Two of our favorite treks in Peru, Choquequirao to Machu Picchu and Espiritu Pampa – Trek to the Last City of the Incas, operated by Detour partner Amazonas Explorer, were featured in The New York Times Travel section yesterday: “The Hidden Route to Machu Picchu.”
These are challenging, off the beaten path treks to visit some of the most amazing Inca ruins and scenery in Peru. The Choquequirao to Machu Piccchu Trek is a 10-day trek (13-day package available including time in Cusco) to some of the most incredible Inca ruins one can see. The 60 mile trek ascends and descends nearly 16,000 feet, so it is only for fit hikers. But it is worth it to experience a sense of discovery similar to that of famous explorer Hiram Bingham, famous for bringing Machu Picchu to the western world.
“Once . . . cleared, Choquequirao will be one of the most spectacular archaeological sites in the world,” according to Amazonas Explorer guide John Leivers in the article.
Times writer Mark Adams says that “walking through the partially excavated ruins, it occurred to me that a visit to Choquequirao was what a Machu Picchu excursion must have been like 50 years ago. Our chief muleteer, Juvenal Cobos, who had been to Machu Picchu on a school field trip in the 1950s, confirmed this.”
Amazonas Explorer’s trek goes from Choquequirao to other little-visited Inca ruins, and ends with a magnificent view and exploration of Machu Picchu itself.
Choquequirao to Machu Picchu: Trek the Hidden Route to Machu Picchu. The trip is offered as a 10-day trek / Machu Picchu visit only, or a 13-day complete package from Cusco to Cusco including hotels and services in Cusco. Fixed Departure Dates: 10-day Trek Only: September 12, 2011 – September 21, 2011: $1643.00 per person; 13 -day trips: July 10-22, 2011; October 23 – November 4, 2011: $1995.00 per person.
Private trips can operate on any date and the pricing is tiered so the price per person goes down as the number of travelers goes up.
This amazing trek connects the sister ruins of Choquequirao and Machu Picchu in an off-the-beten path route across some of the most amazing terrain, scenery, and ruins in South America. Experience Peru and “discover” Inca ruins much as Hiram Bingham did 100 years ago.
Way off the beaten track, Choquequirao, the “Cradle of Gold”, is an amazingly preserved Inca outpost, comparable in size to Machu Picchu and dramatically located on a promontory nearly 1,700 m above the roaring Apurimac River.
It is only accessible by a tough trek. Our nine-day mule supported hike to Choquequirao and beyond takes in high passes, perfectly preserved Inca Trails and awesome Andean peaks, ending with a spectacular and rarely seen view of Machu Picchu and a full guided tour of these incredible ruins.
This is a long, spectacular and strenuous hike crossing the entire Vilcabamba mountain range from the Apurimac to the Urubamba watershed. It is approximately 100 km (60 miles) long with almost 5,000 m of both ascent and descent with passes up to 4,600 m and river crossings as low as 1,450 m.
This is your chance to be amongst one of the few adventurers to visit this incredible site and complete this rewarding trek to Machu Picchu. We end in Cusco with an extra day to relax and explore this amazing city.
DAY 1: Cusco (briefing only on 10-day trip as trip starts on Day 2)
DAY 2: Cusco – Limatambo – Sahuite – Cachora
DAY 3: Cachora – Apurimac – Santa Rosa
DAY 4: Arrive Choquequirao
DAY 5: Explore Choquequirao
DAY 6: Choquequirao – Maizal
DAY 7: Maizal – Yanama
DAY 8: Yanama – Totora
DAY 9: Totora – Lucmabamba
DAY 10: Lucmabamba- Llactapata – Train to Machu Picchu
DAY 11: Machu Picchu – Return to Cusco (end of 10-day trek)
DAY 12: Cusco
DAY 13: Cusco & Home
Espiritu Pampa is generally regarded as Vilcabamba, the Lost City of the Incas. Espiritu Pampa is hidden in the jungle and is now known as the last holdout of the Incas in their battle with the Spanish. This remote site is visited by fewer than 250 tourists a year. It is a challenging jungle exploration trek for the person who wants to re-discover Inca history for themselves.
Espiritu Pampa: 12 -day trips begin and end in Cusco. The trip is available any date for a private group with a minimum of 3 travelers, or there are fixed departure August 14, 2011 and October 30, 2011. Price is $2403 per person, based on double occupancy for the fixed departure trips, and private trips have tiered pricing, with the price per person dropping as the group size goes up.
Trek to the Lost City of the Incas, Espiritu Pampa!
This truly amazing trek takes us below and beyond the Machu Picchu so well known to a rarely visited place – Espiritu Pampa – the definitive final outpost of the Inca Empire. Following an in depth exploration of Cusco and the Sacred Valley, we visit the fabled Machu Picchu before heading further into the jungle by train and vehicle to the start of our trek into the Vilcabamba region.
Following the footsteps of the Incas, we retrace their final journey into the jungle to their recently cleared final hiding place – Espiritu Pampa. This rewarding low altitude trek offers the seasoned traveler a chance to truly experience a spectacular journey, one that is rarely undertaken. In 2008, less than 250 people visited this site – This is jungle exploration at its very best!
Day 1: Arrive in Cusco and acclimatization / orientation tour of Cusco
Day 2: Hiking and guided tour to the local Inca ruins around Cusco
Day 3: Sacred Valley tour and late Pm train to Machu Picchu
Day 4: Private guided tour of Machu Picchu, transfer to Huancacalle
Day 5: Explore the Inca ruins of Vitcos and the famous “White rock”
Day 6: Start hike toward Espiritu Pampa
Day 7: Hiking the Concebidayoc valley
Day 8: Arrive at Espiritu Pampa – the last city of the Incas
Day 9: Full day exploration of Espiritu Pampa
Day 10: Hike out to road head and drive to Quillabamba
Day 11: Drive to Cusco
Day 12: Transfer to airport and fly home or join an Excellent Extension