New! Trek to the Lost City of Choquequirao | Mountain Travel Sobek

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New! Trek to the Lost City of Choquequirao

Trip Length 8 days

From $2,995

  • Explore the timeless city of Cusco—a UNESCO World Heritage Site—and its spectacular Inca ruins
  • Set out on the Choquequirao trek to the “cradle of gold,” the last refuge of the Incas perched high above Apurimac River
  • Experience a half-day hike on the classic Inca Trail to Machu Picchu and spend a full day exploring this iconic Inca site

This ultimate Sacred Valley adventure combines an iconic Andean trail with its lesser-known counterpart, together making up an unforgettable Peru journey. Experience the Inca Trail to the legendary lost citadel and ethereal cloud forest of Machu Picchu and the trek to the Inca ruins of Choquequirao, known as “the cradle of gold.” Your action-packed journey is book-ended by a stay in Cusco, exploring the incredible Incan ruins in and around this World Heritage Site. Set out on your four-day trek to Choquequirao, a thrilling mountain escapade to this remote, lesser-known “lost city” perched high above the roaring Apurimac River. As the icing on the cake, the Inca Trail “teaser,” a short version of the epic pilgrimage, includes an entire day to roam South America's most awe-inspiring archaeological site, the mysterious stone citadel of Machu Picchu.

Day 1: Arrive in Cusco

This Peru adventure begins in Cusco, the ancient capital of the Inca Empire! We'll be met at the airport and transferred to the luxurious JW Marriott El Convento Cusco hotel, located only a few blocks from the city’s main square. In the afternoon, we head out for a walking introduction to the illustrious history of the Inca civilization and its former capital. Today the blend of Inca and Spanish cultures is still witnessed in its ornate cathedrals, adobe walls, carved balconies, hidden courtyards, and cobblestone streets, all of which add to the historic richness and memorable experience of the ancient city.

We begin at Coricancha, the most important temple (to the sun god, Inti) in the Inca Empire. Once the Spanish conquered Peru, the Dominican Order built a church over the Coricancha ruins—the Church of Santo Domingo still stands today. Next we visit Plaza de Armas, Cusco’s main colonial square, and its cathedral, built in 1560. Form here we tour the Sachsayhuamán complex, a masterpiece of Inca architecture where huge, mortarless stone blocks are placed mind-bogglingly perfectly.

Finally, we enjoy delicious snacks and sparkling wine in an exclusive viewpoint with an incomparable view of the Imperial City.

  • Accommodation:JW Marriott El Convento Cusco

Day 2: Choquequirao Trek: Cachora to Rosalina Beach

Today we begin our trek along this spectacular route through the Sacred Valley that eventually reaches Choquequirao, the last refuge of the Incas also known as the “cradle of gold.” Early in the morning, we travel to the community of Cachora, where we begin our hike towards the first stop in Capulilloq. From here we get our first glimpse of Choquequirao in the distance. Along the way we take in dazzling mountain scenery, steep cliffs, snowcapped peaks and the coil of the Apurimac River. We then begin our descent in zigzag fashion, until we reach the second stop in Cocamasama. We continue down to our first campsite at Rosalina Beach at Puente Pasarela (Gateway Bridge).

(Hiking time: 6 hours; Hiking distance: 12 miles; Max/Min Altitude 9514/6102 feet)

  • Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
  • Accommodation:MTS Camp - Choquequirao

Day 3: Choquequirao Trek: Rosalina Beach to Choquequirao

Today we begin our guided hike very early in the morning, to avoid the heat of the sun on the way up. Our first point is the small town of Santa Rosa, from where we continue on to Marampata. With a little luck, we may spot the spectacled bear and the white-collar Andean condor. From here we’ll see a series of huge platforms, most likely once used for agricultural purposes. After another 2 hours of walking, we reach the main archeological complex of Choquequirao. Sitting in the saddle of a high Andean ridge at 10,178 feet above sea level, Choquequirao was a major cultural and religious center for the Incas. It is believed that the citadel was used as a checkpoint to ensure access to areas within Vilcabamba, the forest connecting with other major centers such as Pisac and Machu Picchu. Sometimes called Peru’s “lesser-known lost city,” Choquequirao dazzles with its remarkably remote and scenic position perched on a ledge high above the roaring Apurimac River. You’ll have some time to walk around the ruins and explore on your own. This evening we camp at a nearby archaeological complex.

