Discover an Inca Mountain Sanctuary Without Equal

Overview

Perched on a knife-edged promontory at 10,000 feet and ringed by the snow-capped Vilcabamba Mountains is Choquequirao, a true “lost city of the Incas.” For its absolutely stunning location, Choquequirao (“The Cradle of Gold”) is often compared to Machu Picchu, yet this hidden Inca site has no road access, few visitors, and a haunting ambience unmatched at other Inca ruins. First discovered in the 1700s, Choquequirao was not excavated until more than 200 years later. Less than 40% of the ruins have been uncovered, with many of the site’s secrets still undiscovered. In the company of our archaeologist Trip Leader Kevin Floerke, who has done extensive research and excavations in the region, our spectacular and challenging trek brings us from the depths of the canyon carved by the roaring Rio Apurimac to breathtaking Choquequirao, with its stunning plazas and mysterious shrines. Trekking onward, we cross the entire Vilcabamba range through deep-cut valleys and over high passes to the world-renowned Machu Picchu. Kevin has conducted intensive mapping survey of the Inca Road System (which has recently been listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site), as well as a study of high altitude ceremonial sites in the cloud forests of the Vilcabamba. Each exhilarating day of hiking will end at our exclusive camps, where we can savor peaceful nights beneath a star-filled sky. Our fitting finale is an overnight at the Machu Picchu Sanctuary Lodge, right at the ruins of Machu Picchu. This is a true trek into the heart of the Inca Empire. Join us!

Itinerary at a Glance

Days 1-2
Cusco / Saqsayhuaman / Tambo Machay

We discover the ancient capital of the Inca Empire on foot, with our first hike bringing us from mighty Saqsayhuaman, a majestic stone fortress, down to Cusco through a fascinating array of Inca sites.

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Days 3-6
Cachora / Choquequirao

Our trails lead us into the deep canyon of the Apurimac River, with the snow-capped peak of Salkantay (20,574') rising high above us. From our campsite at 10,000 feet just below Choquequirao, we explore this extraordinary complex, with its zigzagging terraces and ceremonial buildings laid out in alignment with the movement of the sun. In the stillness and remoteness here, surrounded by snow-capped mountains, we will sense the power of the Inca Empire.

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Days 7-11
Pincha Unuyoc / Qoriwayrachina / Minas Victoria / Lucmabamba

Climbing up above Choquequirao, we descend to the Inca site of Pincha Unuyoc, which may have housed Choquequirao’s royal servants, and to the lost outpost of Qoriwayrachina, a site our Trip Leader has studied extensively and that was discovered by another WT Trip Leader! An Inca-paved road leads us over Minas Victoria Pass (14,500'), where we might see soaring condors. Descending to the picturesque village of Yanama, we end our trek in Lucmabamba (6,378'), with its lush subtropical landscape.

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Days 12-14
Machu Picchu / Cusco

We have a fantastic day of exploration at Machu Picchu, including a hike up Huayna Picchu, with its bird’s-eye-view of the ruins. Return to Cusco on Day 12 and depart on Day 14.

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Highlights

Highlights

Hike a challenging trail to a major Incan city that sees few visitors
Explore remote Inca sites, including newly discovered Qoriwayrachina
Visit remote Andean settlements, enjoy the lush cloud forest environment
Experience the Inca citadel of Machu Picchu with a specialist guide
Hike up Huayna Picchu, the peak behind the ruins (the best views!)

Details

Length: 14 days
Cost From: $4495  
Arrive: Lima, Peru
Depart: Lima, Peru
Lodging: 4 nights hotels, 9 nights camping
Meals: All meals included except 2 dinners (B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner)
Activity: Hiking / Trekking
Trip Level:

9-day trek on moderate to strenuous trails, 5-8 hours a day, altitudes between 9,500-14,500 feet

Recent Photo Blog Posts

In Awe of Choquequirao

Recent Photo Blog Posts

In Awe of Choquequirao
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