Explore the Inca ruins of Waqrapukara 1 Day
Waqrapukara the archaeological site is located in the District of Acos, Province of Acomayo, Department of Cusco. It is strategically located joining the Apurimac valley and the Pomacanchi plateau, it is a cultural landscape with cognitive elements of wisdom and power, where two rocky protuberances rise, with an architecture camouflaged with carved stones.
This archaeological complex called Waqrapukara. According to researcher Dr. Victor Angles Vargas, etymologically it comes from two words, waqra means horn and the word pukara means fortress or barracks. In short, this word waqrapukara means fortress in the form of a horn. It was a residence of the nobility of this place; with astronomical observatories and at the same time it was a protected religious center with watchtowers and underground paths.
- Hike through the varied landscapes of Acomayo Highlands, taking in views of massive canyon walls and sandstone cliffs as you go.
- Learn about the culture and history of Waqrapukara Inca site during a guided tour, followed by a traditional homecooked, family-style Peruvian lunch.
- Take a bird’s eye view and admire the winding gorges and desolate rock landscape of the Apurimac Canyon by the natural view point.
Inclusions of this tour
CUSCO – ACOMAYO – WAQRAPUKARA – CUSCO
We begin our trek to Waqrapukara by car, leaving Cusco in our private transport at around 4:00 am. We are heading south valley of Cusco on a paved road, in the direction of district called Acomayo. Along the way, we will pass the impressive Pomacanchis lagoon and several picturesque villages until we reach the Huascar junction where the paved road ends, and adventure begins. We continue on a hardened dirt road until we reach Huayqui (also spelled Wayki or Wayqui), the trailhead for our Waqrapukara trek.
Before we begin the hike to Waqrapukara we’ll get to share breakfast with a local family. Then it’s time to set out! The first part of our walk takes us to Suythuwanca, which will take about an hour and a half. From here, we continue walking uphill for another 1h30 along a winding path, bordered by mountains. The views here are out of this world!. In addition to these breathtaking vistas, we will be treated to fascinating ancient rock paintings along the way. Some of these cave paintings are in a great state of preservation.
Finally, we will arrive at Waqrapukara (4300m / 14,107 ft). We’ll rest and enjoy a boxed lunch before starting our guided tour of this mysterious Inca fortress. In Quechua, Waqrapukara actually means “Horn Fortress,” from the words waqra (“horn”) and pukara (“fortress”), and it is a real sight to behold. It is the horn-like rock formations that likely give the Inca fortress its name.
Waqrapukara is an imposing archaeological feature perched on a mountain top, surrounded by gorgeous, lush scenery. We’ll have about an hour to explore this fascinating site. Signs direct us to the different areas of the site, which actually includes several structures.
When we’ve had our fill of Inca history and interesting ruins, we will return along the same path. As we walk another 2hrs to our starting point, we’ll have one last opportunity to take in the stunning beauty of the surrounding mountains.
Finally, we arrive at Paltacancha where our vehicle will be waiting to take us back to Cusco, arriving at about 7pm.
Best season to travel
The best time to visit Peru is during the dry season, between May and November, when the weather is dry and bright, with more frequent rainfall occurring between November and April.
Choose your preferred departure date to proceed
A unique adventure in Trek to Waqrapukara Ruins 1 Day
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