The Lost City of Choquequirao

13 days
4.6 / 5 from 16 reviews
Walking & Trekking
Activity level:
Challenging / Tough
Activity Rating - Challenging/Tough
Trip code: 
Ways to Travel:
Guided Group, Private Group Adventures
Walking & Trekking
Group size:

Trek amidst Peru's Cordillera Vilcabamba to the lost Inca site of Choquequirao

Escape the crowds on this challenging, unusual trek through Peru’s mountainous region. This varied trek is constantly moving up and down the climatic zones, leading you up steep paths through dense cloud forest, over spectacular scenic passes and along ancient Inca paths to the Vilcabamba’s best kept secret: the lost Inca city of Choquequirao. Machu Picchu may draw the crowds, but Choquequirao will awe you in its secluded splendour. If you like being off the beaten path, are intrigued by rich history and crave dramatic landscapes dominated by lofty, snow-capped peaks, this is the trek for you.


  • Quiet trekking trails (without the permit and other restrictions that are imposed on the Inca Trail)
  • Choquequirao - larger than, and one of the best-preserved Inca ruins after Machu Picchu
  • Diversity of scenery; from cloud forests and canyons to high passes and 6000m peaks of the Vilcabamba Range
  • Guided tours of Machu Picchu and the Sacred Valley
  • Time to explore historic Cuzco

Key information

  • 5 nights en suite hotels and 7 nights full-service camping
  • 8 days point-to-point walking with full porterage
  • Altitude maximum 4660m, average 3000m
  • Travel by private bus and train
  • Countries visited: Peru

What's included

  • All breakfasts, 8 lunches and 7 dinners
  • 5 nights en suite hotels and 7 nights full-service camping
  • All transport and listed activities
  • Tour leader throughout
  • Flights from London (if booking incl. flights)
  • Arrival and departure transfers
  • Full porterage throughout trek 
  • Exodus kitbag 
  • Inflatable sleeping mat while camping

What's not included

  • Travel insurance
  • Single accommodation (available on request) 
  • Visas or vaccinations
  • Sleeping bag (hire locally from US$40)
Call for general departures:
020 8772 3936
Call for private group trips:
020 3885 9103
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.


Days of Walking & Trekking

Approximately 7-10 hours walking per day, with the occasional longer or shorter day.


High altitude mountainous terrain with steep and prolonged ascents and descents. Some narrow rocky trails.

Day by day breakdown
Day 37.0km/4.3miles
Day 411.0km/6.8miles
Day 53.0km/1.8miles
Day 614.0km/8.7miles
Day 716.0km/10.0miles
Day 819.0km/11.8miles
Day 921.0km/13.0miles
Day 1012.0km/7.5miles

People, Places & Planet

We work hard to create trips which improve life for the people and places we visit and look after the planet we explore. Find out more about our sustainable travel ethos and practice here, and find out about the work of the Exodus Travels Foundation here

Some sustainable travel highlights of this trip include:


How this trip helps improve life for local communities.

  • The use of a local guide means our customers will be well informed about local traditions, and cultural and social sensitivities.
  • This trip brings income and opportunity to the destination community through the inclusion of locally-owned hotels and restaurants, the emphasis on eating locally produced food and support of other local enterprise.
  • The porters we work with are not directly employed by our local partner, but we work with the same communities each year; they are fairly paid and we also supply uniforms, walking shoes and provide safe transport and community support for them. Our trek manager is a leading figure and consultant for the Porters' Federation, which campaigns for the fair treatment of porters in the region.
  • We’re passionate about the welfare of our punctilious porters. Alongside setting the golden standard for fair treatment, we've taken the next step with our pioneering Porter Project. In Peru, despite trekking the Inca Trail numerous times, most porters never have the opportunity to visit the stunning ancient ruins of Machu Picchu. We’ve taken the initiative to fix this and in 2018 started a project to ensure each of our porters has the opportunity to experience an important part of their own cultural heritage. We can now proudly say that over 164 porters have been involved this project, and our mini-documentary ‘Carried Away’ about our porters, has helped raise awareness of the awesome job these porters do.
  • The free day in Cuzco is a good chance to visit Café Manos Unidas, the first vocational training site for young adults with disabilities in Cusco, creating employment opportunities for youth in their own community. In 2018, Exodus funded £5,000 where during the first three months of operation has directly benefitted 15 youths as well as 52 other community members indirectly.
  • Funded by the Community Kickstart Project, our operator is working with Medlife to deliver emergency food parcels to the households of porters and other staff members who have continuously worked hard to guide our clients along the iconic Inca Trail.


How this trip helps protect and conserve local landscapes and nature.

  • By travelling in a small group, led by a local guide, we ‘tread lightly’ to minimise our impact on local resources and the environment.
  • Trekking trips have little detrimental impact on the environment and our entry fees to the trail and historic sites contribute directly towards their maintenance and upkeep.
  • We work with our partners on the ground to proactively eliminate or reduce waste, for example eliminating all single-use plastic water bottles and instead providing refills for re-usable bottles.
  • We operate a zero-impact policy while trekking, removing all waste from campsites and separating it so that it can be easily recycled or composted. This ensures no rubbish or plastic is left behind in the places we visit.
  • Our local operator has been certified and verified by Rainforest Alliance since 2015.
  • Our Animal Welfare Policy ensures all our trips adhere to ABTA’s industry-leading animal welfare guidelines to ensure the best possible practices with regards to working animals and wildlife viewing.


