Choquequirao to Machu Picchu Trek 6 Days

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ALTITUDE: 1500 – 3030 m
DURATION: 06 Days
SIZE: Up to 8 people
HIGH SEASON: Whole year

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This letter contains the most important information about the Choquequirao¬ – Machu Picchu trek that you should be aware of before your departure. It is important to read and understand the information to leave well prepared and avoid unexpected surprises during your hike. We recommend following the basics of ecotourism. We must respect and protect the environment, as well as the archaeological complexes and local customs.

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Itinerary

This expedition will take you to two of the major archaeological sites in the Cusco-area and Peru: CHOQUEKIRAO and MACHU PICCHU. The legends and knowledge of the Machu Picchu ruin are already all over the world. Since its re-discovery of Machu Picchu by Hiram Bingham in July 1911, the ruin has been a topic of discussions and research about the Incas, and finally in 1981 the Peruvian government established The Historical Sanctuary of Machu Picchu, same that in 1983 where honored by UNESCO as World Heritage. As much one can find of writings and histories about Machu Picchu, the little one can find about the latter, but not less interesting ruin complex of Choquequirao.

Choquequirao, meaning “Cradle of Gold”, is a magnificent archaeological complex located in the Vilcabamba mountain range in the Cusco area. It is thought that this mountain range was the last refuge of the Incas resisting the conquest; led by Manco Inka II.

On our trek, we will enjoy some spectacular geography, flora and fauna; native to the pluvial younger, inter-Andean valleys and rainforest.

The temperature on this trek can range between a minimum of 5ºC at night, and a maximum of 23ºC during the day.

Day 1: Cusco – Cachora – Chiquisca

We leave Cusco early (5:00am), driving along the road which goes north-west across the famous Pampas de Anta or Yawar Pampa (Blood Pampa, because of the ferocious battle between the Incas and the Chankas over possession of Cusco city). We cross the mountains and descend to the warm town of Limatambo (2600m), where the archaeological site of Tarawasi is found.

We continue in the direction of the Cunyac Bridge over the Apurimac River, the natural border between the Cusco- and Apurimac region and follow the road to the settlement of Curahuasi, famous for its aromatic liquor: Macerado de Anis. Our final stop is the town of San Pedro de Cachora (2800m) around 4 hours’ drive from Cusco. Here we will meet our “arrieros” (horsemen), and begin our walk. We cross the Cachora creek and climb through a refreshing forest of eucalyptus and native vegetation to the dirt track which is passable by cars. From here the path is flat until the viewpoint at Capuliyoq (2850m). Estimated time to reach this point is 3 hours. From the lookout where we will enjoy our lunch, we have a spectacular view of the Apurimac River and Choquequirao.

We descent for 3 hours on a zigzagging footpath, crossing scrub and later a forest of native trees called Phaty. Finally we arrive at our first campsite called Chiquisca (1930m) after 6 hours hike. We can expect a warm night in the valley.

  • Climate: warm with mosquitoes
  • Hiking time: 7 hours

Day 2:  Chiquisca – Rosalina Beach – Marampata – Choquequirao (1930-1550-2850m)

After breakfast, we begin our descent to Playa Rosalina (1550m), where we are going to climb uphill on a zigzagging path, towards Santa Rosa (2095m). After a recovery time, we continue upwards to Marampata (2850m), a flat place where we can rest in similar conditions as Santa Rosa; enjoying a splendid view of Choquequirao. Time from the Apurimac River to here is around 4 to 5 hours. The gradient varies from almost flat to very steep. We follow the path which begins flat, and then has several uphill and downhill sections before the campsite at Choquequirao (3033m). This campsite has bathrooms and a cold shower.

We hike 7 hours this day in a rather warm climate, with a total distance of 14 km to the campsite.

Day 3: Choquequirao – Marampata (2850m)

We have a full day to discover the enormous complex of Choquequirao. Your guide will try to show you the most recently discovered areas the agriculture terraces and the sector of the Llamas sculptures that are a more remote sector. The archaeologists are still discovering new parts of the complex that is covered by intense jungle. You will have time to explore the complex at your own. Late in the afternoon we will start the return trek, and we will make camp at Marampata (2850m) (approx. 2 hours). Our hike will be about 5 hours in a rather warm climate.

