CHOQUEQUIRAO SALKANTAY HUMANTAY LAKE
Choquequirao salkantay –Salkantay – Humantay, it is a multi-days trip, starting at cachora, and crossing the mountains, deep canyons, inca villages and trail that only few people are prepared to challenge.
Choquequirao is located in the saddle of a high Andean ridge, 3000m./10,000 ft. above sea level and 1,500m./5,000 ft. above the roaring waters of the Apurimac River. Ringed by spectacular snow-capped peaks and flanked by plunging, thickly forested slopes, the city is an inspiring example of an elite Inca ceremonial center, dedicated to the worship of the mountain gods, the river and the elements of nature.
Choquequirao has been called ” Machu Picchu ‘s sacred sister”, because of the striking similarities of design and ceremonial architecture to its famous counterpart above the Urubamba Gorge. Yet it remains an enigmatic place whose history is a matter of speculation. the choquequirao to machu picchu trek is a unique hike, for nature lovers ,and for those who wants to challenge by themselves, because the trek is one of the most difficult paths we have in peru.
Day 01: Cusco – Cachora – Chiquisca
For the choquequirao machu picchu hike, is needed an early departure from Cusco at around 05:00 hrs, arriving at Cachora village in approximately of 4hours. Cachora is the last town in the trek, at this town, our equipment will be taken on the mules or horses. A nice view of the majestic padrayoc mountain is seen from the trail and Wayna Cachora snow capped peaks, the hike give us the beautiful change of the landscapes, from precipices to snowy mountains.
On the way, we will observe Apurimac canyon with its impressive depth, the second day up hill trail, is the hardest part in Cusco, from this site also you can see the famous city. (from a place called capuliyoc, the trail leads by down to Chikisqa “camp ground”).
The distance is about 8 hours of hiking, and 19 kilometers of distance, along this distance we will pass the small settlement named la Colmena (2870 above sea level), after this there is Cocamasana (2330 above sea level), Torowisqana (2285above sea level )and finally chihisqa (1950) asl. Where were is water, and set up our tents.
Day 02: chiquisca – choquequirao
This is a hard section of the choquequirao machu picchu trek, but not the hardest yet, an early morning wake up is needed, where delicious breakfast will be waiting for, soon after the hike starts complete adventure to machu picchu – peru
Crossing apurimac river, the trail goes by switchback path, all uphill until maranpata, on the trail some clear water spring invites to get it, further up lunch waits is in a nice view point. after lunch, an enjoyable trail leads to choquequirao, after 2 hours from lunch, you’ll get the camp ground and set up tents.
Once arriving to camp, if you have energy, the group may try to summit the inca city, and have the possibility to watch the soar of condors.
Day 03: Choquequirao – maizal
“choquequirao to machu picchu hardest hike” On this day we walk uphill for a while up to 3299 masl considered as a first pass and then descend to Rio Blanco, 1609 masl. First we walk through cloud forest, but then all becomes steep open prairie with open views of the Mountains and valleys. Pinchaunuyoc – these site is nice and has inca buildings, these are in the cloud forest, almost invisible because of the thick layer of mosses and other vegetation that covers it. We will have our lunch near the Rio Blanco, we use the brake here to get a refreshing bath in the cold and clear river water. We cross walking through the river, since there are no bridges. After our brake we start the long and steep climb to our camp in Maizal, high over the river close to the sacred Apus of the Incas. From Rio Blanco we climb up to Maizal for about 3 hrs. Camp at 3000 masl.
Day 04: Maizal – Yanama
From camp site we start walking uphill passing by the impressive inca mines called Minas Victoria and towards the Victoria Pass. Again a long climb, but we walk in a amazingly beautiful area – first with cloud forest and then over Andean Puna with the well known ichu grass. We rest at some of the Victoria mines, where metal shining stones tell about a high concentration of minerals and metals, which were later used by miners.
Almost on the top we can appreciate original paved inca trails. We take our box lunch at the pass in 4200 m.a.s.l. with nice views mountain such as Choquetakarpo, while we had lunch we will be able to appreciate the flight of the condors depending on the climate, before we start the descent towards Yanama, a small isolated settlement at the bottom of a long valley surrounded by mountains. We pass over 4154 masl and descend to our campsite at 3800 masl.
Day 05: Yanama – Totora
After breakfast we start climbing slowly to our higher pass 4668 masl, again the view is amazing, we are surrounded by snowcapped mountains the Mt. Sacsarayoj and Mt. Padrayoc. We continue from Yanama through the valley towards the highest point of the tour, The Yanama Pass in 4500 m.a.s.l. On the way we have a good view of the snow capped Sacsarayoc. Once again we have the chance to see condors, and this mornings smooth climb bring us through new landscapes – especially the wet grass fields under the snowline that distinguish from everything else seen on the tour. In the pass we might walk in snow and the descent is a long foggy hike through grassy fields- and bush areas, crossing small wood/dirt bridges on the way towards the community of Totora, where we spend the night. (B-L-D).
Day 06: Totora – Wayracpampa
On this day, we descend for couple hours to get connected to the salkantay 2nd day, is time in opposite way which also means uphill from colpapampa until andenes, andenes is a place into nice clound forest section, place where after 05 hours from camp the group will stop for lunch.
Along the way you will see hummingbirds, from lunch the trail continues uphill and after 3 hours the camping and dinner in the choquequirao – inca trail to machu picchu hikers arrive to wayracpampa, home of some potato farmers, from where you can see chain of snow cap mountain and the salkantay pick. (early dinner and camp).
Day 07: Wayracpampa – Soraypampa.
Is time to summit the salkantay pass which is 4.657 masl, a great view from summit, lunch at noon on a small lake named soyrococha, after lunch descent to salkantaypampa, the view in quiet interesting, and the trail is gentle and we can camp at the same area where many people camp when they do the traditional Salkantay trek.
We will camp at a nice place with view to the Salkantay mountain at 3800 masl
Day 08: Soraypampa – Humantay Lake – Cusco
The cooler morning temperatures will be excellent to ascend and climb up for 2.5 hours to the humantay lake, a nice glacier lake, that attracts many people, we will have the advantage to be the 1st people of the day at the lake, we wil have photos with the blue green water at the background, enjoy the views, then descend to the camp where we can have luch. After lunch we will pack everything and take our private transport to cusco city, it will take about 3.5 hours to arrive back at about 17:00
- Transfer from your hotel in a private transport to choquequirao salkantay (trail head).
- Big tents: 2 people in each 4-people-capacity tent, to allow for higher comfort and a safe keeping of backpacks. Our tents are 3-season, new, highly maintained to ensure an excellent performance in field.
- Dining tent with tables and chairs, kitchen tent.
- Entrance fee to Choquequirao.
- Entrance fee to inca trail and machu picchu.
- English speaking professional guide (2 guides for groups over 8 people).
- Cook (trekking specialist chef).
- Horsemen and horses (to carry tents, food and cooking equipment) – days 1 to 6.
- Emergency horse days 1 to 6.
- Accommodation for our guides, cook and porters, and horsemen.
- Meals (07B, 07L, 06D + daily morning snack + daily tea service).
- Others: hot water every morning and evening for washing purposes / boiled water to fill in your water bottle every morning and night, and at lunch time if requested with enough time ahead.
- First – aid kit including emergency oxygen bottle.
- Private transport from soraypampa to cusco city
- Sleeping Bags.
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