After Spanishs took Cusco, Manco Inca and his successors dominated the region of Vilcabamba. It included several centers and settlements built to honor the last dynasty of the Inca: Manco Inca, Sayre Tupac, Titu Cusi Yapanqui and Tupac Amaru I. According to customs and traditions of other pre-Incan cultures, a Neo Imperial state was created to preserve all knowledge in religion and astronomy. Trek to Choquequirao, Vilcabamba and Machu picchu is the place where you will discover the great citadel of the last Inca kings and also you will reach the opportunity to enjoy the beautiful ecosystem.  

Vilcabamba is located northwest of Cusco, in the province Convención, in the eastern mountain range of the Andes. It has a chain of snow-covered peaks and high forest mountains with constant climatologic changes. The region is bounded by two very deep canyons, the canyon of Apurímac on the left and Willcamayu on the right. Through both run very fast-flowing rivers which have carved and still carve one of the most beautiful and spectacular landscapes of our Andean region.

Trek to Choquequirao, Vilcabamba and Machu Picchu Itinerary:
Altitude: 1550 - 4600mm. / 5085 - 15092 f.
High season: Whole year
Duration: 13 days - 12 nights
Level of difficulty: Difficulty / Challenge
*A minimum of 2 persons is needed for this trek

ITINERARY

1ST DAY: CUSCO – CACHORA – CHIQUISCA

We will leave Cusco early in the morning at about 5:30 am. First we will head for the little village Cachora (2850m/9350f), a nice place surrounded by beautiful mountains and the majestic glacier Padreyoc (5571m/18278f). Here we will also meet our horsemen who will accompany us during the trip. After having passed the village Capuliyoc (2800m/9186f), we will continue descending to our camping site called Chiquisca (1930m/6332f). 

Climate: warm
Hiking time: Approximately 7 hours

2ND DAY: CHIQUISCA – PLAYA ROSALINA – MARAMPATA – CHOQUEQUIRAO

After breakfast, we will first descend to La Playa Rosalina (1550m/4921f) and then climb up to the village of Marampata (2850m/9350f). From here we will have a nice view of the archeological complex of Choquequirao (3033m/9951f). If we are lucky we will even see a condor fly at nightfall. Our camping site in Choquequirao is about 25 minutes from the ruins at 2950m/9678f. 

Climate: both warm and cold
Hiking time: 7 hours

3RD DAY: CHOQUEQUIRAO – CHOQUEQUIRAO PASS – RIO SILVESTRE

At dawn, we will first head for the citadel of Choquequirao called “Cuna de Oro” - the ‘Cradle of Gold’ - and enjoy the quietness at this place. Beyond, we will explore this archeological site, of which only 30 % is restored, in more detail: we will visit the section of the palaces, the liturgic fountains, the temple of the high priest, the section of the llamas and the Ushnu. Thereafter, our trek continues towards the pass of Choquequirao (3270m/10728f) and passes the archeological site of Pinchaunuyoc (2450m/8038f). Finally, we will head down to the deepest point of the small canyon known as Río Blanco or Río Silvestre (1900m/6234f), where our camping site is situated. 

Climate: warm with mosquitoes
Hiking time: 3 hours

4TH DAY: RÍO SILVESTRE – MAIZAL

After breakfast, we will begin the difficult ascent towards the tropical forest of Maizal (3000m/9843f). After four hours, we will arrive in the community of Maizal where we will spend the night. Maizal is a nice place to enjoy a spectacular view of mountains and glaciers, such as the Qori Wayrachina (5512m/18084f). 

Climate: warm and cold with mosquitoes
Hiking time: 5 hours

5TH DAY: MAIZAL – SAN JUAN PASS – YANAMA

Our journey continues following the Inca trail. Due to erusions, the road is not in good conditions, so watch your steps carefully. First, we will ascend to the top of the San Juan pass (4170m/13681f). From here, we will have a beautiful view of the valleys, mountains and glaciers, from which some peak more than 5000m/16404f. Due to the ecosystem’s constant changes, the mountain range of Vilcabamba is without any doubt one of the most complex regions. Our camping place will be in the little village of Yanama (3530m/11581f). 

