An enthralling 10 Days experience awaits you on Choquequirao Vilcabamba trek to Machu Picchu. This is one of our signature treks. We have curated this itinerary to offer you the best of Choquequirao and Vilcabamba culminated with a visit to the renowned lost city of Incas, Machu Picchu. All these three sites have been of a great significance to Incas.
Choquequirao means the cradle of Gold in Quechua. It nestles at 3033 metres above the sea level. The archaeological complex was built in the same era as its sister city, Machu Picchu by Pachacutec. Apart from the impressive stone work, the highlight here are the images of Llamas. These images are engraved on walls using lighter shaded stones. This is a testament to the impressive stonework of Incas.
Vilcabamba in Quechua means “the sacred plain”. It was the last refuge of Incas. After winning the battle of Ollantaytambo with the Spanish troops in 1537, Manco Inca was certain about a following major attack. He took refuge in Victos Rosaspata. Then he moved to Vilcabamba. He declared Vilcabamba as the capital of Neo Inca State 1539.
Machu Picchu, the lost city of Incas, tops the bucket list of most travellers. It was built as a royal estate. The citadel was home to over 750 people. Most of them worked for the royal family. Machu Picchu boasts an impressive stone work. It is a marvel to Inca engineering. They built agriculture terraces on the slope of a hill. This was to prevent erosions or landslide.
To most, visiting Machu Picchu is a trip of a lifetime. We at Treks in Cusco, look for the best ways to make this a pleasant experience. We have dedicated English speaking local guides on this tour. They have a wealth of knowledge in history and culture.
Join us in retracing the steps of ancient Inca on this 10 Days Choquequirao Vilcabamba trek to Machu Picchu.
We highly recommend that you spend at-least three days acclimatising in Cusco before the trek. While doing so, you may choose to take a day trip to Waqrapukara or Sacred Valley of Incas to get an introduction to Inca history.
Cusco Hotel Transfer
Choquequirao to Vilcabmaba Trek starts with a pickup from you hotel in Cusco. We will then embark on a four hours drive to Cachora. It is a village at (2,700 meters / 8855 feet). Here we will meet our wranglers and chefs. Then the adventure begins, we will start our trek. It will be a two and a half hours trek through the canyons of Apurimac. Along the way we will stop for lunch at Capuliyoc (2915 meters / 9560 feet). You will get an enchanting view of the Apurimac Canyon from here. We will then start our three hours descend to Chiquiska. It is located deep in the canyon. Here we will be camping for the night after an exquisite Peruvian dinner.
We will wake you up to a hot cup of coca tea. This will be followed by breakfast. We will then start an hour’s hike down the hill to Rosalina Bridge. The bridge stands above the Apurímac River (1550 meters / 5085 feet). From here, we will start our four hours climb to Maranpata (2925 meters / 9595 feet). Here we will stop for lunch. You will also get the first glimpse of Choquequirao ruins from here. The region is home to deers, spectacled bear, condors and butterflies. It is a two hours hike to the archaeological complex from here. We will have a short introductory tour. Our campsite here is closer to the ruins.
Early in the morning, we will visit the ruins again. Then we will start trekking to the Llama sector. This is one of the prime highlights of the complex. It is about a 20 minutes of hike away from the archeological complex. We will then continue with a 40 minutes climb up he hill. You will have a pristine view of the agriculture terraces of Pinchayunuyoc from here. Once you have had your fill of this enchanting view, we will start descending to Rio Blanco (White River). It is at (1990 meters / 6525 feet). We will be camping here for the night.
Tip: You can make the most of your evening by swimming in the clear waters of this river. Also, make sure to have your insect repellent here.
After relishing on a nutritious breakfast, we will start one of the challenging days of the Choquequirao to Vilcabamba trek. This will be a four hours climb to a secluded yet an enchanting place, Maizal. The view form here is simply stunning. As this section of the trek is considered to be the most challenging one, we will be camping here for the night.
At 0615 AM, after breakfast, we will start the trek to Yanama. On our way, we will be passing through regions which are home to lush vegetation. You will also be seeing some native flowers, this includes different types of orchids. The along a section of Inca highway, we will be crossing the abandoned Victoria Mines. Then we will start our climb to Victoria Mountain Pass (4150 meters / 13,610 feet). This is one of the ideal places to spot some Andean condors. This is the heart of the Vilcabamba Mountain Range. We will then hike down the hill for three hours to Yanama. It is a village at (3650 meters / 11,970 feet). We will be camping for the night here.
At 0630 AM, after breakfast, we will be leaving Yanama village. We will then descend and then ascend to Choquetacarpo Pass (4593 meters / 15,065 feet). This is one of the mot imposing routs of the Choquequirao to Vilcabamba Trek. The trail is surrounded by typical flora. We will then be passing along the clear water of small streams. Then we will reach our campsite at Kelkamachay. It is a picturesque site.
After relishing on a fresh breakfast, we will start our day with uphill hike. This will be towards the final pass of the trek. We will be passing though scenic valleys towards Vilcabamba. This was the last strong hold of Incas. We will be camping near the archaeological complex of Vilcabamba (Espiritu Pampa) for the night.
After breakfast, we will start our day at 0730 AM. We will be visiting the impressive yet seldom visited sites of Victos Rosaspata and Ñustajispana (White Rock). We will then stop for lunch. After lunch, we will take our private transport to Santa Teresa. It is a village at (1800 meters / 5900 feet). The village is home to natural hot springs of Cocamayo. Something that would refresh you after 8 days of trek. To offer you the most of this place, we will be camping here.
At around 0730 AM we will hike along the Urubamba river. You will notice a change in climate here. It is a tropical zone. We will be walking along different native plantations towards Hidro Electric plant station. Here we will stop for lunch. After lunch, we will be walking along the railway lines to Aguas Calientes town. This is the same route that the American explorer Hiram Bingham took when he rediscovered Machu Picchu.
At Aguas Calientes, you will be accommodated in an ensuite hotel room. Later that night, we will meet at a local restaurant for dinner to celebrate the successful completion of Choquequirao Vilcabamba Trek to Machu Picchu.
Early in the morning we will take the first bus to Machu Picchu. As you will enter the citadel you will see the sun rising over the mortar walls of this serene citadel. We will give you a guided tour of the citadel. After the tour, you will have some time for yourself. If you have booked your hike to Huyana Picchu or Machu Picchu mountain, do let us know.
Alternatively, you can walk to the Sun Gate. It offers an exclusive view of Machu Picchu for those on Inca Trail. It is a two and a half hours walk.
At around 0100 PM, you will be taking the bus back to Aguas Calientes. Later, you will be boarding the train to Ollantaytambo. Our representative will meet you at the train station and will transfer you back to Cusco.
We highly reccomend this trek to anyone wanting to know about the history of Incas in depth. They covered all the main areas, Choquequirao, Vilcabamba and Machu Picchu. The guide had so much of knowledge about the history that we felt like we were reading a book. I highly recommend this. Thanks Carlos and crew.