Photos of Area de Conservación Regional Choquequirao Bird Watching Trails

“Hard” is an appropriate rating but worth every minute of the experience! There are several tour operators that organize refugios and porter bags along this route, but I was able to book refugios along the trail online with a bit of research while carrying my own backpack (kept light at 10-12 kilos by not having to carry a tent or sleeping bag). For this segment I stayed in Humantay Sky Lodge (Booking) in Soraypampa prior to commencing the hike and Salkantay Hostels (Expedia) in Challway to finish. The online price for Soraypampa was far overpriced: I would recommend showing up and negotiating a good local price rather than reserving online. Challway also has plenty of options for on-the-spot accommodations but I was happy with the rate, the room I was given and the peace of mind knowing I had a place waiting when I arrived. The uphill portion: tour operators suggest it takes 3 hours to reach the Pass but if you’re carrying a pack I’d recommend planning on 4 hrs. The way down is substantially longer but less strenuous. Starting at 7:30a with a 30 min lunch and many pictures stops along the way, I reached Challway at 4pm. Most of the tours left between 5:30 and 6:30 with a longer break for lunch, also reaching Challway around 4pm. Mixed feelings about using porters: if you come prepared with a light pack definitely recommend to carry your own bag; I had to change clothes 4 times given the conditions: from fog to sun to snow to rain... if my bag was on a mule it could have been miserable to deal with all the temperature changes. Although I packed my own lunch, it would have been very possible to stop in Huairaspampa to get fed (where the tours stopped for food around 11:30a - 12:30p). If backpacking with a full pack, it’s definitely possible to stay in several spots along the way: there were several small homes that make their yard available for camping and probably offer meals we well. This “Segment 2” portion of the route is known to be the most strenuous of the Salkantay trek. Many people have problems with the altitude, but also the downside slope poses challenges with mud and loose rocks. All in all, the downward slope is mostly gradual; and likewise the upward portion is never gets too steep. Note: My phone died so I was only able to record the first 7km on AllTrails

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