This whopping 12 day trek takes you on a less traveled path from Choquequirao, on to the sacred Salkantay mountain (6.271m/20569ft), one of the highest and most stunning in the Peruvian Andes, passing through Quechua speaking communities and lesser-known Inca ruins, to finally join the 4-day Classic or Traditional Inca Trail to Machu Picchu.
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CHOQUEQUIRAO VIA SALKANTAY & INCA TRAIL TO MACHU PICCHU 12D/11N
This whopping 12 day trek takes you on a less traveled path from Choquequirao, on to the sacred Salkantay mountain (6.271m/20569ft), one of the highest and most stunning in the Peruvian Andes, passing through Quechua speaking communities and lesser-known Inca ruins, to finally join the 4-day Classic or Traditional Inca Trail to Machu Picchu. This trek combines the best of all treks – stunning high mountain trekking and also the ruins of the Classic Inca Trail.
Choquequirao via Salkantay & Inca Trail to Machu Picchu trek - at a glance
Highlights: Choquequirao ruins, remote Yanama, hiking alongside the magnificent Apu Salkantay, the varied and amazing ruins along the Inca Trail, arriving at Machu Picchu
Location: the Choquequirao, Salkantay and Inca Trail combined trek departs from Cachora, 4 hours drive from Cusco
Duration: 12 days / 11 nights
Adventure rating: this is a super adventure
Inca trail: this trek includes the Inca Trail therefore is subject to the Inca trail booking restrictions. We do not consider it an Inca Trail alternative.
Departs: any day with two people. We offer affordably priced tours for 2 people so that you can depart any day. Maximum group size 10.
Combos: can be combined with our 'trek extensions' that include Lima and Cusco accommodation and transfers.
(All kilometres and altitude gains & loss cited are approximate and considered a guide only.).
Private Service Prices 2122
1.- people US$3800 per person
2.- people US$2800 per person
3.- people US$2700 per person
4.- people US$2600 per person
5.- people US$2500 per person
6.- people US$2450 per person
7+ people US$2400 per person
Day 1: Cusco - Cachora - Chikisqa
We depart Cusco at 7am in a private car for a 4 hour drive to the charming village of Cachora, situated on the edge of the Apurimac canyon and surrounded by impressive snowcapped peaks. After lunch, it is a 2 hour hike to Capuliyoc (2915 metres / 9561 feet) from where we have our first beautiful views of the Apurimac valley stretching below as well as the snow-capped peaks of Padrayoc and Wayna Cachora. Our total hiking time today is about five hours. Accommodation: Camping at Chikisqa 1950m. (L / D)
Day 2: Chikisqa - Choquequirao
Departing early, we descend to the magnificent Apurimac River (1550 metres/ 5084 feet) before beginning our climb to Santa Rosa and then onto Maranpata where we will have lunch. The climb from the river takes about 4 hours and is tough. From our lunch spot we can see the ruins of Choquequirao, from here we have two hours more hike to the ruins. (3110 metres/ 10120 feet) We will spend the late evening in the ruins, where we will watch the sunset and have the chance to see condors. Accommodation: Camping at Choquequirao campsite 3033m. (B / L / D)
Day 3: Choquekirao - Pinchaunuyoq
We have a chance to more fully explore the ruins and have a little rest in the morning. In the afternoon we will climb over a ridge to the ruins Pinchinuyoc, where we will camp the night. This is definitely the easiest day of the trip! Accommodation: Camping at Pinchinuyoc about 3000m/ or depending on the group at Rio Blanco, a further 1.5 to 2 hours descent. (B / L / D)
Day 4: Pinchaunuyoq - Maizal
After 2 hours of walking, we will arrive at the canyon of the Rio Blanco (1990 metres/6527 feet) where will have a rest before starting a difficult climb to our campsite of Maizal. The climb is 3- 4 hours. Accommodation: Camping at Maizal 3000m (B / L / D)
Day 5: Maizal -Yanama
We depart at 7am, and walk uphill for about 3 hours through semi-jungle, to the Victoria Mines. We visit the ancient mines and some Inca Ruins before climbing an hour more to the pass of Abra Victoria (4130 metres/ 13 546 feet). The newly discovered Coryhuayrachina ruins are between Yanama and Maizal and we do follow well constructed Inca steps at an area that we call "Mina Victoria" (we started calling it this because that's what the muleeteers called it)
There are spectacular views from the pass as we descend to the charming village of Yanama. (about 2 hours walk). Accommodation: Camping at Yanama 4100m
12km including 500m descent and ascent 600m in altitude - Mina Victoria to Yanama (B / L / D)
Day 6: Yanama - Colpapampa
