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Hike Choquequirao to Machu PicchuPeru

Are you an experienced backcountry trekker, in shape for many days of challenging mountains and steamy climate? Would you like to experience some of the most scenic and untraveled trails in the Americas, and truly earn Peru’s two most iconic ruins? Then look no further!





Maximum group size:

12 Guests


3 10 days


US$ 2,490


oCulture & Food pFamily zOutdoors FHike


The trip in detail

We’ll pick you up at 6am and start the four hour drive to Capuliyoc. Along the way we’ll stop for a hearty local breakfast, and to check out at the archaeological site of Tarawasi and the enigmatic Stone of Saywite. At the lookout of Capuliyoc (2930m/9650ft), after drinking in views that are guaranteed to make your jaw drop and give you a taste of things to come, we’ll start hiking!

Our first day’s walk consists of a 3.5 to four-hour switchback descent to the bank of the Apurimac River, where we’ll spend our first night at the bottom of this deep gorge.

Campsite: Playa Rosalina
Distance: 12km (7.5 mi)
Walking time: 3.5 – 4.5 hours
Min. Altitude: 1550m (5085ft)
Max. Altitude: 2900m (9550ft)
Altitude of camp: 1550m (5085ft)

Meals: All meals included

Today we’ll climb back up the other side of the Apurimac Canyon, starting our day by hiking five hours straight uphill to Marampata. Here we’ll have lunch before hiking two more hours, on a more undulating path this time, to our campsite near Choquequirao, where we’ll enjoy a delicious dinner and incredible views of the sunset.

Along the trail we’ll see tropical flora like orchids, bamboo, and Peru’s famous bromeliads - epiphytic plants that make their homes on other plants - and be accompanied by colorful tropical birds.

Distance: 15km (9.4 mi)
Walking time: 7 hours
Min. Altitude: 1550m (5085ft)
Max. Altitude: 3061m (10,043ft)
Altitude of camp: 3061m (10,043ft)

Meals: All meals included

We’ll spend most of the day at Choquequirao, an enormous and spectacular ruin that gives Machu Picchu a serious run for its money. We’ll make a thorough exploration of Choquequirao’s many structures, aqueducts and extensive terracing, and marvel at the incredible views from the Inca-made platform on top of the mountain. (As we will learn in the next few days, the Incas were a seriously view-loving people!)

Afterwards we’ll hike uphill for an hour through native forest, then downhill to the amazing little ruin of Pinchiunuyoq, where we’ll camp for the night.

Campsite: Pinchiunuyoq
Distance: 8km (5 mi)
Walking time: 2.5 hours
Min. Altitude: 3000m (9900ft)
Max. Altitude: 3300m (10800ft)
Altitude of camp: 3000m (9900ft)

Meals: All meals included

This morning we’ll start with two hours hiking downhill to Rio Blanco, then make our way up the other side of the canyon via a series of switchbacks through native forest. Steep and unrelenting, the three hours from Rio Blanco to Maizal is perhaps the hardest section of the entire trek.

Our campsite at Maizal boasts some of the best views on this whole incredibly scenic trip – three valleys and a massive snow-capped peak are a feast for the eyes and the soul, and are our richly-deserved reward this evening!

Campsite: Maizal
Distance: 5km (3 miles)
Walking time: 5-6 hours
Min. Altitude: 2000m (6,500ft)
Max. Altitude: 3000m (9,900ft)
Altitude of camp: 3000m (9,900ft)

Meals: All meals included

We’ll spend this morning hiking uphill through cloud forest to the pass of Minas Victoria, with metallic outcrops and epic views of the snow-capped peaks of Choquetarpa and Pumasilla. Next is a relatively flat section on well-preserved, zig-zagging Inca trail through a puna de ichu (high grassy plain), and finally it’s downhill to Yanama where we’ll spend the night.

Campsite: Yanama
Distance: 12km (7.5 miles)
Walking time: 7-8 hours
Min. Altitude: 3,000m (9,900ft)
Max. Altitude: 4,200m (13,800ft)
Altitude of camp: 3,500m (11,500ft)

Meals: All meals included

Today we’ll walk through one of the last bastions of the Incas, territory where the conquistadors never managed to wrest control... the density of the vegetation through the Yanama Valley gives a good hint as to why! From the river we’ll ascend to our campsite at Llutupampa, where we’ll have amazing views down into the valley and back to Choquequirao mountain.

Campsite: Llutupampa
Distance: 10km (6.5 miles)
Walking time: 5-6 hours
Min. Altitude: 3,400m (11,100ft)
Max. Altitude: 3,700m (12,100ft)
Altitude of camp: 3,700m (12,100ft)

Meals: All meals included

Today we’ll enjoy a beautiful, mellow morning, hiking four hours or so through gentle terrain in the Quelcamachay valley. After lunch we climb to Choquetacarpo Pass, a high point at 4600m (15,088 ft).

From here we’ll descend on amazingly well-preserved Inca trail past the remains of many Inca homes, to our beautiful, isolated campsite.

The views today are particularly magnificent, even by the incredible standards of this trek.

Campsite: Qollpa
Distance: 17km (10.6 miles)
Walking time: 8 hours
Min. Altitude: 3700m (12,100ft)
Max. Altitude: 3850m (12,600ft)
Altitude of camp: 3850m (12,600ft)

Meals: All meals included

Our last walk takes us gently downhill on abandoned roads to the backwoods town of Huancacalle, where our trek ends! We’ll be here in time for lunch and afterwards, there’s time to explore the fascinating ruins of Vitcos and Nustahispana, significant sites which receive very few visitors and as such are a fitting end to our time in the wilderness.

Campsite: Huancacalle
Distance: 11km (7 miles)
Walking time: 4 hours
Min. Altitude: 2900m (9500ft)
Max. Altitude: 4000m (13,100ft)
Altitude of camp: 2900m (9500ft)

Meals: All meals included

This morning our private vehicle will drive us (3 hours approx.) to the hydroelectric station, where we’ll take a short train ride to Aguas Calientes, the little town that nestles in the bottom of the deep jungle canyon below Machu Picchu Mountain. Here, hot showers and comfortable beds await us!

Meals: All meals included

Accommodation: Four-star hotel at the foot of Machu Picchu Mountain

A spectacular stone city surrounded by incredibly steep, incredibly green mountains, Machu Picchu needs no introduction and is deservedly one of the new Seven Wonders of the World. Your guide will show you around the main site and some of our favourite nooks and crannies, and you’ll have time for more exploration before we catch the train back to Cusco for the night, where our adventure ends up with dropoff at your accommodation early in the evening.

Meals: Breakfast and lunch included

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How much does this trip cost?

US $



for a group of four to 12 people

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  • Transport between Cusco and the start and end of the trek
  • All accommodation (based on two people per tent/room. Single supplement available for US$400)
  • Sleeping mat and sleeping bag with liner
  • All entrance tickets, campsite fees etc
  • Dedicated Aspiring Adventures guide
  • All meals, as specified in itinerary
  • Clean, safe drinking water from evening of Day 1 onwards


  • Drinking water on day 1 - please bring in your own bottle
  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Tips for your guides, cooks and horse wranglers

Orlando Ugarte, veteran Aspiring Adventures guide, says:

This hike is my favorite thing to do in the world. For me it’s very spiritual being in these mountains, and to have the job of sharing this place, I am very lucky. It’s not easy though! You have to earn this place and these views.

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