Discovering the majestic Inca construction of Waqrapukara or "horn-shaped fortress", located in the canyon of the mighty Apurimac river, will be an unforgettable experience, since it is a hidden treasure for travelers who are looking for something different and with few people. This beautiful sacred place combines an incredible work in stone with spectacular natural formations and small lagoons around.
Waqra is "horn" in Spanish. Pukara is equivalent to strength. The "horns" rise 4,300 meters above sea level, on the summit of a huge ravine covered with forests that crown the chasms that overlook the Apurimac River canyon. The archaeological monument is surrounded by impressive platforms, squares and a forest of stones that resemble thrones with mythological giants contemplating the Andean landscape.
04:30 We pick you from you hotel and drive to Acomayo
08:30 Starts the Waqrapukara hike
11:00 Waqrapukara guided tour
11:30 Back to the starting point of the trek
14:00 Transport back to Cusco
18:00 Arrival to Cusco
Maximum Height: 4 400 m / 14 436 f
Minimum height: 3 207 m / 10 521 f
Walking distance: approximately 12 km
Walking time: 7 hours approximately
Degree of difficulty: Moderate to challenging
This day it is necessary to leave early, at 5:00 a.m., for a bus trip to the Acomayo district, until finally arriving at Cocha 4000m / 13123f, where the 2½-hour hike to Waqrapukara will begin. The geography is rugged with incredible natural rock formations and small lagoons, where you can observe the wild fauna of the place, such as condors, llamas, alpacas, vicuñas, wild horses and wild ducks.
During this hike we can see a lot of flora and fauna typical of the area to reach our destination Waqrapukara, where we will have a guided tour visiting the following places: Intipunku (Sun Gate), main square, towers, terraces, Wiracocha enclosure and cave paintings with representation of flames.
The archaeological complex is located sinuously along a rocky promontory, built around two horn-shaped mountain peaks, the site has eight Inca terraces with retaining walls and stone stairs.
It will take three hours of walking back along an old road to the town of Waqui, before finding your private bus that will take you back to the city of Cusco.