Meet Machu Picchu by Alternative Way! - 100,00 km - 12 DAYS


Meet Machu Picchu by Alternative Way! -

The lost city of Machu Picchu is one of Peru’s most famous destinations. It attracts both adventurers and passionate about archeology of ancient civilizations. Its discovery is surrounded by myths involving fantasy stories about lost cities and treasures in the woods.

Located in the Urubamba River Valley, in the Peruvian Andes, on the border between the Andean Highlands and the Amazon rainforest, Machu Picchu was abandoned by the Incas shortly after the “discovery” of America. The site became overgrown until in 1911 the American explorer Hiram Bingham discovered it and publicized the finding, the largest archaeological discovery of the twentieth century.

Famous worldwide, the place was considered a Cultural and Natural Heritage of Humanity. Its access by trail became, from the 1970s, a traditional pilgrimage trekking, attracting thousands of people and causing environmental damage and damage to archaeological heritage. Because of this, a severe restriction in the 2000s set limits on visitors, forcing many people to trek Salkantay as an alternative, today one of Peru’s most crowded trekking.

The Choquequirao Trail is an alternative to the restricted Inca Trail and the crowded Salkantay Trail. It is an alternative trekking, with more preserved landscape and less people. The Choquequirao Path is one of the longest that leads to Machu Picchu, almost 100 km long.

We will pass through Inca trails, beautiful Andean landscapes, indigenous communities, the Apurimac River Canyon and the Choquequirao Archaeological Complex. The landscape is the transition between the driest Andes and the Amazon basin. The trip also includes a tour in the historic city of Cusco, and a day in the sacred Inca valley.

This trekking is intended for people who are used to long walks and who want to know Machu Picchu by an alternative but challenging path.


Meet Machu Picchu by Alternative Way! - 100,00 km - 12 DAYS

Total distance: 100.00 km
Accumulated Altimetry: 3,331m

Day 1 – Arrival to Cusco – 3400 meters

Provided: Transfer from airport to hotel, 3 star hotel in Cusco.

We will pick you up from the airport at your flight arrival time and take you to the hotel. In the evening we will have a dinner where you will meet the guide and the rest of the expedition.

Day 2 – City tour – 3400 meters

Provided: Hotel, Breakfast, City Tour.

As we acclimate, we will meet one of the most beautiful cities in the Americas and the ancient capital of the Inca empire, a city that mixes Inca and Spanish architecture. You will have the free morning to visit Plaza de Armas and other places you can go downtown. Our guided city tour starts at 13:30. We will get to know: Koricancha (Temple of the Sun), the Cathedral, the four ruins that surround the city of Cusco: Sacsayhuaman, Qenko, Pukapukara and Tambomachay.

Day 3 – Sacred Valley Tour – 3400 meters

Provided: Hotel, breakfast, transportation, guide, lunch in Urubamba.

Early in the morning we will pick you up at the hotel to begin our Tour of the Sacred Valley of the Incas at 08:30 am. We will visit: The city of Pisac and its Craft Market, Qoya, Lamay, Calca, Yucay. Then we will go to Urubamba, place of our lunch. Then we will continue our tour to Ollantaytambo, an architectural complex that was a gigantic agricultural, administrative, social, religious and military complex in Tahuantinsuyo times. At the end of our visit in Ollanta, we follow Chinchero, the last point of the route. This city is a fine example of the mix between Inca and Spanish culture in architecture.

Day 4 –Cusco – Playa Rosalina

Provided: Transportation, breakfast, trail snack and dinner.

Our day will start very early at 04:30 in the morning. We will depart from the city of Cusco to Vila Cachora, it will be a 3:30 hour drive. In Cachora we will have a delicious breakfast and head to Capuliyok, where we begin our trek. In Capuliyoc we will enjoy the Apurimac Gorge, then we will go down to our first camp in Playa Rosalina. On this day we will walk between 4 and 5 hours.

Day 5 – Playa Rosalina – Marampata – 2,850 meters

Provided: Breakfast, snack and dinner.

