You are here


  • Choquequirao wiew from main square

Choquequirao Trek to Machu Picchu, is for the truly adventurous. Traversing the Cordillera Vilcabamba, this route avoids major tourist crowds as it travels through an immense range of landscapes from snowy mountain passes to sub-tropical rainforest in deep river gorges. Along with seeing a variety of native flora and fauna and panoramic mountain vistas, we will visit two major Inca sites–Choquequirao and machupicchu.

9 D / 8 N
USD $ 1350.00

The itinerary below is a sample. Hiking times are an average and will vary depending on the group. Additionally, lunch and camp sites may change to meet the needs of the group and conditions.

The day before the trek, your guide will meet you at your hotel for an in-depth briefing. This provides an opportunity to ask questions and do any last-minute shopping before leaving Cusco.

You will start with a complementary briefing a day before of the trek starts with the trek guide to explain to you all about the trek, We leave Cusco early morning, around 5am and drive for approximately 5 hours to Capuliyoc Pass (approx. 2,915m) in time for lunch, stopping to explore the archaeological sites of Tarawasi and Saywite in route. From the top of the pass, we enjoy spectacular panoramic views of the Apurimac Canyon and the surrounding snow‐capped peaks, as well as Choquequirao itself. Descending from the pass, the path zigzags its way through dry forest above the raging waters of the Apurimac River. Our camp tonight is at Chiquisaca (1,950m).

Another very early start for a long day’s trek. Just over an hour of walking downhill brings us to Playa Rosalina (1,500m), from where we cross over the Apurimac River before beginning the long and steep switchback climb up to the village of Santa Rosa. After a rest stop, we continue climbing to a plateau above Maranpata (2,920m) where we usually have a lunch break in a small village. The gradient eases off a little here and the path undulates towards Choquequirao for a couple of hours. The forests here are home to spectacled bears, and we may catch sight of them as we approach the Inca citadel. After walking through the terraces, we set up camp close to the ruins themselves (3,035m). This campsite has cold showers and flushing toilets.

We have ample time to fully explore the vast, sprawling ruins of Choquequirao. Larger than Machu Picchu, the site is made up of nine different areas which each had a distinct role covering religious, political and military functions. The quality of the stonework indicates that it housed important Inca officials or royalty, and in common with other important sites, it features ritual baths and temples dedicated to the sun, moon and Pachamama, the earth spirit. Much of Choquequirao is unexcavated and many buildings are still hidden beneath the thick forest which surrounds the main site. There are incredible views of the whole site and the Apurimac Canyon from the truncated hilltop of Sunch'u Pata, a short distance up from the main plaza. In the afternoon we will visit the terraces of Pacchanta.

We cover a lot of ground today, starting with a short but steep climb to the top of the Choquequirao Pass (3,215m) from where we enjoy our last panoramic view over of the amazing lost city of Choquequirao. After the pass we walk steeply downhill on a wide but dusty road to Pinchi unuyoc (2,400m) where we visit Inca terraces that were previously covered in vegetation. We continue our descent right to the bottom of the canyon, where we cross the Rio Blanco (1,800m) and begin our ascent up the other side of the valley. This is a long, steep climb up to Maizal at 3,000m. This is a strenuous day, descending over 1,500m and ascending over 1,500m over the course of the day.

We start the day with a steep, switchback climb (approx. 5hrs) up the San Juan Pass (4,170m) - the effort of ascending the pass is balanced with incredible views of the snow-capped peaks of the Cordillera Vilcabamba, including Choquetacarpo, Pumasillo and Sacsarayoc. On a clear day you can see the magnificent glaciers and enjoy a 360 degree panorama of these beautiful, serrated mountains. As we near the top, we stop at the 500-year-old La Victoria silver mines. Crossing the pass, we descend for roughly three hours to our camp at Yanama (3,400m), following an old miners track which glitters with silver dust. In May this path winds through landscapes filled with wild lupins in flower. Today you have good chances to spot a mighty Andean condor as it soars on the thermals.

Stunning scenery abounds today as we trek deep in the heart of the Vilcabamba Range, climbing for approx.5 hours up to the highest point of the trek, the Yanama Pass (4,660m). There is a new road from Yanama village up and over the pass, however, our trail avoids it wherever possible – and vehicles are few and far between. Our gravelly trail follows the river up the valley before it begins the climb, crisscrossing the new road until reaching the top of the pass and the high point of the trek where lofty Sacsarayoc dominates the skyline from the pass. A long (approx. 4hr) descent from the pass brings us through along the valley, passing small villages along the way and following the river to Totora campsite (3,440m), where we spend the night.

From Totora it is a descent (approx. 7hrs) to Lucma bamba. We will notice more trekkers around today as we converge with a section of the Salcantay trail and pass enter a more inhabited area. We follow the road for a short section, then a gravel path beside the river; the surroundings are green as we are walking through cloud forest once again. We’ll also see lots of fruit trees and coffee plantations. Tonight’s campsite is particularly special: your tents will be pitched on Inca terraces, and the campsite is in the middle of a coffee plantation. Time permitting, there is the chance for a tour of the coffee plantation, or Do an optional Thermal bath of Cocalmayo in Santa Teresa village to relax aching muscles.

