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Choquequirao situated in the spur of the mountain range of Salkantay surrounded by many Apus of Yamana, Ampay, Chokecarpu, Pumasiyo & Panta

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Tab – Overview / Detailed itinerary / Pricing & services / Further details / Further details / Photo Gallery


The archaeological complex of Choqekiraw (3,061 masl), which means “Cradle of Gold”, is located on the north-eastern divide between the Cuzco and Apurimac regions, in the Vilcabamba mountain range.

Choqekirau was possibly built by the Inka Tupac Yupanqui, as an important ceremonial centre, and it became the last refuge of the Inka rebels, led by Manco Inca II, in their escape from the invaders across the Vilcabamba range.

Here we can find squares, water fountains, and ritual centres, as well as structures of Inca architecture and impressive systems of agricultural terraces, with irrigation channels which provide evidence of highly developed hydraulic engineering.

Recent studies propose that Choquekiraw was the feminine counterpart of the Sacred Citadel of Machu Picchu, fitting within the concept of duality and sacred geography, under which Andean civilisation has developed.

Within the terracing system, the site called Pacchayoc stands out, from where you can see the ravine (and waterfall) which provides water to Choqequiraw, as well as a great system of terraces, which probably go close to the Apurimac River. We can also find a ceremonial rock for rituals related to agriculture.

Another important sector, known as “Llamayoq”, features a system of terraces decorated with llamas and a shepherd, drawn with white stones, and with a view of the Qoriwayrachina snow-capped peak. An interesting peculiarity of these terraces is the vertical positioning of the stones in the wall containing them.

Temperatures are from 5ºC / 41 ºF at night, to 23ºC / 73ºF at midday. The climate is semi-dry / semi-humid; crossing the valley of the Apurimac River the humidity comes from the environment. Around the archaeological complex, the climate is that of the rainforest. The seasons are divided into dry (April – October) and rains (November – march), with regular precipitation.


Day 1: Cusco – Chikiska

We leave the city of Cuzco early, in private transport, for three or four hour trip to the town of San Pedro de Cachora (2909 masl / 9544 ft), where we will begin our walk.

We take a path heading north from the town, following the valley of the Cachora river with a spectacular view of the Nevado Padreyoq.

The first hour is up and down, followed by a flat 2 hours, until we arrive at the Capuliyoq lookout (2,941masl / 9649 ft), where we will enjoy a spectacular view of the Apurimac River Canyon.  We can also make out the archaeological complex of Choquequiraw in the distance.  Our path continues downhill for about 3 hours, until we arrive at our campsite at Chikisca (1,863masl).  We can expect a warm night in the valley.

Meals: lunch and dinner

Maximum Altitude: 2900 masl / 9514 ft 
Minimum Altitude: 1860 masl / 6102 ft 
Distance Travelled: 19 km / 11.80 ml 
Approximate Walking Time: 6 hrs   

Day 2: Chikiska – Choquekiraw

We leave early (4.30am), and continue downhill for around 30 minutes, to the Apurimac River, where we cross the bridge, towards Cusco region.  We begin our walk uphill, arriving in 2 hours at Santa Rosa, where we can stop for a rest.  Here we find Julian’s house, where we can freshen up and enjoy the sugar cane chicha which is made here, known as Cambray.  We can also buy mineral water, soft drinks and rehydrating drinks.
We continue uphill for approximately 2 hours, until arriving at Marampata (2,913 masl). 

After another rest, we walk on level ground for around 20 minutes, to then begin an undulating stretch taking about an hour and a half.  We arrive at the INC campsite and rest.
At the end of the day, we can visit the site called Pacchayoc for about 2 hours.

Meals: breakfast, lunch and dinner

Maximum Altitude: 3100 masl / 10170 ft 
Minimum Altitude: 1600 masl / 5249 ft 
Distance Travelled: 14 km / 8.69 ml 
Approximate Walking Time: 8 hrs    

Day 3: Choquekiraw

We start early, after breakfast, the 45 minute climb to the principal archaeological complex, where we visit the Usnu, Priests House, Llamayoq, Anan and Urin Sectors, Cemetery and Administrative Sector.  

