Well rested, breakfasted and ready for a demanding day we will leave the magnificent Choquequirao behind us, moving onwards and upwards to our next camp at Maizal. Determined and motivated by our incredible achievement and awesome surroundings we will relish the challenge of today’s hike. We will start off with a gradual ascent to the high pass, a great viewing point to take in the beautiful lush and varied flora of this area. Once over the pass our route continues with a slight decent to the interesting ruins of Pincha Unuyoc and then a steep and demanding downhill to Rio Blanco to have a wonderful and recovering lunch. Now we begin our difficult and steep zig zag ascent leading us to our camp tonight. Dinner will be prepared for us by our trek team as we rest a little and take stock of how far we’ve come and what we’ve accomplished! Start Height: 2954,7 masl / 96938.9764 ft Max Height: 3308 masl / 10853.02 ft. Approximate Walking time: 8 - 9 hours Distance travelled: 10 km / 6.21 ml Meals: B, L, D. Snacks




DAY 5 - MAIZAL TO YANAMA


This morning we continue uphill. This section of our journey is truly a visual delight. We will be passing through cloud forest, Andean Puna grassland, the Victoria mining area (where rocks have a captivating shimmer), ancient but well-maintained Inca trails and we cross the high pass, Abra San Juan at 4000masl (13123ft). This day offers us a fabulous perspective of the astonishing panorama of the Cordillera Vilcabamba mountain range and the high pass is a fantastic vantage point for photographs. Our descent requires measured caution as we hike down to the delightful Andean village of Yanama, our camp spot tonight. After a scrumptious meal an early night is recommended tonight, we have long day ahead of us tomorrow. Start Height: 3128,7 masl / 102647.63 ft Max Height: 3977 masl / 13047.9 ft. Approximate Walking time: 8 hours Distance travelled: 8.2km / 5.09 ml Meals: B, L, D. Snacks




DAY 6 - YANAMA TO QUELLQA MACHAY


Today is a long distance trek day.. We shall start the day early to allow good timing. The incomparable and spectacular scenery of the snow-capped Andes will continue to motivate and reward us as we follow remote mountain trails towards our camp at Quellqca Machay. Tonight will be a cold camp night. Start Height: 3516 masl / 11535.43 ft Max Height: 3516 masl / 11535.43 ft Approximate Walking time: 8 hours Distance travelled: 8.7 km / 5.04 ml Meals: B, L, D. Snacks




DAY 7 - QUELLQA MACHAY TO HUANCACALLE


Another long distance day. Hopefully a beautiful clear morning awaits us with splendid views of the Andes, what a way to greet the day! We’ll breakfast and set out to conquer the highest pass of our trek the almighty Apu Choquecatarpo. Climbing to 4600masl we will really feel the altitude, we will set our own pace and enjoy the sensation of remote trekking; the serenity of nature and wide-open space. On descent to Huancacalle we’ll pass by beautiful lagoons where we can take a break and marvel at our location. On reaching Huancacalle we have dropped to a much more manageable 2900masl and this is our camping ground. We head to camp where our trek team will have set up our tents, for the last time, and created a delicious dinner. We’ve reached our destination, tomorrow we explore the remarkable ruins of Vitcos. Start Height: 3451masl / 11322.18 ft Max Height: 4595 masl / 15078.4121 ft. Approximate Walking time: 9 - 10 hours Distance travelled: 19 km / 11.8 ml Meals: B, L, D. Snacks




DAY 8 - HUANCACALLE TO VITCOS TO ABRA DE MALAGA TO CUSCO


After two considerably tough trek days we can allow ourselves a more relaxed wake up, heading out we will spend the morning at the ruins. Here we have a trek loop to see the fabulously unique and historically thought-provoking White Rock or Ñusta Hispana at the Vitcos Inca site, considered to be the last stronghold of the Incas. After lunch our private transport will meet us for the considerably long drive back over the Andes and the high pass of the Abra Malaga back to Cusco. Start Height: 2900 masl / 9514 ft Max Height: 4350 masl / 14271 ft Approximate Walking time: 4 hours Distance travelled: 4.7 km / 2.92 ml Meals: B, L.





 

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