This abandoned city has lots of similarity with Machu Picchu and there are a variety of theories about its origin. It is relatively clear, it is said that there are many areas to discover, so visiting it is a true adventure and mystery.
Once again the region of Cusco surprises us with a new wonder in its territory, the wonders that this region possesses are incalculable since it was the cradle of the vast and majestic Inca Empire, what we have left is to delight our view, to be amazed at the great architectural ingenuity of the Incas and of course take care of these wonders, the great legacy left to us by these fascinating men, now it’s time to admire the mysterious wonder of Waqrapucara.
The name Waqrapukara comes from the Quechua voices: Waqra which means “horn” and Pukara which means “Fortress”, we can deduce then that Waqrapukara means “Fortress of the horns”, but there is an observation of this interpretation by the locals that indicate that the fortress has no horns, but that they are “the ears of a flame” adducing that it is always alert to what happens around it, therefore, they call it “Llamapukara”
The curves on the carved stone terraces seem to hold the Waqra, which resembles a double-billed crown. In the middle of it, there is a natural cave with Inca intervention and a small window that overlooks the abyss, which also allows a magnificent view of the night sky, populated with constellations, planets and stars of enormous value in the Inca worldview. It is at the top of a huge forest-covered ravine that crowns 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 mountain landscape.
You can do the tour to Wacrapukara through a walk that lasts about 1 hour and a half, whose difficulty is medium, it is not difficult and the effort will always be worth it when you get to observe the incredible architectural beauty, you can also do mountain biking since the nature of the place lends itself to this activity.
It was considered Cultural Patrimony of the Nation in 2017, we can affirm that Waqrapukara has nothing to envy to the best cultural tourism, adventure and high mountain destinations as well as an archaeological monument is a wonder, but we must add the landscape impact of its surroundings and the spectacular stone formations, when you arrive, the first thing is the astonishment, the landscape that surrounds Waqrapukara is one of the most spectacular in the Andean world. The high plateau wasteland is interrupted by the edges of an immense canyon. Fierce gusts of wind rise through the chasms forming capricious figures on the tops of the ravine. The Inca architects sought to dominate the landscape without transforming its spectacularity.
Every first half of June, a bridge disappears to be raised again. It is that of Queshuachaca, in Quehue, the only one in the world made with fibers of the ichu plant, following the most ancestral Inca tradition.
Every time they talk to us about Cuzco, it is usual for our mind to travel to the wonderful Inca city of Macchu Pichu. However, this region of the Peruvian Andes not only stands out, as far as archeology is concerned, for this lost city, considered one of the wonders of Humanity. There are other places that are well worth a visit and, above all, the pleasure of marveling at their beauty.
This is the case of the Queshuachaca bridge, also known as Q’eswachaka. It is not a construction at the time of circumventing the canyon that forms the Apurimac River, in the district of Quehue, one of the main rivers of Peru. On the contrary, it is an attraction, while it is the last standing Inca bridge built with the ancestral technique of tracing rope of vegetable fibers. Specifically, it is made of ichu and q’oya (straw straw) sojillas, materials strong enough to allow it to be crossed over it without precipitating from the 50-meter drop on which it is suspended, between two boulders of one of the deep canyons of the region.
With a length of approximately 30 meters, for just over a meter wide, its stability is responsible for thick irons stuck to huge rocks at each end, where the ropes that make up the structure meet. These are braided every year, a tradition that perpetuates the bridge and also ensures that there are no dangers of breakage or falls. Four Quechua peasant communities join annually to restore it, always with the same techniques and materials as their ancestors, a work that earned it recognition by Unesco as Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity (the fifth Peruvian element in the list to date) .
The history of the bridge is lost in the Inca oral tradition. It is linked to the road that connected with the Qhapaq Ñan, the great road that linked the four His of the Inca Tahuantinsuyo, in a region where 3,700 meters above sea level are widely exceeded. There, its culmination every year is celebrated with a great party, in what is considered a great work of the Quechua people, united to perpetuate what is now admiration of the entire planet (in fact, the first towns that created the bridge worked together without sharing the same language, a feat).
The material with which it is created is ichu, a natural grass that abounds in the Andean highlands and that, in addition to the manufacture of textile fibers, is used as feed for cattle. Of a raw color, its handmade braids remind that of the ropes that are used in the world of fishermen, and its hardness and worth has been proven for centuries.
