Choquequirao Huanipaca Trek is a four days trek from Cusco. It takes you to the sister city of Machu Picchu, Choquequirao. Choquequirao in Quechua means “Cradle of Gold”. During the reign of Pachacuti, he built this citadel during te same era as Machu Picchu.
Due to its remote location it is not popular as Machu Picchu. The only way to reach the archeological complex is by trekking for four days. As a result, it attracts a handful of visitors in comparison to Machu Picchu which gets around 5000 daily visitors. However, the Peruvian government is planning to install a cable car from the nearby village. This will increase the number of visitors.
The Classic Choquequirao Trek is a circuit. You will be walking back and forth from the nearby village on the same route. Choquequirao Huanipaca Trek is more of an alternate route. On the first two days of the trek, you will be trekking on the same route as the classic trek. However, instead of returning back to the starting point, on the third day you will be trekking to San Ignacio. It is a place deep inside the Apurimac Canyons.
Although Huanipaca Choquequirao Trek is relatively easier than the classic trek, you would need to be physically fit and well acclimatised to avoid altitude sickness.
Treks in Cusco is an outdoor company based in Cusco. We are a fully locally owned tour operator. We take pride in working with a team of locals. Also, we offer high altitude eco tourism. Our team comprises of passionate hikers, climbers, trekkers who breathe and live the outdoor adventure life. Our guides use their extensive trekking and mountaineering skills to safely lead our groups on high altitude treks. All our team members have an ample of training on first aid and use of Oxygen cans in case you have altitude sickness.
Cusco Hotel Transfer
We will be picking you up from your hotel in Cusco between 0330 and 0400 AM. Then we will drive to Capuliyoc. It is a small town, a four hours drive away from Cusco. Here we will stop for breakfast. While you would eat breakfast, we will organise your personal belongings and camping gears on mule.
After breakfast, we will hike for twenty minutes to a view point. From here you will have a pristine view of snowcapped peak of Padreyoc. It is a part of the Vilcabamba mountain range. You will also have a wonderful view of Apurimac river and canyon. Then we will descend for three hours through breathtaking views. On this section of the Choquequirao Trek, you will be able to see different herbal plantations. Our guide will give you a brief explanation of its use. You may also get to see te flight of Andean condors here. We will then descend to the hamlet of Chiquisqa. Here we will stop for lunch.
After lunch, we will continue descending for 45 minutes to Playa Rosalinas. This area marks the border between Cusco and Apurimac province.
From here we will be hiking up the hill to Marmapata. It nestles at 3500 metres above sea level. On our way we will be crossing many Andean farms. Here you will have the opportunity to meet and get an overview of the life of farmers. We will then reach our campsite.
This is the best day of the trek. We will wake you up to a cup of coffee or tea. Then we will serve breakfast. After breakfast, we will be hiking to Choquequirao. Our local expert will be giving you a detailed tour of the complex. On this tour you will be visiting prominent sites like the main plaza, ceremonial centre, farming terraces among others. The site still retains the original Inca walls.
The way up is beautiful. We will be crossing a zone with lush plantations. Our guide will explain its medicinal uses.
After the tour, we will be returning to the campsite for lunch. After relishing on a freshly cooked lunch, we will visit a lesser known waterfall snuggled between the tropical cloud forest.
In the evening, we will return to the campsite for dinner.
This will be a relaxed day. We will be starting quite late from our campsite. You can stroll through the archeological complex. Often trekkers get to spot the flight of Andean Condors too.
Later, in the afternoon, we will be on the Huanipaca Choquequirao Trek route. We will be starting with a walk towards Apurimac River. On this section of the trek, you will have the opportunity to spot Peruvian National Bird, Andean Cock of the rock.
Then we will be continuing the trek down the hill. Covering six kilometres in three hours. We will be crossing to the other side of the Apurímac River on a suspension bridge.
We will then start climbing up the hill to our campsite in San Ignacio . It will be an hours hike. Here we will be spending the night.
We will be starting the last day of the Huanipaca Choquequirao Trek quite early in the morning. After breakfast, we will hike on a steep side of a hill for about an hour. Then it gets a bi easier, we will be trekking along the Tambobamba Valley. This section of the trek offers sights of different native flora and fauna.
We will then reach Tambobamba. It is locally known as Villa De Loros. Here we will stop for lunch. After an authentic Peruvian lunch, we will embark on a four and a half hours drive back to Cusco.
Definitely not the easiest trek but its was worth every step!
This was quite a unique experience. Me and my mate had a fantastic time. The complex of Choquequirao was all for us as we were the only two there. The guide service was fantastic. Carlos is a gem of a guide. If you want to experience the best of Choquequirao, i recommend doing this and exploring a bit more than the regular trek.