Choquequirao tips for a solo trek


A building in Choquequirao

Choquequirao is an archaeological site as magnificent as Machupicchu. However, the former is less crowded than the latter and the reason is simple: the only way to get there is on foot.

Thus, you may be wondering whether it is possible to do this 4D/3N hike just by yourself. Well, I did it alone a few years ago so here are some ideas to help you out with your decision.

– You can choose either the towns of Cachora or Huanicapa as your starting points. The trail from Cachora is more popular, less steep but longer than the one from Huanicapa.

– A good piece of advice would be to sleep in Cachora and start the trek early morning the next day. The common practice, however, is to go from Cusco to Cachora and start the hike right away around 10am under a killing sun. I even saw hikers starting as late as 2pm.

– Walking sticks are strongly recommended. The slope down to the Apurimac river is very steep.

– My biggest mistake was to run down the steep slope to the river carrying my 12 to 15kg backpack. The result: pain in my left knee. Thus, walk down slowly and use walking sticks.

– It is very exhausting to reach the second base camp (at Santa Rosa) the first day. You may consider overnight at Chiquiska, the first campsite, before crossing the river. It took me 10 hours from Cachora to Santa Rosa Baja and I was literally biting the dust.

– My worst enemy was the sun so one of the best suggestions is to start as early as you can. I usually got up at 5am.

– Even though the killing sun, cover your body (especially arms and legs) because there are mosquitos especially near the river. Otherwise, you will regret it.

– Do not worry about navigation. The trail is clearly marked and there are some posts and lookouts along the way. Moreover, you will even find local children selling snacks and drinks.

– There are always porters with horses just in case you no longer want to walk.

– Every Thursday there is a local fair at Cachora where you can buy some fruits.

– It can take aproximately 5 to 7 hours to sightseeing all Choquequirao which comprises not only the summit  but also both hillsides: one of them with terraces that have figures of llamas; and, the other, a very steep slope with an amazing water fountain. It is so steep that I had to slide it down on my derriere.

I hope this post would help you out in your decision to visit Choquequirao…alone!!! And your comments are welcome in case you also have more suggestions to do this amazing yet challenging trek.

Related Posts:

Qenqo the hike

Hike to Qoyllurity sanctuary

Looking for a trail to Pisaq


About Peru En RoUte

Natural-born backpack traveller around Peru
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9 Responses to Choquequirao tips for a solo trek

  1. Pingback: How much time do you need in Choquequirao? | Peru En Route

  2. i plan choquequirao – yanama – collcapampa where the trail joins the salkantay´s one and then come back to Cusco!!
    thanks for your information, i see you also love hiking!!!

  3. schlomorig says:

    have fun on choquequirao-hidroelectrica. It’s a great hike (I just came back from it yesterday). I would suggest you go to lucmabamba and llaqtapata dropping to hidroelectrica, instead of directly to Santa teresa if you have the extra time. It’s really nice there.

  4. I first want to do Choquequirao again but this time hiking til Sta Teresa. And then Augansante, two of us, but without porters and mules. Thanks again and good luch with your blog and your hikes too!!!

  5. schlomorig says:

    sure. If you’re a good hiker and acclimatise. I did it in the beginning of july, with my friend Sonia. And 2 other friends of mine did it too. Are you planning on doing it alone ?

  6. Thanks Lorene for that link. I went to SAE office today saturday but it only worked til 1pm, weekdays is from 9 to 5pm so i will see then.
    So do you really think it is doable without any help of guide, porters or mules? Maybe i do it this month.

  7. schlomorig says:

    I did a short post with a few pictures about ausangate circuit. Here is the link
    I’m writing a more complete report but it’s taking me time. When are you thinking on going ? It’s definitively doable and one of my favorite trek. You can get some infos to at south american explorer club in San blas

  8. Thank you for your comment and current information about the trail from Huanicapa.
    By the way, any suggestion for an Ausangate solo trek?

  9. schlomorig says:

    The site is well worth the visit. I like to camp in the site to stay longer and have more time to look everywhere. Last time I was there (2 months ago), I was thinking of coming back by huanipaca (just not to repeat the trail) but people I met on the site and the arrieros told me that since a landslide a year ago (2012?) the path is dangerous (part of the trail is gone). So gather more information before heading that way. I also second the “hike as early as you can to beat the heat”.

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