The usual thing to visit is through a scheduled excursion that starts from the city of Cusco. It is not too close, so it will take us all day between the trip (round trip) and the visit itself. Of course, in return, in addition to admiring the wonder of Inca engineering, it will be possible to learn about the diversity of the flora and fauna of the Apurimac canyon, as well as the town of Yanaoca, from where we will return to Cusco with, sure, the chamber full of photos and, why not, a few braids of ichu souvenir, which the inhabitants of the same villages who, for centuries, weave a bridge every year, during the month of June, will have woven for us.
Our pick-up will be from 6:50 am in the main square of Cusco, then travel for a period of 3 hours to the station or road tip of the Palccoyoc mountain range, then we will begin the walk of 1 hour maximum to our goal the mountain range and thus to appreciate this beautiful place, we will also visit the forest of stones and the other mountains of colors. Along the route we can appreciate llamas and alpacas as well as local people.
After our visit we will return for a period of 1 hour to our restaurant to have lunch (buffet), the food consists of typical dishes of the area and tourist dishes that will be to your liking and satisfaction, then we will have to return to Cusco in the afternoon Between 6pm we will be in the city of Cusco.
The Ausangate 7 lagoons tour allows you to visit the mountain of the same name that is the highest in the Vilcanota mountain range and which was also considered “sacred mountain” by the ancient civilizations that inhabited the region. This 2-day hike takes place above 4600 m.a.s.l. and allows to appreciate up to 7 lagoons during its entire journey The tour of the Ausangate Valley is recognized for having the best views of snowfall in Peru, it is also surrounded by the colorful valley, and also presents a fauna and flora typical of the Andean heights.
“The Spaniards, upon arrival in the territory of Tawantinsuyo, were amazed and surprised to find themselves in front of a vast network of Inca roads and within them the quality and variety of the bridges. Special mention was given to the suspension bridges made of vegetable fiber or straw that caused not only admiration but also a deserved recognition of the technology used. This admiration caused that throughout the history diverse chroniclers and travelers describe with enthusiasm the Inca work of the straw suspension bridges. The admirable thing is that tradition has kept this ancient technology together with its rituals and the community work system that make it possible for us to have the joy of observing after more than 500 years the validity of the intangible culture of the Incas until I presented”. The Inca bridge is located in the peasant community of Huinchiri, in the district of Quehue, province of Canas, Cusco Region.
We will start first with the pick-ups starting at 3:00 am (private service) and at 4:00 am (pull service) where we will pass by your hotels, after concluding the pick-ups we will travel for a time of 1 hour and a half to our restaurant (Cusi pata), along the route we can see the sacred river or willcamayu river, which is part of the sacred valley of the Incas. Upon arrival at the camp we will have a rich breakfast (buffet), then we will take the transport again to continue with the tour for 1 hour and arrive at the bus station, where the trek to the mountain of 7 colors (5029m) will begin, Our guide will give you a talk and recommendations to reach the top, after 4km of walking (2 hours), we will reach the top and we will be able to appreciate all the natural attraction of the area, we will have a talk with the guide about why the colors and landscapes in the area and then we will organize the trip to the red valley (optional) to appreciate the beautiful landscape that it offers (5089m), then take the return route to the bus station, once the whole group in the transport, we will return to the camp to have lunch (buffet), and then return to the city of Cusco at approximately 18:00 pm. Rainbow Mountain
Each year, in a remote corner of the Peruvian Andes, four Quechua communities renew a five-century-old bridge
During the time of the Incas there was a great network of roads called “Camino Real” to unite the Inca empire. However, due to its rugged geography many places were joined by suspension bridges made of vegetable fiber.
The Qeshuachaca is the only bridge that has been renovated from generation to generation by the families of Cusco until today. The bridge is located in the department of Cusco, over the Apurimac River at 3,700 m.a.s.l. About a thousand people from different communities, near the bridge, meet for four days to renew it.
Now, we will know the four days of tradition that delays the reconstruction of Queshuachaca:
On the first day, the inhabitants of the communities leave in search of a solid straw of vegetable fiber called Ichu in Quechua. Once the necessary amount of Ichu has been collected, the women weave this solid straw to form the ropes of the bridge, and the men are responsible for joining the rope from end to end and then braid it.
When the second day arrives, the structure of the old bridge is taken apart, the stone nails that support the bridge are removed, and four ropes are placed that are the base of the structure of the new bridge.
Tired, but with strength, on the third day, the villagers conclude with the assembly of the handrails and the bridge surfaces where the communities will cross.
And finally, on the fourth day, they celebrate the reconstruction of the bridge to the sound of music with native dances, given that the work is considered as a holiday by Peruvian ancestors.
Therefore, if you travel to Cusco do not hesitate to visit this hidden place in the Andes: A destination little known to travelers that evokes amazement and tradition. Do you dare to cross it?