We started our day around 06:30 in the morning. This will be one of the hardest days of the expedition. We will climb approximately 1,500 vertical meters in approximately 13 km to our campsite in Marampata. The duration of the walk will be between 7 and 8 hours.

Day 6 –Marampata – Choquequirao – 3.150 meters

Provided: Breakfast, snack and dinner.

We walked about 2 hours until we reach the Archaeological site of Choquequirao. This will be a calmer trekking day to replenish the energy spent the day before. We will spend the day visiting the most important ruins, such as the Agricultural Terraces, Military Zones, Astronomical Center and Sacred Temples, as well as the Llamita terraces on the west side of the complex. This will be our overnight place.

Day 7 – Choquequirao – Pinchaunuyoc (2.240m) – Maizal (3.000m)

Provided: Breakfast, snack and dinner.

From Choquequirao we climb for about 1 hour to Abra Choquequirao (3,350 m). When we get to the Pinchaunuyoc Archaeological Site, we can admire some houses and terraces that the Incas used to grow coca, coffee and cassava. After this stop, our next destination will be the Rio Blanco (1,450 m) where we will cross the river and climb to Maizal where we set up camp. On this day we will walk between 8 and 9 hours.

Day 8 – Maizal – Abra Victoria (4.160m) – Yanama (3.495m)

Provided: Breakfast, snack and dinner.

At 07:00 we leave Maizal, we will pass a deactivated mine of copper, gold and bronze. We continue to Abra Victoria at 4,160 m and go through a mountainous pass. Then we descend to our overnight location, Yanama. It will be about 8 hours of walking.

Dia 9 –  Yanama  – Lucmabamba 2.210 m.

Provided: Transportation, breakfast, snack and dinner.

We will leave Yanama at 6:00 am and start the trek through the valley. We started up the Marian Pass, also known as Yanama. There we can observe the Vilcabamba mountain range very close to us. We continued the walk towards Totora, and by car to Lucmabamba, place of our overnight stay. After setting up camp, we will go to Santa Teresa to enjoy the Collcamayo Hot Springs. This day we will walk about 7 to 8 hours.

Dia 10 – Lucmabamba  – Águas Calientes 2.010 meters

Provided: Transportation, breakfast, snack, dinner and lodging.

We will visit Llactapata, an archaeological site that has a frontal view of Machu Picchu. Then we will go down to the hydroelectric station to take our train to Aguas Calientes, our overnight hostal location. On this day we will walk between 4 and 5 hours.

Day 11 – Águas Calientes – Machu Picchu (2.400 m) – Ollantaytambo (2.840 m) – Cusco

Provided: Transportation, breakfast, snack, dinner and lodging.

We will wake up early at 5 am and take the first bus to the entrance gates of Machu Picchu. On the way the guide will pass information about historical facts, culture and curiosities of the lost city.
We will spend about 3:30 hours in the city of Machu Picchu. After our visit, we will go to Aguas Calientes to take a train to Ollantaytambo, and then drive to Cusco. Arrival at 20:00 hours approximately.

Day 12 – Return home

Provided: Transfer to airport, hotel, breakfast.



Having good mountaineering equipment is one of the key points to have a safe and enjoyable trek.

We suggest this checklist: 

  • Backpack with at least 65 liters and rain cover
  • Waterproof and pre-softened hiking boot
  • Thermal insulation
  • Sleeping bag to -5ºC (comfort)
  • Trekking pants
  • Dry fit t-shirt
  • Long sleeve blouse to protect the arms
  • Fleece
  • Anorak
  • Anorak pants
  • Gloves for cold
  • Hat
  • Buff
  • Baby wipes
  • Toothpaste and brush
  • Snacks
  • Photographic camera
  • Plate, cutlery and cup


How far will I have to walk?

You will cover almost 100 km spread over 8 days of walking.

Do I have to cross rivers on this trekking?

Yes, but on all crossings there are bridges, you don’t need to get your feet wet.

How much equipment will I have to carry?

