The Lost City of Choquequirao

The Lost City of Choquequirao

13 Days From



The Lost City of Choquequirao

13 Days Starting and ending in Cuzco

Visiting: Peru

Tour operator:

Exodus Adventure Travels

Tour code:


Guide Type:

Fully Guided

Group size:

5 - 16

Physical rating:

Challenging / Tough

Age range:


Special diets catered:

Please inform Exodus of specific dietary requirements

Tour operated in:



Cultural, Photography

From: $3298 $3063 Operator discount: -$148 Mid-Year Mayhem Discount: -$87

NB: Prices correct on 19-Jul-2024 but subject to change.

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Tour Overview

Escape the crowds on this challenging, unusual trek through Peru’s mountainous region. This varied trek is constantly moving up and down the climatic zones, leading you up steep paths through dense cloud forest, over spectacular scenic passes and along ancient Inca paths to the Vilcabamba’s best kept secret: the lost Inca city of Choquequirao. Machu Picchu may draw the crowds, but Choquequirao will awe you in its secluded splendour. If you like being off the beaten path, are intrigued by rich history and crave dramatic landscapes dominated by lofty, snow-capped peaks, this is the trek for you.


  • Quiet trekking trails (without the permit and other restrictions that are imposed on the Inca Trail)

  • Time to explore historic Cuzco

  • Guided tours of Machu Picchu and the Sacred Valley

  • Diversity of scenery; from cloud forests and canyons to high passes and 6000m peaks of the Vilcabamba Range

  • Choquequirao - larger than, and one of the best-preserved Inca ruins after Machu Picchu

  • Quiet trekking trails (without the permit and other restrictions that are imposed on the Inca Trail)Choquequirao - larger than, and one of the best-preserved Inca ruins after Machu PicchuDiversity of scenery; from cloud forests and canyons to high passes and 6000m peaks of the Vilcabamba RangeGuided tours of Machu Picchu and the Sacred ValleyTime to explore historic Cuzco

  • — Quiet trekking trails (without the permit and other restrictions that are imposed on the Inca Trail) — Choquequirao - larger than, and one of the best-preserved Inca ruins after Machu Picchu — Diversity of scenery; from cloud forests and canyons to high passes and 6000m peaks of the Vilcabamba Range — Guided tours of Machu Picchu and the Sacred Valley — Time to explore historic Cuzco


Day 1

The group flights depart London this evening.

Day 2

The group flights usually arrive into Cuzco late morning. The Inca capital -
though small enough to be easily manageable - is among the most attractive
cities in South America, with much of the centre comprising colonial-era
buildings with Inca foundations, and it is full of interesting museums,
churches and pre-Columbian sites. We will have a short walking tour around
the compact city centre to get our bearings.

It is recommended to take it easy upon arrival into Cuzco and to drink plenty
of water to allow your body time to acclimatise to the altitude (3400m).

There will be a welcome briefing in the hotel lobby this evening.

*Hotel Warari/ Koyllur Inn/ Hotel Garcilazo (or similar)*

Day 3

Today has been left free for exploring Cuzco. The Plaza de Armas is a
fantastic spot for people watching, and Qorikancha (the ‘Sun Temple’),
located in the Santo Domingo Church and monastery is worth a visit. The
Mercado San Pedro is the place to try some local produce and there are many
handicraft markets to shop for souvenirs such as alpaca jumpers and scarves.

If you fancy something more active then there is an array of other optional
activities available from Cuzco, although you may wish to leave these until
your return to Cuzco after the Inca Trail trek, by which time you will be
fully acclimatised. These include paddle-boarding on a lake, mountain biking,
or a combination of via ferrata and zip-lining in the Sacred Valley.

*Hotel Warari/ Koyllur Inn/ Hotel Garcilazo (or similar)*

Day 4

We leave Cuzco very early this morning, around 5am, and drive for
approximately 5 hours to Capuliyoc Pass (approx. 2915m) in time for lunch,
stopping to explore the archaeological sites of Tarawasi and Saywite en
route. From the top of the pass, we enjoy spectacular panoramic views of the
Apurimac River 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 (1950m).