How we seek to keep the carbon footprint of this trip low.

  • Through our Planet Promise, we have pledged to halve the carbon footprint of our trips by 2030 and made rewilding and carbon compensation commitments for every customer who travels.
  • Accommodation and restaurants in the itinerary use locally sourced food which has not been transported long distances.
  • Vegetarian and vegan options are available at majority of accommodation and restaurants.

Tips for sustainable travel on this trip

  • Leave no trace: We do all we can to ensure we leave no rubbish behind in the wild and beautiful places we visit; we ask that you do the same. If there are no recycling facilities in-country, we’d ask you to consider bringing recyclable materials home with you.
  • Plastic waste reduction: Please bring your own re-usable water bottle on this trip; filtered water will be provided where tap water is not drinkable.


Expand all
  • Day 1

    Start Cuzco (3400m); afternoon walking tour.

    The trip starts in Cuzco today. The group flights usually arrive into Cuzco in the early afternoon. The Inca capital - though small enough to be easily manageable - is among the most attractive cities in South America, with much of the centre comprising colonial-era buildings with Inca foundations, and it is full of interesting museums, churches and pre-Columbian sites. We will have a short walking tour around the compact city centre to get our bearings.

    It is recommended to take it easy upon arrival into Cuzco and to drink plenty of water to allow your body time to acclimatise to the altitude (3400m).

    There will be a welcome briefing in the hotel lobby this evening.

    Koyllur Inn or Ruinas Hotel  (or similar)


  • Day 2

    Free day in Cuzco.

    Today has been left free for exploring Cuzco. The Plaza de Armas is a fantastic spot for people watching, and Qorikancha (the ‘Sun Temple’), located in the Santo Domingo Church and monastery is worth a visit. The Mercado San Pedro is the place to try some local produce and there are many handicraft markets to shop for souvenirs such as alpaca jumpers and scarves.

    If you fancy something more active then there is an array of other optional activities available from Cuzco, although you may wish to leave these until your return to Cuzco after the Inca Trail trek, by which time you will be fully acclimatised. These include paddle-boarding on a lake, mountain biking, or a combination of via ferrata and zip-lining in the Sacred Valley.

    Koyllur Inn or Ruinas Hotel  (or similar)

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 3

    Drive to Capuliyoc Pass (2915m); begin the trek with a descent to Chiquisca.

    We leave Cuzco very early this morning, around 5am, and drive for approximately 5 hours to Capuliyoc Pass (approx. 2915m) in time for lunch, stopping to explore the archaeological sites of Tarawasi and Saywite en route. From the top of the pass, we enjoy spectacular panoramic views of the Apurimac River and the surrounding snow‐capped peaks, as well as Choquequirao itself. Descending from the pass, the path zigzags its way through dry forest above the raging waters of the Apurimac River. Our camp tonight is at Chiquisaca (1950m).

    Full-Service Camping - Chiquisaca (1950m)

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 4

    Cross Apurimac River then climb to Santa Rosa and Maranpata (2920m); on to Choquequirao camp (3035m).

    Another very early start for a long day’s trek. Just over an hour of walking downhill brings us to Playa Rosalina (1500m), from where we cross over the Apurimac River before beginning the long and steep switchback climb up to the village of Santa Rosa. After a rest stop, we continue climbing to a plateau above Maranpata (2920m) where we usually have a lunch break in a small village. The gradient eases off a little here and the path undulates towards Choquequirao for a couple of hours. The forests here are home to Spectacled bears, and we may catch sight of them as we approach the Inca citadel. After walking through the terraces, we set up camp close to the ruins themselves (3035m). This campsite has cold showers and flushing toilets.

    Full-Service Camping - Choquequirao (3035m)

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 5

    Full day to explore the magnificent Inca site of Choquequirao and the terraces of Pacchanta.

    We have ample time to fully explore the vast, sprawling ruins of Choquequirao. Larger than Machu Picchu, the site is made up of nine different areas which each had a distinct role covering religious, political and military functions. The quality of the stonework indicates that it housed important Inca officials or royalty, and in common with other important sites, it features ritual baths and temples dedicated to the sun, moon and Pachamama, the earth spirit. Much of Choquequirao is unexcavated and many buildings are still hidden beneath the thick forest which surrounds the main site. There are incredible views of the whole site and the Apurimac Valley from the truncated hilltop of Sunch'u Pata, a short distance up from the main plaza. In the afternoon we will visit the terraces of Pacchanta.

    Full-Service Camping - Choquequirao (3035m)

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 6

    Cross Choquequirao Pass (3215m) then descend to the Rio Blanco via Pinchinoyoc; continue to Maizal (3000m).

    We cover a lot of ground today, starting with a short but steep climb to the top of the Choquequirao Pass (3215m) from where we enjoy our last panoramic view over Choquequirao. After the pass we walk steeply downhill on a wide but dusty road to Pinchinoyoc (2400m) where we visit Inca terraces that were previously covered in vegetation. We continue our descent right to the bottom of the valley, where we cross the Rio Blanco (1800m) and begin our ascent up the other side of the valley. This is a long, steep climb up to Maizal at 3000m. This is a strenuous day, descending over 1500m and ascending over 1500m over the course of the day.  

