Waqra Pukara and Q’eswachaka Tour 2D/1N

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Waqra Pukara was it a fortress? A sanctuary? An astronomic observatory? Theories abound about the purpose of Waqra Pukara, a massive, horn-shaped Inca site standing above the Apurimac Canyon, located three hours south of Cusco. Discover its enigmatic ruins for yourself on this unique day hike, which will take you far out of the city and off the beaten path! Please be aware this trek may not be suitable for travelers with vertigo.


Category: Adventure, culture, ecology, and trekking
Duration: 2 day
Difficulty: Moderate (day-long trek with terrain which gently rises and falls)
Languages: English, Spanish
Tour Start Time: Between 3:00 and 3:30 am
Tour End Time: Approximately 6:00 pm
Minimum Group Size: 4 people
Seasonal Availability: Year-round, April-November recommended
Maximum Altitude: 4,500 meters (14,763 ft)
Weather: Cold in the morning; hot and sunny at midday; chilly wind towards evening. Layered clothing adaptable to different conditions is highly recommended.


Day 1: Cusco – Pitumarca – Wakra Pukara

Your day begins with pickup from your hotel or hostel between 7:00 and 7:30 am. We will drive for about two and a half hours into the valley south of Cusco until we reach the small village of Pitumarca. Here, we will meet up with the horses who will carry our camping equipment and their wranglers, and make any final necessary preparations for our trek. As we begin our walk across the rolling peaks and ridge of the Andes, you will be surrounded by a savage, yet magical landscape filled with incredible rock formations, pristine glacial lakes, and diverse flora and fauna.

In the afternoon, we will round a bend and suddenly see the ruins perched on the canyon edge before us. From this point, it is about another half an hour downhill to reach the fortress, where we will explore this incredible archeological site, with its stunning views of the surrounding Apurimac canyon. We will set up our campsite here and relax together before settling in for the night.

  • Total Walking Distance: 14 km (8.7 miles)
  • Total Walking Time: Approximately six to seven hours (including stops for breakfast and lunch)
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Weather: Cold and windy

Day 1: Cusco – Q’eswachaka Inca Bridge – The Four Lagoons – Cusco

The tour begins with the pick-up from your accommodation between 4:30 and 4:45 am. If your hotel or hostel is not located in the city center, we will pick you up from the doorway of our office building. Once the whole group is gathered, around 5:00 am, we will start our journey in our private transportation.

We will then have a two hours hour van journey to the town of Combapata, where we will have ou breakfast. After this will continue drive for 15 minutes until we will get the Combapata viewpoint, from which we will enjoy the beautiful landscapes and see where the Salcca River meets the Vilcanota, the Sacred River of the Incas.

Then, we will continue our journey to Yanaoca, one of the eight districts in the Canas province of Cusco. From Yanaoca, we will drive thirty minutes more to the Q’ewe district. From there, you will have your first glimpse of the ancient bridge suspended between the steep rock cliffs, as we drive down the Apurimac canyon.

We will then leave the car and descend a steep path to a viewpoint to take photos, before carefully crossing the bridge together! Get ready for the adrenaline rush of a lifetime as you make your way across the swaying bridge, and try not to look too closely at the river several meters below! On the other side, the bridge attendant will greet us and give a brief demonstration of the bridge’s history and construction.

After visiting the bridge, we will drive to the region’s where the four famous lakes are: Pampamarca, Asnacqoccha, Acopia, and Pomacanchi. Set like jewels among the gold-green hills, they shine in the warm, afternoon sun as native flamingos and other birds fly and feed around their edges. We will stop in one of the lakeshores to set our picnic blanket and enjoy our picnic.

Finally, we will  reach Cusco at about 5:30 pm.

  • Tour Start Time: 4:30am to 5:00am
  • Tour End Time: Approximately 5:30pm
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Weather: Warm and sunny, breezy by the lagoons
  • Maximum Altitude: 3,800 meters (12,467 ft)


400 soles por persona

120  dollares per person



  • Pick-up from your accommodation and drop-off near the main square
  • Professional, bilingual tour guide
  • Round trip transportation between Cusco, Q’eswachaka, and Wakra Pukara
  • We use private  minivans, which are very comfortable and come with all necessary safety features.
  • Our driver has several years of experience and is an expert at navigating the narrow mountain roads.
  • Breakfast and box lunch during the Q’eswachaka tour (vegetarian options available)
  • Breakfast and lunch during the Wakra Pukara hike (vegetarian options available)
  • Entrance fees to Q’eswachaka and Wakra Pukara
  • First aid kit (includes emergency oxygen tank)

Not Included:

  • Dinners
  • Tips for the guide and driver
  • One night in a Cusco hotel or hostel

What to Bring:

  • Hiking boots
  • Small daypack or backpack (approximately 20L)
  • Comfortable, lightweight trekking clothes or activewear (layers recommended)
  • Waterproof, sturdy hiking boots with good ankle support and traction
  • Waterproof jacket or rain poncho
  • Warm coat
  • Hat and gloves
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Sun hat or cap
  • Sunscreen
  • Sunglasses
  • Insect repellent
  • Water (at least 1L)
  • Personal medications
  • Muscle relaxers
  • Painkillers or anti inflammatories
  • Bandaids (especially those designed for blisters)
  • Toilet paper
  • Camera
  • Cash (in small denominations of Peruvian nuevos soles)


Health and Safety: All of our participants are required to inform us of any illness or injury which could affect them or the group during the tour. Although our guides carry first aid kits, we strongly recommended that you bring any personal medications you may need. We also suggest that you consult your doctor before reserving your tour.

Where to Store Your Things: Anything you do not want to bring with you on the tour can be safely left in your accommodation. Most hotels and hostels have safes to protect your belongings. However, if you do not feel comfortable leaving your things there, you may also bring them to our office for safekeeping during the tour.

Where are Wakra Pukara and Q´eswachaka located?

Q´eswachaka is located about four hours south of Cusco by car, at the Apurimac River. Wakra Pukara is an ancient fortress located on a mountaintop above the same river.

Are all activities on the tour mandatory? How flexible are itineraries?

At Inka Trail Backpacker, we are committed to providing your ideal experience in Peru. Therefore, if there are any adjustments you would like to make to reflect your fitness level, lifestyle, or personal interests, we are happy to help! Our itineraries are reasonably flexible and activities can be removed or substituted as necessary.

Can I cross the bridge?

Yes! All visitors are welcome and encouraged to cross the bridge; however, this is not recommended for visitors with vertigo.

What is the length of the Q’eswachaka Bridge?

The bridge is approximately 28 meters (99 feet) long and 1.2 meters (4 feet) wide.

Should I bring extra water?

Water is provided at meals. However, you should also carry a refillable water bottle with you to prevent dehydration.

How far in advance should I book my tour?

We recommend that you book your trek approximately one to two weeks in advance. This allows us to arrange for you to have the best possible transportation, guides, and meals during your tour.

How much time will I need to acclimate to the altitude before my tour?

We recommend at least two days in Cusco to sufficiently acclimate before the tour begins.

What meals are included? Is there a vegetarian option?

All meals on the trek are included. Vegetarian options are available; however, vegan options are not.

Should I tip the guides? How much is appropriate?

A tip is customary, but the amount is at your discretion. Whatever you feel is appropriate based on the service you have received is fine; please remember to always be courteous and respectful with our guides.

Do I need to speak Spanish?

All of our guides are bilingual and speak both Spanish and English.

What is the highest point on this hike?

The highest elevation on this hike is 4087 meters above sea level.

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