Waqrapukara is an impressive Inca fortress perched atop a rugged mountain plateau in the remote countryside of the Cusco region in southern Peru. The name Waqrapukara means “Horn Fortress” in the native Quechua language, a reference to the two distinctly horn-shaped peaks which dominate the site. Unlike more famous ruins like Machu Picchu or Coricancha, the fortress of Waqrapukara has only recently been studied extensively by archaeologists, so the full significance of the complex is just beginning to be uncovered. The discovery of triple-jambed doors at the site is an indication of its particular importance, as the Incas only placed this style of door at seats of great religious and political power.
Much like Machu Picchu, the Inca builders of Waqrapukara merged finely-crafted stonework with the nearby rock formations to create buildings that both stand out from and blend in with their surroundings. Along with the main fortress complex, the site is also home to a series of eight Inca agricultural terraces with retaining walls. Waqrapukara is in many ways just as majestic as the more famous sites of southern Peru, except with an added bit of mystique due to its isolated location and a lack of formal research at the site thus far. As archaeologist Miguel Cornejo recently told La República (one of Peru’s highest circulation newspapers): “Waqrapukara is an Inca sanctuary of the first order that denotes immense political and religious power, as-yet undeciphered.” A visit to this magical place would be an absolutely unforgettable way to spend a day or two on your trip to Cusco.
Cusco - Waqrapukara - Cusco
We will be picking you up from your hotel within the historic centre of Cusco at 03:30 AM. If you are not staying within the historic centre, we will co-ordinate with you a meeting point and you will be picked up from there.
After picking up all travellers, we will start cruising south towards Sangarara, a town just off the Waqrapukara site. On the way, we will stop at Pomacanchi lagoon. Pomacanchi lagoon presents a tranquil bluish green waters and is the best place to practice water sports such as rafting and kayaking. Birdwatchers can also have a great time here admiring different birds such as ducks, coots, herons, gulls, Andean flamingos, pariguanas as well as ccopos, tactacas, churchus, mayoalccos, pillcuycos, ajoyas and choqas.
Once in Sangarara we will stop for breakfast before continuing the trip to Rinconada community from where we will start our hike to Waqrapukara. During the hike, you will be passing through regions rich with flora and fauna those are typical in the region.
At Waqrapukara, you will have a guided tour of Intipunku (door of the sun), main square, towers, andenería, Wiracocha enclosure and cave paintings with representation of flames. After the tour, you will start your hike back to Sangarara where we will stop for lunch before continuing our return journey to Cusco.
Strong footwear, waterproof trekking boots recommended
Warm clothes, including jacket, fleeces
Camera and batteries (batteries consume more quickly under cold conditions)
Hat or cap to protect you from the sun, rain and cold
After-sun cream or hydrating cream for face and body
Snacks: biscuits, energy bars, chocolate, raw fruits, muesli, etc.
Water container and water.
Cash in soles and/or US$
Optional: walking sticks or poles (rubber covers required in order not to damage archaeological sites)