Climate: cold
Hiking time: 6 hours

6TH DAY: YANAMA – YUTUPATA – LAZUNA PAMPA

In Yanama we will experience the Andean life, its traditions and costumes. Our trek continues up and down through tropical forests such as Urpipata, Yutupata (3300m/10827f) and Tucarhuay and leads to the cave of Quellccamachay. Our camping site is called Lazuna pampa (3800m/12467f).

Climate: cold
Hiking time: 7 hours

7TH DAY: LAZUNA PAMPA – CHOQUETACARPU PASS – HUANCACALLE (PILLAUPATA VILLAGE)

After breakfast, we will walk up for a while until we get to the Choquetacarpu pass (4600m/15092f). Here we will have a short break and explore the area of the Andean hills. If we are lucky we will also see a Condor flying. After our break, we will descend to the little village Pillaupata (3200m/10499f), where our camping-site is situated.

Climate: cold
Hiking time: 8 hours

8TH DAY: PILLAUPATA – VITCOS, ÑUSTAHISPANA (YURAC RUMI) – AZUTINA PASS – INKA WASI

In the morning, we will visit the archaeological sites of Vitcos Rosaspata (3080m/10105f), Ñustahispana (Yurac Rumi) (3050m/10007f) and recent excavations. Thereafter, we will climb the Azutina pass (4000m/12975f) and descend to our camping site in Inca Wasi (3600m/11811f).

Climate: tempered and cold with mosquitoes
Hiking time: 7 hours

9TH DAY: INKA WASI – RACACHACA – HATÚN PAMPA

During the day we will see parts of the Inca Trail that lead to the community of Racachaca (3700m/12139f), where we will have lunch. We will also meet some Andean families, which will tell us something about their customs and traditions. Our camping place will be in Hatún Pampa (4000m/13123f).

Climate: cold
Hiking time: cold

10TH DAY: HATÚN PAMPA – YANA COCHA PASS – MOJÓN PASS – MUTUYPATA

This day is characterized by constant up and downs and by changes of the ecosystem. We will first walk towards the pass of Yanacocha (4420m/14501f), Tullu Tacana (4500m/14764f) and Mojón (4500m/14764f). Therafter, we will descend to the lagoon Laco cocha (3600m/11811f). Our camping site will be in the cloudy forest of Mutuypata (3250m/10663f), home of the Anden bear.

Climate: cold and tempered with mosquitoes
Hiking time: 9 hours

11TH DAY: MUTUYPATA – YANATILE – SANTA TERESA

In the morning we will enjoy the biodiversity of orchids, bromelains and other plants, and will see coffee-, avocado- and papaya plantations. In Yanatile (2100m/6890f) we will take a public transport called “camion” to Santa Teresa (1850m/6070f). In this town we will spend the night in a familiar hotel. If you want to, you can also visit the hot springs in Santa Teresa.

Climate: warm with mosquitoes
Hiking time: 5 hours

12TH DAY: SANTA TERESA – HYDROELECTRIC STATION – AGUAS CALIENTES

We will get up at 7am and we will have breakfast, then we will continue the trek to the hydroelectric power plant. We will be passing many waterfalls and specially one falling down from 45m. approx. After that, we will arrive to the hydroelectric power plant to rest and to have lunch. Then we walk for 3 hours to reach our final destination...AGUAS CALIENTES. Here we will have our lodging and dinner, then we’ll have the briefing on Machu Picchu for the next day.

Notebetween Hydroelectric and Aguas Calientes town we’ll stop for visiting Mandor park where we’ll reach the wildlife such the famous orchids and all others.

Climate: warm with mosquitoes
Hiking time: 4 hours

13TH DAY: AGUAS CALIENTES – MACHU PICCHU – CUSCO

We will leave our hotel after breakfast at 5:30 am and head forwards Machu Picchu (2400m/7874f) by tourist bus. We will arrive at the citadel around 6:00 am. After a guided tour around the archeological site, including information about life and culture of the Incas, you will have enough time to enjoy Machu Picchu and Wayna Picchu (2750m/9022f) on your own. We will leave Aguas Calientes by train either at 2:55 pm or at 6:10 pm. Until then, you will have time to have lunch in one of the nice restaurants. Moreover, you can visit the hot springs in Aguas Calientes to relax a bit.

Climate: moderate warm
Hiking time: 02 hours Approx.