Rising early, we follow an original Inca trail which climbs uphill for three hours to the site of Llacta pata. After a final two hour descent, we reach the hydroelectric station at Inti Watana (1,900m) – a good spot for lunch. After lunch, we cross the Vilcanota River and finish our trek at the train station. We board the train to Aguas Calientes in the afternoon and check into our hotel upon arrival for a well-earned rest and a shower!

In order to beat the day-trippers arriving from Cusco and reach the Historical Inca city as early as possible, a very early start is required to queue for Machu Picchu; only government-registered buses can make the 30-minute drive up the winding road to the site entrance and during high season (May-October) queues can be hours long.
Machu Picchu is one of the architectural and engineering marvels of the ancient world and what makes it all the more dramatic is its mountain backdrop of staggering immensity. The Spaniards never found it; the Incas left no records of it, and so Machu Picchu remained a great enigma, a city lost for centuries in the jungle until it was rediscovered in 1911 by the American historian Hiram Bingham.
Having been trialed in 2017, new regulations for visiting Machu Picchu will be fully enforced for 2018; of the two possible visiting slots, Rolo’s Travel Peru will purchase the morning slot from 06:00 until 12:00 (unless unavailable), you will be limited to a maximum of four hours within the site and must be accompanied by a guide. There will also be three set routes to follow around Machu Picchu; Rolo’s Travel Peru selects the most comprehensive route.
We catch an afternoon train back to Ollantaytambo (1hr 30 minutes and then bus back to Cusco (2 hours. The lost city of Choquequirao tour comes to an end.


  • Licensed guide fluent in English, Spanish, and Quechua, plus an assistant guide for large groups.
  • Support staff including professional cooks and wranglers for the mules and horses.
  • Horses and mules to carry group gear as well as duffels bags, provided at the briefing, for personal items. (12 kg weight limit) For The Lost city of Choquequirao trek).
  • All meals on trek, which incorporate traditional Peruvian dishes as well as modern fusion cuisine and special dietary needs.
  • Drinking water and snacks.
  • Dining tent with table, stools, and all dining implements, toilet tent, and kitchen tent
  • Sleeping tents, foam pads, and Thermarest. Three-person tents are provided for single occupancy and four-person tents for double occupancy to allow plenty of room for personal gear.
  • One or Two riding horse for emergencies depending on the group size. Additional riding horses can be provided for an additional charge
  • First aid kit, including oxygen, radio communication, satellite phone.
  • Pre-trek briefing.
  • All group entrance fees, including Machu Picchu entrance.
  • Hotel in Aguas Calientes
  • Train. (Expedition Train Service) from hydroelectric to Aguas Calientes town and to Ollantaytambo.
  • All transfers, including private van from your hotel in Cusco to trailhead at Capuliyoc, bus from Machu Picchu, and private transfer back to your hotel in Cusco.
  • T-shirt of Rolo’s Travel Peru (souvenir)


  • Dinner on the 8th day at Aguas Calientes. Lunch and dinner on the 9th day.
  • Personal hiking gear including backpacks, trekking poles, and sleeping bags. Poles and sleeping bags may be hired.
  • Tips for guides, cooks, wranglers.
  • Entrance to hot springs or other entertainments in Aguas Calientes.
  • Optional climb to Huayna Picchu or Machu Picchu Mountain.
  • Personal riding horse. Additional horses may be hired according to the needs of the individual and group.


  • Much of this trek is isolated and rugged. It is advised that trekkers acclimate by spending a few days at Cusco (3400m) or similar before attempting the trek. Trekkers should be in good physical condition and be experienced hikers. Additionally, weather and trail conditions can vary. Temperatures range from warm and humid to below freezing.
  • Trekkers should be prepared for changes to the itinerary and to meet unexpected challenges with an open-mind and sense of adventure. Climbing Huayna Picchu is an excellent addition to a trip to Machu Picchu. It offers superlative views, but is a steep climb that can take about three hours. Entrance to Huayna Picchu is limited and at scheduled times; visitors must sign up for a spot in advance.
  • If you would like to consider doing the climb, it is important to book it in advance. Inca Trail permits are required for this trek. It is important to book as soon as possible as permits can sell out months in advance.
  • The traditional Salkantay is a shorter version of this trek which does not require permits. Additionally, a more challenging and less crowded alternative route goes along the eastern flank of the mountain and down to Ollantaytambo, ending with a train journey to Aguas Calientes and Machu Picchu.

$ 1 350.00 USD per person

Student Discount (only with active green ISIC card): US$20.00

Group Bookings
Bookings of 4 people or more will get a US$20.00 discount per person

download tour

It appears your Web browser is not configured to display PDF files. Download adobe Acrobat or click here to download the PDF file.

Developed by Llika