Day 4: Marampata – Coca Masana

After breakfast we continue our return journey, beginning with a steep descent down to the Apurimac River where we will stop for lunch. In the afternoon we will climb for approximately 4 hours and then make camp at Coca Masana (2150m). The walk uphill will this time be easier than on the second day. We hike about 7 hours today in a rather warm climate

Day 5: Coca Masana – Cachora – Ollantaytambo – Aguas Calientes

Day 5 will be the last trekking day and we will be able to appreciate the Apurimac canyon as we follow the trail that crosses through the canyon to the point where the trek started. We arrive at Cachora (2850m) and take our bus to Ollantaytambo.

In the evening, you will take the train (1 hour 30 minutes) from the train station in Ollantaytambo to Aguas Calientes, where you will spend the night in a hotel. Your guide will not follow you to Ollantaytambo, but instead you will have a new guide waiting for you the next morning.

Day 6: Aguas Calientes – Machu Picchu – Aguas Calientes – Cusco

Early in the morning we take the bus from Aguas Calientes (2050m) to the archaeological site of Machu Picchu. You have the opportunity to climb the difficult path to the top of the Huayna Picchu Mountain (2700m) – the pyramid-shaped peak that overlooks Machu Picchu, which offers spectacular and different views. From Huayna Picchu it is even possible to see the famous Apu Salkantay snow captured mountain.

The 2hrs guided tour of Machu Picchu allows us to appreciate the high level of development achieved by Andean civilization through the Incas.

Machu Picchu demonstrates the superior knowledge achieved in astronomy and astrology. Knowledge of rainy and dry seasons through the solstices was indispensable for developing agriculture; the life-source of the Andes. In the afternoon, at Aguas Calientes, you can enjoy a relaxing bath at the local hot springs before having the train back to Cusco.

Important:

  • Your passport number
  • If you have any special diet (ex. Vegetarian)
  • The hotel and address you stay at
  • If you have any special dieses that we should be aware of (you are responsible to bring your own medicine). We will provide basic first aid kid and oxygen.

Remarks:

  • The transportation from Aguas Calientes to Cusco can be difficult to order, and we cannot promise when you exactly will be back at your hotel in Cusco. We order the train after this schedule:
  • You will get on a train that depart from Aguas Calientes to the train station in Ollantaytambo at 6:45 pm and it takes 1 hour and 40 minutes. In Ollantaytambo you will have transportation by bus to your hotel in Cusco that takes aproxlymatly1 hour and 45 minutes.
  • You will be back at your hotel around 10pm.

Tips:

For the tour we provide a duffle bag (normal sports bag), where you can put in your personal belongings and sleeping back that you don’t want to carry at the trek, but still have with you on the tour. You are allowed to fill the bag with 8 kg, which the mules on the trek will carry. To get this duffle bag you ask at our travel office.

Inclusions

Included:

  • Transportation in and out: Cusco – Cachora
  • Transportation from Cachora to Ollantaytambo
  • Guide: Professional English and Spanish speaking guide
  • Cook: In charge of meal preparation
  • Horsemen and horses: Carry tents, cooking equipment and also carry backpacks, sleeping bags and mattresses (Max. 08 kilos per person)
  • Emergency Horse: Just in case someone needs help
  • Ticket: Entrance fee to Choquequirao and Machu Picchu
  • Meals: 5 Breakfasts/5 Lunches/5 Dinners/Snacks and afternoon tea
  • Equipment: tents ( 2 people in each 3-person-capacity ), mattresses, dinner tent, bathroom tent, kitchen tent, tables and chairs, first aid kit, including emergency oxygen bottle
  • Bus ticket: Aguas Calientes – Machu Picchu (last day)
  • Hotel in Aguas Calientes
  • Tourist Train Service: Ollantaytambo – Aguas Calientes – Cusco
  • Transportation to and from: Hotel -Train station- Hotel

Not included:

  • Breakfast the 1st day, and lunch last day
  • Sleeping bag.

