Waqra Pukara and Q’eswachaka Tour 2D/1N
The Waqra Pukara trek and Q’eswachaka expedition is perfect for travelers seeking an authentic cultural experience away from the crowds of Cusco. On the fist day, you will cross the last remaining Inca bridge as well as see beautiful lakes, and on the second, quiet trails will lead you through isolated landscapes, fantastic rock formations, and an incredible archeological site.
Places visited on the first day: Cusco, Pitumarca, Wakra Pukara
Places visited on the second day: Combapata Overlook, Q’eswachaka Inca Bridge, Pampamarca, Asnacqocha, Acopía and Pomacanchi Lagoons.
Category: Adventure, culture, trekking, and ecology
Duration: 2 days
Languages: English, Spanish
Seasons Available: Year-round, April through November especially recommended
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 our local breakfast (made of local cereals like quinoa, quiwicha, maca). 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 explore Rumi Punku before returning to Cusco at about 4:30 pm.
- Tour Start Time: 4:30am to 5:00am
- Tour End Time: Approximately 4:30pm
- Difficulty: Easy
- Weather: Warm and sunny, breezy by the lagoons
- Minimum Group Size: At least 6 people are required for this tour
- Maximum Altitude: 3,800 meters (12,467 ft)
Day 2: Cusco – Pitumarca – Wakra Pukara – Pitumarca – Cusco
In the morning, we will pick you up from your hotel or hostel at approximately 3:00 – 3:30 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. We will begin the two and a half hour drive towards Marcaconga village, then continue into the district of Pitumarca, where we will eat breakfast.
After breakfast, we will return to the car for thirty more minutes of driving along a zig-zagging, unpaved road, until we reach Punta Carretera. Here, we will have ten minutes to stretch, organize our things, and make any final preparations for our trek. We will walk across gently rolling terrain for about two hours, observing gorgeous landscapes studded with small glacial lakes along the way.
Once we arrive at the Wakra Pukara Overlook, we will pause briefly to take our first photos of this incredible fortress perched on the edge of a canyon. We will then descend for about forty minutes along a steep, cliffside path into the site itself, while the Apurimac River runs swiftly below.
We will rest among the ruins for approximately an hour and a half, then begin the ascent back the way we came. We will reach the car after about three and a half hours more of trekking, and return to Cusco at approximately 6:00 pm.
- Tour Start Time: Approximately 3:30 am
- Tour End Time: Approximately 6:00 pm
- Difficulty: Moderate
- Total Walking Time: 6-7 hours
- Weather: Cool and breezy
- Maximum Altitude: 4,087 meters (13,408 ft)
Price: 250 soles per person
We offer the option to do this as a camping trip, instead of returning to Cusco on the first night, for groups of six or more people.
Institutional discounts available.
Included / Not Included
- 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 buses and 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)
- 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
- Insect repellent
- Water (at least 1L)
- Personal medications
- Muscle relaxers
- Painkillers or anti inflammatories
- Bandaids (especially those designed for blisters)
- Toilet paper
- 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.