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Waqrapukara Full Day Tour

Get to know the pre-Inca temple in the shape of horns !!

13 Short Hike

23 reviews
Waqrapukara Full Day Tour

Waqrapukara Full Day Tour

Get to know the pre-Inca temple in the shape of horns !!


13 Short Hike

23 reviews


Waqrapukara Full Day Tour, Our Waqrapukara Full Day Tour or Full Day Tour; will take you to one of the ancient Inca temples located in the Andes mountain range in Cusco, this fortress is built on top of one of the steepest mountains, this trekking experience will also immerse you in an area where travelers don’t usually go. This great trek takes you outside of the traditional treks in Cusco.

This archaeological center is a mixture of pre-Inca and Inca construction, therefore it was built by the Qanchi ethnic group and at the time of the Incas probably built in the period of the Inca Wayna Khápaq government considered as a fortress.

Waqrapukara is a new tourist attraction whose mysteries have not yet been deciphered and that allows a magnificent view of the night sky, populated by constellations, planets and stars of enormous value in the Inca cosmovision; Fortress, sanctuary, astronomical observatory are the interpretations of this enigmatic monument of the classic Inca architecture that is located at 4, 300 meters above sea level, in the abysses of the Apurimac River canyon, south of the city of Cusco.

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, as it is a hidden treasure for travelers looking for something different and with few people. This beautiful sacred site combines incredible stonework with spectacular natural formations and small lagoons all around.

Waqra is Spanish for “horn”. Pukara is equivalent to strength. The “horns” rise 4,300 meters above sea level, at the top of a huge forest-covered ravine crowning the chasms overlooking the Apurimac River canyon. The archaeological monument is surrounded by impressive platforms, plazas and a forest of stones that resemble thrones with mythological giants contemplating the Andean landscape.


Waqrapukara Trek

Very early, at about 05:30 am. with your pick up at the Hotel, and we will take you in our vehicle to our Private Lodge at 07:30 hrs, where we will enjoy a nutritious breakfast and then start our tour to the south east until we reach the town of Acomayo. Immediately after we will continue our journey to the point where we will start walking for approximately 3 hours at an altitude of 12 000 feet passing through the Cusquenian grasslands to our final destination: The ancient Inca fortress of Waqrapukara.

After a short rest we will have enough time to visit and learn more about this mystical and religious archaeological site.

After a comforting lunch, we start our descent, the transportation will be waiting for us to finally to go to Cusco city arriving at 19:00 hrs. Travelers who make the trip to Waqrapukara should be in good physical condition and with good acclimatization to the altitude.


  • Pick up from your hotel in Cusco.
  • Professional guide.
  • Breakfast.
  • Lunch.
  • First aid kit.
  • Oxygen Balloon.

No Included

  • Drinks and snacks.
  • Tips.
  • Horse.
  • Travel insurance.


Packing List

What To Bring

  • Use trekking shoes, which protect you since the path is not uniform.
  • Wear warm clothes (waterproof jacket, warm sweater, gloves, caps or chullos, cotton socks, warm pants), with the constant changes in temperature.
  • Apply sunscreen every 2 hours at least.
  • Use trekking poles for a better hike.
  • Sleep well the day before, as the tour to the Waqrapukara Citadel starts very early.
  • Hydrating, take small sips of water on the way, the water contains oxygen that will help you on the ascent. dried fruits, energy bars that will help you to give you strength along the way.
  • Take a pill for altitude sickness (if necessary), also always carry coca leaves or pre-Inca leaves in the shape of horns.

Travel Guide

What is Waqrapukara?

It is a fortress of pre-Inca and Inca construction. In Pre Inca times it was a small citadel, for that reason they called it “Llaqta Pukara” where the Qanchi leader and his family lived, it was also used as an astronomical observatory; it had a sanctuary to the Teqci Pachakamaq Wiraqocha God.

Who built Waqrapukara?

First, it was built by the Qanchi ethnic group in the period of the Auqarunas 1500 to 1000 B.C. The current construction is from the Inca period, it was built during the period of the Inca Wayna Qhapaq, with the intervention of architects of that government, also intervened by Qanchimachu and Ttito Q’osñipa.

