Embark on the Choquequirao Trek to Machu Picchu, a challenging yet incredibly rewarding 6-day, 5-night adventure through the remote Peruvian Andes. This journey takes you to explore the ancient Inca site of Choquequirao, often heralded as the Twin Sister of Machu Picchu and a Cradle of Gold, before culminating at the spectacular Inca site of Machu Picchu. Perfect for those who cherish solitude, this trek offers a unique opportunity to discover two of the Lost Cities of the Incas, away from the more crowded paths.

This trek is perfect if you enjoy quiet places and want to see some hidden gems of history without the crowds. It’s a great way to see some amazing places, learn about the past, and enjoy the beauty of nature. Join us to create memories that will last a lifetime with Ultimate Trekking!

Trek details

6 days 5 nights
Hiking - Adventure - Camping
Maximum Altitude
3049 m - 10000 ft
Choquequirao - Machu Picchu
Group Size
6 to 10

Join us on a special 6-day adventure From Choquequirao to Machu Picchu, beginning at the lesser-known yet equally stunning Choquequirao. Often called the twin sister of Machu Picchu, Choquequirao offers a peaceful journey far from the usual tourist paths. This trek offers a genuine camping experience, where you can sleep under the stars and enjoy the quiet of the Andes mountains.

Each day, you'll hike through beautiful landscapes, seeing places few tourists find. Wake up early on the final day to see the sunrise over Machu Picchu, arriving before the usual crowds for a peaceful experience. The journey concludes with a relaxing panoramic Vistadome train ride back to Ollantaytambo. This train ride offers beautiful views through wide windows, allowing you to see the mountains and valleys in full splendor.

This trek is perfect for those who love nature, enjoy hiking, and are excited to discover hidden historical sites. It's an opportunity to create lasting memories, learn about ancient cultures, and experience the raw beauty of Peru in a unique way. Join us to step off the beaten path and see the wonders of the Inca world.


  • Get off the beaten path to discover Choquequirao
  • Learn history from the last days of the Inca Empire
  • Hike into one of the deepest canyons of Peru.
  • Finish the tour with an early tour in Machu Picchu.

Choquequirao trek to Machu Picchu at a Glance

Day 1: Cusco to Capuliyoc to Chiquisca

  • Hiking Distance and Time: 12 km (7.4 mi); 6 hours
  • Campsite Altitude: 1950 m (6398 ft)
  • Meals Included: Breakfast, snacks, lunch, tea time, dinner
  • Experiences: Stunning views of the Andes, local farming village, camp in Apurimac Valley
  • Difficulty: Moderate to Challenging

Day 2: Chiquisca to Marampata

  • Hiking Distance and Time: 15 km (9.3 mi); approximately 6-6.5 hours total
  • Campsite Altitude: 2940 m (9646 ft)
  • Meals Included: Breakfast, snacks, lunch, tea time, dinner
  • Experiences: Crossing the Apurimac River via a suspension bridge, Santa Rosa village, panoramic Andean views, possible condor sightings, stargazing at Marampata
  • Difficulty: Challenging

Day 3: Marampata - Choquequirao - Marampata

  • Hiking Distance and Time: 7 km (4 mi); 8 hours
  • Campsite Altitude: 2940 m (9646 ft)
  • Meals Included: Breakfast, snacks, lunch, tea time, dinner
  • Experiences: Guided tour of Choquequirao Inca Citadel, exploring ancient terraces, plazas, and ceremonial centers, viewing the Llamas Wall, free time for photography and reflection
  • Difficulty: Moderate 

Day 2: Marampata - Cocamasana

  • Hiking Distance and Time: 16 km (10 mi); 8 hours
  • Campsite Altitude: 2330 m (7545 ft)
  • Meals Included: Breakfast, snacks, lunch, tea time, dinner
  • Experiences: Descending through cloud forests, crossing the Apurimac River, and hiking to Coca-Masana
  • Difficulty: Moderate to Challenging