Recommended Packing List

Below you will find a list of equipment we recommend you bring with you.

  • Original passport:
  • Backpack
  • Sleeping bag
  • Strong footwear
  • Change of clothes; Jacket; Clothes for cold weather
  • Good socks
  • Camera, films and extra batteries
  • Water bottle, ideally non disposable canteen (boiled drinking water will be provided)
  • Torch / flashlight, plus extra batteries
  • Cap for the sun
  • Sun block
  • Insect repellent
  • Toiletries & toilet paper, small towel
  • Swimsuit, for the hot springs in Aguas Calientes
  • Selection of small snacks, chocolate, dried fruit, biscuits, energy bars etc.
  • Cash in soles and US$ Dollars
  • Optional: Binoculars and walking Poles/sticks (rubber covers necessary).

Important

Questions and Answers

What time will we be picked up from my hotel?

Your guide will pick you up around 5:00am. It deepens on witch hotel you stay at.

How do you know witch hotel I am staying at?

You are responsible to give message about this at least one day before departure, and better if you do it advance.

What about breakfast the first day?

Many hotels in Cusco, do not offer breakfast as early in the morning. Ask when your hotel starts having breakfast in the morning. Otherwise buy bread and juice in a store the night before.

Is it possible to buy necessaries like cloth, walking stick and snacks in Cusco, and where?

It is possible to buy all necessaries near Plaza de Armas in Cusco. If you want exact information about a specific thing, let us know because we have some equipment for sale in our travel office.

If I don’t have my own sleeping back, where can I rent one?

It is possible to rent a sleeping back in Cusco for a recently price. If you want help, then contact us.

What kind of nationality are the other people from my group?

There can be all kinds of nationalities in the group, but mostly all of them are English speakers. If some are only Spanish speakers, the guide will be guiding in both Spanish and English.

How cold does it get on the tour, and does it rain?

The weather in the Andes can change very quickly, and depend on the altitude. It will always be cold if there is over clouded as you in the high altitude don’t get the warm from the coast. As higher you get, as more cold would it be. At night especially the temperature gets down. Expect that the temperature at night can get down to – 04 degrees. During the day it can be really warm if the sun is shining, and remember to have a very good sun cream with you.

How do I supply myself with water during the tour?

There will be 1 litre of boiled water available every day, except day one. Remember the night before to tell your guide that you would like to have water, because the boiled water will cool of during the night. You can also ad purifying tablets to your water and supply yourself during the trek, or by water on bottles.

Why should I bring my original passport?

You need to show your passport to enter the trains. You can if you want get a staple in your pass port at Machu Picchu.

How do I know if I have altitude sickness, and is it dangerous?

Altitude sickness occurs by the minor amount of oxygen in the high altitudes and is simply because you body is used to get a larger amount of oxygen by breathing normally. By having a little head egg or felling a bit uncomfortable the first couple of days in Cusco is very normal, but remember to be aware if it gets worse. It is also normal to fell a bit tired, simply because your body works harder to get the same amount of oxygen in the altitudes. Altitude Sickness can be dangerous, but being aware of your reaction of your body, minimizes the risk. If you start having serious head egg, throwing up or fell very uncomfortable then make sure to contact your guide medially. The guide will on all treks have oxygen and basic first kid ad with him, and he is educated to help you. Altitude sickness is something you need to take seriously, but be aware that thoughts about it can be big effect.

Is the trek hard physically?

Trekking in the Andes is a physically hard sport, where you suppose not to fell too easy when you are walking. It means that you need to be in a good physically health to make the trek. This trek is all round a medium to hard trek.

Can I take a shower under the way, and how do I go on toilet?

There will be a possibility to get a COLD shower at every camp, and you will also be able to use the toilet. Maybe the shower is only a bucket of water. If you are in a need of a toilet during the trek, there is plenty of

space in the nature for such things. In Aguas Calientes you will be able to get a warm shower at your hotel.

I am a vegetarian, what do we get to eat?

You will get plenty of healthy food during the trek. If you are a vegetarian (not eating meat), then you must contact us at least the day before departure.

