The name Choquequirao means “Cradle of Gold.” Located above the raging, glacier-fed Apurimac River, surrounded by towering snow-capped peaks and seated on a high ridge, Choquequirao is a remote and rarely visited ¨lost city of the Incas¨. The Inca archaeological 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 was eventually abandoned and became covered by dense cloud forest vegetation and to this day archeologists continue to discover new sectors of the city.
On this adventurous 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 see native animals such as Andean Condors, birds, native flora and fauna, orchids and so much more.
We are specialists in this amazing route and offer the most frequent departures with experienced and professional guides. We are the only company who takes you to the hot springs of CONOC after the Choquequirao Trek, and explores the unique Inca ruins of Saywite.
Click on the link below to explore our blog with lots of pictures and experience the trek for yourself: Choquequirao Trail 5 days !!
At 5:30am, we pick you up at your hotel and then drive you for 4 hours in our private van to Capuliyoc (3100mt/10,170ft). Along the way there are spectacular views of villages, valleys, and snow-capped mountains. Once there we meet our horsemen and pack all of our equipment onto the horses. From here, we can enjoy the spectacular view of Choquequirao Inca ruins, the Apurimac canyon and the stunning snow-capped mountains like Padreyoc (5,571m/18,387ft). Then we hike down for 3 hours to Chikisca for lunch. After lunch we continue on for 2 more hours downhill 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 enjoying the view of Choquequirao Inca ruins. After lunch we walk to our second evening’s campsite, just 20 minutes from the ruins. Being so close to the ruins, we can enjoy our view of the ruins into the late evening and watch for condors flying about.
After breakfast, we will visit the magnificent archeological site of Choquequirao for the entire day. Enjoy the private guided tour and explore all of the beautiful sections of the temples, terraces, palaces, the llamas’ section, and much more. We will return to our same campsite for tea and spend the night.
Choquekirao means “Cradle of Gold” in Quechua Inca’s language although this is probably not its original name. It is another “Lost City of the Incas” rediscovered officially late in the 20th century. It is located high on a ridge spur almost 1750 metres above the raging glacier-fed Apurimac River and is surrounded by the towering Salkantay and Humantay snow-capped peaks. Excavations and restoration of the 1810 hectares site began in the 1990s, and it is estimated that only 30% of the site has been restored to date. Every day archeologists are finding new things.
Today is one of the easier days of our trek. We will walk downhill for two hours to the magnificent Apurimac River (1,450m/4,787ft). We then cross the bridge to walk uphill for one hour to San Ignacio for lunch where we can enjoy the beautiful scenery and a great waterfall! After lunch we walk a moderate uphill trek through a beautiful valley towards Villa de Loros (2,600m/8,580ft) where we set up camp for the last evening.
Today is the relaxing and cultural day of our trek. After enjoying a delicious breakfast we take our private transport to the archeological site of Saywite, where we can explore and see an Inca monolith, several water fountains, and ritual platforms. After spending time enjoying the site we drive to the hot spring of Conoc to relax after several days of walking. After lunch we head back to Cusco dropping you at your hotel.
The Choquequirao Trek 5 days it’s available on any date that it’s best for you as long as we have a minimum of 2 hikers.
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.
Hiking the Choquequirao Trek with SAM Travel Peru is a life changing experience with a fully portered trek where your comfort and enjoyment are our first priority. We make sure that you get the best experience for your holiday in Peru while you interact with the locals, explore fantastic sites and re-discover remote ancient Inca towns and buildings. Having the opportunity to learn some words in Quechua and about the fascinating Inka history. Immerse yourself in the stunning landscape and simply feel the magic of Mother Nature (Pachamama) and the Andes. We carry your gear, prepare your meals, set up your tents avoid crowded campsites and take care of you while you sit back and relax.
We provide the following items to our porters and cooks for free: Jacket, sun hat, warm hat, t-shirt, pants, hiking boots, comfortable duffle bags, canteen and girdle for protecting their spine, sleeping bags, mattress´s and insurance.
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 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 Trek to Machu Picchu. 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 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 Trek to Machu Picchu, other entrances and reservations. The rangers will check your passport when you enter the Inca Trail, 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.
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. The number of porters depends of the size of the group. For a group of 2 trekkers, they will have 4 porters, 4 trekkers will have 6 porters, 6 trekkers will have 9 porters, 8 trekkers will have 12 porters.
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 Choquequirao 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 Trek is certainly not easy but you do not need to be an athlete or a trekking expert to complete it. 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. The Choquequirao 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.
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
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.