    Full-Service Camping - Maizal (3000m)

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 7

    Steep climb over San Juan Pass (4170m) with impressive mountain views; descend to Yanama (3400m).

    We start the day with a steep, switchback climb (approx. 5hrs) up the San Juan Pass (4170m) - the effort of ascending the pass is balanced with incredible views of the snow-capped peaks of the Cordillera Vilcabamba, including Choquetacarpo, Pumasillo and Sacsarayoc. On a clear day you can see the magnificent glaciers and enjoy a 360 degree panorama of these beautiful, serrated mountains. As we near the top, we stop at the 500-year-old La Victoria silver mines. Crossing the pass, we descend for roughly three hours to our camp at Yanama (3400m), following an old miners track which glitters with silver dust. In May this path winds through landscapes filled with wild lupins in flower. Today you have good chances to spot a mighty Andean condor as it soars on the thermals.

    Full-Service Camping - Yanama (3400m)

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 8

    Trek amidst Vilcabamba Range and over Yanama Pass (4660m), surrounded by glaciers, to Totora.

    Stunning scenery abounds today as we trek deep in the heart of the Vilcabamba Range, climbing for approx.5 hours up to the highest point of the trek, the Yanama Pass (4660m). There is a new road from Yanama village up and over the pass, however, our trail avoids it wherever possible – and vehicles are few and far between. Our gravelly trail follows the river up the valley before it begins the climb, crisscrossing the new road until reaching the top of the pass and the high point of the trek where lofty Sacsarayoc dominates the skyline from the pass. A long (approx. 4hr) descent from the pass brings us through along the valley, passing small villages along the way and following the river to Totora campsite (3440m), where we spend the night.

    Full-Service Camping - Totora (3400m)

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 9

    Descend to Lucabamba.

    From Totora it is a descent (approx. 7hrs) to Lucabamba. We will notice more trekkers around today as we converge with a section of the Salcantay trail and pass enter a more inhabited area. We follow the road for a short section, then a gravel path beside the river; the surroundings are green as we are walking through cloud forest once again. We’ll also see lots of fruit trees and coffee plantations. Tonight’s campsite is particularly special: your tents will be pitched on Inca terraces, and the campsite is in the middle of a coffee plantation. Time permitting, there is the chance for a tour of the coffee plantation (for PEN10, or free entry should you purchase some coffee, PEN25 for a large bag).

    Full-Service Camping - Lucabamba

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 10

    Follow Salcantay River to Santa Teresa (1900m); train to Aguas Calientes.

    Rising early, we follow an original Inca trail which climbs uphill for three hours to the site of Llactapacta. After a final two hour descent, we reach the hydroelectric station at Santa Teresa (1900m) – a good spot for lunch. After lunch, we cross the Vilcanota River and finish our trek at the train station. We board the train to Aguas Calientes in the afternoon and check into our hotel upon arrival for a well-earned rest and a shower!

    Hotel Inti Punku El Tambo (or similar)

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch
  • Day 11

    Morning tour of Machu Picchu; train to Ollantaytambo.

    In order to beat the day-trippers arriving from Cuzco and reach the ruins as early as possible, a very early start is required to queue for Machu Picchu; only government-registered buses can make the 30-minute drive up the winding road to the site entrance and during high season (May-October) queues can be hours long. 

    Machu Picchu is one of the architectural and engineering marvels of the ancient world and what makes it all the more dramatic is its mountain backdrop of staggering immensity. The Spaniards never found it, the Incas left no records of it, and so Machu Picchu remained a great enigma, a city lost for centuries in the jungle until it was rediscovered in 1911 by the American historian Hiram Bingham. 

    New regulations for visiting Machu Picchu are now fully enforced; of the three possible visiting slots, Exodus will purchase the morning slot from 06:00 until 12:00 (unless unavailable), you will be limited to a maximum of four hours within the site and must be accompanied by a guide. There will also be three set routes to follow around Machu Picchu; Exodus selects the most comprehensive route. 

    We catch an afternoon train back to Ollantaytambo (1hr 30 mins) where we spend the night.

    Tunupa Lodge (or similar)

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 12

    Sacred Valley tour; continue to Cuzco.

    We wake to explore the narrow cobbled streets and the colossal Inca stone terraces which dominate the hillside above Ollantaytambo town. The archaeological site at Ollantaytambo was the royal estate of Inca Emperor Pachacuti as well as being of religious and defensive significance. Travelling by road we next visit the ruins of the Citadel at Pisac where Inca terraces are carved into the solid rock itself and there will also be time to walk around the colourful market. Afterwards, we continue the drive to Cuzco, passing through high-Andean scenery dotted with old towns and villages dating back to pre-Columbian times.

    Koyllur Inn or Ruinas Hotel  (or similar)

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 13

    End Cuzco.

    For land only travellers, the trip ends in Cuzco after breakfast today. Those who are travelling on the group flights will be taken to Cuzco airport to catch the flight back to London.

