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5 stars for Choquequirao

The fortress of Choquequirao in the Peruvian Andes is an unforgettable highlight of one of Latin America’s greatest off-the-beaten-track treks. Know... Read more
5 stars for Choquequirao

The fortress of Choquequirao in the Peruvian Andes is an unforgettable highlight of one of Latin America’s greatest off-the-beaten-track treks. Known to the Incas as the ‘Cradle of Gold’, the ancient citadel of Choquequirao is one of South America’s least renowned (and least pronounceable) adventure travel destinations. 

It's not hard to understand why as getting to Choquequirao from the village of Cachora (2,900m), east of Cusco, involves trekking down and up the steep-sided canyon of the Apurimac River, one of the sources of the mighty Amazon. It takes several hours, split over two days to trek down to the river, followed by a long ascent, via a series of unforgiving switchbacks and traversing cloud-forested ridges, to reach the spectacularly-located campsite on the lower terraces of the site. Unlike Machu Picchu, this remote location means that Choquequirao is only an achievable goal for dedicated adventurers and regular hillwalkers.

Choquequirao Fortress in peru

Surrounded by the giant snow-crowned peaks of the Cordillera Vilcabamba, the inaccessibility of the ruins even kept the archaeologists out until the 1970s and around 70% of the site remains hidden. With as few as 20 people a day visiting the site, the chances are you'll explore the ruins of Choquequirao in relative solitude. 

Spending a day here provides excellent acclimatisation prior to continuing our classic 9-day Choquequirao to Machu Picchu trek through the Vilcabamba and also allows enough time to discover what has so far been uncovered and restored. You can simply sit and admire the views from the sun temple, watch condors soaring in the canyon far below, or descend on stone steps from the main plaza to one of this lost city’s most unusual features; a stunning series of cultivation terraces whose retaining walls are decorated with more than 20 life-size llama figures picked out in white stones. Should you choose this trek (which is a great alternative to the classic Inca Trail), the chances are you’ll have this amazing place pretty much to yourself, which is one of the things that make it so special.
Llamas at Choquequirao
We could talk about why trekking Choquequirao to Machu Picchu is a firm KE favourite for hours, but it's what you, our customers think, that matters. So don't just take our word for it. You said...



Monuments and mountains - couldn’t ask for more - 5*

"So glad we picked this route to walk to Machu Picchu. To have the trail to ourselves and camp in spectacular campsites and only see fellow travellers as we got near Machu Picchu was fantastic and meant we could walk at our own pace and enjoy the route and sights to ourselves. The terraces and constructions of the Incas are truly awe inspiring….and finally Machu Picchu…what can I say! Thanks indeed to Rolando (guide) who did a fantastic job keeping us happy, informed and laughing all the way. The support staff were phenomenal…the best vegetarian food I have ever had on a trek and the lads didn’t stop working making the whole trek run smoothly. And, as an animal lover, it was lovely to see the mules looked after so well. Ponchos are THOROUGHLY recommended!!!!"

Susan from Lydney | 12 December 2023


Great! - 5*

"Everything about the trip was great. In country guide was excellent. Knowledgable, likeable, enthusiastic and helpful. I could go on... Exceptional guide/tour leader. Very thoughtful and enthusiastic to pass on his knowledge of his home and local culture. I learned a lot and he left me with a strong urge to go back and learn more. I cannot recommend him highly enough. Great choice of leader."

By Russell from London | 9 June 2023


Spectacular, off the beaten track hiking, with a brilliant support team - 5*

"This extended trekking route to Machu Pichhu is well worth the extra effort. The terrain is steep and merits its grade 8 score, but the scenery more than compensates. We were a small group brilliantly led by our guide Rudy, who was a local man who was always cheerful and enthusiastic. Rudy was very knowledgeable about the local customs and beliefs, as well as the history and geography of the area. The highlight of my trek was the Andean ceremony conducted in the Quechua language on the Totora pass at 4600m, giving thanks to Pachamama. Both moving and involving, it was capped by three condors flying overhead as we finished. Rudy was supported by a fantastic team, with Diego and Saul creating wonders for the mess tent, and the mule handlers attentive and efficient. The roomy tents and comfortable airbeds were always up for us when we arrived in camp, and the food was delicious and plentiful. The finale of the trip at Machu Pichhu was impressive, as you would expect, but for me Choquequirao was just as good, and had the benefit of sharing it with only a handful of people."

By Dominic from Ilminster | 22 August 2022


Alec from Teignmouth sent us some great photos, take a look.


The group

On the trail


Cusco main square, Plaza De Armas with it's famous landmark Cusco Cathedral.



Quecha woman and baby Llama - Choquequirao to Machu Picchu Trekking Holiday

Traditional Peruvian woman with Llama


The trails on Choquequirao to Machu Picchu Trekking Holiday

Trekking through Apurimac Canyon.

Discovering Choquequirao Fortress - Choquequirao to Machu Picchu Trekking Holiday

Exploring Choquequirao Fortress ruins


Choquequirao Fortress

 The fortress from a distance.


 Dining with a view

Dining with a view


Alec trekking on Choquequirao to Machu Picchu Trekking Holiday

Alec enjoying the fantastic views


Relaxing by the lodge sign

Relaxing by a lodge sign


The grand finale - Machu Picchu

 The grand finale - Machu Pichhu 


Find out more about our Choquequirao to Machu Picchu trekking holiday or any of our other holidays by calling our experts on +44 (0) 17687 73966 or USA/Canada toll-free 1 888 630 4415. We offer trusted holidays with financial protection and flexible booking conditions.

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