I am worried about, that the other people in the group are in better condition than me and I will slow them down?

The guide will always follow the people who are walking back in the group, and if there is more than 8 people on the trek, there will be 1 or 2 assistance guides. There will be many brakes during the day, and trekking should be both hard and fun, so remember to enjoy the day.

What are we doing while we do not walk?

It is up to you: Bring a book, listen to music, take pictures, eating, take a shower or sleep.

What will happen if someone gets seriously sick?

If the person can walk, a guide or assistance guide will follow the person to the nearest place where to get help. The only way to get around is by walking. If the person can’t walk and need emergent assistance, then the guide will ask help in the control of somewhere.

Can I recharge batteries during the trek?

First when you reach Aguas Calientes, so remember extra batteries.

I don’t feel well, and don’t know if I am able to walk the trek – what am I during?

You contact us by mail/phone. Then you will have a talk together and discuss the options there will be.

Are there any extra costs that I should be aware of?

Breakfast the first day and lunch/dinner the last day. Tip for guide/cook and porters. Snacks (ex. Chocolate). Entrance for hot springs in Aguas Calientes.

I will like to have more information about the trek?

You get in Contact with us.

IMPORTANT TERMS & CONDITIONS

  1. We require an immediate deposit of $150.00USD for all bookings.
  2. For all tours and treks, the balance must be paid in full up to 48 hours prior to the start of the program. If you want to pay the balance in the office of XTreme Tourbulencia, we only accept cash payment. Failure to pay the trek balance will result in tour cancellation.
  3. If you decide to cancel during the briefing 2 days prior to departure, you must pay the full amount of the trek. XTreme Tourbulencia, however, will cover the expenses for the hotel and train ticket to visit Machu Picchu. This offer must be confirmed in writing at the briefing.
  4. You may cancel the booking at any time provided that the cancellation is communicated to info@x-tremetourbulencia.com in writing. Cancellation charges will be applied as shown below calculated from the day written notification is received by info@x-tremetourbulencia.com. All reservations cancelled less than 15 days prior to the departure date of the tour are subject to a cancellation fee
  5. The Lares Trek is non-transferable, non-reimbursable and the participant cannot change the date of departure.
  6. If the traveler makes the decision to abandon the excursion during the program, no reimbursement will be made and no claim will be accepted. XTreme Tourbulencia does not cover the expenses made by the traveler for the hotel and the transport back to Cusco or to Aguas Calientes, as well as a hotel in Aguas Calientes. Also, the traveler will be accompanied by a representative of XTreme Tourbulencia back to the train station.
  7. Certain services might be interrupted or even cancelled due to weather conditions, natural disasters or other disturbances. These are out of the control of hotels, service suppliers, XTreme Tourbulencia or its partners and therefore, no refund will be given.
  8. To receive the student discount of $20.00USD, we require a copy of a university student card with valid expiration date and picture. It is very important to bring your original student card to validate the discount. In the event that we don’t receive the scanned copy of the student card along with your reservation form, we will process your reservation at the full, adult price.
  9. If XTreme Tourbulencia doesn’t confirm the reservation, the deposit will be refunded.
  10. In the case of force majeur, when a trek cannot start or be completed, XTreme Tourbulencia will find an alternative route to go to Machu Picchu. If this alternative is of lower value than the originally booked excursion, XTreme Tourbulencia will refund the difference.
  11. It is compulsory that all clients have personal travel insurance. This insurance must cover personal accidents, medical expenses, loss of effects and all other expenses which might arise as a result of loss, damage or injury occurring to the client. XTreme Tourbulencia cannot be considered responsible for any accident or loss of personal belongings the customer caused by his/her own actions.
Period before departure written notification is received.Cancellation fee as a percentage of the holiday price
15-10 days.50%
9-7 days.80%
6 days or less.100%

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Payments

PAYMENT METHODS

1.- PAYPAL

* We will not be able to book and confirm your tour or trek without the following:
1. A deposit of $150 USD . Deposits are made through the PayPal link below.


Peru Treks / Tours – Xtreme Tourbulencia



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Choquequirao To Machu Picchu Trek 6 Days
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