    Meals included: Breakfast
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Extend Your Trip

Amazon Rainforest extension (from Cuzco)

Code: XPC

Easily accessible via a short flight to Puerto Maldonado from Cuzco, the Amazon is the world's largest rainforest and home to an astonishing array of wildlife, as well as countless plant species. Spending three nights at a lodge in the incredibly rich Tambopata Reserve, we use motorised canoes to explore its lakes and rivers, and follow jungle trails to discover its dense forests. The detailed itinerary can be found here.

Please ask your sales consultant for more details.

Price from: £449 (compulsory supplement of £80 for single travellers)

Lake Titicaca extension

Code: XPT

Journey across the spectacular high altiplano to Lake Titicaca, the world's highest navigable freshwater lake (3,800m). Explore its waters by boat and visit the descendants of the Uros Indians who live on floating reed islands, and are also known for producing fine textiles. Back on the mainland, we visit the pre‐ Incan site of Sillustani, comprised of burial towers with fantastic views over the region. The Titicaca Extension is only available after your main tour as we do not recommend arriving straight into Puno due to the altitude. The detailed itinerary can be found here

Please ask your sales consultant for more details. 

Price from: £209 (compulsory supplement of £48 for single travellers)

Essential Info



Visas are not required by UK citizens, Western European nationals, Americans, Canadians, Australians, New Zealanders, South Africans and most other nationalities. If you are in any doubt please contact the nearest Peruvian Embassy.



There are no mandatory vaccination requirements.

Recommended vaccinations are: Polio, Tetanus, Typhoid, Hepatitis A.

Zika fever is a mosquito‐borne viral disease and a known risk in places visited on this trip. There is currently no vaccine or prophylaxis available, we therefore strongly recommend you take the usual precautions to avoid mosquito bites. 

If you are travelling to the Tambopata reserve in the Amazon rainforest, the risk of malaria is slight, but you may wish to consult your GP or travel health clinic for further advice. We also strongly recommend that you obtain a Yellow Fever vaccination. Dengue fever and/or Chikungunya are known risks in the Amazon region. Both are tropical viral diseases spread by daytime biting mosquitoes. There is currently no vaccine or prophylaxis available for either, and therefore the best form of prevention is to avoid being bitten. We recommend you take the usual precautions to avoid mosquito bites: always apply insect repellent and wear long-sleeved shirts and trousers while in the rainforest to avoid being bitten.

Eating and Drinking

All breakfasts, 8 lunches and 7 dinners are included in the price of the tour.

Peruvian cuisine has developed a reputation for its flavours and originality and it’s well worth trying out a few of the local delicacies. Amongst these are ceviche (a spicy dish of seafood or fish marinated in lime juice), lomo saltado (a Peruvian take on a beef stir-fry) and various hearty soups such as the delicious quinoa soup. Other dishes include roasted cuy (guinea pig), alpaca steak, and to drink, the national beverage: Pisco Sour.

Hotel breakfasts are normally simple buffet-style affairs, usually including bread/toast and jam, cereal, sometimes eggs or a cooked dishes, sometimes fruit, tea/coffee and fruit juice. Regrettably, we cannot guarantee that wheat/gluten-free products will be available for breakfast in all locations - if you have an intolerance you may wish to bring your own breakfast food.

Where lunch and dinner is not included in Cuzco/Aguas Calientes/Ollantaytambo we'll visit a variety of cafes and restaurants.

During the trek hearty breakfasts are served and good quality cooked lunches and dinners are provided, and usually consist of soup or a starter, a main course with meat/fish and some form of carbohydrates, followed by a dessert. Some snacks between meals are also provided. Drinking water (boiled and filtered) is provided in the mornings and at lunch during the trek so that you can refill your bottles. Bed tea/coffee is brought to your tent each morning and juice or hot drinks are provided with all meals during the trek.

Drinking water is provided. The tap water in Peru is not safe to drink; boiled and filtered drinking water is provided on the trek and elsewhere your leader will buy large water containers for you to refill your bottle from.


Peru's diverse geography results in a very varied climate.

The coastal desert including Lima, is generally dry but cloudy through most of the year. The exception is January to March when the skies are clear and the temperatures rise.

Cuzco and the Andes have a temperate climate. December to March is the rainy season in Cuzco/the Andes and April to November is the dry season; characterised by clear skies and strong sunshine in the mornings, sometimes clouding over as the day progresses. Daytime temperatures are usually pleasant (approx. 20 degrees C on average) but night times only 5-10 degrees C, except for May, June, July and August when days are cooler and nights are often close to, or a few degrees below, freezing (particularly at the higher parts of the trek).  In the Andes, however, anything is possible at any time of year, including cloud, rain or even snow, and rapid and unexpected changes! 

Aguas Calientes and Machu Picchu are in the cloud forest and as such attract large amounts of precipitation all year as clouds move up from the Amazon Basin. Rain here can be heavy, but is seldom prolonged. Cold fronts sometimes occur from July-August.

Peru is affected by the El Niño weather phenomenon whereby warming of Pacific Ocean surface water off South America drives a shift in the atmospheric circulation resulting in abnormally high levels of rainfall over parts of South America. These events occur at irregular intervals of two to seven years, and last nine months to two years. A strong El Niño event occurred in 2014-16. 