Day 2: Cocamasana - Aguas Calientes

  • Hiking Distance and Time: 8 km (5 mi); 4 hours
  • Campsite Altitude: Aguas Calientes at 2040 m (6690 ft)
  • Meals Included: Breakfast, snacks, lunch, dinner
  • Experiences: Farewells to the trekking team at Capuliyoc, scenic drive to Ollantaytambo, exploration and dinner in Ollantaytambo, train ride to Aguas Calientes
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Transport: Expedition Train to Aguas Calientes

Day 2: Discover Machu Picchu - Return to Cusco

  • Guided Tour Duration: 2-3 hours at Machu Picchu
  • Experiences: Early morning bus to Machu Picchu, guided tour of the site, free time for exploration and optional additional hikes (tickets not included), lunch in Aguas Calientes, panoramic train ride back on the Vistadome train.
  • Meals Included: Breakfast (lunch and dinner are at your discretion in Aguas Calientes and Cusco, respectively)
  • Transport: Vistadome Train back to Ollantaytambo, then private vehicle/bus to Cusco
  • Difficulty: Moderate

Know before booking:

  • Available all year round with a minimum of 2 people to depart
  • We spend the night camping in tents
Full Itinerary
Day 1: Cusco – Capuliyoc – Chikiska

The Choquequirao Trek to Machu Picchu tour begins with an early morning pick-up in Cusco. Wait in the lobby of your hotel at 4:30 AM. Then, you'll take a 4-hour drive through the Andes to the starting point of your hike at Capuliyoc. As you travel, you will see amazing views of the tall Andes Mountains. Every step shows you beautiful peaks, green valleys, and cliffs, making your journey memorable.

When you reach the trailhead, you will encounter the trekking group of porters, mule drivers, and chefs, and you will have breakfast. Next, you will start the Choquequirao Trek with stunning views of the Apurimac region. You will start by hiking downhill for about 2 hours to your lunch spot at Coca Mansana. This part of the hike is relatively easy and beautiful. After lunch and a short rest, you'll continue downhill for another two hours to reach Chikiska. Here, we will camp near a farming village with nice warm weather in the Apurimac Valley.

In Chikiska, you'll prepare your bed, enjoy nature, have tea time, and enjoy dinner. Then, you'll go to bed early to rest up for the next day's adventures.

  • Altitude: 1950 m (6398 ft)
  • Hiking distance: 12 km, 7.4 mi
  • Meals included: Breakfast, snacks, lunch, tea time, dinner
  • Difficulty: Moderate to Challenging
Day 2: Chikiska – La Playa Rosalina – Marampata

Wake up with a hot cup of coffee or coca tea served by your Ultimate Trekking team. After enjoying a delicious breakfast, you'll be all set to start the day's adventure.

The second day begins with a 1.5-hour downhill hike to La Playa near the river. This part of the hike is at a lower altitude, so it will be the warmest part of the trek. Make sure you wear light clothes to keep cool. Next, you'll cross the Apurimac River using a suspension bridge. After the river, you will face a challenging two-hour climb up to Santa Rosa, where you will have lunch. Although this part of the trail is tough, it offers beautiful views of the canyon that will make the effort worth it.

At Santa Rosa, you'll enjoy lunch at a local family's home. They'll serve you a refreshing sugar cane drink, allowing you to experience the warmth of local hospitality. Take some time to rest before you continue your hike. The afternoon involves a demanding 2-3 hour climb to Marampata, where you will spend the night.

When you reach Marampata, you will be amazed by the wide views of the Andes, the valleys below, and maybe even spot some condors flying overhead. After enjoying dinner, you'll find that Marampata is a perfect spot for stargazing. 