Notes:

(1) From the first to the eleventh day (from Cachora to Yanatile) we are accompanied by Horsemen and mules that will carry all camping equipment and the customer’s private luggage (up to 9 kg). On the twelfth day all luggage will be transferred to the hydroelectric station by car.

(2) Visit to Huayna Picchu: For Huayna Picchu mountain requires to be booked long time in advance however we charge additional US $ 15.00 and then we’ll guarantee your entrance for Huayna Picchu as well (This new state law began since the 18th of July, 2011).

(3) Tips for porters, cooks and guides are always welcome. The porters are also very grateful for a small donation, for example clothes or school equipment for their children.

included

  • Pre-briefing time at 19hrs in your hotel 1 or 2 days before your date departure (It has to be confirmed at the booking time).
  • Private transport from the hotel to Cachora.
  • Transport from Yanatile to Santa Teresa.
  • Local transport from Santa Teresa to the hydroelectric station.
  • Bus up and down (between Aguas Calientes and Machu Picchu).
  • Tourist train from Aguas Calientes to Cusco or tourist train from Aguas Calientes to
  • Ollantaytambo and to Cusco by bus.
  • Entrance fee to Choquequirao.
  • Entrance fee to Vitcos Rosaspata and Ñustahispana.
  • Entrance fee to Machu Picchu.
  • Basic hostel in Santa Teresa.
  • Hotel in Aguas Calientes.
  • Dinner in Aguas Calientes town.
  • Professional bilingual guide (Spanish and English).
  • High quality camping equipment (We use professional 2-persons tents, Doite, Model
  • Himalaya, extra light/4.5kgs and Eureka tent, both are for 2 persons. Mattresses, eating tent with table and chairs, bathroom tent).
  • Meals during the excursion (breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks).
  • Cook and cooking equipment.
  • Horseman and mules, for our camping and personal equipment of the customer’s (Up to 9kg).
  • Emergency horse.
  • First-aid kit and oxygen bottle.

Not include
  • Hot springs in Santa Teresa (optional: 10 Soles).
  • Hot Springs in Aguas Calientes (optional: 10 Soles).
  • Sleeping bag (If you don ́t have a sleeping bag, there is the possibility of renting one).

What do I need to bring?
  • Backpack with rain shelter.
  • Sleeping bag.
  • Clothing for warm and cold climate like a waterproof jacket.
  • Rain pants and lightweight pants.
  • Trekking shoes.
  • Slippers or sandals (for showers and Hot Springs).
  • Woollen or synthetic socks and a sweater.
  • Long- and short-sleeved polo’s/T-Shirts.
  • Rain poncho and a hat.
  • Bathing suit (for the Hot Springs in Santa Teresa/ Aguas Calientes).
  • Sunscreen, insect repellent, disinfecting alcohol and gel, water bottle and sterilizing tablets, toiletries and toilet paper.
  • Camera (wrapped in plastic bag).
  • Flash light and batteries.
  • Some snacks like chocolate bars and dry fruit.
  • Original passport, original ISIC student card and extra money in soles.
  • Since the weather can be very cold and moistly, your clothes - once gotten wet - won’t dry at night. So take some clothes to change.

Notes
  • Visit to Huayna Picchu: For Huayna Picchu mountain requires to be booked long time in advance however we charge additional $ 25.00 USD and then we’ll guarantee your entrance for Huayna Picchu as well (This new State law began since the 18th of July, 2011).
  • Tips for porters, cooks and guides are always welcome. The porters are also very grateful for a small donation, for example clothes or school equipment for their children.

We recommended to bring
  • Small backpack with rain shelter (30 or 40 litters is well enough).
  • Clothing for warm and cold climate like a waterproof jacket.
  • Trekking shoes.
  • Slippers or sandals (for showers and hot springs).
  • Woolen or synthetic socksand a sweater.
  • Long- and short-sleeved polo’s/T-Shirts.
  • Rain poncho and a hat.
  • Bathing suit (for the hot springs in Aguas Calientes).
  • Sunscreen, insect repellent, disinfecting alcohol and gel and toilet paper.
  • Camera (wrapped in plastic bag), a flash light and batteries.
  • Some snacks like chocolate bars and dry fruit.
  • Original passport, original ISIC student card (In case you are student) and extra money in soles.

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