Included meals are indicated in parentheses: (B,L,D)
Arrive to Lima, former capital of the Spanish empire in the Americas, and transfer to your first class hotel ideally located in the Miraflores district, Lima’s main cultural and commercial district. This is the best area of town for strolling around and is home to many of Lima’s best restaurants. (If you are interested and time permits, private tours of Lima or visits to any of Lima’s museums can be arranged.)
Casa Andina Private Collection Miraflores (upgrades available to Hotel B, Miraflores Park Hotel, and others)
You will be transferred to the airport to catch your flight over the Andes to Cusco, the ancient capital of the Inca Empire. Upon arrival in Cusco, you will be met for transfer to your hotel. You have the afternoon free to acclimatize to the altitude and explore a bit on your own. Cusco is at 11,000 feet and you’ll have the next 2 nights here to get accustomed to the altitude as you prepare for your trek. Dinner on your own out at one of the city’s excellent restaurants.
Palacio del Inka (B) (upgrade to Palacio Nazarenas is available)
Today you have a privately guided tour of this fascinating city, visiting the historical highlights and also making a visit to the massive fortress of Sacsahuaman that sits on the hill overlooking all of Cusco. This fortress is where the Incans made their feircest stand against the Spanish conquistadors. You’ll have the option to walk down from Sacsahuaman to central Cusco by way of the San Blas neighborhood.
Palacio del Inka (B)
Today you have a privately guided tour to visit some of the most impressive sites in the Sacred Valley of the Incas. You’ll get out and see the Sacred Valley on your own two feet, and have the chance to do some acclimatization walking (your private guide will be there to accommodate whatever level of additional hiking you want to do). In the late afternoon you’ll be dropped off at your hotel in the heart of the Valley. Your small hotel is one of the finest in the region.
Hotel Sol y Luna (B,L)
Today you start the Choquequirao Trek part of your trip. You will leave Cusco due north on the main highway to Antapampa, a flat agricultural valley. Once you begin to descend into Limatambo, you’ll visit the Inca site of Tarawasi. The road continues until you reach the Apurimac River. A small side road over a ridge brings you down to the village of Cachora, where you will start your hike. Here you will meet the rest of the field crew. Taking your day packs, you will start walking along the edge of the mountain. At Capuliyoc you get your first view of the Apurimac canyon with the snowcapped mountains of Nev Padreyoc up front and toward the left the Nev Qoriwayrachina and the trail that lies ahead. You begin the descent and camp by the river at Chikiska (1,850 meters above sea level) at a small campsite next to the river. (Hiking Time: 6 hours; distance: about 11.4 miles).
Camp at Chikiska (B,L,D)
Early departure, crossing the river on a footbridge marking the start of the day. From here an uphill walk of half a day brings you to a small meadow where you will have lunch. As you ascend on the steep trail, you can begin to appreciate the canyon vegetation and environment on both sides of the Apurimac. The afternoon hike is not as steep as you approach the hanging valley where the site of Choquequirao is found. You will camp at an available flat part at Marampampa and begin to explore the isolated Inca sites and the surrounding cloud forest. It is possible to visit the Choquequirao main plaza where you can appreciate a group of terraces with Llama Figures called “the Llamas of the Sun.” (Hiking Time: 8 hours; distance: about 8 miles)
Camp at Marampampa (B,L,D)
You will spend the day exploring the Choquequirao complex situated on a ridge overlooking the canyon, as well as some of the outlying buildings as you work your way through the terracing. After lunch you can spend the afternoon at your campsite, or visit some of the other ruins in the area. If you have the energy you should ask your guide about hiking to the rock terraces that have the Llamas in them, or possibly down to the waterfall below your campsite. Both sites require an good amount of hiking. (Hiking Time: about 0 hrs; distance: about 0 miles)
Camp at Phuyupatamarca (B,L,D)
Early morning departure to start the descent toward Playa San Ignacio for approximately 4 hours. The first part downhill is mild but as the trail continues it gets very steep. You continue toward Playa San Ignacio (1,430 meters above sea level) where the trail starts going up again until reaching the former Hacienda San Ignacio (at 1,700 meters above sea level) for another hour of steep trail until reaching El Carmen Bridge. From here, you continue for another 45 minutes until reaching the Villa Los Loros Lodging, where you will spend the night. (Hiking Time: about 7 to 8 hrs; distance: about 10.3 miles
Villa los Loros (B,L,D)
Today you will be picked up mid-morning to start the drive back to Cusco. It is a panoramic ascent on this side of the valley with views of the surrounding peaks. You will arrive to Cusco in the early afternoon.
Palacio del Inka (B)
In the morning you will be picked up from your hotel and transferred to the airport for your flight to Lima. Upon arrival to Lima you will have assistance at the airport in making your connecting flight home. If you have extra time in Lima, we often arrange a driver for our clients so you can go out to eat or see some of Lima prior to your departure.