We have the best-designed itinerary by the only specialist in “trekking OFF the beaten track,” SAM Travel. The itinerary combines visits to two major archeological sites: remote and seldom visited Choquequirao and legendary Machu Picchu. It is a fascinating adventure through part of the old empire of the Incas and one of Peru’s most unspoiled wilderness areas.
The name Choquequirao means “Cradle of Gold.” The Inca Archeological site is considered, the sister to Machu Picchu, it is less known and 3 times larger than Machu Picchu. It was one of the last refuges, for those Incas who continued to resist Spanish occupation after the conquest. The site eventually was abandoned and became covered by dense cloud forest vegetation and to this day archeologists continue to discover new sectors of the city.
On Choquequirao Machu Picchu trek, we will walk on Inca highways, hike through high Andean landscapes with majestic glaciers, descend into deep canyons where the condors fly and pass through biologically diverse cloud forest ecosystems. You will also visit Inca silver mines and isolated Inca communities.
When you arrive to Machu Picchu, our last campsite is by the Llactapata Inca Ruins, which are located right in front of Machu Picchu. From this viewpoint, enjoy the greatest angles of view of Machu Picchu and the surrounding mountains like Huayna Picchu Mountain, Machu Picchu Mountain and Salkantay Mountain.
Click on the link below to explore our blog with lots of pictures and experience the trek for yourself: Choquequirao Trek
We recommend this trek for experienced trekkers or persons in good physical shape used to trekking or running frequently.
At 5:00am, we pick you up from your hotel and drive for 4hours in our private van to Capuliyoc (2,850m/9,407ft). Along the way, there are spectacular views of villages, valleys and snow-capped mountains. Once at Cachora we meet our horsemenn and pack all our equipment onto the horses. Here, we will enjoy the spectacular view of Choquequirao Inca remains, the Apurimac Canyon and the stunning snow-capped mountains like Padreyoc (5,571m/18,387ft). We hike down for the next 3 hours to Chikisca for lunch. In the afternoon, we continue for 2 more hours down to our first camp at la Playa Rosalinas.
After an early breakfast, we cross the bridge and hike for the next 4 hours all the way up to Marampata where we will have lunch, while enjoying the view of Choquequirao Inca ruins. After lunch, we walk to our second evening’s campsite, which is just 20 minutes from the ruins. There are many possibilities to see condors and enjoy the Choquequirao ruins into the late evening.
After breakfast, we fully explore the ruins of Choquequirao (Cradle of Gold). We visit the temples, palaces, ritual water fountains, llamas’ section and the amazing Ushnu (ceremonial platform). In the afternoon, we climb over the ridge to the stunning Choquequirao Pass (3,277m/10,814ft). Then we descend for 2 hours towards Rio Blanco (1,990m/6,567ft) and onto the third evening’s campsite, enjoying all the great canyons and the Pinchiunuyoc Inca ruins along the way.
After a late breakfast we climb up to Maisal (3,277m/10,814ft), enjoying the variety of microclimates and spectacular views of canyons, rivers and stunning landscapes. Arriving to our fourth campsite.
Beginning at 7.00am, we walk uphill for 3 hours through semi-jungle vegetation via parts of the original Inca Highway, visiting ancient silver mines including the Victorias on the way, to reach Victoria’s pass (4,170m/13,700f). From here, you can appreciate the great canyons, the spectacular snow-capped mountains of Sacsara, Qoriwanachina, and Pumasillo. Then we descend to Yanama (3,650m/12,037ft), which is our fifth campsite.
This day, is our day of mountain peaks. We walk for 9 hours, preferably rising early to appreciate the chain of snow peaks that can be seen from the first section of today’s trek. We ascend to the highest point of our trek: Yanama pass (4,670m/15,407ft). The view from this point is amazing. Snow-capped mountains and impressive valleys surround us. We then descend to Totora for lunch and after that, we walk for 2 hours to Colpapampa (2,870m/9,470ft) to our sixth campsite.
Today we have passed our mid-way point. Within 3 hours of walking, we are enjoying the beginning of the lush tropical rainforest, the bountiful fruit bearing trees, coffee and cacao trees, and the undulating fruit plantations with their flowering orchids and always plenty of birds to see. We arrive at wonderful Lucmabamaba for lunch with free time to rest.