*Full-Service Camping - Chiquisaca (1950m)*

Day 5

Another very early start for a long day’s trek. Just over an hour of
walking downhill brings us to Playa Rosalina (1500m), 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 (2920m) 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 (3035m). This campsite has cold showers and flushing

*Full-Service Camping - Choquequirao (3035m)*

Day 6

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 Valley
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.

*Full-Service Camping - Choquequirao (3035m)*

Day 7

We cover a lot of ground today, starting with a short but steep climb to the
top of the Choquequirao Pass (3215m) from where we enjoy our last panoramic
view over Choquequirao. After the pass we walk steeply downhill on a wide but
dusty road to Pinchinoyoc (2400m) where we visit Inca terraces that were
previously covered in vegetation. We continue our descent right to the bottom
of the valley, where we cross the Rio Blanco (1800m) and begin our ascent up
the other side of the valley. This is a long, steep climb up to Maizal at
3000m. This is a strenuous day, descending over 1500m and ascending over
1500m over the course of the day.  

*Full-Service Camping - Maizal (3000m)*

Day 8

We start the day with a steep, switchback climb (approx. 5hrs) up the San
Juan Pass (4170m) - 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 (3400m), 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.

*Full-Service Camping - Yanama (3400m)*

Day 9

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 (4660m). 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 (3440m), where we spend the night.

*Full-Service Camping - Totora (3400m)*

Day 10

From Totora it is a descent (approx. 7hrs) to Lucabamba. 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 (for PEN10, or free entry should you purchase some coffee,
PEN25 for a large bag).

*Full-Service Camping - Lucabamba*

Day 11

Rising early, we follow an original Inca trail which climbs uphill for three
hours to the site of Llactapacta. After a final two hour descent, we reach
the hydroelectric station at Santa Teresa (1900m) – 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!

*Hotel Inti Punku El Tambo (or similar)*

Day 12

In order to beat the day-trippers arriving from Cuzco and reach the ruins 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. 

New regulations for visiting Machu Picchu are now fully enforced; of the
three possible visiting slots, Exodus 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; Exodus selects the
most comprehensive route. 

We catch an afternoon train back to Ollantaytambo (1hr 30 mins) where we
spend the night.

*Tunupa Lodge (or similar)*

Day 13

We wake to explore the narrow cobbled streets and the colossal Inca stone
terraces which dominate the hillside above Ollantaytambo town. The
archaeological site at Ollantaytambo was the royal estate of Inca Emperor
Pachacuti as well as being of religious and defensive significance.
Travelling by road we next visit the ruins of the Citadel at Pisac where Inca
terraces are carved into the solid rock itself and there will also be time to
walk around the colourful market. Afterwards, we continue the drive to Cuzco,
passing through high-Andean scenery dotted with old towns and villages dating
back to pre-Columbian times.

*Hotel Warari / Koyllur Inn / Hotel Garcilazo (or similar)*

Day 14

For land only travellers, the trip ends in Cuzco after breakfast today. Those
who are travelling on the group flights will be taken to Cuzco airport to
catch your overnight flight back to London.

Day 15

The group flights arrive back into London today.

What's Included

  • Tour leader throughout

  • Inflatable sleeping mat while camping

  • Exodus kitbag 

  • Full porterage throughout trek 

  • 5 nights en suite hotels and 7 nights full-service camping

  • All breakfasts, 7 lunches and 7 dinners

  • All transport and listed activities

  • Flights from London (if booking incl. flights)

  • Arrival and departure transfers

  • Meals

    12 breakfasts, 7 lunches, 7 dinners.