Your backpack will never weigh more than 6 to 10kg. All group equipment will be purchased, assembled, cleaned and carried by guides and porters. Heavy personal equipment will be carried by the mules in your duffel bag, so you don’t have to worry.

Is there communication on the mountain?

The only communication we have is a VHF radio that allows us to talk to the police in both countries. We’ll carry a satellite phone for emergencies and logistics.

Can you update my family how I am doing?

Of course! And your family can follow the progress of the expedition through daily posts on social networks.

Do I have to share tents with someone?

Yes. The tents are for 2 people and this is previously agreed. Sharing a tent with someone creates an partnership bond, essential to a nice and safe adventure trip.

What if I abandon or give up the expedition?

If you give up while you are still in your country we can return some of your investment. Contact us to learn more.
If you give up in Cusco, before going on the trail, you can continue to enjoy the services we provide, such as transportation and hotel. However we can not return the money you invested because all logistics will already be hired. If you give up in the middle of the expedition you will never have to return alone, we will coordinate your return with partner expeditions or one of the guides will go back with you.

What is Andes Specialists philosophy?

We accept women and men of any age, experience or ambition. We ask members of our expeditions to be patient, respect the leader’s decisions, and never go up or down alone without the leader’s approval. We focus a lot on acclimatization and safety.

How much cash do I need to take?

You should take enough money in case you need to abandon trekking. We recommend you bring a total of $ 400 in US currency and 1000 more in Peruvian soles for the entire trip.

Can I use my credit card in Peru?

Yes, but don’t forget to unlock your card for international travel and also that each transaction has bank fees.

What training do I need for this expedition?

We recommend that you come to the Andes with moderate cardio-vascular training. Running or biking 2 or 3 times a week for the 2 or 3 months ahead of the expedition would help a lot!

What’s the weather like up there?

The best time is winter, when the humid air masses of the Amazon do not move over the Andes. Even though it’s winter it’s not too cold, as we are close to the equator. We may even have hot and very cold days right after, all depending on cloudiness and rain. On average we go from 15 degrees to minus 5 degrees.

What if I have a special diet?

Warn in advance and remind our guide about your dietary restriction.

Who cooks during the crossing?

Our guide team will cook, you don’t have to worry. We guarantee you will be impressed by the quality of the food!

What temperature should my sleeping bag stand?

We recommend a sleeping with at least -5ºC comfort temperature. 

Where am I going to sleep while trekking?

We will sleep in tents throughout the trekking.

What hotel are we staying in?

In Cusco we usually stay in a 3 star hotel which is in the historic center of the city near restaurants, supermarkets and shops.

What if I need to be rescued?

Our guides are trained in first aid and can assist you in emergencies. We recommend insurance that includes air evacuation in the case something serious happens. Contact us to learn more about insurance.

Is it possible to leave luggage at the hotel in Cusco and recover at the end of the expedition?

Yes. We recommend that you do not take everything to the trail. Leave a suitcase in Cusco with urban clothes and objects you won’t need on the trail.



Total Investment: To be confirmed

What is Provided:

  • Andes Specialists guides, 1 guide for every 5 clients
  • Cusco City Tou
  • Sacred Valley Tour
  • Lunch in Urubamba
  • Food and drinks during trekking days
  • Cargo loading horses
  • Personal equipment transport (up to 15 kg. Per person)
  • First aid kit
  • VHF radio
  • 4 nights at the Hotel in Cusco – rooms are shared by every 2 expedition members
  • 1 night at Hotel in Aguas Calientes – rooms are shared by every 2 expedition members
  • Transport to Machu Picchu
  • Entrance to the ruins of Machu Picchu
  • Train from Aguas Calientes to Cusco.

What is NOT Provided:

  • Personal expenses like phone calls, tips, laundry, etc.
  • Any cost deriving from early expedition abandonment
  • Rescue, medical or air evacuation expenses
  • Flight to / from your country
  • Personal trekking equipment
  • The use of Satellite Phone
  • Money back in case of give up
  • Overweight costs for over 15kg
  • Lunch and dinner in Cusco
  • Reimbursement in case of loss of equipment due to theft, weather or else.
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