After lunch, we will have an incredible experience of nature at its purest form, touring a coffee plantation adjacent to the campsite. We will begin by browsing the fields, learning about the different types of beans and picking our own beans. It does not end there. Engulfed in the fields of tomatoes and avocados are multiple ecosystems from beginning to end. We pick our fresh produce, which our trekking chef will use for our dinner.
Then by 3pm, we will take the local transport for 30mins to the natural hot springs at Cocalmayo, where we bath in the natural resources mother earth provides us. Upon our return our trekking chef with be creating his specialty with our fresh produce from the day.
After a last delicious breakfast by our chef and a hot drink, we will continue along the ancient and remote Inca Trail for 3 hours uphill to the Puncuyoc Pass (2700m/8,858ft). Along the way, you will need to pinch yourself at fantastic views and authenticity of these unique valleys and fruit plantations. Location! Location! We arrive to Llactapata Inca Ruins, located right in front of Machu Picchu where we enjoy the strategic location of the Citadel of the Grand Machu Picchu from far away and its surrounding mountains of Huyana Picchu, Machu Picchu and the Aobamba Canyon.
Still feeling overwhelmed, we descend for 2 hours to the hydroelectric plant the primary power source for Cusco where we will have lunch. Then it is the last leg of the journey walking to Aguas Calientes through the National Park of Machu Picchu. Feel your adrenaline start to swirl in your veins as you come closer to the iconic Machu Picchu and the ancient wall that surrounds the Inca Citadel.
Wake up early to a new day of adventure and mindfulness sharing the day with our majestic Machu Picchu. Following in the ancient and remote footsteps of the ‘Lost City of the Incas, listen carefully to the etheric cultural exchange of history without the crowds who arrive at midday. You will be gifted with free time to explore, take photos, climb Huaynapicchu or Machu Picchu Mountain or visit the Sun Gate. Afterwards, we go back to Aguas Calientes and in the afternoon at 4:22 pm, we return by expedition train to Ollantaytambo train station and then back to your hotel in Cusco by van, arriving at about 8:30pm.
The Choquequirao Machu Picchu trek can be booked on any date that is best suited for you as long as we have a minimum of 2 trekkers
***We provide large Eureka 4 man tents for each 2 trekkers.
SAM (initials of Saul Alvarez Montalvo) Travel Peru is a family owned travel agency and direct local tour operator based in Cusco with personal experience over many years of trekking. SAM Travel Peru is a 1oo% Cusquenian Company without any shareholders.
My dream as the owner was to create small personalized tours & treks strictly and only operated by local professional staff catering in PERSONALIZED and HIGH QUALITY SERVICE.
We take pride in having a reputation as being a RESPONSIBLE & SUSTAINABLE tour operator. My staff are my extended family. I ensure they are supported financially by paying them a good wage. I am proud of my team without them I couldn’t give the best service and lifetime experiences to our clients.
In an effort to provide a more personalised service to our passengers, we, in SAM Travel Peru have a policy that our groups will not exceed 8 people. This sets us apart from other companies that operate departures with bigger groups.
Our itinerary is slightly different than the other trekking companies. Our camps are far away from others and we visit the 2 amazing glacial lakes when no one else is there. We hike up to Llactapata Inca ruins which is overlooking Machu Picchu and you can enjoy the guided tour into Machu Picchu in a small group group.
I am very proud of my guides! Highly professional, speaking fluent English, very knowledgeable, passionate for the Inca heritage/ history, dedicated to a steady personal development, learning to ensure that you receive accurate and recognised theories about the Inca Andean culture. Fun loving, great sportsmen and well educated crew as well as having a degree in Archaeology, Botany, History or Anthropology. Some of them are great entertainers and the best “Salsa Dancers” on this side of Machu Picchu.
Fabulous Cooks… The food on the trek has been highlighted by all our clients they say “that it was better than in the restaurant’s. “Delicious and abundant gourmet style meals, Peruvian and International Cuisine are prepared by our professional and dedicated cooks from a mixture of local and exotic produce. If you are vegetarian or have food allergies of any kind, we can cater our meal to adjust to your needs.
SAM Travel Peru honours any food restrictions and special diets such a vegetarian or Vegan!