The excursion to the principal complex takes several hours.  Our lunch will be a packed lunch-box, and upon our return we will have a snack before dinner, to replace our energy.  End of the day.

Meals: breakfast, lunch and dinner

Maximum Altitude: 3100 masl / 10170 ft 
Minimum Altitude: 2892 masl / 9488 ft 
Distance Travelled: 5 km / 3.10 ml 
Approximate Walking Time: 7 hrs    

Day 4: Choquekiraw – Chikiska

After waking up and having breakfast late, we pack up our equipment to begin our return to Chikisqa, where we spent our first night.  We return by the same path that we took on the way there.

The gradient of the path is Peruvian flat at the beginning, to then descend to the Apurimac river, where we will rest for a moment.  The rest of the path is uphill for around 2 hours.  Dinner and end of the day.

Meals: breakfast, lunch and dinner

Maximum Altitude: 1860 masl / 6102 ft 
Minimum Altitude: 1600 masl / 5249 ft 
Distance Travelled: 14 km / 8.69 ml 
Approximate Walking Time: 7 hrs  

Day 5: Chikiska – Cusco

We begin the day as early as possible to avoid the midday sun, which is exhausting.  The first part of the path is uphill for about four hours.  The last part of the climb is challenging.  We arrive at the Capuliyoq lookout, and then continue on level ground to the town of Cachora.  

We cross the last valley to reach the end of our trek.  Total time, approximately 6 hours. We have lunch and begin our return journey to the city of Cusco.

Meals: breakfast, and lunch

Maximum Altitude: 2900 masl / 9514 ft 
Minimum Altitude: 1860 masl / 6102 ft 
Distance Travelled: 19 km / 11.80 ml 
Approximate Walking Time: 8 hrs


Private Service – Price per Person

Services included

  • Private transportation Cuzco – Cachora
  • Guide service in Spanish/ English
  • Sleeping bag per person (-10 ºC – Eureka – Cimarron – mummy form, our sleeping bags are cleaned after every use)
  • Sleeping liner
  • Pillow
  • Inflatable sleeping pad (Therm A Rest)
  • Cook and assistant
  • Cooking equipment
  • Snacks
  • Daily tea service
  • Dining equipment including chairs and tables (Travel Chair)
  • Cooking, eating and bathroom (The Pett) tents
  • Portable environmental toilet (The Pett)
  • Food (4 breakfast, 5 lunch, 4 dinner)
  • Vegetarian menu at no extra cost
  • Two person tents (3-people capacity tent used as doubles – 4 seasons)
  • Single tents available for extra cost – USD$ 15.00 per night
  • Mule-handlers
  • Mules
  • Saddled horse (for every 6 passengers there is one saddled horse)
  • First-aid kit
  • Emergency oxygen bottle
  • One Pachatusantrek kit of 100% biodegradable products (toiletries)
  • Pachatusantrek water resistant duffel bag for carrying personal stuff (on loan)
  • Pre departure briefing
  • Private Transportation Cachora – Cuzco

Services not included

  • Extra food
  • Optional tip for field staff
  • Extra costs
  • Evacuation costs


We recommend that you bring

  • Water-resistant trekking shoes and sandals
  • Warm clothing (thermal underwear, fleece, hat, gloves, socks)
  • Waterproof clothing (poncho)
  • Synthetic or cotton clothing (socks, trousers, shorts, t-shirts)
  • Sunhat and sunglasses
  • Sun cream and insect repellent
  • Water bottles such as Nalgene
  • Basic medications
  • Walking sticks
  • Swimsuit and towel
  • Personal items
  • Personal snacks
  • Previous acclimatization in Cuzco city, for at least 2 days and general good health. Pachatusantrek offers easy one day and half day routes which can be completed before the main trek
  • DNI / Original Passport

Please note

  • Available all year

Important Environmental Note

Pachatusantrek is committed to following the principles of ecotourism in our operations, and request the understanding and cooperation of trekkers, especially by not contaminating the waters and in the adequate disposal of non-biodegradable waste.  We must also respect the customs and traditions of the local people.

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