  • Campsite Altitude:  2940 m (9646 ft)
  • Hiking distance: 15 km, 9.3 mi
  • Meals included: Breakfast, snacks, lunch, tea time, dinner
  • Difficulty: Challenging
Day 3: Discover Choquequirao - Marampata

Start your day with breakfast with amazing views, and then get ready for a short hike to the impressive Choquequirao Inca Citadel. This archaeological site is often compared to Machu Picchu and is known as its "sister city." When you arrive at Choquequirao, you will go on a guided tour of the site. Your guide will explain the history and importance of this place. Listen closely as you learn about the people who built and lived in these ruins long ago.

As you walk through Choquequirao, you'll visit several key areas. See the main plaza where people gathered, the terraces where they grew their crops, a ceremonial center for spiritual activities, and the storerooms where they kept their food and goods. You'll be amazed by the detailed stonework and the agricultural terraces that blend into the mountain landscape.

One special spot to look out for is the Llamas Wall. This wall has llamas decorated with white stones, which stand out beautifully against the terraced hills. After the guided tour, you'll have free time to wander around the ruins by yourself. This is a great chance to take photos and soak in the beauty and tranquility of the site.

Later, head back to Marampata village for lunch. The afternoon is yours to relax at the campsite, reflect on the incredible things you've seen, and enjoy the peaceful mountain surroundings.

  • Campsite Altitude:  2940 m (9646 ft)
  • Hiking distance: 7 km, 4 mi
  • Meals included: Breakfast, snacks, lunch, tea time, dinner
  • Difficulty: Challenging
Day 4: Marampata – Playa – Coca Masana

You'll begin your day at the Marampata campsite with a tasty breakfast, fueling up for another exciting day of trekking. Get ready to leave the campsite and start your journey downhill towards the Apurimac River. As you walk, you'll pass through different environments, including misty cloud forests filled with lush greenery and traditional agricultural terraces where locals grow their crops on the slopes.

When you arrive at the Playa area by the river, you'll have a chance to rest and enjoy a well-deserved lunch. This spot is perfect for relaxing a bit and enjoying the natural surroundings. After lunch, you'll cross the Apurimac River. The adventure continues as you begin your climb toward Coca-Masana. This part of the trek might be a bit challenging, but it's also rewarding, with beautiful views and fresh mountain air.

Once you reach Coca-Masana, you'll set up camp for the evening. This is where you can unwind after the day's trek, share stories with your fellow trekkers, and get ready for another day of exploration tomorrow. Enjoy the peace of the mountains as you settle in for the night.

  • Campsite Altitude:  2,330 m (7545 ft)
  • Hiking distance: 16 km, 10 mi
  • Meals included: Breakfast, snacks, lunch, tea time, dinner
  • Difficulty: Moderate to Challenging
Day 5: Coca Masana – Capuliyoc – Ollantaytambo – Aguas Calientes

Start with am early breakfast at the last campsite. Today, you'll head back towards Capuliyoc, where your adventure first began. The path leads you through a beautiful mix of cloud forests filled with fog and greenery, as well as agricultural terraces where local farmers grow their crops on steep hillsides.

Once you reach Capuliyoc, take a moment to say farewell to your trekking support team—these are the porters, muleteers, and chefs who have helped make your journey possible. After goodbyes, you'll board a private vehicle for the ride to Ollantaytambo. This trip will take about 4 to 5 hours, giving you some time to relax and reflect on your trek.

When you arrive in Ollantaytambo, a charming town with ancient ruins and cobblestone streets, you'll have a chance to walk around and explore. Enjoy looking at the local shops and maybe buy some souvenirs. Then, have dinner in one of the town's cozy restaurants.

After dinner, you'll catch a train to Aguas Calientes, the gateway to Machu Picchu. Once you arrive in Aguas Calientes, check into your hotel. Now it's time to enjoy a well-deserved shower and some rest. Relax in your room and get ready for more adventures the next day.