Our team (Guides, Cooks, Porters, Cowboys) and our equipment are what really makes SAM Travel Peru stand out from all the competitors…. For all our adventures we hike we include the following items:
SAM Travel Peru has always believed that we should “give back” to the communities we pass through when on our treks. Therefore, as part of our commitment to responsible tourism, we always do many social projects and hire locally.
SAM Travel Peru is so proud to be able to support these beautiful people, not only employing them work but also to keep things at grassroots, to share in their homes and with their families. This makes us happy to have this holistic approach with our highland employees and their families!
A beautiful reflection of our attitude in everything we do, is making life richer and more meaningful for all involved.
“Please read carefully the following information; it will help with your questions about our services and the trek to Machu Picchu”
You will be greeted at Cusco airport and taken to your hotel, please ensure that you inform us of your full flight details at least 14 days prior to trek´s start. Look out for our representative holding an orange board of SAM Travel Peru at the arrival terminal.
It will take place the night before the trekking departure at 6pm at our office which is located at Calle Santa Teresa Nº383 ; 303 (second floor) we are next to SUBWAY restaurant.
Of course! During the Choquequirao Machu Pichu trek your main luggage can be stored at our office or at your hotel, both are for free.
Please be ready with the following information (FROM EACH PARTICIPANT in your group). We cannot purchase entrance tickets to Machu Picchu, train tickets without the following information:
SECOND, we require a deposit of US$200.00 per person in order to purchase a permit for the Choquequirao Machu Picchu Trek. You can make you deposit by clicking on the VISA or PAYPAL symbols on the top of our home page, or you can click on the VISA or PAYPAL symbols on our booking page or click here on the payment of your choice, either VISA or PAYPAL.
It would be greatly appreciated if you pay in cash at our office (US dollars or Peruvian soles) here in Cusco. We have many cash machines in the historical center to withdraw money. You can also pay by VISA or PAYPAL online but you will have to pay a 5.5% service charge, charged by VISA and PAYPAL. To pay your balance through PAYPAL, you need to log into your PAYPAL account using our email address of firstname.lastname@example.org.
Unfortunately the answer is generally “No”. Once the tickets have been bought the government does not allow any changes, so we can’t change any departure dates. Tickets are not transferable nor refundable. With alternative treks we may be able to change dates for a fee depending on what has been already purchased. Please contact the office as soon as possible if you need to change your date.
*** If you cancel your Choquequirao Machu Picchu Trek, the deposit is not refundable at all!
Yes for sure! You have to bring your original passport and it is very important that it is the same passport number you sent to us to book your Choquequirao Machu Picchu Trek, other entrances and reservations. The rangers will check your passport when you enter the Choquequirao Machu Picchu Trek, and Machu Picchu. The train company will also check your passport before allowing you to board the train. In case you are renewing your passport or changing your name, go ahead and send us your old passport information to secure your permit, and we can change it when you get your new passport number or updated your name for a fee of $25 per person. We must have a copy of your old and new passport to make the change. Before you change your passport keep a copy of your old one.
If you do not wish to pay this fee you will need to bring both passports to Peru with you. You can enter Peru with your new passport but you will need to show both passports, old and new to be to enter the Inca Trail, Machu Picchu or the train. If you do not have both you will not be allowed to enter, Machu Picchu or get on the train. They are very strict about this here!!
The weather is very unpredictable and it’s difficult to foresee. BUT you will have many different seasons as you pass through the numerous microclimates and will depend on the location. We highly recommend you bring some warm clothes and good rain gear in your day backpack. Please think layers when you are packing.
In general if you exercise regularly and spend 2 to 3 days in Cusco, or in the Sacred Valley for acclimatization to the altitude, you may be just fine.
The recommended medicine for altitude sickness is WATER, COCA TEA and OXYGEN IF NEEDED; our guides are trained to treat you for Altitude Sickness. For more detailed information on Altitude Sickness click this link: Altitude Sickness.
We offer the Cusco City Tour and Sacred Valley tours that you can book while you are acclimatizing. Check out our day tours on our Main Page.
The maximum group size is 8 persons. Usually our groups are between 2-6 persons. Sam Travel Peru specializes in SMALL, PRIVATE groups and provides a personalized service.
You will have 1 cook per group and maybe an assistant cook depending on group size.
