Enjoy “The Waqrapukara One-Day Trek” to one of the Nation’s Cultural Heritage: Waqrapukara, the name is due to the union of the words Waqra (horn) and Pukara (fortress), horn because the archaeological complex resembles the horns of a bull. The place is composed of extensive agricultural terraces and walls, staircases and stone chambers carved in the classic Inca style are still preserved.
Join us on an epic hike to the majestic pre-Inca construction of Waqrapukara or Fortress of Horns located in the mighty Apurímac canyon. This beautiful sacred place combines advanced architecture and impressive natural formations in a wonderful landscape—almost like something from a dream—surrounded by small crystalline lagoons. The gigantic horns rise as high as 4,140 m / 13,583 ft.
Group Size: Up to 10 People
Max. Altitude: 4,140 m / 13,583 ft
Difficulty: Moderate to Challenging
Walking Time: 6 hours
Starting Elevation: 4,050 m / 13,287 ft
Waqrapukara Elevation: 4,140 m / 13,583 ft
Waqrapukara Archaeological Site
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 adapted to the monument, walled with walls of semicircular containment, with stairways, trapezoidal windows and niches, enclosures, accesses to small spaces, a central plaza facing east with trapezoidal constructions with one, double and triple jambs, including a stone for ceremonies or “Waka” and a “Machay” or cave; All these elements are found at the foot of the rocky protuberances, whose architectural characteristics make us infer that this space was ceremonial and sacred and probably had other functions for its time.
Tour Waqrapukara 1 Day Hike
Explore the Inca ruins of Waqrapukara over the Apurimac Canyon
Hike through the varied landscapes of Acomayo Highlands, taking in views of massive canyon walls and sandstone cliffs as you go.
Be astounded by the extensive, well-preserved agricultural terraces and walls, staircases, and stone chambers carved in the classic Inca style.
Learn about the culture and history of Waqrapukara Inca site during a guided tour, followed by a traditional homecooked, family-style Peruvian lunch.
Walk through incredible Andean landscapes and take some stunning photos.
Take a bird’s eye view and admire the winding gorges and desolate rock landscape of the Apurimac Canyon by the natural view point.
Marvel at the stars free from light and noise pollution.
Enjoy a day off-the-beaten-path and away from the large crowds.
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 6:30 pm.
Private transportation from and to hotel in Cusco.
Professional Spanish/English guide.
First aid kit.