Cuzco, Peru

Cuzco, Peru

Is this trip for you?

This full-service camping trek is graded as Challenging/Tough (Activity Level 6), with eight days point-to-point walking and full porterage throughout. Please refer to our activity level guidelines.

Significantly more strenuous than the classic Inca Trail, this demanding trek takes you up to high altitudes on steep but well-defined trails, mostly following mountain switchbacks as you move from valley floor to mountain pass on your journey through the Andes. This trail follows ancient Inca pathways the same as the Inca Trail, but without the restrictions of trekking permits and human porterage. Expect early starts and long days (up to 11 hours) with steep gradients throughout, all rewarded with breath-taking views across the Andes. This trek is not technically difficult and is suitable for all walkers with a good level of fitness and some experience of multi-day trekking. There are some steep drops and narrow paths which makes this trek unsuitable for vertigo sufferers or those without a head for heights.

You may find our Fitness Training Guide a useful reference.

As this trip spends considerable time at altitude, we ask you to refer to the altitude warning within the Trip Notes. We spend two days in Cuzco (3400m) acclimatising before starting the trek. the maximum altitude reached on this trip is approximately 4,660m (Yanama Pass).

Protest action/strikes are not uncommon in Peru, and whilst these are generally peaceful, they can involve roadblocks and cause disruption to travel. Occasionally your leader may have to adapt your itinerary in response to this. 

Walking hours stated within the itinerary are given as approximates only. Timings stated include lunch and photo stops and will vary depending on the pace of your group.

List of Regulations for visiting Machu Picchu:

The main points impacting your visit are the following:

  1. The tickets are valid only for one entry which means that you cannot leave the site and re-enter.
  2. Once you have done the chosen circuit with your guide, you cannot walk back to view anything already visited and once you finish the circuit, you will have to leave the site. You can no longer explore the site further after the guided tour.
  3. The two visit times for visiting the site, either 6am-12pm or 12-16.30pm.
  4. The local authorities have restricted the temples which can visited at Machu Picchu depending on the time of the visit to the site.

These regulations will affect how long you are able to spend at Machu Picchu and which temples you can visit.  In the past, after the guided tour passengers could stay longer to explore the site, this is not possible anymore. The alternative that we are implementing on our visits to allow you further time, is to explore the upper part of Machu Picchu (Sun Gate and Inca Bridge) before starting the guided tour.  The guided tour will be about 2 hrs in duration, and unfortunately at the end of it, you will need to exit the site. You will be able to visit the Condor’s Temple, but not the Sun Dial Temple or the Sun Temple on this itinerary.

 Schedule of visit to Machu Picchu on this itinerary:

  • Early bus to Machu Picchu and explore upper part with the tour leader
  • Between 9-10am start the guided tour
  • Between 11.30am-12.30pm passengers leave Machu Picchu


Please see our COVID Travel Guide for Peru for more information on current guidelines for travel in Peru.

Following a review of all our trips we have categorised this trip as generally not suitable for persons of reduced mobility. However if you are a regular traveller on such trips, please contact customer services to discuss the trip and your personal condition.

Call for general departures:
020 8772 3936
Call for private group trips:
020 3885 9103
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.


Hotels & Camping

We spend five nights in hotels during this tour (in Cuzco, Ollantaytambo and Aguas Calientes). All of our hotels are small and locally-owned with en suite bathrooms and breakfast facilities. In Cuzco, all are located within walking distance of the central Plaza de Armas. Most hotels have a safety deposit box in the room but if not, there will be one at the reception.

Please note that central heating is very rare in Peru, even in good standard hotels. Most hotels provide plug-in heaters and spare blankets. Additionally whilst all of the hotels have a hot water supply, it can be temperamental when there is high demand.

A railway line runs straight through the centre of Aguas Calientes and whilst we try to allocate rooms away from it whenever possible, the trains might be heard from some rooms.

The seven-night trek is on a full-service camping basis with full porterage, meaning that our camp staff will erect and dismantle the tents for you, cook, and do all of the camp chores for you. You need only carry your daypack. There is a separate dining tent for meal times, as well as a toilet tent for use both in camp and during lunch stops. A bowl of warm water for washing with is provided each morning and evening, and boiled and filtered drinking water is also provided in the mornings and at lunch and dinner times so we can fill our water bottles.

Additional accommodation 

Should you wish to extend your stay in Peru, Exodus can book additional nights' accommodation prior to or after your tour in Cuzco. Please enquire at the time of booking. We recommend the early booking of pre/post tour accommodation to guarantee availability. 

Single Supplement 

Single accommodation (including tents) can be booked, subject to availability. Please request this at the time of booking.