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What's Not Included

  • Sleeping bag (hire locally from US$40)

  • Single accommodation (available on request) 

  • Travel insurance

  • Visas or vaccinations

  • Travel insuranceSingle accommodation (available on request) Visas or vaccinationsSleeping bag (hire locally from US$40)

  • — Travel insurance — Single accommodation (available on request) — Visas or vaccinations — Sleeping bag (hire locally from US$40)


All breakfasts, 8 lunches and 7 dinners are included in the price of the tour. Peruvian cuisine has developed a reputation for its flavours and originality and it’s well worth trying out a few of the local delicacies. Amongst these are ceviche (a spicy dish of seafood or fish marinated in lime juice), lomo saltado (a Peruvian take on a beef stir-fry) and various hearty soups such as the delicious quinoa soup. Other dishes include roasted cuy (guinea pig), alpaca steak, and to drink, the national beverage: Pisco Sour. Hotel breakfasts are normally simple buffet-style affairs, usually including bread/toast and jam, cereal, sometimes eggs or a cooked dishes, sometimes fruit, tea/coffee and fruit juice. Regrettably, we cannot guarantee that wheat/gluten-free products will be available for breakfast in all locations - if you have an intolerance you may wish to bring your own breakfast food. Where lunch and dinner is not included in Cuzco/Aguas Calientes/Ollantaytambo we'll visit a variety of cafes and restaurants. During the trek hearty breakfasts are served and good quality cooked lunches and dinners are provided, and usually consist of soup or a starter, a main course with meat/fish and some form of carbohydrates, followed by a dessert. Some snacks between meals are also provided. Drinking water (boiled and filtered) is provided in the mornings and at lunch during the trek so that you can refill your bottles. Bed tea/coffee is brought to your tent each morning and juice or hot drinks are provided with all meals during the trek. Drinking water is provided. The tap water in Peru is not safe to drink; boiled and filtered drinking water is provided on the trek and elsewhere your leader will buy large water containers for you to refill your bottle from.


We use three-star hotels on this Andean trip, which feature an excellent blend of quality and comfort and are within an easy walk of the attractions in Cuzco, Aguas Calientes and the Sacred Valley. On trek, we have full-service camping with full porterage by mules, meaning our camp staff put up and take down the tents, cook, and do all the camp chores. You need only carry your backpack for the day and enjoy your time trekking through the Vilcabamba range.

Cuzco: MamaSara (nights 1, 2 and 12)

Just a few blocks from the historic centre, MamaSara is well located for our adventures in the one-time Inca capital of Cuzco. The design of the rooms pays homage to the city with locally sourced furniture and artwork, while the restaurant serves Peruvian Andean cuisine.

Choquequirao Inca Trail: Full-service camping (nights 3-9)

For seven nights, we sleep and dine in good-quality four-season tents. We also have a toilet tent set up both in camp and during lunch stops. Boiled and filtered drinking water is provided in the mornings, at lunch and dinner so we can refill our water bottles. Additionally, a bowl of warm water is provided each morning and evening for washing. Camp staff set up and break down the tents, while our trusty mules transport all camp equipment necessary.

Aguas Calientes: Inti Punku Machu Picchu (night 10)

The Inti Punku is centrally located in Aguas Calientes, a small town alongside the Urubamba River. This comfortable hotel offers clean, contemporary rooms with private baths and hot water, making it a perfect place to relax and take in this unique setting far below the ruins of Machu Picchu.

Ollantaytambo: Tunupa Lodge (night 11)

Tunupa Lodge is located in Ollantaytambo, a small town in the Sacred Valley of the Incas. It has comfortable and cosy rooms, plus a bar and restaurant that serves delicious local and international cuisine, plus a variety of drinks. The hotel also has a lovely garden and is a great place to relax and reflect on your amazing trek to Machu Picchu.

Check out our Q&As

  • What happens if I need to change my holiday date once I’ve booked?

    If you wish to make any changes to your booking, particularly if you need to alter any flights booked through us, please let us know as soon as possible. There is a booking or flight amendment fee of £40 per change and flight amendments often incur extra airline costs depending on the changes to be made and if the ticket has been issued or not.

  • How long has the tour company been trading?

    Exodus has been trading since 1974

  • What documents will I receive before I travel?