  • Aguas Calientes:  2,040 m (6,690 ft)
  • Hiking distance: 8 km, 5 mi
  • Meals included: Breakfast, snacks, lunch, dinner
  • Difficulty: Moderate to Challenging
  • Train: Expedition Train to AC
Day 6: Discover Machu Picchu - Return to Cusco

Wake up early at your hotel in Aguas Calientes to enjoy breakfast and start your day energized. Catch one of the first buses to Machu Picchu to arrive before it gets busy, giving you the chance to see this famous site in the peaceful early morning light.

Once there, you’ll join a guided tour of Machu Picchu. Your guide will explain the rich history and importance of this ancient site, teach you about its unique architecture, and tell you stories about its most famous landmarks.

After your tour, you’ll have some free time to wander around Machu Picchu on your own. This is the perfect time to take photos, soak in the atmosphere, or possibly take an extra hike, such as up Huayna Picchu or Montaña (please note, these hikes are not included in the standard visit and require separate tickets).

When you’re ready, take the bus back down to Aguas Calientes. Back in town, you can have lunch at one of the local restaurants (lunch is not pre-arranged, so you can choose what you like). After lunch, pick up your belongings from your hotel.

Then, it's time to board the panoramic Vistadome train for your return trip to Ollantaytambo. Upon arriving in Ollantaytambo, you'll transfer to a private vehicle or bus for the final part of your journey back to Cusco. This ride marks the end of your adventure, taking you back to where you started, full of memories and experiences from the heart of the Inca empire.

  • Guided Tour:  2-3 hours
  • Train: Vistadome Train to return


  • Professional Tour Guide
  • Second Tour Guide for groups of 9+
  • Trekking Chef
  • Porters, muleteers
  • Cargo mules carry food and equipment
  • Duffle bag for your personal stuff up to 7 kilos
  • Pick-up from your hotel on the day of the tour
  • All transportation included
  • Drinkable water after first-day lunch
  • All meals Included except last-day Dinner in Cusco
  • Vegan, Vegetarian, GF meals, etc., available on request
  • Comfortable camping equipment (tents, tables, chairs)
  • 4 man Eureka tents for every two trekkers
  • Sleeping foam mattress, hot water bags, pillows, towels
  • First aid kit, Oxygen bottle, satellite phones
  • Entrance fee to Choquequirao Inca Site
  • Entrance ticket to Machu Picchu
  • Round-trip train tickets
  • All taxes and booking fees are included

Not Included

  • Sleeping Bag, Air mattress, trekking poles (Can be hired from us)
  • Last day dinner when returning to Cusco
  • Travel Insurance (Strongly recommended)

What makes the Choquequirao trek unique compared to other Peruvian hikes?

The Choquequirao trek to Machu Picchu is special because it's not as crowded as other hikes in Peru, like the famous Machu Picchu. This trek gives you a chance to explore ancient Incan sites in peace, surrounded by stunning natural beauty. It's a great choice for those who love adventure and want to see parts of Peru that are less touched by tourism.

Can you complete the Choquequirao trek in just three days, and what would that look like?

Yes, you can do the Choquequirao trek in three days and two nights, but it's very challenging. This short trip involves walking for many hours each day over steep hills and rough paths. It's best for very fit people who are accustomed to long hikes. During these three days, you will only visit Choquequirao but not Machu Picchu.

When is the best time of year to visit Choquequirao?

The best months to go on the Choquequirao hike are from May to October. During these months, the weather is usually dry, making the paths safer and the views clearer. It's the perfect time to enjoy the beauty of Choquequirao without worrying about rain.

What level of fitness is needed for the Choquequirao trek?

You need to be in good shape to enjoy the Choquequirao trek. The paths are steep and long, and you'll be walking at a high altitude. It's important to be physically prepared to handle several days of challenging hiking.

Do you need special permits to hike to Choquequirao?

Unlike some other treks in Peru, like the Classic Inca Trail, you don't need special permits to hike to Choquequirao. This makes planning your trip a bit easier because you can decide to go whenever you want without having to worry about permit availability. You can buy the entrance ticket to this special site right in Choquequirao. 

