Choquequirao is in Sacred Valley of the Incas of Peru. Choquequirao Complex is very interesting and one of the most popular treks in Cusco area. Choquequiraw is situated in the spur of the mountain range of Salkantay, over 3030m surroundedby the Apus of Yamana, Ampay, Chokecarpu, Pumasiyo and Panta, on the left bankof Apurimac river. In the time of the Incas, it was united and in communication with Machu Picchu by a complex network of trails. The reasons are many: The fantastic nature with valleys, snow-capped mountains and great variety of plants, birds and animals.
It's a two day hike to Choquequirao from Cachora or Huanipaca. Guides and mules for the trip may be found in Cachora. Cachora is the most popular starting point for travelers who want to see the amazing newly-rediscovered Incan site, Choquequirao. Most people go in and out from Cachora as this is the best maintained and serviced trail. There are several places to buy water, Inca Kola and simple dishes of soup, eggs or potatoes along the journey. Another option is to continue onto Santa Teresa (La Convención) or Machu Picchu, but you'll need plenty of food. Hiring a donkey or mule is advised.
There are generally only a few tourists each day entering Choquequirao, the park workers are quite helpful in giving directions. The park itself is quite difficult to navigate with some paths somewhat overgrown. Much of the site is rebuilt: many original large stones have crumbled into smaller pieces, and in places it is easy to identify which sections are original work and which are reconstructed. In the main plaza, concrete beams have been used on one of the buildings. In other places, crumbling ruins are marked with numbers, so if they should fall, they will be able to be reconstructed.
Steep, rugged mountains.
Flora and fauna
Coral Snakes, Tarantulas.
Biting insects. Three kinds of flying insects, typical mosquitos, horse flies, and tiny biting (sand flies? locals call them mosquito) make long, loose clothing (safari suit) and insect repellent (sold along the trail) required.
*** Last Warning *** The tiny bugs are not like North American mosquitos, are very hard to see, and you don't feel the bite when they bite you. Any exposed skin should be given constant repellent reapplication. The bites last for days to weeks and will be very, very itchy. Rubbing fresh lime on bites can reduce the itching/swelling.
Due to the altitude, it's hot in the sun and cold at night, sometimes below 0°C. The air is dry on north side of the mountains, humid on the south sides and in cloud forest.
There used to be three trails leading to Choquequirao, one from Cachora, one from Huanipaca and one from Yanama. Currently Huanipaca trail is closed due to rockfall (as of August 2013, still closed June 2016). To reach Cachora or Huanipaca, take the bus from Cusco to Abancay and get off at Ramal - the turn off for Cachora or Huanipaca (just past Saywite), the roads leading to these towns are about 2 km apart. There are at many bus companies that leave for Abancay from Cusco's Terminal Terrestre, but timetables are not usually online. As of March 2014 Breddes buses leave at 5:00 am, 6:00 am, 10:00 am, 1:00 pm and 8:00 pm (20 soles). Another company (the name not remembered), does the route for 15 soles. Get off the bus at Ramal (de Cachora), and from there you need to take a taxi or walk down the switchback roads or paths cutting directly down the hill from the main road to the town you intend to hike from. Taxis often wait for the people from the bus, except on Sunday when you might have to wait an hour. A shared ride from Ramal to Cachora costs around 10 soles. A private taxi will cost 30 soles.
For the Huanipaca and Yamana trails, steep sections make hiking the only option, but the trail from Cachora can be done either on foot or horseback. If you speak a bit of Spanish you should have no trouble finding an arriero and one or more mules or horses in Cachora. Just ask your taxi driver when you get a lift in, or ask at any of the shops in the main Plaza del Armas. Expect to pay at least 25 soles per day for an arriero, and 25 soles per day per horse. Asking rates will probably start at 30 soles per horse/arriero per day but the price can be negotiated. A minimum of 4 days hire is applicable.
The trail from Huanipaca is shorter, steeper and lacks the amenities that the trail from Cachora offers. As of August 2013 Huanipaca trail is closed due to rockfall. The trail from Cachora has several sources of drinkable water, campsites, showers, toilets and at least one place where you can buy Inca Kola. Hiking in from Yanama you would need to start in Mollepata, Santa Teresa or Machu Picchu Pueblo, these are very long and difficult hikes. If you want to do the 8 day Machu Picchu - Cachora hike it is probably easier to do it in reverse as you will find arrieros much more easily and cheaply in Cachora than at the Machu Picchu end. Note that in either case you will probably need to pay for a return journey for the arriero and mule hire, not just the one way.
The Two Day Trek From Cachora;
Day One - Start out early from Cachora to make it to camp before nightfall and take in all the views as the sun goes down over the Andean valley. The first day is around a seven hour hike and 1,500 meters elevation change down the mountain. There are multiple campsites, all well marked, with running water and bathrooms. The tap water is siphoned from streams coming from lakes and glaciers on the Choquequirao side of the Apurimac River. camp at mile 25 it is a great half way point.
Day Two - There is a new bridge across the river. Get ready for an intense hike up the other side. After 11am the sun can make this hike very difficult, with one hiker reporting a walking speed of 500 metres per hour, compared to the usual 4 km per hour on relatively flat ground. About 1,800 meters up, Choquequirao awaits. It is possible to hike at night, when the air is much cooler; the path is easy to follow.