    Your final joining instructions and flight details, if booked with us, will then be sent out 2 to 3 weeks before departure. If you would like a hard copy posted, or if you require these any earlier, please contact the customer operations team. We advise that if you are booking connecting travel before receiving these, please ensure you leave plenty of time.

  • Do you operate a “single share” option and how does it work?

    Travellers are welcome to opt to share a room with a tour member of the same gender for no additional charge. If you'd like your own room, we can request a single supplement so that you will have your own room throughout.

  • Can I join the tour once it has departed?

    You are welcome to meet the group after the tour has departed however there is no reduction in rate for joining a tour after the departure date.

Reviews from travellers on this tour


It was a difficult trip for me, but the support of

It was a difficult trip for me, but the support of the Exodus staff made it an excellent experience.

Lost City of Choquequirao Trek

An incredible trek, away from the crowds and throu

An incredible trek, away from the crowds and through the cloud forests and passes of the Andes.


This was a wonderful holiday. We went as a family

This was a wonderful holiday. We went as a family including 2 teenagers and we all had a fantastic time.

The Lost City of Choquequirao

One of the best trips I have done. The food was t

One of the best trips I have done. The food was the better than on any previos trek.

Lost City of Choqueqeirou - Adventure in the Andes

This trip was an adventure of a lifetime for me.

This trip was an adventure of a lifetime for me. In places it was hard and very hard. The support from the trek staff team was superb making the effort worthwhile. Choquequeiro itself is like something from an Indiana Jones film in it's setting and to get there is hard.

lost cities of choquequirao

A must do trip. for most of the 8days on the choq

A must do trip. for most of the 8days on the choquequirao trail we hardly saw other walkers, and when we did it was in passing. and at choquequirao there was one other group, and we pretty much had the site to our self. the trails were tough at times, but the rewards of stunning views and totally amazing sites . and every time you turn a corner, they appeared to get better.

Peru adventure

A challenging trek in Peru that managed to combine

A challenging trek in Peru that managed to combine quiet trekking, magnificent scenery, the remote city of Choquequirao and the spectacle of Machu Picchu. Walking in remote areas of Peru, at times surrounded by snow-capped mountaings, or maybe cloud forest, or then again coffee plantations. Very varied and interesting at all times. The guides and support staff added to the atmosphere, providing a friendly and informative company. Helpful at all times, providing surprisingly good food in very basic conditions and unexpected "extras" - like the very welcome visit to the hot springs! All-in-all and excellent trip.


Very enjoyable and well lead trip through some of

Very enjoyable and well lead trip through some of Peru's less busy trekking trails. Some fairly tough climbs and descents but well worth it to find the tranquility of the Lost City of Choquequirao and explore Peru's beautiful and varied scenery. Was also good to be able to visit Machu Picchu on the last day - a great way to finish the trek!

The Lost City of Chocquequiaro

This is a challenging hike. The altitude makes the

This is a challenging hike. The altitude makes the steep ascents and descents very demanding. But the scenery and the access to Inca sites that aren't crawling in tourists makes it worth it. After having Choquequiaro to ourselves for a full day the hordes of tourists at Machu Pichu were definitely frustrating.

The Inka Kingdom

You'll see a lot of Inka remains, evidence of some

You'll see a lot of Inka remains, evidence of some very large-scale civil engineering, and impressive masonry. Apparently we don't know how they did the masonry, especially since they had no metal tools nor writing system. You'll also experience extreme topography, the botanical diversity of cloud forest, and some very tasty food.

Read all 14 reviews

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Sep 08, 2024 - Sep 20, 2024
$3298 $3063

Operator discount: -$148

Mid-Year Mayhem Discount: -$87

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Mid-Year Mayhem Discount: -$91

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    Exodus Adventure Travels allows you to transfer existing payments to a future tour to avoid cancellation fees if you can't travel and inform exodus adventure travels, 43 days before departure.

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    Up to 70 days before tour starts: Forfeit 100% of deposit.

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