Day 1: Cusco – Cachora – Apurimac River – Santa Rosa
We will leave early in the morning heading northwest of Cusco (3300m/10800ft) in the direction of Cachora (2909mt/9543ft) for a 4 hour drive. In Cachora you will have the opportunity to stop and stretch or a rest room stop. Continue our drive to Capuliyoc (2915m/ 9561ft) with lovely views of the Apurimac Valley stretched out in front of us. Here we meet the Mule handlers with their mules that will carry all the camping equipment during the expedition. From here, we will walk down a steep trail to the Apurimac Canyon taking in spectacular views as we descend for 3.5 to 4 hours to Chiquisca (1836m/6023ft), with breathtaking drops to our side. After an hour we arrive at the roaring Apurimac River (1550m /5084ft). From the river, we begin to climb to Santa Rosa, which is a tough climb of 2 hours but makes the next day easier! The campsite is further along than the most popular camp, which is often quiet. The area is rich in flora and fauna. Our camp for the night is in Santa Rosa (2200m/7215ft.).
Hiking time: 7 – 8 hours
Meals: L, D
Day 2: Santa Rosa – Marampata – Choquequirao (Cradle of Gold)
We will have a very early breakfast and start our hike to avoid the hot sun around 05:00am. Our hike starts with a tough uphill climb from Santa Rosa to Marampata (3110m/10120ft) which will take about 3 hours. We will set up our campsite here. We will take a break here and have our first view of the Choquequirao ruins. From here we hike another 1.5 hours which is a gentler walk to the archeological site. We will begin our tour of the magnificent site and hope to catch views of the mighty condors. Only around 40% of the Inca remains of Choquequirao have been excavated. What can be seen today however, is most impressive and very much worth the challenging trek to get here. The stonework in Choquequirao is not as sophisticated as that found in Machu Picchu, because the stones found here are very difficult to carve, but the buildings are impressive and suggest a site of high status. Choquequirao evokes a sense of awe simply because of the sites’ surrounding beauty and isolation and condors can be seen frequently soaring the skies. Return to our campsite.
Hiking time: 7/8 hours
Distance: 8.5m /13km
Meals: B, L, D
Day 3: Marampata – Choquequirao – La Playa Rosalina
Today’s focus is on the exploration of Choquequirao. Waking up early we head out on a guided tour of the site which shows you the most important and interesting sections of the city and the opportunity to learn about the Inca culture and the close relationship between Choquequirao and Machu Picchu. Compared to Machu Picchu little is known of Choquequirao although the people where aware of its existence. Originally discovered in the 17th century by the Spaniards but abandoned and forgotten until a few years ago, when tourism raised the profile of the city and began exploring it. Walk down the side and be amazed by the series of enormous agricultural terraces, each decorated with a llama motif. After our intense visit we will walk back to Santa Rosa and continue to La Playa Rosalina (1,550m/5,085ft) about a 4 hour hike down. Our camp tonight is at La Playa Rosalina.
Hiking: 7/8 hours
Meals: B, L, D
Day 4: La Playa Rosalina – Capuliyoc – Cachora – Ollantaytambo – Tourist train – Aguas Calientes (Machu Picchu Town)
After Breakfast, we will ascend about 5 hours to Capuliyoc (2915m/9561ft) where our transport will be waiting to take us to Cachora and continue our drive to Ollantaytambo for about 4 hours. We can walk around the village before boarding the tourist train to Machupicchu Town to spend the night in a comfortable hostel.
Hiking: 5 hours
Distance: 13k – 8m
Driving distance: 4 hours
Meals: B, L
Day 5: Machu Picchu – Cusco
We will pick you up from your hostel early in the morning to take the first bus for a 25 minute ride up to the amazing, Machu Picchu. Enjoy a professional historical guided walking tour of the magnificent archeological site. Visit the extraordinary Temple of the Sun with exceptionally carved stones, Temple of the Three Windows features huge trapezoidal windows, Intihuatana the solar clock which translates to the, Hitching Post of the Sun, Funerary Rock Hut believed to be a place where the Inca nobility were mummified, and the many temples, terraces, and corridors. After a glorious, eye and mind opening visit with your guide enjoy some time at leisure to further explore the mystical grounds feeling the positive energy that abounds the area which has withstood time. Head over to the adjacent entrance of Wayna Picchu to climb a narrow path for about 1.5 hours to catch terrific vistas of the Machu Picchu ruins and the valley below. Then return by bus to Aguas Calientes for lunch (on your own) before boarding the train the Poroy station or Ollantaytambo station. You will be met at the train station by our staff and private transfer to your hotel in Cusco.
End of Adventure!