Call for general departures:
020 8772 3936
Call for private group trips:
020 3885 9103
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Call for general departures:
020 8772 3936
Call for private group trips:
020 3885 9103
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Expert Blog Entries

  • Reviewed November 2019

    Fascinating trek

    A strenuous but rewarding trek, topped off with some fantastic sightseeing, and of course Machu Picchu! Great diversity of microclimates during the trek, as well as weather changes. The trip definitely deserves its challenging rating, but the guides and support staff helped all to enjoy this trek. The local people are welcoming. This is one of the best treks I have had the opportunity to be a part of.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Hard to say. Exploring Choquequirao in the mist and almost to ourselves after an intense day of climbing. Climbing Yanama Pass after a snowfall amongst the glaciers. Arriving in the tropical forests of Lucabamba knowing that our climbing was over. Seeing Andean condors one day and parakeets the next. Trying chicha and cuy. And Machu Picchu, glorious despite the number of people there, which I was dreading after eight days of being almost isolated from anyone else but our group, but still found completely breathtaking! Lastly, the group of walkers I was fortunate enough to accompany on this trip. A diverse and wonderful group of people.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Edwind was simply amazing! His ability to keep the group motivated and together through some tough climbing is noteworthy. Steep ascents and different levels of conditioning can really spread people out over long hikes, but he managed to keep everyone intact. Really responsive to different members interests and remembering them over the course of a two week trip. Joshua was also fantastic and very enthusiastic. They were both loaded with information regarding the culture and natural surroundings.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    The walking is strenuous, no doubt, but the rewards are well worth it. As noted in previous reviews, the ascents and descents are steep and long with almost no flat terrain. Insect issues previously mentioned are intermittent but definitely need good repellant. I usually wear shorts and I definitely paid for it! The weather was everywhere, from snow to tropical sun, so pack accordingly. The camping sites and hotels were fantastic and the food was amazing, especially considering the conditions in which it was prepared. All in all, if you are physically prepared, I believe its one of the best trips you will ever experience.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Special note to our chefs Beltram and Victor and assistant Isrrael. Their food was phenomenal, especially considering it was cooked from equipment and ingredients from the backs of mules. Also to Tibo and his group of muleteers. It is awe inspiring to watch these men work.
  • Reviewed June 2019
    Tom Anderson


    It was a difficult trip for me, but the support of the Exodus staff made it an excellent experience.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    I think the final hike up to Llactapacta, and the realization that we had made it up and down several steep climbs and descents, and we’re now on the doorstep to Manchu Picchu, was my most inspirational moment.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Julio Llancay was an excellent group leader. He was always helpful and understanding, and his interactions with us, the hikers, and the rest of the support staff, the horsemen, cooks, and assistant leader, set a tone of cooperation and friendship.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    I believe that it is accurately rated as a challenging/tough trip, but after experiencing the crowds around Manchu Picchu, it was worth the effort to experience Choquequirao and the less crowded Inca sites.
  • Reviewed November 2018
    Anne Farrell

    A hard and challenging trek no mistake!!

    A challenging trek . Beautiful views when you see them. Don’t be surprised if you don’t see Machu Picchu as it’s in the cloud forest. Fantastic views of beautiful valleys

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    How wonderful the mules are. Well cared for and unbelievable what they managed to climb with so much baggage. Narrow ledges and steep drop offs at times!!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Our guide Fabrizzio was great. Very attentive throughout the trip. From day 1 to departure. Extremely knowledgeable. Joshua the second in command was also excellent and thoroughly capable of being a team leader in his own right. Having the two was of great benefit as the group was of a vast abilities stretching out over a couple of miles.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Do not attempt this trek if you have any concerns with regard to fitness. This is not an easy trek. The days start at 4-4.30 a with a cup of tea then it’s full on. It’s like walking up Snowdon or Ben Nevis for 7/8 days but at high altitude. Read the notes. Most people like myself who have summited Kilimanjaro found this trek harder. It’s a grade 6 and Kilimanjaro and Everest Base camp are a 5. Take lots of mosquito repellent. The little midges are fierce. Sleeping mats are excellent. Tents adequately roomy. Food great but take plenty of snacks. You may be waiting a while on a few days, for your lunch till the ones at the rear arrive.
  • Reviewed November 2018
    John Heathcote

    The Inka Kingdom

    You'll see a lot of Inka remains, evidence of some very large-scale civil engineering, and impressive masonry. Apparently we don't know how they did the masonry, especially since they had no metal tools nor writing system. You'll also experience extreme topography, the botanical diversity of cloud forest, and some very tasty food.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The scale of the exposed remains at Machu Picchu - it takes around 4 hours to walk along the signed route through the site. There's less of Choquequirao visible, but its remoteness and lack of crowds makes it special. The verticality of the landscape on the first half of the trek is impressive, and I found the variety of the cloud forest plants, and the differences in flora along the trek, fascinating.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Fabrizzio kept it all together, so the trek ran smoothly without issues visible to us. He will provide plenty of background on the Inkas. Beware Peruvian time though - it might pass quite slowly. He managed the different abilities of the group on the trek very well.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    We had rain most days for the late October departure, and even in between it was so humid that nothing dried - forget the idea of washing clothes on the trek. And do take adequate waterproofs. The biting flies on the first few days of the trek are for real and leave you itching for a week - insect repellent is essential. We experienced a wide range of temperatures - from steamy hot to sleet. A flexible sleeping bag system is useful. The trek earns its 6 grading - although distances are not long, there's a lot of uphill so steep that it needs steps. Some slopes are more than 45 degrees!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    There's lots of variety in Peruvian food and it's very tasty, without being scorchingly spicy.
  • Reviewed November 2017
    John Cambridge

