Short Inca Trail
Depending on where you have spent the night, the second day continues your adventure to Choquequirao.
The distance from Capuliyoc to Choquequirao is 22 km, and the walking time varies between 10 to 12 hours.
To get to Choquequirao through Huanipaca, follow the exact directions as the route through Cachora and head towards Curahuasi or Ramal de Cachora. From there take an express to Tambobamba (punta carretera). There is no cab service from the Huanipaca branch, so you will have to get off at the Cachora branch and take an express cab to Huanipaca, Tambobamba, or Punta-Carretera.
From Tambobamba, descend to San Ignacio beach (on the banks of the Apurimac River) and begin the ascent to Choquequirao through the winding road that winds through the steep slopes of the rugged mountain.
It is the longest route and is only traveled by lovers of long walks. The travel time for this route varies between 8 to 9 days. It can be traversed in both directions: entering from Santa Teresa and leaving for Cachora or the other way around.
If you want to get to Choquequirao by this route, it is best to hire the services of your trusted travel agency. Since the distance you will walk (more than 70 km) will be much greater than the previous routes. In addition, the road passes through dangerous and little-traveled places. Therefore, you will need a guide and muleteers to accompany you during your trip.
Travelers who go through this route mainly visit the Historic Sanctuary of Machu Picchu and the Choquequirao Archaeological Complex. Passengers who have completed this trip say it is the best experience. The most popular route is entering through Cachora and ending the journey in one of the wonders of the modern world, Machu Picchu.
This route is of recent creation and is little frequented. It offers the best views of the Apurimac Canyon. But, it is the least recommended because there are no services on the route, and the road is very precarious.
To get to Choquequirao through Mollepata, you go by private car to the town of San Francisco (road end). And from there, you begin to walk along a narrow path between the slopes of the Padreyoc mountain, joining Marampata to the way of the Cachora – Choquequirao route.
Through Mollepata, the distance to Choquequirao is 32 km. And the travel time varies between 13 to 14 hours one way and an equal amount of time to return.
Currently, the cable car to Choquequirao is only a project in the study phase. But, once it is built. The cable car will connect the Kiuñalla viewpoint (Huanipaca district) with the Choquequirao archeological site.
This new access road will cross 1,400 meters above the Apurimac River. This access will reduce the distance of the road to Choquequirao to only 5.1 kilometers, and the travel time will be only about 15 minutes. It is one of the most ambitious projects for the archaeological center to boost tourism in the southern region of Peru.
The trek to Choquequirao has a MEDIUM-HIGH difficulty. It is much more demanding than other trekking routes in Cusco, such as the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu or Salkantay. Therefore, before traveling, you should consider many aspects: time, distance, physical condition, and other factors.
The hike’s difficulty lies mainly in the rugged geography through which the winding road runs, from 3000 meters above sea level descends to 1500 meters above sea level and rises above 3000 meters above sea level. And to this is the remoteness, since the trail passes through remote places where no human presence exists.