A visitor to Choquequirao explores the ruinsA visitor to Choquequirao explores the ruins

Choquequirao – Machu Picchu 8D/7N

In Quechua language, Choquequirao or Choquekiraw means “Cradle of Gold”. It is another “Lost City of the Inkas” “Choquequirao is the city which demonstrates the inspiring Inca ceremonial center. A city dedicated the adoration of the “Pachamama” the Andean mother Earth “the Apus” Mountain gods and divinities like the water and the elements of Nature.”
Now our focus in this Area is the Andean people, who are living in these amazing mountains, with ancestral traditions, the Inca’s descendants. The Choquequirao trail is for real trekkers who want to get into the remote western Vilcabamba range and still end up at Machu Picchu.

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Choquequirao Trek, Sky High Andes toursChoquequirao Trek, Sky High Andes tours

Choquequirao – Vilcabamba – Machu Picchu (9 Days 8 Nights)

Duration: 9 Days / 8 Nights
Level: Basic

In Quechua language, Choquequirao or Choquekiraw means “Cradle of Gold”. It is another “Lost City of the Inkas”. Choquequirao is dedicated to the adoration of the “Pachamama” the Andean mother Earth, “the Apus” Mountain gods and divinities like the water and the elements of Nature.”

Now our focus in this area is to hike on well preserved Inka trails and see the last stronghold of the Inca after the Spanish took over Cusco. Many Andean people, who are living in these amazing mountains have ancestral traditions from the Incas. We will cross the Vilcabamba mountains from the Apurimac to Urubamba river, visiting the most important cities of the Incas: Machu Picchu, Choquequirao and Vilcabamba.

Arriving to the summit of Cerro Soray peakArriving to the summit of Cerro Soray peak

Climb Soray Peak (5,446m/17,862ft)

Duration: 3 Days / 2 Nights
Level: Beginner (PD)

If you have not climbed a mountain before, Soray peak is a perfect choice if you are using crampons for the first time. On the summit you have spectacular views of the surrounding valleys and mountains including Salkantay and Humantay. You can combine it with the Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu. Or you can climb it as an acclimatization peak before attempting Salkantay.

View from the airplane of Salkantay mountain, Vilcabamba range, Cusco, Peru.View from the airplane of Salkantay mountain, Vilcabamba range, Cusco, Peru.

Climb Salkantay (6,279m/20,595ft)

Duration: 8 Days / 7 Nights
Level: Advanced (D+)

The great Apu Salkantay is one of the more difficult mountains to climb in Peru and is rarely attempted. Salcantay is the highest mountain close to Machu Picchu. The first ascent was in 1952, and until 1988 about eighteen teams had made the summit of Salkantay.  For many years after, no teams were able to climb the mountain. Some people disappeared or died while trying in the attempt, giving this peak its savage reputation. 

Since 2013 Sky High Andes has led five successful expeditions to the summit of Salkantay, being the only guides in Peru that are experts on this mountain. The easiest route is the North Face, but you still get over 800m of exposed ice/snow climbing mostly around 60-70°. I have also made the summit by the East ridge which is more difficult. Salkantay is for mountaineers who want a challenge and wish to climb the most sacred of the Andean summits.

Salkantay pass (4,650m)Salkantay pass (4,650m)

Salkantay – Santa Teresa – Machu Picchu Trek (5 Days / 4 Nights)

Duration: 5 Days / 4 Nights
Level: Beginner

Nevado Salkantay is the highest mountain close to Machu Picchu in the Vilcabamba mountain range. Since ancient times people hold this mountain sacred as a giver of life for the jungle below. This trail is great for your first time in altitude because the high pass on the trail, Salkantay pass (4,650m = 15,252ft) is relatively easy. After that the trail descends into the lower elevations of cloud forest. On this trek you will stay in comfortable cabins after hiking each day.

Inca Trail vs Salkantay Trek. The Salkantay trek is the most popular alternative trek to the Classic Inca Trail, with many groups going each day. But our opinion is that the Salkantay Ahobamba Trek is the best of them all.

Salkantay above Ahobamba valleySalkantay above Ahobamba valley

Salkantay – Ahobamba Trek (6 days 5 Nights)

Duration: 6 Days / 5 Nights
Level: Beginner

The Salkantay Ahobamba Trek is for the stronger trekkers who want a more adventurous route to Machu Picchu. It passes the east side of Nevado Salkantay instead of the west like the normal Salkantay Trek. The route crosses two passes, one at Abra Inkachillaska (5,000mts) and the other at Abra Palqay (4,700m). The trail then descends into the wild Ahobamba Valley, where we have a cabin in a beautiful place above the jungle.  There are very few people who get to travel by this face of Salkantay with spectacular views; it offers the perfect way to avoid the crowds on the way to Machu Picchu.