Note: A new bridge has been opened to cross the river, so renting mules for the whole trip is possible again. Bring a tent. It will likely rain and there are not many camping places with shelter.
Note2: It is possible to get a taxi (40 soles) from Cachora to Capuliyoc (10km) to skip the flat start of the trail and get a headstart. (Jun 2016)
There is an S/.55.00 soles fee (February 2016) that someone will collect from you at the gate to the site, about 1 km above Marampata (or in the park itself if nobody is at the hut). If you have a student card featuring the ISIC logo, the price of the permit is half.
Total time with a 15 kg pack, no guide, no mules: 5 days. Excellent scenery and a great alternative to the Inca trail at Machu Picchu.
With a mule carrying your pack and a good level of fitness it is possible to do this hike in 3 days. This involves hiking the 25 km to Santa Rosa on the first day, the 7 km to the site on day 2, with perhaps 4-5 hours on site, then doing the 7 km back down to Santa Rosa, and finally hiking the 25km from Santa Rosa back out on day 3. The Association of Arrieros in Cachora don´t like arrieros doing it in 3 days, and will fine them 30 soles if they catch them, so those confident in their fitness and wanting to do it in 3 days should probably tip their arriero at least this amount, as well as paying for 4 days hire which is considered the minimum.
You will need at least one full day at the site, it is difficult to navigate and the chances are your body will be aching. I carried about 12 to 15 kg's and I spent 2 days hiking in, 2 days at the site and 2 days hiking out. I think I sustained permanent injuries to both my knees on this hike, 8 months later they are still sore. I suggest carrying as little as possible, hike in the cool of the night and drink from the streams rather than carrying liters of water. It is recommended that water be treated with iodine pills, UV light, or a water filter before consumption. These things are far lighter than the bottles of water themselves. I personally drank lots of water without treating it and it was fine.
There is now a new bridge crossing the river, so it is possible again, to rent mules for the whole trip. Prices (as of October 2014) are 30 soles per mule and day and 30 soles per day for the arriero.
The locals are helpful but only speak Spanish and/or Quechua. The site is an active digging site, there are archaeologists working there, some of whom are American.
The terraces with white stone llamas. Wild flowers.
Trek. Be sure to spend the time to see all the various sections of Choquequirao, as they are all quite fascinating in their own way. It takes one complete day of 8 hours to cover the entire park, and there are many sections in the middle of being uncovered - a little bush whacking will usually be rewarded with a rarely viewed section of this still covered Incan palace.
There are several tiny (one-family) settlements at campsites along the way selling cooked food, snacks, beer, bottled water and soft-drinks, unless you plan on carrying a lot of water just drink from the taps - it usually comes from small mountain rivers, so treatment makes generally sense but is not always strictly required.
There are (very simple but filling) cooked meals available at Chiquisca, Santa Rosa and Marampata. A plate of food or bowl of soup will cost you about 3 soles (10 soles in Marampata). These locations also sell soft drinks, snacks, and the ubiquitous chicha.
A local entrepreneur will have wisely opened a shop with Gatorade and snacks about 10 minutes before you find another shop. Don't worry about it and just buy food or snacks as you need them. In every camp site along the way (except playa rosalina) locals have set up shop, so you can buy water, soda, rice, and snacks(sometimes eggs and fruit, but not always).
Fresh water from the mountain streams. The cautious will want to filter or purify with iodine, but I drank unfiltered without problems.
Shopkeepers and campgrounds will also have water on tap. Filter as you wish (we used UV everywhere in Peru). They will try to sell you bottled water but keep pushing and they will let you fill up from tap. (Buy *something* from them).
Take note of the stream / hut locations on day 1 while descending, so you can plan your water for ascending. There were 3 sources of water on the cachora side of the river.
For the ascent to Marampata - there is a stream crossing about an hour and a half from the bottom (Playa Rosalina), and another about another third of the way up - plan according to your fitness, probably carry a liter or less from each location. Plenty of water at the final campground below the ruins. (Showers and drinking)
Camping is the only option
Tent. Bring your own or hire in Cachora - there are several locations renting tents, sleeping bags and sleeping rolls. Look for 'Carpo Alquilo' signs or ask, if you speak Spanish.
You can camp near the entrance of the ruins or at several sites nearby and there are designated campsites on the way to the ruins. The main camp sites are state of the art with flush toilet with doors, cold water shower, benches and a kitchen area, and nice flat grassy areas to pitch your tent. Most of them have an attendant living on site who will be your friend for the evening. There are camp sites at the following locations:
No permits are needed.
This is an isolated area but the trail is well maintained and easy to follow and people travel along it most days.
In August 2011 it was reported that remnants of the Shining Path armed with rifles, machine guns and rocket launchers robbed a group of German and American tourists and ordered them to hand over their food, cameras and other equipment. Nobody was hurt. 
Instead of walking the same way back, an easier way out is to go to Huanipaca: Within 5-6 hours (2 hours down to the river, 3h uphill) you can reach the hotel "Villa Los Loros" (rooms 100 soles), which is located 17km on the road from Huanipaca, has a good Italian restaurant and free camping spots. From there you can order a taxi (40 soles) to Huanipaca and from there take shared taxis/buses back to Cusco. However Huanipaca trail is currently closed due to rockfall (as of August 2013).