When possible it’s highly recommend hiking the trail, 58km, over 5 days; so that you will have the opportunity to spend a full day (trek day 3) in the Choquequirao citadel.
The Incan citadel is situated in the vast landscape of the Vilcabamba Range; above the Apurimac River Canyon. As a result; thick forest has covered this Inca site for many years and have re-discovered the citadel in relatively recent times.
Choquequirao was the dwelling of the last rebel Incas of Vilcabamba and similar to Machu Picchu; and it is widely believed that the Spanish never discovered this last remaining fortress. This is a challenging trek traversing different ecosystems, and it’s possible to include Machu Picchu as part of the trek route.
The 4-day trek is a long slow descent into the Apurimac valley; followed by a relatively steep climb on day 2 (then tracking out the same way you entered). Once through the challenging parts of this route; you’ll get to experience one of the best Inca Trail & Machu Picchu alternatives in the surrounding Andes of Cusco. The relative solitude of the Choquequirao trek makes this a very unique and excellent alternative.
There are amazing views of the Vilcabamba Range and the trail descends deep into the Apurimac Canyon.
5 – 10 Days: The Choquequirao trek is as challenging as it is rewarding, with switchbacks taking you up and over steep, forest-covered mountains; with routes that head through to Machu Picchu also.