(Hiking time: 8 hours; Hiking distance: 8½ miles; Max/Min Altitude 10,170/5,249 feet)

  • Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
  • Accommodation:MTS Camp - Choquequirao

Day 4: Choquequirao Trek: Choquequirao to Rosalina Beach

In the morning, enjoy some time to explore the Choquequirao complex on your own. Much larger than Machu Picchu, the site exudes a poignant beauty and stellar views of dramatic surroundings. Once we’ve soaked it all up, we begin our descent back to Rosalina Beach, to the campsite where we spend the night.

(Hiking time: 9 hours; Hiking distance:12½ miles; Max/Min Altitude 10,170/5,249 feet)

  • Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
  • Accommodation:MTS Camp - Choquequirao

Day 5: Rosalina Beach to Cachora and Cusco

This morning we leave the camp early to begin our 6- to 7-hour trek back down to Cachora. In Cachora, we find our transport back to the city of Cusco.

(Hiking time: 8 hours; Hiking distance: 12 miles total; Max/Min Altitude 9,514/6,102 feet)

  • Breakfast/Lunch
  • Accommodation:JW Marriott El Convento Cusco

Day 6: Legendary Inca Trail to Machu Picchu

Early in the morning, we embark on the classic Vistadome train up the narrowing gorge of the Urubamba River to Chachabamba, a small Inca site belonging to the archaeological complex of the Machu Picchu Historical Sanctuary; it is believed to be dedicated to water. Here we begin a half-day hike on the Inca Trail to the lost citadel of Machu Picchu. The initial ascent lasts about 2 hours; as we approach the Machu Picchu Sanctuary, the valley turns into a canyon and the vegetation changes to that of a cloud forest. After lunch, we continue steadily uphill to the jungle-bound ruins of Wiñay Wayna, Quechua for “forever young,” discovered in 1941.

From here the Inca Trail cuts across the ridge above Machu Picchu to reach the original entrance to Machu Picchu: Intipunku (8,954’), or Gate of the Sun. We pause here to absorb the truly awesome view, then take the bus into Aguas Calientes, where you can relax at your hotel for the rest of the afternoon and evening or soak in the medicinal thermal waters.

  • Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
  • Accommodation:Inkaterra Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel

Day 7: Explore Magical Machu Picchu

After breakfast, we board a bus and head to the awe-inspiring ruins of Machu Picchu. Our expert guide gives us a highly informative tour of the site’s main structures, and we learn about their importance in the lives of the Incas. We also have the opportunity to ascend Machu Picchu’s Old Mountain. It’s a challenging climb rewarded with breathtaking views of the citadel, Huayna Picchu (the towering mountain behind the actual site), and the surrounding mountains.

We'll have some free time to roam around the lost city by yourself. After a buffet lunch at the Belmond Sanctuary Lodge restaurant, with a great view of the Machu Picchu citadel, we’ll return by bus to Aguas Calientes, where we catch the Vistadome train back down to Cusco (about a 4-hour ride) and transfer to the hotel. This evening there is time to explore Cusco and its delightful restaurants on your own.

  • Breakfast/Lunch
  • Accommodation:JW Marriott El Convento Cusco

Day 8: Bid Farewell to Cusco

After breakfast at the hotel, catch your transfer to the airport and board your departing flight.

