Hot off the press: Choquequirao to Machu Picchu hikes to follow new itineraries!
Everyone agrees – the Choquequirao to Machu Picchu trek is a wonderful hike through the high, isolated Andes visiting amazing Incan ruins along the way.
“I clearly remember talking to an old campesino as he pointed over the mountains and said – well of course you can hike to Choquequirao from here, and Machu Picchu too. It seemed so obvious to him, that all sites were linked by Trails, as they were in Incan times,” says Ariana Svenson, Co Founder of Apus Peru. “Six months later, in 2003, we armed ourselves with topographic maps, and old trekking guide books and set out to hike those Trails. But the key was that we hired local muleteers and they guided us from place to place. To them it was just following a trail, from A to B, that they had known their whole lives. To us, it was a great adventure.”
Several years later, Apus Peru was established as a travel agency and given the incredible nature of the route, the Founders felt that it was a “must see” trekking route for visitors to the region. Memorable ruins, stunning mountain scenery and plunging river canyons – the glorious isolation of the Andes, Choquequirao and beyond became accessible. Two great ruins in one great trek!
Now, many years later, we have had many trekkers pass through our doors and enjoy this wonderful route with us, whether it was our 7, 8 or 9 day trek. However, Apus Perú strive to offer great experiences, and are constantly listening and responding to our clients’ needs, suggestions and feedback. This brings me nicely on to the reason for this blog.
We have taken the plunge and recently made some necessary changes to these classic routes. Here we would like to take the opportunity to explain why – and how excited we are to be offering new itineraries!
As mentioned, back in the day of ‘trail blazing’, the tiny village of Yanama, situated about half way between Choquequirao and Lucmabamba and home to some of our arrieros, was exceptionally isolated and only reached on foot.
By 2012, with the onward march of progress, a road had been bulldozed in allowing vehicle access. It has to be acknowledged that this is great for locals, easing the task of transporting goods and general all round connectedness. For more perspectives on roads and what they mean for small Andean villages, please read Co-Founder Ariana Svenson’s thoughts on roads accessing other remote villages: http://threadsofperu.com/road-to-chaullacocha/
So while we celebrate better services for the locals, we recognize it is not so great for the purist trekker looking for solitude and a taste of Andean wilderness!
Walking the last day of any trek along a road is not ideal, in addition to meeting a section of the now very popular and busy Salkantay trek, we felt that our guests were looking for remote hiking experiences – and it was time for change.
Now, our new, revised 9 day Choquequirao to Machu Picchu trek route as goes via Vilcabamba!! Three great ruins in one great trek!
Our 8 day trek option has been created with the purist in mind and is a real adventurer’s option. We get off the beaten path, literally, at Yanama and take our new alternative route to the Qhiswa Pass and on to Totora. Difficult? Most definitely. Worth it? Ultimately. However, this is not a trek to consider unless on day 6 of an already tough trek you will have the physical capacity for a long and demanding 22km one day loop!
Our 7 day itinerary, removed the Yanama – Totora hike section and created an extra day to play with. The 7 day Choquequequirao to Machu Picchu now includes a very special introduction to Machu Picchu – the hike of Lucmabamba to Llactapata ruins. A wonderful way to end a memorable trek – by hiking back into civilisation with your first glimpse of Machu Picchu and Huayna Picchu from the East.
We look forward to exploring with you! For more information please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org