- Hiking / Trekking
The first day's walking provides a good introduction to the rest of the trek: off you go, and straight away you're faced with a 1,300 metre height difference to tackle ; OK, it is a descent rather than a climb, but it's still seriously hard on the legs. For this reason alone, it's a quite wonderful moment when you finally get to the campsite. To be honest, the first time I did this hike I actually wondered whether I'd make it to the end. I should point out, however, that I didn't have a mule-driver with me, which made things more difficult (I don't actually know whether this was down to a lack of concern, for the additional challenge it presented, or because I was just being stingy). But whatever the case, this is a brilliant walk, and recommended for all adventurous tourists who've taken the decision to introduce their walking boots to the lands of the Incas.
Chiquisca Campsite is an extremely quiet and peaceful place (though it has to be said that this is a little less true in the high season), and the subtropical surroundings are quite wonderful. From your tent, you'll have a direct view of the mountain on which the famous archaeological site is located. There's also a bamboo shelter at the site that you can use as an improvised kitchen area. The two makeshift showers constructed from canvas sheets and linked straight to the mountain stream by pipes come as something of a shock. But even though the water is freezing cold, you'll really savour the experience of using them!
Peru is a country which lends itself perfectly to hiking. The most famous is the Inca Trail trek, which leads to the legendary Machu Picchu, but there are also other treks which are worth discovering, like the Ausangate trek, the Colca Canyon trek or the Choquequirao.
This pretty 4-day hike leaves from the base camp at Chiquisca finishing at the beautiful Incan city of Choquequirao, Machu Picchu's little sister. All along this trek, you'll walk in the steps of Incan civilisation, in the heart of the valley of the Apurimac River, in the Salkantay mountain range. On the agenda: green valleys, snow-capped summits (including the impressive Salkantay peak), as well as diverse fauna.
Please be aware that the Choquequirao trek is fairly demanding, with lots of differences in altitude, but amazing scenery upon arrival!