More than 3,000 metres above sea level in Peru’s Vilcabamba Mountain Range sits the Inca fortress of Choquequirao. Built more than 600 years ago and widely known to be the last stronghold of the Inca Empire after the Spanish conquest, the 1,800-hectare site can only be reached on foot and by following ancient Inca trails.
This challenging trek, at an average altitude of 3,000 metres (to a maximum of 4,560), will follow high Andean paths that take you across rivers and precipitous passes to reach that other Peruvian lost city, a site so remote it’s still blissfully free of mass tourism.
The trek includes numerous other Inca sites and spectacular Andean scenery along route, and finished with a visit to Machu Picchu and the famed Sacred Valley.
Days 1-2: Arrive in Cuzco to explore this colourful, hilly Peruvian city, filled with unique art, ancient cathedrals and narrow cobbled walkways.
Days 3-6: Hike across archaeological wonders, pulsing rivers and high-up plateaus toward Choquequirao, with a full day to explore the Incan ruins, many of which remain unexcavated and hidden behind thick forests.
Days 7-10: Trek northward to Santa Teresa by way of Lucabamba and Totora, joining part of the famous Salkantay trail for stunning views en route to Peru’s most famous landmark.
Days 11-13: Do what everyone comes to Peru to do—visit Machu Picchu, one of the world’s most infamous man-made wonders, before descending by train back to the quiet village of Ollantaytambo and eventually returning to Cuzco.
- Phone: 800.267.3347
- Length/Departs: 13 days / May-Oct.
- Accommodation: Hotel, camping
- Price: $2,605
- Difficulty: Moderate to strenuous