This review comes from a slightly overweight 60 year old woman who never goes to the gym, does not jog, does not play any sports. But I must confess I have been hiking in high mountains every summer of my life. So, yes, while I am not in great shape, I am used to mountains.
My first and most important advice: take strong mosquito repellent. We used a lot of it but of a lower deet content and wore long sleeves and yet got totally disfigured by the bites. All the people we saw, of different nationalities, hence with different insect-repellents, had scary looking limbs.
You know the description from other reviews: you go down 1400m before you climb them back on the other side of the valley. The track is not easy but it somehow does not feel as exhausting as you'd imagine. That could be because at each point there is an amazing view, you are constantly in what to Europeans and Yankees seems like a botanical garden (plants we're used to seeing in a pot indoors are bigger than houses there). I strongly suspect that part of my strength came from the coca I was consuming through the tea with which we started our day as well as some chewing (coca leaves are sold everywhere).
I went there with Bioandean. Our group consisted beside myself of my 28 year old son, and another mother with a girl in her 20s. We took the 4 day 3 night trip instead of the longer one because of our schedule constraints. We definitely did not have enough time at the ruins but to a large extent it was the fault of the trip planning. If you can, do the longer trip but beware that that means another night in a tent. My son, being in great shape, gained more than an hour at each half day stretch, so for younger people who go faster, the 3 day trip could be enough.
The problem with our trip was that we got to the base camp for Choquequirao too late in the day and visited the ruins just before sunset, for only a few hours. It could have been longer had we tightened a bit the daily schedules to help us arrive to the base camp at least by noon.
One suggestion I have is to shorten the lunch breaks, especially on the first day, when you go down and it's not as exhausting. That would get you to the bottom of the valley early enough to cross the river and start the uphill track. There is a lovely camping place about one hour up the hill.
The meals Bioandean offers are absolutely fantastic and the cook we had, Santiago, was fit for a 3 star restaurant. He cooked breakfast, lunch and dinner, each with multiple courses, all fresh and delicious.
However, when you are tight on time and you spend a lot of resources to see unique ruins, you can forego a good lunch for a quick cold one in order to gain more time seeing what you actually came for.
We could have gotten to the higher camp ground for the first night had we: 1 not spent so much time up at the top after getting our of the car. 2. had a quick, sandwich lunch. We also waited in Cusco, in the car, for a long time to get the supplies. That could have been done on the eve of our departure.
I strongly advise you to ask that you start the descent as early as possible and spend the night on the uphill track. Insist on getting to the base camp at least by noon and off to the ruins immediately. And if possible, avoid a stop at the farm 1/2 way on the stretch from the car to the river. It is filthy! There is another spot for camping a bit higher; ask to stay there overnight. The two stops on the other side of the valley are both at lovely, clean farms.
Because we spent the night at the lowest point, the second day was the most difficult, with more than 2000m elevation gain (if you count all the ups as there are some downs!). The longer lunch break was welcome but there too, it dragged too long; had we not had to wait so much we could have arrived at the ruins earlier.
About Bioandean: overall we were satisfied with them and would recommend them. Our guide and helpers were efficient and very nice. Our tents were comfortable, the food, as I said, amazing. The schedule could have been planned better.
Another problem was that at Choquequirao we were again delayed by a lengthy lecture on the Incas. In principle, it would have been nice to sit there on the old walls and listen to the history. But, since we got there so late, spending half hour listening to something most of us knew from our preparations for the trip as well as having visited museums in Cusco, plus Machu Picchu. On the 4 day trip that lecture can be delivered during dinner the previous night when you have nothing to do.
We rushed down to the Llama terraces which should not be missed, and then back up to the ruins but did not have time to linger nor to see everything. We missed the upper part of the site and returned to the camp in the dark.
The area is beautiful and there's a lot to see (some terraces and ruins on the other side of the mountain from the Llama terraces) so if you can, spend two nights there and have a full day lingering among the ruins and taking in the landscape.