Why did they turn it into a fortress?

Because in the time of the Auqarunas, there is already the need to train men warriors and places to defend the territory conquered by the ethnic group and tribe. Not only to defend their territory and leader. In the pre-Inca and Inca times, these leaders were called curacas, and in the Colonial Period they were called Caciques. In the Purunruna period there was no need for pucaras, because they lived in the place they wanted.

Which was the god of the Q’anchis in pre-Inca times?

The Q’anchis “Believed, that there is a Maker of all created things, which they call Teqci Wiraqocha.” “Worshipping the sun, they must have taken them from the Incas.” (Pedro Cieza, Chronicles of Peru) One day a tall man named Contiti Wiraqocha Pachayachacheq, came to San Pedro de Cacha and taught them of the Creator God, and the men of Canas who occupied Cacha, wanted to kill him, but fire descended from heaven and they were afraid and escaped from the place. In memory of this fact, they built a temple in Raqchi. (Juan de Betanzos, Narration of the Incas, 1551).

What are the characteristics of the Sanctuary or Waca in Waqrapukara?

It has a triple jamb doorway, this means that it is very sacred. On the other hand, the gods created by man, such as the sun god, the moon, the stars and others have their sanctuaries with double jamb doorways. The chronicler Santa Cruz calls the Tecsi Pachakamaq Wiraqocha god, the invisible god. This deity was welcomed by the Incas, for this reason a temple or sanctuary was also built in the city of Cusco, it was in the place of the Cathedral. (Chronicler Juan Santa Cruz Pachacuti).

What was the representation of the God Pachakamaq by Santa Cruz Pachacuti?

This chronicler was a native of Urcosuyo sector bordering the territory of ethnic Qanchi, his father was Diego Felipe Condorcanqui. He presents the God Pachakamaq Wiraqocha as the God Creator of the sun, the moon, nature and man. He also calls him Wiraqocha Pachayachacheq. He is the God of the Q’anchis, the one worshipped in Waqrapukara. This deity has a plan to solve the problem on earth. (Chronicler Santa Cruz)

What are the reasons why the Q’anchis did not want to obey the Inca Wayna Qhapaq?

Because of the enmity they maintained after the battle in the pampas of Cangallo (Checacupe) and Combapata. In this battle the Q’anchis lost against the Inka army commanded by the Inca Wiraqocha. The other reason was the collection of tribute in products, silver objects and with the military mita that they had to contribute to the Inca government. In the period of Wayna Qhapaq was the curaca Ttito Q’osñipa in the sector of Pomacanchi. (Fredy Caballero)

What measures did the Inka Wayna Qhapaq take in front of the rebellion of Ttito Q’osñipa?

Wayna Qhapaq sends an army to suffocate the Qanchi army led by the curaca Ttito Q’osñipa. The Qanchi leader heads towards the city of Cusco, to add more soldiers and extend his territory towards the territory dominated by the Inca. The encounter was in the pampas of Phiñaypampa, near Corma, in this battle loses the army of Ttito Q’osñipa, they take prisoner a group of soldiers Q’anchis… (Dr. Vargas)

What happened with Ttito Q’osñipa after the battle of Phiñaypampa?

Ttito Q’osñipa returns to the Waqrapukara fortress and resists the Inca army for about a month. When the Q’anchis were deprived of water, they surrendered and were taken prisoner to Cusco, more than one hundred Q’anchis together with the curaca Qanchi. In Cusco the sentence was going to be the death penalty for the rebels; but Wayna Qhapaq, pardoning them, only made them cut the ears of the Q’anchis, as a sign of rebellion. He recommended them to change their behavior. Before the cutting, he made them dance the Qanchi tusuy… (Dr. Vargas).

What was the result of the conquest to the north of the empire with Ttito Q’osñipa?

Wayna Qhapaq, with its thousands of soldiers headed towards the Ecuadorian territory, many ethnic groups of the north were defeated and conquered, the most important was the Cañari ethnic group. They return with dowries of war and prisoners cañarís, a part of them were located by the place of Picchu in the city of Cusco and some of them were brought to the territory of the curaca Qanchi, then already was an Inca general, to who the Inca gave him/her an ajlla like wife.


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