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Machu Picchu

Choquechaca to Machu Picchu: a visual journey

Published August 03, 2015 by Nick Dall

Deep in the Vilcanota mountain range, on the way to Machu Picchu, sits Choquechaca, a remote valley inhabited by indigenous Quechua speakers whose cultures go back to before the Inca Empire. SA Expeditions and the families of Choquechaca have collaborated to create a unique experience that brings people from around the world to this remote valley in the name of conservation, economic development, adventure and authentic exchange. The gallery below will visually take you along SA Expeditions' four-day, three-night trekking expedition from Choquechaca to Machu Picchu.
Meet the Cast
No Choquechaca experience would be possible without the guides, chefs, muleteers and women of the valley. This gallery will introduce you to the people who will make your Choquechaca experience unique and memorable.
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Day One
On the first day you will depart from the trailhead at Pumamarka, climbing to 13,000 feet at Azul Cocha (Blue Lake). The trail will take you past Andean farms, llama pastures, and high Andean wetlands. You will go by vehicle from Ollantaytambo before hiking 3 miles from the trailhead to Azul Cocha.
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Day Two
The second day starts at Azul Cocha climbing to Hallancoma pass at nearly 17,000 feet. You will then head down into the Choquechaca valley, along the Yuroq Mayo (White River) to the community of Choquehaca where you will camp on night two. You will be hiking 6.5 miles on this day.
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Day Three
After a hearty breakfast, you will continue down the Choquechaca Valley, passing through native Andean forests, and past waterfalls and glacier-clad peaks. You will eventually reach the ruins at Pumamarka to explore these little-visited ruins. Lunch will be served before going by vehicle to Ollantaytambo to catch the train through the Urubamaba River valley to Aguas Calientes.
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Day Four
On the final day you will awake early to go by park bus to Machu Picchu for the sunrise. You will spend the day exploring the ruins, Huayna Picchu and some of the most incredible stonework ever carried out by human hands.
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Choquechaca video
Just in case you haven't seen enough pictures of this incredible experience, we've put together a very short video which should give you some idea of the sights and sounds of the Choquechaca Valley.