The Lost City of Choquequirao

The Lost City of Choquequirao

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13 Days
From

$3298

$3049

The Lost City of Choquequirao

13 Days Starting and ending in Cuzco

Visiting: Cusco, Chiquisca, Choquequirao Archaeological Park, Agrovet. Pachamama, Río Blanco, Maizal, Abra San Juan (San Juan Pass), Totora, Totora Baja, TOTORA, Lucmabamba Lodge, Llaqtapata Archaeological Site, Santa Teresa, Machu Picchu, Ollantaytambo, Sacred Valley

Tour operator:

Exodus

Tour code:

TPK

Guide Type:

Fully Guided

Group size:

5 - 16

Physical rating:

Challenging / Tough

Age range:

18 to 99

Special diets catered:

Please inform Exodus of specific dietary requirements

Tour operated in:
English
Interests:

Cultural, Photography

From:
$3298
$3049 (USD) Operator discount: $163 The Big ADVENTURE Sale: $86
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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.

Highlights

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

  • Time to explore historic Cuzco

  • 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

  • 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

Itinerary

Expand All
Day 1 : Start Cuzco (3400M); Afternoon Walking Tour.
Location: Cusco

The trip starts in Cuzco today. The group flights usually arrive into Cuzco in the early afternoon. 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 Inkarri / Koyllur (or similar)
 

Day 2 : Free Day In Cuzco.
Location: Cusco
Meals Included: breakfast

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. These include paddle-boarding on a lake, mountain biking, or a combination of via ferrata and zip-lining in the Sacred Valley.
Hotel Inkarri / Koyllur (or similar)

Day 3 : Drive To Capuliyoc Pass (2915M); Begin The Trek With A Descent To Chiquisca.
Location: Chiquisca, Choquequirao Archaeological Park
Meals Included: breakfastlunchdinner

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 4 : Cross Apurimac River Then Climb To Santa Rosa And Maranpata (2920M); On To Choquequirao Camp (3035M).
Location: Choquequirao Archaeological Park
Meals Included: breakfastlunchdinner

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 toilets.
Full-Service Camping - Choquequirao (3035m)

Day 5 : Full Day To Explore The Magnificent Inca Site Of Choquequirao And The Terraces Of Pacchanta.
Location: Choquequirao Archaeological Park, Agrovet. Pachamama
Meals Included: breakfastlunchdinner

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 6 : Cross Choquequirao Pass (3215M) Then Descend To The Rio Blanco Via Pinchinoyoc; Continue To Maizal (3000M).
Location: Río Blanco, Maizal
Meals Included: breakfastlunchdinner

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 7 : Steep Climb Over San Juan Pass (4170M) With Impressive Mountain Views; Descend To Yanama (3400M).
Location: Abra San Juan (San Juan Pass)
Meals Included: breakfastlunchdinner

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 8 : Trek Amidst Vilcabamba Range And Over Yanama Pass (4660M), Surrounded By Glaciers, To Totora.
Location: Totora, Totora Baja
Meals Included: breakfastlunchdinner

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 9 : Descend To Lucmabamba.
Location: TOTORA, Lucmabamba Lodge
Meals Included: breakfastlunchdinner

From Totora it is a descent (approx. 7hrs) to Lucmabamba. 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 - Lucmabamba

Day 10 : Follow Salkantay River To Santa Teresa (1900M); Train To Aguas Calientes.
Location: Llaqtapata Archaeological Site, Santa Teresa
Meals Included: breakfastlunch

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 11 : Morning Tour Of Machu Picchu; Train To Ollantaytambo.
Location: Machu Picchu, Ollantaytambo
Meals Included: breakfast

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 12 : Sacred Valley Tour; Continue To Cuzco.
Location: Sacred Valley
Meals Included: breakfast

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 Inkarri / Koyllur (or similar)

Day 13 : End Cuzco.
Location: Cusco
Meals Included: breakfast

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 the flight back to London.

What's Included

  • Tour leader throughout

  • Inflatable sleeping mat while camping

  • Full porterage throughout trek 

  • Exodus kitbag 

  • 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)

Food

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.

Accommodation

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

Chocoquiero

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 the better than on any previos trek.

lost cities of choquequirao

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.

Choquequirao to Macau Picchu

Top notch trip visiting two stunning Inca sites. One well publicised with 2500 visitors per day, while the other might only see 25! But you need to do some hard walking to reach that one........

Thanks

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

Excellent trip

This is one of the best trips I have done. This was my first visit to South America - Peru is a beautiful country with fascinating history. The trekking is hard but well worth the effort.

The Lost City of Choquequirao

This trip challenges you physically, mentally and emotionally. It provides breathtaking scenery, camping in cloud forests, visiting Inca sites in beautiful and inaccessible places and the chance to observe how humbly people live in the harsh landscape. It fulfilled all of my expectations and more, spectacular scenery, challenging walking and indulging in the Indiana Jones experience. There was great camaraderie and our guides, Michael and Vladimir were just the best. They had infinite cheerfulness and patience and were determined that we would understand as much as possible about Andean culture, past and present. My only regret is that this trek may be 'it', the best one!

Fascinating trek

A strenuous but rewarding trek, topped off with some fantastic sightseeing, and of course Machu Picchu! Great diversity of microclimates during the trek, as well as weather changes. The trip definitely deserves its challenging rating, but the guides and support staff helped all to enjoy this trek. The local people are welcoming. This is one of the best treks I have had the opportunity to be a part of.

The Lost City of Chocquequiaro

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 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

Dates & Availability

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Sunday - Friday

Jun 02, 2024 - Jun 14, 2024
$3298 $3049 (USD)

Operator discount: $163 (USD)

The Big ADVENTURE Sale: $86 (USD)

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Sunday - Friday

Aug 04, 2024 - Aug 16, 2024
$3300 $3209 (USD)

The Big ADVENTURE Sale: $91 (USD)

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Sunday - Friday

Sep 08, 2024 - Sep 20, 2024
$3300 $3209 (USD)

The Big ADVENTURE Sale: $91 (USD)

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Sunday - Friday

Oct 06, 2024 - Oct 18, 2024
$3300 $3209 (USD)

The Big ADVENTURE Sale: $91 (USD)

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Sunday - Friday

May 18, 2025 - May 30, 2025
$3600 $3501 (USD)

The Big ADVENTURE Sale: $99 (USD)

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Sunday - Friday

Aug 03, 2025 - Aug 15, 2025
$3600 $3501 (USD)

The Big ADVENTURE Sale: $99 (USD)

Instant Booking Available

Sunday - Friday

Sep 07, 2025 - Sep 19, 2025
$3600 $3501 (USD)

The Big ADVENTURE Sale: $99 (USD)

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Sunday - Friday

Oct 05, 2025 - Oct 17, 2025
$3600 $3501 (USD)

The Big ADVENTURE Sale: $99 (USD)

Book with Confidence

  • Transfer as credit to Future Tours

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

  • Low Deposit

    Exodus requires a minimum deposit of 25% or the full booking value, whichever is less, with the final balance not due until 90 days before departure.

  • Cancellation Policy

    We don't charge a cancellation fee, here is a summary of exodus charges.

    Up to 42 days before tour starts: Forfeit 100% of deposit.

    At 20 days before tour starts: Forfeit 100% of booking price.

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