A day of mountain peaks. On this day we walk for seven hours, preferably rising early to appreciate the chain of snowpeaks that we can see from here. We lightly ascend to the second pass which is the highest of our trek at 4850 metres/ 15908 feet. After the pass we descend for three hours to the Valley of Totora, where will spend the night. Accommodation: Camping at Totora about 3900m or Colpampa
18km including 700m ascent and descent 1900m in altitude - Yanama to Colpapampa (B / L / D)
Day 7: Colpapampa - Ichupata
A day of botany and glaciers. Today´s hike is mostly up, as we will climb from Totora or Colpampa, upwards, to the Salkantay pass (4600m). You will clearly note the changing scenery as you pass through different varieties of plants typical of the high jungle - known in Spanish as the "eyebrow of the jungle". You finally arrive at the pass after 5 hours of hiking. This is the second highest point of the trip. (4,600 metres/13451) All day you will have been going “against the flow” as this is a popular trekking route, but in reverse. So expect to meet a lot of people along the trail during this day. From the pass you will descend for about 2 hours to Salkantaypampa (4100m) where the group may camp, depending on how well you have progressed during the day. You might continue onwards to Ichupata.
18km including 700m ascent, and descent 500m Colpapampa to Ichupata (B / L / D)
Day 8: Ichupata – Pampacahuana
Alter a cold night, we continue our hike to start the 3-4-hour steep climb towards the Incachiriasca pass (4850m/15908ft), the equal highest of the entire route, offering impressive views of the Salkantay snow peak. After a celebratory rest on the pass we will then descend towards our lunch spot at Sisaypampa, a flat area from which one can observe the Salkantay´s neighboring valleys (it is possible that you will see condors in this area). After lunch we continue towards the Pampacahuana community, located next to an original Inca canal, where we set our second camp and spend the night.
14 km approx. (B / L / D)
Day 9: Pampacahuana – Ayapata
In the morning you will see that the valley begins to narrow and the river becomes a canal. The Incas frequently cut canals through valleys to increase the agricultural land. From Pampachuana it's a 3 hour hike down the narrow, steep valley to the Inca fortress of Inkaracay (also known as Paucarcancha). This is a site well worth exploring and little known to the vast majority of visitors to Peru.
It's about another ½ to 1 hours walk down to the small village of Wayllabamba which is the point that we join the Traditional (or Classic) Inca Trail to Machu Picchu. As mules are not allowed on the Traditional Inca Trail, at this point we say goodbye to our mules and muleteers and welcome our porters who will accompany us for the next few days
In the afternoon, we leave Wayllabamba behind to start our way up the Warmihuañusca mountain pass (Dead Woman’s pass) through an abrupt and steep ascent that stretches for 9 km. We only climb part way up the pass, stopping at Ayapata, where we camp and spend the night. (also known as Yuncachimpa)
12 km approx. (B / L / D)
Day 10: Ayapata - Chaquicocha
Today we continue our trek up to the highest point in the Inca Trail (but not on this trek), reaching the mountain pass of Abra Warmihuañusca (4200m/13776ft) after about 2 hours. Immediately after the pass, we descend into the Pacaymayo valley (3600m/11808ft), from which we then continue to climb to the second pass, the Abra Runkurakay (3970m/13022ft), stopping halfway to visit the very impressive archaeological complex Runkurakay. This site, located at 3800m/12464ft, consists of a small oval structure that is believed to have served the purpose of a watchtower. After going over the pass, we descend towards Yanacocha (Black Lagoon) and enter the cloud forest to finally arrive at Sayacmarca (3624m/11887ft). This is a beautiful complex made up of a semicircular construction. Only 20 minutes away is Chaquicocha – 3400m (dry lake in Quechua), where we will camp. (B / L / D)
Day 11: Chaquicocha - Wiñay Wayna
After breakfast we have an easy climb, to arrive at the third pass, the Abra de Phuyupatamarca (3700m/12136ft). Phuyupatamarca is one of the most complete and best-preserved archaeological complexes along the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu, and is located on the highest point of a mountain. Curiously, Phyupatamarca means ¨town over the clouds¨. From here we also have impressive views of the Urubamba River valley. We descend by stone to Wiñay Wayna (2650m/8692ft). At this campsite we will find a lodge with a restaurant, bar and bathrooms with hot showers. The campsite has the same name as the complex located only five minutes away from the lodge. Wiñay Wayna is an impressive complex made up of an agricultural center with numerous terraces, a religious sector and an urban sector – even if you are tired and enjoying the relative luxury of this campsite, don’t miss this archaelogical complex!
