This trek between Choquequirao and Machu Picchu combines beautifully diverse trekking and visits two of the most intriguing Incan ruins. The aim of this trail is to get you away from the crowds, so you can experience the Inca city the way it was meant to be.
We fly to Lima and have time for a morning walking tour before returning to the airport for our flight to Cuzco. At 3400m Cuzco can take a little time to acclimatise to. On arrival, plan on sitting in the hotel sipping coca tea rather than running marathons. Our day to acclimatise will be spent looking around this fascinating city and perhaps some gentle walking in the surrounding countryside.
To start the trek, we drive out to Capuliyoc (2910m) to meet our trekking crew and the mules that will carry everything. Over the next two days, we trek through the Apurimac River valley and on to Choquequirao, where we camp the second night. We should arrive in time to have a brief tour of the site in the afternoon and complete our tour the next morning. We will continue up out of the valley to the Choquequirao Pass (3340m) for spectacular views and a picnic lunch.
For the rest of the trek, we head through remote country passing villages where life is lived in a simple fashion, crossing the San Juan Pass (4150m) and the Totora Pass. At 4665m this is the highest point we reach on the trek. Finally, we reach Aguas Calientes, the village below Machu Picchu. The next morning, first thing, we have a guided tour of Machu Picchu. It entirely justifies its world-renowned status as a tourist attraction, and no one could fail to notice the greater popularity of the site. The contrast between Choquequirao and Machu Picchu could hardly be more pronounced.
We take the train back to Cuzco for our final night before flying back home via Lima.