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Choquequiraw 5 Days

The archaeological complex of Choqekiraw (3,061 masl), which means “Cradle of Gold”, is located on the north-eastern divide between the Cuzco and Apurimac regions, in the Vilcabamba mountain range.

Choqekirau was possibly built by the Inka Tupac Yupanqui, as an important ceremonial center, and it became the last refuge of the Inka rebels, led by Manco Inca II, in their escape from the invaders across the Vilcabamba range.

Here we can find squares, water fountains, and ritual places, as well as structures of Inca architecture and impressive systems of agricultural terraces, with irrigation channels which provide evidence of highly developed hydraulic engineering.

Recent studies propose that  Choquekiraw  was the feminine counterpart of the Sacred Citadel of Machu Picchu, fitting within the concept of duality and sacred geography, under which Andean civilisation has developed.

Within the terracing system, the site called Pacchayoc stands out, from where you can see the ravine (and waterfall) which provides water to Choqequiraw, as well as a great system of terraces, which probably go close to the Apurimac River. We can also find a ceremonial rock for rituals related to agriculture.

Another important sector, known as “Llamayoq”, features a system of  terraces decorated with llamas and a shepherd, drawn with white stones, and with a view of the Qoriwayrachina snow-capped peak. An interesting peculiarity of these terraces is the vertical positioning of the stones in the wall containing them.

Temperatures are from 5ºC / 41 ºF at night, to 23ºC / 73ºF at midday. The climate is semi-dry / semi-humid; crossing the valley of the Apurimac River the humidity comes from the environment. Around the archaeological complex, the climate is that of the rainforest. The seasons are divided into dry (April – October) and rains (November – march), with regular precipitation.

Day 1: Cusco – Capuliyoc -Chikiska

We leave the city of Cuzco early, in private transportation for about four hour trip to the town of San Pedro de Cachora- capuliyoc (2909 masl / 9544 ft), where we will start our hike ,here we have a nice view of apurimac river canyon with a spectacular view of the  Padreyoq snow mountain

, until we arrive at the Capuliyoq lookout (2,941masl / 9649 ft), where we will enjoy a spectacular view of the Apurimac River Canyon.  We can also make out the archaeological complex of Choquequiraw in the distance.  Our path continues downhill for about 3 hours, until we arrive at our campsite at Chikisca (1,863masl).  We can expect a warm night in the valley.

Meals: lunch and dinner

Maximum Altitude: 2900 masl / 9514 ft 

Minimum Altitude: 1860 masl / 6102 ft 

Distance Travelled: 19 km / 11.80 ml 

Approximate Walking Time: 6 hrs    

Day 2: Chikiska – Choquekiraw

We leave early (5:00 am), and continue downhill for around 40 minutes, to the Apurimac River, where we cross the bridge, towards Cusco region.  We begin our walk uphill, arriving in 2 hours at Santa Rosa, where we can stop for a rest.  Here we can find the sugar cane chicha , known as Cambray. We can also buy mineral water, soft drinks and rehydrating drinks.
We continue uphill for approximately 2 more hours until  Maranpata (2,913 masl) where we have our lunch. After a bit of rest we walk for about an hour and a half until our choquekiraw campsite.

Meals: breakfast, lunch and dinner

Maximum Altitude: 3100 masl / 10170 ft 

Minimum Altitude: 1600 masl / 5249 ft 

Distance Travelled: 14 km / 8.69 ml 

Approximate Walking Time: 8 hrs    

Day 3: Choquekiraw

We start early, after breakfast, the 45 minute climb to the principal archaeological site, where we visit the Usnu, Priests House, Llamayoq, Hanan and Urin Sectors, Cemetery and Administrative Sector.  

The tour  to the principal inka site takes some hours and we will stay exploring the site all morning, then we back to the campsite to enjoy our lunch ,here we are going to have all afternoon to rest until our snack time and dinner.

Meals: breakfast, lunch and dinner

Maximum Altitude: 3100 masl / 10170 ft 

Minimum Altitude: 2892 masl / 9488 ft 

Distance Travelled: 5 km / 3.10 ml 

Approximate Walking Time: 7 hrs    

Day 4: Choquekiraw – Chikiska

  

After waking up early and having breakfast ,we are going to back to Chikisqa, where we spent our first night.  We return by the same trail that we took on the way there.

The gradient of the trail is very steep and dusty  until  Apurimac river, where we will rest for a moment, after that our trail is uphill for around 2 hours until chikiska campsite where we are going to stop to have our  lunch ,here we are going to stay and have  all afternoon to rest for our last day of hike.

Meals: breakfast, lunch and dinner

Maximum Altitude: 1860 masl / 6102 ft 

Minimum Altitude: 1600 masl / 5249 ft 

Distance Travelled: 14 km / 8.69 ml 

Approximate Walking Time: 7 hrs    

Day 5: Chikiska – Cusco

  

We begin the day as early as possible to avoid the midday sun ( very strong) which is exhausting.  The first part of the path is uphill for about four hours.  The last part of the climb is challenging.  We arrive at the Capuliyoq lookout for lunch and then continue by our private transportation to cachora and then cusco(4 hours)

Meals: breakfast, and lunch

Maximum Altitude: 2900 masl / 9514 ft 

Minimum Altitude: 1860 masl / 6102 ft 

Distance Travelled: 19 km / 11.80 ml 

Approximate Walking Time: 8 hrs

  • Private transportation Cuzco – Cachora-capuliyoc
  • Guide service in Spanish/ English
  • Sleeping bag per person (-10 ºC – mummy form, our sleeping bags are cleaned after every use)
  • Sleeping liner
  • Pillow
  • Inflatable sleeping pad
  • Cook and assistant
  • Cooking equipment
  • Snacks
  • Daily tea service
  • Dining equipment including chairs and tables (Travel Chair)
  • Cooking, eating and bathroom tents
  • Portable environmental toilet
  • Food (4 breakfast, 5 lunch, 4 dinner)
  • Vegetarian option menu
  • double tents .
  • Single tents available for extra cost – USD$ 20.00 per night
  • Mule-handlers
  • Mules
  • Saddled horse (for every 6 passengers there is one saddled horse)
  • First-aid kit
  • Emergency oxygen bottle
  • Duffel bag for carrying personal stuff .
  • Pre departure briefing
  • Private Transportation capuliyoc- Cachora – Cuzco
  • 2 people    US$ 975 per person
  • 3 people    US$ 875 per person
  • 4 people    US$ 775 per person
  • 5 people    US$ 685 per person
  • 6 people    US$ 665 per person
  • 7 people    US$ 655 per person
  • 8+ people  US$ 620 per person

Optional Extras:

Sleeping Bag US$30
Walking Pole US$20 
Inflatable Mattress US$25

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