    The Lost City of Choquequirao

    It is a seriously insane trek across big country traversing a number of valleys, each of which takes a day to cross. There are no rocky ridge routes to relieve the arduous nature of the walking and the fine views are hard won. Having said that I did enjoy it as we had the paths almost entirely to ourselves and over the course of the trek were able to gain a real appreciation of the Inca heartland and the work they put into cultivating the landscape.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The setting of Machu Picchu amongst the towering pinnacles.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    The criticism from my fellow traveller is unwarranted. Tomas was very enthusiastic and in addition to leading the walks, did all the guided tours of the sites. I did not feel there was any lack of connection with the group, quite the contrary. He also managed to keep everything to schedule, not easy with a group of 14.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Take a close look at the route before deciding if it is the one for you. This is only one of several alternatives to the very popular Inca trail.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    I wore lightweight long sleeve clothing and used spray on deet on exposed skin and as result of these simple precautions was untroubled by mosquitoes and sand flies. Unfortunately the camp crew under catered for the size of the group. The food was nice, it was just that I could have eaten more of it. Hopefully this problem will be addressed on future treks.
  • Reviewed November 2017
    Rob McWilliam

    The Lost City of Chocquequiaro

    This is a challenging hike. The altitude makes the steep ascents and descents very demanding. But the scenery and the access to Inca sites that aren't crawling in tourists makes it worth it. After having Choquequiaro to ourselves for a full day the hordes of tourists at Machu Pichu were definitely frustrating.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The full day that we got to spend at Choquequiro exploring the site.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Tomas has lots of experience, and a great sense of humour. Our sense was that he might be bored with the guide routine, and the constant questions of clients. Didn't get the sense of personal connection that we have had with other guides on previous trips. Assistant guide Jhonny still has lots of work to do on his knowledge, but was very enthusiastic and I think the group felt a closer connection with him.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Really do need to respect the altitude! Slowly, Slowly is the way to approach the hiking or you will crash and burn. Also learn to love cocoa tea! The sand flies were a huge problem (don't know if this is seasonal or constant). Take LOTS of bug repellant and protective clothing.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Crew (Guides, cooks, wranglers) looked after us really well. In fact, some days it seemed too well. It is hard to do a step climb right after a very heavy breakfast or lunch. There was always a several course meal prepared and waiting.. even on the summit of a major pass.
  • Reviewed September 2017
    Eileen Cooper

    The Lost City of Choquequirao

    This trip challenges you physically, mentally and emotionally. It provides breathtaking scenery, camping in cloud forests, visiting Inca sites in beautiful and inaccessible places and the chance to observe how humbly people live in the harsh landscape. It fulfilled all of my expectations and more, spectacular scenery, challenging walking and indulging in the Indiana Jones experience. There was great camaraderie and our guides, Michael and Vladimir were just the best. They had infinite cheerfulness and patience and were determined that we would understand as much as possible about Andean culture, past and present. My only regret is that this trek may be 'it', the best one!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    One every day! Camping on Inca terrraces, learning about how the Incas viewed the Mayu, the Milky Way, standing on the usnu, the ceremonial platform at Choquequirao surrounded by mountains, ravines and sparkling rivers whilst clouds swirled around, the cardio workout exploring the Llama terraces, walking down to Yanoma amongst wild lavender with horses passing, sitting on a rock edge at San Abra pass at 4200m, surreal bathing in hot springs at Santa Teresa with bats flitting overhead.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Michael ensured we had the best time. He made everything as easy as possible for us. He was so patient taking photos of us at iconic spots and being an archaeologist, we were in the hands of an expert. He has a great approach to life and was always conscientious. A very genuine man who worked extremely hard on many levels to make sure our holiday was perfect, which it was.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    For those who are not super fit, do some training, legs, core and walking of course. Take extra clothes, it is hot and sticky and not easy to wash or dry clothes or towels.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    If you have any doubts, do some training and go.
  • Reviewed September 2017

    Peru adventure

    A challenging trek in Peru that managed to combine quiet trekking, magnificent scenery, the remote city of Choquequirao and the spectacle of Machu Picchu. Walking in remote areas of Peru, at times surrounded by snow-capped mountaings, or maybe cloud forest, or then again coffee plantations. Very varied and interesting at all times. The guides and support staff added to the atmosphere, providing a friendly and informative company. Helpful at all times, providing surprisingly good food in very basic conditions and unexpected "extras" - like the very welcome visit to the hot springs! All-in-all and excellent trip.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Having a wild condor effortlessly flying past us at a distance of only 20m!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Excellent! Knowledgable about the Inca history, although sometimes a little to mystical. Always in control and adaptable to changing situations. Always felt safe with him, and the other support team around.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Walking poles essential. The bugs bite a lot so bug spray essential, recommend always wearing long sleeves and long trousers.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Try the passion fruit smoothies!
  • Reviewed September 2017
    Rosemary Dan