  • Breakfast

Aug 05 - 12, 2018

Oct 07 - 14, 2018

pricing

Land Cost $2,995 (4 - 14 members)

Single Supplement $895

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Inkaterra Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel — Aguas Calientes

A village in its own right, Inkaterra Machu Picchu comprises 83 whitewashed casitas dotted across 12 exquisite acres of private cloud forest. Its terraced hills, stone pathways, waterfalls, and lush gardens—home to 372 orchid species and hundreds of exotic birds, among other beautiful flora and fauna—offer guests calming exploration and secluded relaxation. Inside, the individual casitas are rustically elegant sanctuaries for rest, with inviting beds, a dining area for two, and Andean slippers crafted from recycled materials. For still further nurturing, Unu Spa blends classic and mystical Andean approaches to healing. And diners in the first-class restaurant can indulge in Peruvian cuisine with a modern twist while admiring views over the Vilcanota River. Just steps from the Agua Calientes train station, Inkaterra Machu Picchu Pueblo is a luxurious stopover en route from Cusco or Urubamba to the legendary Inca Trail and mystical citadel of Machu Picchu.

JW Marriott El Convento Cusco — Cusco

Located in the elaborately restored 16th-century Saint Augustin Convent, the Marriott El Convento is a truly magnificent hotel. In fact in 2015 it was named a top 10 hotel in South America by the Condé Nast Traveler Readers’ Choice Awards. Every part of the property, from the courtyard and patio to the indoor pool and stone lobby, drips with antique elegance and Spanish details. Its historic grandeur blends beautifully with contemporary comfort, thanks to the stately rooms, deluxe bedding, and marble bathrooms. Amenities include a spa with ancient Andean-inspired healing treatments, and the two on-site restaurants are some of the best in Cusco. Given the hotel’s lofty location, oxygen-enriched rooms are available for guests experiencing—or seeking to stave off—altitude sickness. Speaking of location, El Convento is close to Cusco’s Plaza de Armas, cathedral, and other sights, and just a few hours from Machu Picchu.

MTS Camp - Choquequirao

  • Explore the timeless city of Cusco—a UNESCO World Heritage Site—and its spectacular Inca ruins
  • Set out on the Choquequirao trek to the “cradle of gold,” the last refuge of the Incas perched high above Apurimac River
  • Experience a half-day hike on the classic Inca Trail to Machu Picchu and spend a full day exploring this iconic Inca site

This ultimate Sacred Valley adventure combines an iconic Andean trail with its lesser-known counterpart, together making up an unforgettable Peru journey. Experience the Inca Trail to the legendary lost citadel and ethereal cloud forest of Machu Picchu and the trek to the Inca ruins of Choquequirao, known as “the cradle of gold.” Your action-packed journey is book-ended by a stay in Cusco, exploring the incredible Incan ruins in and around this World Heritage Site. Set out on your four-day trek to Choquequirao, a thrilling mountain escapade to this remote, lesser-known “lost city” perched high above the roaring Apurimac River. As the icing on the cake, the Inca Trail “teaser,” a short version of the epic pilgrimage, includes an entire day to roam South America's most awe-inspiring archaeological site, the mysterious stone citadel of Machu Picchu.

DAILY itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Cusco

This Peru adventure begins in Cusco, the ancient capital of the Inca Empire! We'll be met at the airport and transferred to the luxurious JW Marriott El Convento Cusco hotel, located only a few blocks from the city’s main square. In the afternoon, we head out for a walking introduction to the illustrious history of the Inca civilization and its former capital. Today the blend of Inca and Spanish cultures is still witnessed in its ornate cathedrals, adobe walls, carved balconies, hidden courtyards, and cobblestone streets, all of which add to the historic richness and memorable experience of the ancient city.