Day 12: Wiñay Wayna - Machu Picchu
On this last day we get up at 4.00 am to leave Wiñay Wayna at approx. 5am and climb to the Intipunku, or the Sun Gate. This will take an hour of hiking along a trail of flat stones on the edges of cliffs in highland jungle. From this fabulous spot, we may see the sunrise over Machu Picchu. From Intipunku we descend into Machu Picchu, and 40 minutes later we enter this famous city. We then descend to the control point where we register ourselves and leave our backpacks. We immediately begin a complete guided tour Machu Picchu that will take approximately two hours.
After your tour you can further explore the ruins by yourself or climb Huayna Picchu for that classic photo of Machu Picchu. Also try to fit in a visit to the Temple of the Moon or Uyna Huayna Picchu while visiting Huayna Picchu.
Round trip transfer airport hotel airport
Pre trek briefing
Collection from your hotel in the morning of trek departure.
Transport from Cusco to the trailhead at the beginning of the trek in private car (Cachora)
Entry fee to the Inca trail & Machu Picchu
Entry fee to Choquequirao ruins
Entry fees for your muleteers and cooks for Choquequirao
Entry fee for the Inca trail for your porters.
English/Quechua/Spanish speaking professional guide (you will have an assistant guide for groups over 8 people).
Tents - 2 people in a 4 person tent which allows for greater comfort, and also storage of backpacks. All tents were purchased in 07/08.
Basic foam mattress. If you require greater comfort during the trek we can hire you an inflatable mattress (eg. Thermarest) for $5 per day.
Cook and Cooking equipment (Assistants are provided for larger groups)
Meals as indicated in the itinerary (optional vegetarian food). Our professional cooks prepare meals that incorporate elements of the western diet and also traditional Peruvian delicacies. (Please communicate with your guide/cook during the trek if you have a preference for certain types of dishes). Salads, if served, are washed in boiled water.
Horses (for equipment and personal items) including horsemen. They carry camping equipment, food and kitchen utensils. We provide duffel bags at your briefing for your personal items (up to 7 kg per person). If you wish to take more, you can hire an extra mule at a cost of $15 per day.
1 emergency horse which can be ridden if you are feeling ill or if are a little slower
Dining tent with camp tables and chairs & Kitchen tent for the cook to prepare meals
Tents for our staff to sleep in
First aid kit including emergency oxygen bottle - but not blister treatments as known in western countries.
Transport from Ollantaytambo to Cusco
Train ticket (Backpacker service) from Aguas Calientes - Ollantaytambo.
Bus down from Machu Picchu
Lunch final day at sanctuary lodge: http://www.sanctuarylodgehotel.com/web/omac/tinkuy.jsp.
What is not included?
Extra porter for the Inca Trail
Breakfast on the first morning
Entrance to the hot springs
Tips for the guide, cook and porters
Additional horses for passengers luggage
We recommend that you bring:
A light day pack with a change of clothes for the whole period of the trek - prepare for a vast range of changes in temperature
Rain gear (jacket and pants if available) or rain poncho. Plastic ponchos can be bought for about $1 in Cusco.
Strong footwear, waterproof trekking boots recommended. Extra socks are a must.
Sandals or plastic slip on thongs are also good to give your feet a chance to breath in the evenings if you wish to carry them.
Warm clothes, including jacket, fleeces, gloves, scarf and beanie/touk. Thermal clothing is also recommended, especially for sleeping.