    Excellent trip

    This is one of the best trips I have done. This was my first visit to South America - Peru is a beautiful country with fascinating history. The trekking is hard but well worth the effort.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    There were several, including Choquequirao where it was so quiet (only our group plus 3 other people) and Machu Picchu, which although crowded is spectacular. However, the most inspirational moment for me was the San Juan pass; the conditions were perfect, the 360 degree views breath taking and several Condors flying around when we arrived.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Frank was very passionate and knowledgeable about Peru and the Inca culture. Jonnie was a great and enthusiastic co-leader on the trek. The support team worked very hard to make sure we were comfortable on trek.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Prepare for the trek - it is hard with long ascents and descents but very rewarding. Take plenty of insect repellent - mosquitos are prolific particularly on the trek. I was worried about arriving in Cusco and coping with the altitude, however, the time spent in Cusco at the start of the trip was ideal to acclimatise.
  • Reviewed June 2017
    Gina Lawrence

    Lost City of Choquequirao Trek

    An incredible trek, away from the crowds and through the cloud forests and passes of the Andes.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    I loved being at Choquequirao - but it's only when you get to Machu Picchu do you realise what a privilege it is to see Choquequirao with so few people there. When we visited our group shared the entire site with only a dozen other people - incredible. The comparison with the business of Machu Picchu is startling! For the trek itself, the San Juan pass was my favourite spot - a perfect 360 viewpoint over the Vilcabamba mountains. We went in May and were blessed with glorious sunshine and the valley filled with wild lupins.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Rolando and Jonny were top notch, very funny and lovely to be around. Special mention must go to our amazing team of cooks and horsemen who were incredible and worked so, so hard to give us an amazing experience. We couldn't have done it without them!

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    This is a fantastic trek which gives you an unusual insight to Peru, away from the popular spots. It's so special to have somewhere like Choquequirao to yourself. Go now before everyone else does!

Dates & Prices

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An overview of flight options

Exodus is committed to making joining our tours as easy as possible, wherever you live. We generally only block book seats from London, but this certainly does not mean that you need to fly from there. Depending on the route and airlines available, there will usually be various options available for those who want to fly from their local airport.

This page aims to provide a useful overview of the options available to our clients. However, the best flight arrangements should be tailored to your personal requirements, so please contact our Sales team for expert advice.


What kind of options do I have ?

1. We can book for you: Flights from anywhere in the world - not via London  

Depending on the route, this may be direct or via an overseas hub like Amsterdam, the Middle East or elsewhere. On short haul routes there may be direct flights with low cost airlines, charter flights or scheduled airlines. Exodus can book most, but not all, of these for you. The most appropriate airline may be different to that which we use for the group flight from London, but many people now travel on different airlines and meet up with their fellow passengers at the destination.

Pros Cons
  • May be the most direct route
  • Often the extra fare compared to the London flight is minimal.
  • As you will be in the hands a single airline for your entire journey, the airline will be responsible for your bags and your connections.
  • You may not be able to join the group transfers. However, we can usually arrange private transfers, or book your flights to try and coincide with the group transfers. See notes on transfer arrangements below.


2. We can book for you: Connecting flights from your local airport to London

Exodus can book connecting flights to London so you can join the group flight there. Connecting times will be followed according to airline advice, or as requested by clients. There are two types of fares we can use for this option: a 'through-fare' or a 'published fare'.
a) A 'through-fare' is where you will be in the main airline's care throughout. You change planes, but your bags are checked all the way through to your final destination. 

b) A 'published fare' ticket is completely seperate from your onward ticket from London. It is usually cheaper than a through-fare but will need to be paid for and issued as soon as it is booked. This can be a problem if your tour has not yet reached minimum numbers. On 'published fares' neither airline is aware that you have connecting flights, so Exodus is responsible for timing your connection, not the airlines involved. The tickets are also usually non changeable and non refundable.

Pros Cons
  • Depending on the fare type, Exodus or the airline is responsible for flight connections.
  • Through fare tickets can be expensive.
  • On a published fare, tickets must be issued immediately; tickets on published fares can be very difficult to change if onward flight times change; bags are not checked though to your final destination.
  • Published fares are non-refundable.


3. Booking some or all of the flights yourself

You can also book connecting air travel yourself, either to London, or all the way to the start point. There may be certain airlines or routes we don't have access to, so this is always an option. However, if you make your own travel arrangements you become liable for any delays, cancellations or missed connections, and Exodus is not required to offer refunds if you have trouble reaching the start of your trip.

Pros Cons
  • You might find cheaper fares, or routes not available to Exodus.
  • You are responsible for any delays or missed connections, and the cost of the tour is not protected should you miss your flight be cancelled.


 Notes on transfer arrangements

Sometimes it is possible to travel on a different airline to the group flight from London. Where this is the case, we need to think about ensuring you meet up with the group with minimum extra cost and hassle.

  • On certain trips, it is easy to arrive on a different flight and still meet the group at the hotel with time in hand. We can usually arrange private transfers (at extra cost) or offer advice on taking a taxi to the start hotel.
  • On other trips (especially in Europe), the transfer meets the group flight and then travels some distance to the first night's accommodation. Where this is the case, our Sales team will try to arrange flights that arrive before (and depart after) the group. However, we do have to make it clear in your final documentation that if your flights are delayed, the transfer cannot wait for you. While Exodus or our local operators will do what we can to help you reach the start point of the tour, any additional costs must be paid by the client. 


Next steps? 

Call our Sales team on: 0203 733 0698

Email your query: [email protected]

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