What kinds of plants and animals might you see on the Choquequirao trail?

The Choquequirao trail is home to many beautiful plants and animals. You will see colorful orchids, hummingbirds zipping around, and if you're lucky, the majestic Andean condor soaring overhead. It's a wonderful place for nature lovers.

How much does it typically cost to go on a Choquequirao trek?

A trip to Choquequirao can cost between $700 and $900. The price depends on how many people are in your group and what kind of services you choose. More comfort and private guides will cost more, but basic group tours can be less expensive.

What are the essential items to pack for a hike to Choquequirao?

When packing for the Choquequirao trek to Mahcu Picchu, make sure to bring strong hiking boots, clothes for both warm and cold weather, a water purifier, and a reliable backpack. These items will help you stay comfortable and safe on the trail: 

  • Hiking Boots: Comfortable, with good ankle support.
  • Backpack: Ergonomic with a rain cover.
  • Water Bottles: Have reusable containers for around 2 liters
  • Snacks: Energy bars, nuts, dried fruits, and trail mix.
  • Clothing: Moisture-wicking undergarments, a fleece jacket, an insulated jacket, a waterproof jacket and pants, hiking pants, and shorts.
  • Sun Protection: High-SPF sunscreen, UV-blocking sunglasses, and a wide-brimmed hat.
  • First Aid Kit: Blister care, bandages, antiseptics, painkillers, and personal medications.
  • Camping Gear: cold-weather sleeping bag, inflatable sleeping pads.
  • Camera and Power Bank: For extended use and backup power.
  • Headlamp or Flashlight: With extra batteries.
  • Insect Repellent: All year round.
  • Personal Hygiene Items: Biodegradable soap, toothbrush, toothpaste, and a quick-dry towel.
  • Trash Bags: To pack out trash and keep the trail clean.
  • Extra Money: Bring cash for souvenirs and tips.

Are there any tours that cover both Choquequirao and Machu Picchu?

Yes, at Ultimate Trekking, we have the Choquequirao Tre to Machu Picchu 6 days and 5 nights tour. Perfect for those who want to see two of Peru's most amazing historical sites in one trip.

What kind of accommodations are available during the Choquequirao trek?

On the Choquequirao trek to Machu Picchu 6 days 5 nights tour, you will be camping out in nature for 5 nights in comfortable tents. On the final day, you will stay in a 3-star hotel in Aguas Calientes.

Is it possible to hike to Choquequirao on your own?

It's definitely possible to hike to Choquequirao by yourself if you are experienced and well-prepared. However, having a guide nad a Trekking specialist like Ultimate Trekking can enhance your experience by providing insights into the area's history and ensuring your safety.

What are the highlights in terms of wildlife and historical sites on the Choquequirao trek?

The wildlife on the Choquequirao trail includes rare birds and beautiful flowers. The historical highlights are the ruins of Choquequirao itself, often called the 'Lost City of the Incas,' which are similar to but much less crowded than Machu Picchu.

What are the risks involved in hiking to Choquequirao and how can you stay safe?

The main risks on the Choquequirao trek to Machu Picchu are altitude sickness and getting lost. To stay safe, acclimatize to the altitude before you start hiking, follow the marked paths, and consider hiking with a tour operator.

How can you prepare for the high altitude of the Choquequirao trek?

To prepare for the high altitude, spend a few days in a high-altitude city like Cusco before starting your hike. This helps your body adjust. Also, drink plenty of water and take it slow at the beginning of your trek.

Which nearby towns, like Cusco, are common starting points for the hike?

Cusco is the only place where the Choquequirao trek starts. This is where the airport of Cusco city is located, from where you can take flights or buses to other regions in Peru. It's a beautiful city with lots of history and is the perfect place to prepare for your trek. You can find many tour agencies here that will help you organize your trip.

