Choquequirao is as impressive as Machu Picchu Peru. Less known, more unexplored. Virgin and free of the abundant tourist visit. A Machu Picchu to arrive as a backpacker, with long independent walks and camping on the route. Choquequirao is also known as the sacred sister of Machu Picchu. It is therefore a great archaeological complex with buildings and terraces, testimony of the Incas conquering the heights of the mountains.
In this guide you will learn how to get to this sanctuary on your own. Take advantage of the resources of mochileros.org to discover one of the most impressive ruins in Latin America. Before you should know a couple of things:
Unlike Machu Picchu, where you can get to with trains and get on buses, Choquequirao is a destination that is reached through an intense sacrifice and effort. They are hard walks that involve lowering and unevenness with little oxygen. The way to get there is by walking a lot and camping. Possibly your water supply is not enough, you pass cold in the heights or you burn yourself walking under the intense Andean sun. The entire trip can be made between 4 and 5 days unless you want to visit some nearby towns or do it quickly.
From the town of Cachora to Choquequirao, they walk about 31 kilometers without including the route through the ruins. Back would be the same distance (62 km in total). A large part of the route involves the descent of a large mountain while the other half is on a climb.
The citadel is at 3,035 m.s.m. and at the lowest point of the walk you will be at 1,461 m.s. The climate is similar to that of Cusco, so it is advisable to prepare the heights before the hike.
Do not miss this video. Here you will see the detailed map and explained to arrive on your own until Choquequirao.
The road to Choquequirao consists of practically two different mountains. The one of descent that belongs to the department of Apurímac and the one of ascent that belongs to the department of Cusco. The initial section goes up to the Capuliyoc viewpoint, then the whole route is a great downhill sometimes zigzag and then connect with a large climb of 1500 meters of altitude.
The road as stated above is hard and luckily everyone can travel at their own pace. There are several camps so it is unnecessary to say where to stop or how much to walk per day. It estimates approximately that every 3 hours there is some camp.
The most popular stopping points on the Apurímac side are
On the way there are several camps run by the people of the villages that has begun to serve visitors. If you do not bring tent you rent it and it is possible to find campsites every three hours of walking. There they have bathrooms and common spaces for cooking.
Again, it is a hard road of big climbs and big drops. A reasonable average to arrive are 4 nights / 5 days. In higher conditions, of optimum physical condition and experience, it would be possible to do it in 3 days / 4 nights or so like this:
The blocker is essential as well as repellent and there would be no more glasses and something to cover the head. In addition to your camping equipment (flashlight, tent, kitchen utensils, medicines and purifying tablets, rain poncho, ventilated clothes and coat) do not forget
Trekking sticks: Highly recommended for the steep drops and climbs. They will also help you to make longer walks by getting tired less.
Good footwear for the walk. Important to wear good boots and socks.
The circuit Choquequiraw to Machu Picchu, is done through a remote Inca road that was used frequently in the time of the Incas to reach the Inca citadel of Machu Picchu, with the Chinchaysuyo peoples of the northwest part of the Tawantinsuyo empire and the route would continue towards the antisuyo, exclusively the citadel of Choquequiraw, which becomes a control post which in the course of time was growing and becoming larger, without doubt a place of greater importance in political and administrative sense, probably with less religious category in front of Machu Picchu. However, this detail does not take away the dazzling charm that this citadel has on a rugged topography, located on the ecological floor of the jungle, sub tropical climate.