Cordillera Vilcabamba, Perú
Discovered by a French explorer in the 18th century, Choquequirao, which means “cradle of gold” in Quechua, is considered one of the most majestic sites of the Incan civilization, and for good reason.
Grand and mysterious, this abandoned city features many parallels to Machu Picchu, but remains shrouded in mystery. Only recently has the tourism department of Peru successfully cleared part of the site from the encroaching cloud forest that has hidden this lost city from view, so there remain untold stories and mysteries to discover.
Little is known about Choquequirao, estimated to be three-times the total size of Machu Picchu. It laid abandoned and forgotten until recent years when tourism raised the profile of the city and exploration began.
The trek to Choquequirao takes you through the Apurimac Valley a beautiful sea of blooming flora y fauna and a view of the astonishing snow- capped peaks. Trekking up the side of the sun-baked valley, you’ll encounter lush green jungle, orchids and bromeliads.
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Cusco - Cachora
Leave Cusco for Cachora a 4 hour drive from Cusco. Spend the night in Cachora enjoying traditional food and drink.
Cachora - Santa Rosa
Travel down through the Apurimac Valley, featuring snow-capped peaks, views of Choquequirao and a variety of changing flora and fauna. Camp at Santa Rosa (2200m / 7215ft.).
Santa Rosa - Choquequirao
Ascending the opposite side of the Apurimac Valley, you'll enter the jungle the higher you climb. After a 5 hour walk, you'll arrive to camp close to Choquequirao (3050m / 10,005ft.).
Choquequirao - Chiquiska
Today's focus is on exploring Choquequirao. Begin the trek back to Cachora. Camp at Chiquiska (1800m / 5905ft.) in the base of the valley by the Apurimac River.
Chiquiska - Cusco
Winding our way back up the side of the valley, we'll have our final views of Choquequirao in the distance before arriving to Cachora in the late afternoon and travelling by bus back to Cusco.