Choquequirao: as impressive as Machu Picchu Peru

CHOQUEQUIRAO is as incredible a place as Machu Picchu; Less known, more unexplored. Virgin and free of the excellent tourist visit. A Machu Picchu to arrive as a backpacker, with long independent walks and camped on the route. Choquequirao is also known as the sacred sister of Machu Picchu. It is, therefore, a large archaeological complex with buildings and terraces, a testimony of the Incas conquering the heights of the mountains.

In this guide, you will learn how to get to this sanctuary on your own. Take advantage of mochileros.org resources to discover one of the most impressive ruins in Latin America.
Before you should know a few things:

Why is it so unbelievable that so few people are or little do know about it?

Unlike Machu Picchu, where you can reach by train and climb on buses, Choquequirao is a destination acquired through intense sacrifice and effort. They are strenuous walks that involve descents and slopes with little oxygen. The way to get there is a lot of walking and camping. Possibly your water supply is not enough, pass cold in the heights or else you burn walking under the intense Andean sun. What can make the complete trip between 4 and 5 days unless you visit nearby villages or do it quickly.

How much do you walk to Choquequirao?

From the village of Cachora to Choquequirao, we walk about 31 kilometers without including the route through the ruins. The return would be the same distance (62 km in total). A large part of the route involves the descent of a large mountain while the other half is climbing.

How high is Choquequirao?

The Citadel is at 3,035 m.s.n.m, and at the lowest point of the walk, you will be at 1,461 m.s.n.m. The climate is similar to Cusco’s, adjusting to the heights before the trek.

The Road to Choquequirao:

The road to Choquequirao does the makeup of two distinct mountains. The initial stretch goes up to the viewpoint of Capuliyoc; then, the whole route is a great descent, sometimes dodging, and then connect with a remarkable ascent of 1500 meters of unevenness.

The road, as stated above, is hard, and luckily everyone can travel at his pace. There are several camps, so it is unnecessary to say where to stop or walk by day. Approximately estimated that every 3 hours, there is some camp.

The most popular stopping points on the Apurimac side are

  • Mirador Capuliyoc (2900 masl and 7 km from Cachora)
  • Chiquisqa (14km from Cachora)
  • Playa Rosalina (1500msnm and 18km from Cachora)

And from the other side (Cusco)

  • Saint Rose
  • Marampata
  • Choquequirao

On the way, several camps run by people from the villages have begun to cater to visitors. If you do not bring a tent, you rent it, and it is possible to find campsites every three hours of hiking. There they have bathrooms and common areas for cooking.

Again, it is a hard road of significant ascents and great descents. A reasonable average to arrive is four nights / 5 days. In ideal conditions, of optimum physical condition and experience, it would be possible to do it in 3 days / 4noches more or less like this:

  • Day 1 Cachora -Playa Rosalina (18Km)
  • Day 2 Playa Rosalina-Choquequirao (13Km)
  • Day 3 Return: Choquequirao -Chiquisqa (18km)
  • Day 4 Chiquisca -Cachora (14Km)

Trekking details to Choquequirao:

  • Cumulative uphill gradient: 5,020 m
  • The incremental slope of the descent: 5,020 m
  • Maximum Altitude: 3,137 m
  • Minimum Altitude: 1,461 m

What to bring to Choquequirao?

The blocker is imperative and repellent and would not come to any more glasses and something to cover the head and your camping equipment (lantern, tent, cooking utensils, medicines and cleansing tablets, rain poncho, ventilated clothes, and coat).

Trekking poles:

It does highly recommended for steep descents and climbs. They will also help you to take long walks and get tired less.

Suitable footwear for the walk.

Essential to wear good boots and socks. If you are interested in learning more about footwear for backpackers, look at this video and read this article on choosing suitable footwear.

Considerations for this trekking:

  • Altitude Sickness: Altitude Sickness or soroche is how some people are affected by the lack of oxygen. There are pills for the “soroche,” highly popular in all Andean pharmacies where there are travelers. Other recommendations are simple sugars (like candies) and mate of coca. It does always recommended to have the previous acclimatization of a couple of days when they do activities on the heights.
  • Food: Kondor Path Tours has the best adventure chefs for this hiking trail; food is prepared based on organic products; everyday lunches and dinners are different, and do not repeat any dish. Hiking in a remote and non-touristy place is excellent and even better, accompanied by the best foods on your excellent hiking performance.
  • Water: Important to carry a water supply for hikes. You can also choose to boil or take cleansing pills. Learn here: How to purify water.
  • Avoid climbing with the sun, especially near noon, as many find the most significant difficulty of the walk.
  • Preferably do not do this walk-in during times of rain (between January and March) or extreme heat (July and August). The rains can cause landslides on the road to make it inaccessible, and the heat can add more complications to your exhaustion.
  • Optionally, some villagers rent mules available to visitors to carry heavy luggage, tents, etc. Especially for groups.
  • The road is signposted and can imply done independently. However, it never hurts to do this route with a hiking company for safety. It is a remote destination. If you travel with travel insurance, it verifies that it offers evacuation of areas like this.
  • Try to avoid carrying with you all unnecessary weight. Minimize to the extreme and look for the essentials to achieve it.

Alternative to the future:

If this road seems very hard, the other alternative is to travel to the future where a cable car of 5.4 kilometers from Huañipaca to Choquequirao. It plans to cross over the Apurimac River, making the whole journey in just 15 minutes. The cable car will come specifically from the town of Kiuñalla, carrying 50 passengers per cabin or 400 per hour.

Thanks for reading this article. Please, if you like to use the social links at the end to share it. Have a great trip!

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