What should you know about food and water supplies for the trek?

It's important to request any food preferences or special requests ahead of time. Bring snacks, chocolates, candies, and power bars, and always have a water container to get water form our chefs.

How do you get to the start of the Choquequirao trail from Cusco?

To get to the start of the Choquequirao trail, you can take a bus or a private car from Cusco to the town of Cachora. From Cachora, the trail begins, leading you toward the incredible sights of Choquequirao. At Ultimate Trekking, we provide private transportation from Cusco to the very trailhead at Capuliyoc, and from there, we start the hike.

What’s the usual group size for a guided hike to Choquequirao?

At Ultimate Trekking, our group sizes for a guided hike to Choquequirao usually range from 6 to 10 people. This smaller group size ensures that everyone gets personal attention and can enjoy the trek without feeling crowded.

Are there age limits for hiking to Choquequirao?

There are no official age limits for hiking to Choquequirao, but the trek is physically demanding. It's best suited for those who are physically fit and have some hiking experience, regardless of their age.

What kind of weather should you expect on the trail to Choquequirao?

The weather on the Choquequirao trail can be quite variable. Expect warm days and chilly nights. If you're not hiking during the dry season, be prepared for rain, which can make the trails slippery.

How does hiking to Choquequirao impact the environment?

Hiking to Choquequirao, like any outdoor activity, can affect the environment. AT Ultimate Trekking, to lessen your impact, we always stick to the marked trails, we never leave trash behind, and we use eco-friendly products.

What emergency plans are in place for hikers on the Choquequirao trail?

For safety, our guides always carry a first aid kit, satellite phones, an oxygen tank, and have proper first aid and mountain rescue training. There are also clear evacuation procedures in case someone gets ill or injured.

Can you customize a private tour to Choquequirao?

Yes, we can customize your own private tour to Choquequirao. This means you can choose how many days you want to spend on the trek, where you want to stop, and what kind of accommodations you prefer. It's a great option for those who want a more personalized experience. 

Contact us, and we will organize a tour that fits your preferences.

What’s the cancellation policy for Choquequirao treks?

To book the Choquequirao Trek to Machu Picchu, we request an initial deposit of 200 dollars. This money is used to book Machu Picchu tickets, train tickets, and hotels. In case of cancellations, if you cancel your tour 72 hours prior to trip departure, the initial deposit is due. If you cancel the tour 72 hours or less before departure, 100% of the amount is due.

What type of shoes are best for hiking to Choquequirao?

The best shoes for the Choquequirao trek are sturdy, comfortable hiking boots with good ankle support and non-slip soles. Make sure to wear them in before the trek to avoid blisters. Good shoes are crucial as they help you handle the rugged and sometimes slippery trails.

How do you book a short or extended tour to Choquequirao?

You can book a tour to Choquequirao that is shorter or extended, and we can also upgrade it to a Luxury Tour. Contact us at Ultimate Trekking, and we will tailor your tour to your preferences.

What rules should you know about before visiting Choquequirao?

Before visiting Choquequirao, be aware that it's important to respect the site. This means not touching or taking anything from the Inca site and staying on the designated paths to protect both the archaeological areas and the surrounding environment. These rules help ensure that the site remains intact and accessible to others.

How much rest do you need after a long Choquequirao to Machu Picchu hike?

After completing the Choquequirao trek to Machu Picchu for 6 days, it's wise to plan at least 1 day relax in Cusco. Especially if you're not used to strenuous hikes, this time allows your body to recover from the physical exertion and can help you avoid sore muscles or more serious injuries.

Does Choquequirao offer a better trekking experience than Inca Trail?

Whether Choquequirao offers a better trekking experience than the Inca Trail often depends on what you're looking for. If you prefer a quieter, less commercialized adventure, Choquequirao is excellent. It offers just as much beauty and history but with far fewer tourists, allowing for a more personal connection to the ancient Incan landscape.