This ‘lost city’ Choquekirao (meaning ‘cradle of gold’) was discovered in the 18th century by a French explorer, it fascinated 19th century explorers and was also visited by Hiram Bingham prior to his discovery of Machu Picchu.
Grandiose and mysterious, this abandoned city has lots of parallels with Machu Picchu and there are a variety of theories about its function. It is only relatively recently, however, that COPESCO (the official body responsible for tourism in Peru) has partially cleared the site and there remains a lot more to be discovered.
Lying in a cloud forest, a dramatic 1150 metres (3772 feet) above the Apurimac River and surrounded by a fascinating landscape created by the Vilcabamba mountain range, Choquekirao has everything to offer a trekker. However, due to its remote location, few tourists visited this site in the past. Fortunately, COPESCO, have now also constructed a footbridge over the Apurimac River, below the site, making it more accessible to reach.
It is a challenging but amazing experience to hike down to the depths of Apurimac Canyon and then up to the site in the clouds
1 Day: Cachora – Coca masana – Playa Rosalina:
We leave from Cusco early in the morning by private transport. Approx. at 5:30 we will arrive after 4 hours in Cachora (2,900m asl), a typical Andean town where we meet the rest of our trekking team. After a well deserved breakfast we start a two-hour trek to Capuliyoc (2,915m). On the way we get our first views of the Apurimac Valley stretching below and of the snow-capped peaks of Padrayoc and Wayna Cachora (5,482m). Afterwards we descend through the eastern slopes of the Andes to reach Coca Masana (2,330m). The temperature becomes higher and the flora and fauna begin to change. Finally we arrive at Playa Rosalina (Rosalina Beach) at 1,550m, where we camp beside the raging Apurimac River.
2 Day: Playa Rosalina – Maranpata or Choquequirao:
Again we get up very early to start, after the breakfast, our walk to reach Maranpata or Choquequirao after middday.
we will reach the archaeological site and we get to know it step by step, the great ability and intelligence which had the people who constructed this vestige which makes us seeing again the glorious time of Inca empire.
Admiring the beauty and with our heads full of ideas, we observe dauntless the condors flying, which around 3 p.m. appear in area of Choquequirao when they fly to higher zones.
Later we take a route to Raqaypata where we camp and after dinner we pass the night.
3 Day: Choquequirao all day:
This day we will dedicate ourselves exclusively to enjoy all the magic of history and splendor of Choquequirao, with a guided visit and time to know whole the site with its 8 sectors, like barns, houses temples and also we will observe the three levels of the excavated ruins of this late Inca-town, like the ruin in progress of excavation and finally unexplored areas that can tell us about this last refuge of the oppressed inca empire terraces. Again, like in the morning this afternoon we have the opportunity to enjoy the majestic flight of condors which with big luck will pass very close to you. In the afternoon we will return to our campsite to have our lunch and then rest and enjoy the quietness of Choquequirao.
4 Day: Choquequirao -Santa Rosa – Chiquiska:
After having Breakfast we will begin to go down towards Santa Rosa, where the vegetation will become abundant and the weather hotter so then. We will continue to the sector of Chiquiska for camping.
5 Day: Chiquiska – Cachora – Cusco:
Early in the morning after breakfast we continue to climbing 4 hours more aproximately until Mirador Capuliyoq.
After that we will continue to arrive to Cachora town on hike we can appreciate again the majestic Padreyoq snow hat decorate the Apurimac Canyon.Finally we will walk one more hour towards the village of Cachora where our private transport will wait for us to take us back to Cusco rriving to cusco by 5:00 or 6:00 pm .
- Private transportation, Cusco – Cachora
- Professional bilingual (Spanish / English) guide.
- Mules for transportation of equipment,food and personal luggage (7 kilos per person)
- Wranglers responsible for the horses
- A cook to prepare all meals.
- Cooking equipment, tent, dining tent, chairs, tables.
- Four season tent (a 3-person tent for every 2 individuals)
- Thermarest mat
- Meals: 5 breakfasts, 5 lunches and 4 dinners; food suitable for trekking and rich in carbohydrates.
- Boiled water, provided at meal times to refill your waterbottle
- Entrance fee for Choquequirao
- Private transportation, Cusco-Cachora-Cusco