Sleeping bag (can be hired from us)
Torch/ Flashlight and spare batteries
Camera, films and batteries (batteries consume more quickly under cold conditions)
Hat or cap to protect you from the sun, rain and cold
After-sun cream or hydrating cream for face and body
Insect repellent - minimum recommended 20% DEET - although no malaria risk has been reported
Toilet paper, pack in & pack out
Snacks: biscuits, energy bars, chocolate, raw fruits, muesli, etc.
Non-disposable canteen (Nalgene type) and water for the first morning.
We advise you to bring water sterilizing tablets in case you collect water from streams.
Your own medical kit with any special medications that you might require, paracetamol, second skin for blisters etc.
Small towel or sarong
Bathers/swimsuit (if you intend on swimming in hot springs)
Cash - sufficient for any extras, tips and souvenirs.
Original passport & ISIC (International Student Identity Card) if you have one.
Walking sticks or poles (we can hire these to you. Please note poles with metal tips cannot be carried into Machu Picchu)
Binoculars (if you have them)
Private Service Prices 2122
1 people US$3800 per person
2 people US$2800 per person
3 people US$2700 per person
4 people US$2600 per person
5 people US$2500 per person
6 people US$2450 per person
7+ people US$2400 per person.
18 to 25 years old: $30 USD Information required on student card: name of university, student name, photo of student, expiration date etc. A copy of the card is required at booking for government approval for discount.
Under 18 years old: $30 USD Please send us a copy of your passport at the time of booking.
Under 11 years old: $40 USD Please send us a copy of your passport at the time of booking.
Group of 5 or more: $30 USD – All you need is to book the trek together at the same time.
Sleeping Bag –$50 USD per person per trek (It will be clean and warm)
Air Mattress –$50 USD per person per trek (Therm-a-rest mattresses)
Walking Poles -$50 USD per pair per trek (Professional poles that can be extended)
Personal tent- $55 USD – (Tent is for single trekkers only)
Vistadome Train Upgrade –$75 USD per person (Return Only)
Huayna Picchu Mountain –$75 USD per person (Please request when you book your Trek)
Machu Picchu Mountain – $75 USD per person (Please request when you book your Trek)
Single supplement-$35 USD per night (for solo travellers with single room)
**Huayna Picchu and Machu Picchu Mountain are optional treks within Machu Picchu Citadel which do not include a guide. The climb is usually done on your own after your tour of Machu Picchu Citadel. If you would like the extra hike to be guided, please request in advance. There is an extra cost for this extra guided tour.
ADDED VALUES FOR FREE
TRANSFER – from the Airport to Hotel (Cusco Only)
DUFFEL BAG AND LINER BAGS – included in the trekking price!
BOILED WATER is included along the Inca Trail
OXYGEN TANK will be available along the trek
EMERGENCY HORSE is included in the price which can be ridden if you get tired or sick
PLASTIC RAIN poncho made by Inca Land Adventures is included.
TIPS FOR OUR PORTERS
IMPORTANT: Some of the reasons that our price may be higher than that of other agencies are the following:
We ALWAYS book the maximum number of porters possible (according to Inca Trail regulations) so that our porters are not overloaded.
Also, We are the only travel operator in Peru that supplies porters with proper tents, sleeping pads and adequate food for this type of activity.
We always we take care our hosremans and horses during our alternative treks so tiping it will be the seim as for the porters
Beware of this when booking they might be cheaper because of this!
2 people (minimum group size) should have a maximum of 7 porters and 16 people (max group size) should have 22 porters.
** Tips for porters, cooks or guides are optional and are NOT included in our price. However our advice is that you tip our staff based on their performance, service and knowledge. Our guidelines for tipping our staff is the following:
Each porter gets 100 Soles, each assistant cook 150 Soles, the Main Chef gets 300 Soles.make sure to tip more if your trip it is more than 5 days or if it is luxury treks
Assistant Tour guides can be tipped collectively by the members of the group, we suggest a 5% of the total cost of the tour.
Main guides are tipped on a one on one basis and based on their performance. Tour guides are professional people who spend a lot of time training in different other fields such archaelogy, history and WFA. We suggest people to consider tipping our guide a 10% to 15% of the value of your tour.
Train included in all tours is the Expedition train (to Ollanta). Train times will only be confirmed once full amount of tour is paid. The earliest train you could take is the 2:55 PM and the 9:20 PM being the last train (high season June to September). We will organize the transport back to Cusco (by taxi or by bus).