The evening before you start your trek, you will be given a SMALL DUFFLE BAG to pack your clothes for the next four days. Your weight allowance is up to 7kg/14p. Your team of porters will carry your duffle bag for you, together with the food and camping gear. It’s important to be aware, that you will not have access to your items in the duffle bag until the end of each day, as the porters will always be ahead of the group. During the trek, you need a day backpack big enough to carry your personal belongings such as a warm jacket, a rain jacket, your camera, sunscreen, snacks, water, etc. Usually a 30 to 50 litre backpack is sufficient.
The Choquequirao Machu Picchu Trek trail is certainly not easy but you do not need to be an athlete or a trekking expert to complete it, but you do need to be an experienced trekker and in good physical condition. Fitness is naturally important for the trek, and obviously the more fit you are the more you will enjoy the trail and the more chance you will have to take in the scenery and appreciate the Inca ruins dotted along the way. If you do not exercise regularly, it is advisable to do extra walking, hiking or some kind of aerobic activity in the months leading up to your trip. This trek is from moderate to difficult level.
It has been highlighted by most of our clients, especially by the female ones who want a private, clean and sanitary toilet!! SAM Travel Peru toilet facilities have an individual tent and a “camping toilet with a seat.” Check out the picture, which illustrates how we set up our camping toilet on the trek by using this link: picture of toilet tent. Our toilet is always set up a comfortable distance from our campsite. At night if you need to use the toilet it is readily accessible and clean, unlike the dirty facilities supplied by the government.
In the scenario that you are unable to finish the trek due to a health issue, Sam Travel Peru will assist you to the nearest town for help with transportation. We always carry oxygen on the trek for any respiratory problems In extreme cases, a helicopter pick up can be arranged at your own expense. (Travel insurance required). There are no refunds in the unlikely situation that you are unable to finish the trek.
Generally those who have to be assisted off the trail are taken to Ollantaytambo and if they recover quickly, they then continue the journey to Aguas Calientes (cost incurred by trekker) and visit Machu Picchu according to original plan.
Absolutely!! Included in the package and on the last day we will drop you at your hotel! If you have booked your hotel in the Sacred Valley like Ollantaytambo or Urubamba, we will drop you there too! If you spend the night at Ollantaytambo before the trek, for sure we wil pick you up there !
It will depend on the train availability (high season it could book out) but the idea is to give you as much time as possible in Machu Picchu and enjoy the amazing views on the way back to Cusco from the train. Therefore you we usually book the train at 4:22pm. With this train schedule, you will have more than 9 hours to enjoy Machu Picchu
For sure you may upgrade to Vistadome train which has slightly nicer seats, panoramic windows and ceiling. You will be offered some snacks and a dance show will take place on board. The price is US$57 per person which includes the transfer from Poroy train station to your hotel in Cusco. It is 2 hours by train from Aguas Calientes to Ollantaytambo and then another 2 hours from Ollantaytambo to Cusco by bus. If you upgrade to Vistadome, all the way back to Poroy (Cusco), the trip lasts 3.5 hours, then 25mins by taxi to your hotel. Usually our clients are back at the hotel by 8pm. If you plan to take the bus to Puno on the same night, that is totally possible.
If you’re happy with the services provided, a tip – though not compulsory – is appropriate. While it may not be customary to you, it’s of great significance for the people who will take care of you during the trek. It inspires them to give excellent service and is an entrenched feature of the tourism industry across many SAM Travel Peru destinations. Of course you are free to tip more or less as you feel it, depending on your perception of the quality and the length of your trip. Remember, a tip is not compulsory and should only be given when you receive excellent service.
Yes, we are a local, sustainable & responsible tourism operator for that we incorporate the universal principles of tourism: protect the environment and benefit the local communities by respecting their culture and religion. With this in mind, we have trained all our local staff to know and understand, respect the places and the local people.
As a Professional Direct Local Tour operator we provide you with a duffle bag at your briefing and INCLUDE an extra porter who will carry up to 7 kgs or 14 pounds including your 2.5kg sleeping bag, mattress and extra clothing.
We highly recommend a small backpack 30 to 40Litres for hiking in the day. A big backpack will not be allowed into Machu Picchu. The remainder of your belongings will be in your duffel bag at camp.