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Waqrapukara is a hidden treasure in Southern Cusco. This secluded archaeological site is perfect for those wanting to explore something historic on off the beaten track.
In Quechua, Waqra is horn and Pukara is equivalent to fortress. It is named after its form – Horn Fortress – Waqrapukara.
This Inca site is a mountain top fortress that nestles at 4,300 meters above sea level in the rocky outcrop. Built in between two horn shaped mountain peaks. The archeological complex houses eight agricultural terraces and stairways made of stones.
Our full day hike to Waqrapukara begins at an Andean village named Wayki (Huayqui). People have been living here since Pre Inca times. It is a three hours drive from City of Cusco. You will be ascending to about 550 metres to reach the Inca fortress from here.
The route will take you through many ecological zones. It offers breathtaking views of gigantic rock formations of the Apurímac Valley, along the way. The archaeological monument is surrounded by ravine covered with forests. A perfect site to contemplate the Andean landscape.
Not so long ago, La Republica, a renowned newspaper in Peru, interviewed the archaeologist, Miguel Cornejo. He was studying about this mysterious fortress. Miguel Cornejo said, “Waqrapukara is an Inca sanctuary of the first order that denotes immense political and religious power, as-yet undeciphered.”
As this is a lesser known attraction, we have dedicated guides on this tour. They are locals, with an extensive knowledge about history and culture.
We recommend you to spend 2-3 days in Cusco acclimatising before the trek to avoid altitude sickness. You will need to have a reasonable physical condition for the hike.
Cusco Hotel Transfer
At 0400 AM, we will pick you up from your hotel. We will then drive you to an Andean village named Cusipata. The route offers enchanting view of snow capped Andes Mountains.
Here we will stop for breakfast. After breakfast, we will visit a lagoon named, Pomacanchi.
From here we will drive to Huayqui, the starting point of the trek. Our guide will give you a quick briefing and some hiking tips. It is almost a three hours hike from here with a view of Apurimac river. Half way through the hike, we will stop to see some Andean rock paintings. These cave paintings have been preserved extremely well.
At Waqrapukara, our guide will give you a detailed tour. On this guided tour, you will be visiting “Inti Punku” (Sun Gate), the main square, towers (“Torreones”). You will also be visiting the platforms and premises of Incan God, Viracocha. As we have exclusive local guides, you will learn things that only a handful know.
View from the fortress is breathtaking. Once you have had your fill of the interesting sites and history, we will start our hike along the same way back to Huayqui. Our private vehicle will be waiting for you here.
We will drive you back to Cusco. You will be dropped off at Plaza Regocijo (Plaza Kusipata), next to the main square, Plaza De Armas, approximately at 0600 PM.
There are public transports to villages from where you can trek to Waqrapukara. However, since it is quite off the road, the frequency is not good. Moreover, you will need to be at the bus stop Huayki before 0600 PM , since thats when the last transport leaves to Acomayo which is an hour’s drive. From Acomayo to Cusco is another two hours drive. To avoid these hassles, it is highly recommended to sign up for a tour as you will be accompanied by a local English speaking guide and also you will be having a private transport.
The friendliness of the travel agency Treks in Cusco, was the best fortune I could have in my whole life.
Because they are a group of well-trained people, I felt very happy to have traveled with them, they made my vacation the most unforgettable in the world.
Thank you very much, Carlos!
And to the whole group. Treks in Cusco!