We begin at Coricancha, the most important temple (to the sun god, Inti) in the Inca Empire. Once the Spanish conquered Peru, the Dominican Order built a church over the Coricancha ruins—the Church of Santo Domingo still stands today. Next we visit Plaza de Armas, Cusco’s main colonial square, and its cathedral, built in 1560. Form here we tour the Sachsayhuamán complex, a masterpiece of Inca architecture where huge, mortarless stone blocks are placed mind-bogglingly perfectly.

Finally, we enjoy delicious snacks and sparkling wine in an exclusive viewpoint with an incomparable view of the Imperial City.

  • Accommodation:JW Marriott El Convento Cusco

Day 2: Choquequirao Trek: Cachora to Rosalina Beach

Today we begin our trek along this spectacular route through the Sacred Valley that eventually reaches Choquequirao, the last refuge of the Incas also known as the “cradle of gold.” Early in the morning, we travel to the community of Cachora, where we begin our hike towards the first stop in Capulilloq. From here we get our first glimpse of Choquequirao in the distance. Along the way we take in dazzling mountain scenery, steep cliffs, snowcapped peaks and the coil of the Apurimac River. We then begin our descent in zigzag fashion, until we reach the second stop in Cocamasama. We continue down to our first campsite at Rosalina Beach at Puente Pasarela (Gateway Bridge).

(Hiking time: 6 hours; Hiking distance: 12 miles; Max/Min Altitude 9514/6102 feet)

  • Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
  • Accommodation:MTS Camp - Choquequirao

Day 3: Choquequirao Trek: Rosalina Beach to Choquequirao

Today we begin our guided hike very early in the morning, to avoid the heat of the sun on the way up. Our first point is the small town of Santa Rosa, from where we continue on to Marampata. With a little luck, we may spot the spectacled bear and the white-collar Andean condor. From here we’ll see a series of huge platforms, most likely once used for agricultural purposes. After another 2 hours of walking, we reach the main archeological complex of Choquequirao. Sitting in the saddle of a high Andean ridge at 10,178 feet above sea level, Choquequirao was a major cultural and religious center for the Incas. It is believed that the citadel was used as a checkpoint to ensure access to areas within Vilcabamba, the forest connecting with other major centers such as Pisac and Machu Picchu. Sometimes called Peru’s “lesser-known lost city,” Choquequirao dazzles with its remarkably remote and scenic position perched on a ledge high above the roaring Apurimac River. You’ll have some time to walk around the ruins and explore on your own. This evening we camp at a nearby archaeological complex.

(Hiking time: 8 hours; Hiking distance: 8½ miles; Max/Min Altitude 10,170/5,249 feet)

  • Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
  • Accommodation:MTS Camp - Choquequirao

Day 4: Choquequirao Trek: Choquequirao to Rosalina Beach

In the morning, enjoy some time to explore the Choquequirao complex on your own. Much larger than Machu Picchu, the site exudes a poignant beauty and stellar views of dramatic surroundings. Once we’ve soaked it all up, we begin our descent back to Rosalina Beach, to the campsite where we spend the night.

(Hiking time: 9 hours; Hiking distance:12½ miles; Max/Min Altitude 10,170/5,249 feet)

  • Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
  • Accommodation:MTS Camp - Choquequirao

Day 5: Rosalina Beach to Cachora and Cusco

This morning we leave the camp early to begin our 6- to 7-hour trek back down to Cachora. In Cachora, we find our transport back to the city of Cusco.

(Hiking time: 8 hours; Hiking distance: 12 miles total; Max/Min Altitude 9,514/6,102 feet)

  • Breakfast/Lunch
  • Accommodation:JW Marriott El Convento Cusco

Day 6: Legendary Inca Trail to Machu Picchu

Early in the morning, we embark on the classic Vistadome train up the narrowing gorge of the Urubamba River to Chachabamba, a small Inca site belonging to the archaeological complex of the Machu Picchu Historical Sanctuary; it is believed to be dedicated to water. Here we begin a half-day hike on the Inca Trail to the lost citadel of Machu Picchu. The initial ascent lasts about 2 hours; as we approach the Machu Picchu Sanctuary, the valley turns into a canyon and the vegetation changes to that of a cloud forest. After lunch, we continue steadily uphill to the jungle-bound ruins of Wiñay Wayna, Quechua for “forever young,” discovered in 1941.

From here the Inca Trail cuts across the ridge above Machu Picchu to reach the original entrance to Machu Picchu: Intipunku (8,954’), or Gate of the Sun. We pause here to absorb the truly awesome view, then take the bus into Aguas Calientes, where you can relax at your hotel for the rest of the afternoon and evening or soak in the medicinal thermal waters.

  • Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
  • Accommodation:Inkaterra Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel

Day 7: Explore Magical Machu Picchu

After breakfast, we board a bus and head to the awe-inspiring ruins of Machu Picchu. Our expert guide gives us a highly informative tour of the site’s main structures, and we learn about their importance in the lives of the Incas. We also have the opportunity to ascend Machu Picchu’s Old Mountain. It’s a challenging climb rewarded with breathtaking views of the citadel, Huayna Picchu (the towering mountain behind the actual site), and the surrounding mountains.

We'll have some free time to roam around the lost city by yourself. After a buffet lunch at the Belmond Sanctuary Lodge restaurant, with a great view of the Machu Picchu citadel, we’ll return by bus to Aguas Calientes, where we catch the Vistadome train back down to Cusco (about a 4-hour ride) and transfer to the hotel. This evening there is time to explore Cusco and its delightful restaurants on your own.

  • Breakfast/Lunch
  • Accommodation:JW Marriott El Convento Cusco

Day 8: Bid Farewell to Cusco

After breakfast at the hotel, catch your transfer to the airport and board your departing flight.

  • Breakfast
lodgings

Inkaterra Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel — Aguas Calientes

A village in its own right, Inkaterra Machu Picchu comprises 83 whitewashed casitas dotted across 12 exquisite acres of private cloud forest. Its terraced hills, stone pathways, waterfalls, and lush gardens—home to 372 orchid species and hundreds of exotic birds, among other beautiful flora and fauna—offer guests calming exploration and secluded relaxation. Inside, the individual casitas are rustically elegant sanctuaries for rest, with inviting beds, a dining area for two, and Andean slippers crafted from recycled materials. For still further nurturing, Unu Spa blends classic and mystical Andean approaches to healing. And diners in the first-class restaurant can indulge in Peruvian cuisine with a modern twist while admiring views over the Vilcanota River. Just steps from the Agua Calientes train station, Inkaterra Machu Picchu Pueblo is a luxurious stopover en route from Cusco or Urubamba to the legendary Inca Trail and mystical citadel of Machu Picchu.

JW Marriott El Convento Cusco — Cusco

Located in the elaborately restored 16th-century Saint Augustin Convent, the Marriott El Convento is a truly magnificent hotel. In fact in 2015 it was named a top 10 hotel in South America by the Condé Nast Traveler Readers’ Choice Awards. Every part of the property, from the courtyard and patio to the indoor pool and stone lobby, drips with antique elegance and Spanish details. Its historic grandeur blends beautifully with contemporary comfort, thanks to the stately rooms, deluxe bedding, and marble bathrooms. Amenities include a spa with ancient Andean-inspired healing treatments, and the two on-site restaurants are some of the best in Cusco. Given the hotel’s lofty location, oxygen-enriched rooms are available for guests experiencing—or seeking to stave off—altitude sickness. Speaking of location, El Convento is close to Cusco’s Plaza de Armas, cathedral, and other sights, and just a few hours from Machu Picchu.

MTS Camp - Choquequirao

Dates and Pricing

Aug 05 - 12, 2018

Oct 07 - 14, 2018

pricing

Land Cost $2,995 (4 - 14 members)

Single Supplement $895

Activity Level Strenuous
Trip Length 8 days

From $2,995

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