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Waqrapukara Trek 1D

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Why Book With Us?

  • High quality, personalized experience from start to finish
  • Unique, off-the-beaten track routes
  • Experienced staff
  • Verified sustainability practices
  • $20 of every trek donated to Threads of Peru

Threads of Peru

Martina Puma Ccama – Chaullacocha

Handy in the Andes

handy in the andes

  • Want to give back while on vacation? Do some good while having a blast and join us on one of our Clean Up Treks!                                                                                                  Read More


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1 Day
Availability : Any day with 2 people. Dec-Mar departures are weather-dependant.
Difficulty : ★★★ Moderate
Adventure : ★★★★ Very adventurous!
Solitude : ★★★★ Remote
Min Age : 8
Max People : 12

Description of the Waqrapukara Trek

Impressive ruins, beautiful scenery and no crowds – Waqrapukara is without a doubt one of the best one day treks you can do in Cusco. Want something totally different? Leave behind the usual tourist circuits in the Sacred Valley and Cusco’s South Valley and head towards the Apurimac river to experience the scenic and secluded Waqrapukara ruins.

The Incan “Horn Fortress” – as the name means in Quechua – is a fascinating archeological site perched atop a rocky outcrop, where the masonry seamlessly merges with the two horn-shaped mountain peaks. Our off-the-beaten-path Waqrapukara trek starts in Huayqui and continues through stunning scenery for about 3 hours until we reach the Inca fortress. Waqrapukara is actually still somewhat shrouded in mystery, as archaeological research has only been under way for X years. Many people also say that Waqrapukara has a special energy. If you want to experience Andean mysticism and feel a real connection to the ancient past, then you can’t miss this day hike.

Waqrapukara is located in Cusco’s Acomayo province, and the trail passes through several ecological zones as you ascend about 550m from the trailhead to the site. The scenery is spectacular and unique for a Cusco trek; if you’re lucky, you might spot vicunas, or even condors! This hike is a circuit; you will walk the same path there and back.

Read about Apus Peru’s team building trip to Waqrapukara!

Make Waqrapukara a 2-day Trip and see the Q’eswachaka Bridge!

Add another day to your Waqrapukara hike itinerary and visit the famous Q’eswachaka Bridge! This unique Inca rope bridge is rebuilt in a special ceremony every year. The Q’eswachaka bridge festival happens every June but you can visit the bridge any day of the year. 

What to Expect on the Waqrapukara trek

Jaw-dropping mountain vistas; the chance to spot elusive Andean wildlife; fascinating and little-known Incan ruins; a chance to have a mystical experience in the Andes! The Waqrapukara trek is a wonderful way to escape the crowds on a day hike from Cusco.



Prices are per person in USD, based on group size. We do not have fixed-date group departures. If you do not want to book a private trek, please see our Trekkers Wanted page for a list of open departures within your dates.

2 people


4-6 people


7-8 people


9-12 people


What is Included?

  • Pre-trek briefing
  • Collection from your hotel on the morning of your Waqrapukara trek departure
  • Private transport from Cusco to the trailhead and return at the end of the trek
  • Any applicable entry fees
  • English/Quechua/Spanish speaking professional guide, plus an assistant guide for groups over 8
  • Boxed breakfast and lunch. Vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free options available
  • 1 emergency horse which can be ridden if you are feeling ill or if you are a little slower
  • First aid kit including emergency oxygen bottle

What is Not Included?

  • Dinner.
  • Tips for the guide, cook and porters
  • Additional horses for your personal luggage

You Should Bring

Optional Extras & Upgrades

    We offer you the opportunity to personalize your trek and make your experience more comfortable through our Optional Extras and Upgrades. All options are available during the reservation process; please ask your sales consultant for more information.

    • Extra horse to carry luggage exceeding the allowed 7kg (15lbs) per person
    • Extra horse for you to ride, and horseman to lead it
    • Light-weight aluminum walking stick. Two sticks are recommended for tough hikes.
    • Combine with a day trip to Machu Picchu


    • When calculating the cost of renting equipment, calculate using the length of the entire trip, not just the number of trekking days.
    • Please be careful with rented equipment! You are responsible for the cost of replacement if something is damaged or broken.
    • Any upgrades or trip extensions must be requested at time of booking.

Available Discounts

  • Students: USD $30 off, in certain circumstances. Please enquire for details about eligibility.
  • Youth 12-17: 5% off. A valid passport must be presented upon booking.
  • Children 5-11 years: 15% off. A valid passport must be presented upon booking.
  • Children 0-4 years: Free. A valid passport must be presented upon booking. Children under 4 will not count towards the total number of guests in a group. This discount does not apply to train fares. Children under 2 will not be considered to occupy a seat on any train or bus, and instead must ride on a parent’s lap.
  • 5% off a day tour listed price when you also book a 3-day or longer trek operated by Apus Peru

Trekkers Wanted

    Want to join a trek? Ready to confirm a departure date of your own, but interested in having others join you? Then Trekkers Wanted is for you! Our innovative Trekkers Wanted system matches people up who are interested in hiking the same trek, bringing costs down and multiplying the fun for everyone! Read More about Trekkers Wanted, post your trek or search for confirmed departures!

Important Info

  • Each guide has their own preferred route and so the route you trek might not correspond exactly to the route described here.
  • The times cited in this Waqrapukara itinerary are approximate. Walking times depend on the group, and the guide may change lunch spots depending on the progress of the group.
  • Remember that no trek in the Andes is easy. You still should be fit and prepared to hike in difficult conditions.

Ready to Book?

  • Does this trek sound like just what you were looking for? If you’re ready to book or just want to find out a bit more information, fill out the Inquiry Form in the top right-hand corner of this page to get the ball rolling. You’ll be connected with one of our amazing sales people who will be able to turn your dream of hiking in the Andes into a reality. For more information on the entire booking process, please see our How To Book page.
  • Travel insurance is a must! World Nomads offers travel insurance for adventure activities.

Day 1Cusco - Huayqui - Suythuwanca - Waqrapukara - Cusco

    Starting Out on the Waqrapukara Trek

    We begin our trek to Waqrapukara by car, leaving Cusco in our private transport at around 4am. A very early start to what will be quite a long day! We are heading south on a paved road, in the direction of Puno, towards a small community called Choquecahuana. This is located in a Cusco district called Acomayo. Along the way, we will pass the impressive Pomacanchis lagoon and several picturesque villages until we reach the Huascar junction where the paved road ends, and adventure begins. We continue on a hardened dirt road until we reach Huayqui (also spelled Wayki or Wayqui), the trailhead for our Waqrapukara trek (3350m/ 10,991 ft).

    Before we begin the hike to Waqrapukara we’ll get to share breakfast with a local family. Then it’s time to set out! The first part of our walk takes us to Suythuwanca, which will take about an hour and a half. From here, we continue walking uphill for another 1h30 along a winding path, bordered by mountains. The views here are out of this world! In addition to these breathtaking vistas, we will be treated to fascinating ancient rock paintings along the way. Some of these cave paintings are in a great state of preservation.

    Arriving at the Inca Horn Fortress

    Finally, we will arrive at Waqrapukara (4150m / 13,615 ft). We’ll rest and enjoy a boxed lunch before starting our guided tour of this mysterious Inca fortress. In Quechua, Waqrapukara actually means “Horn Fortress,” from the words waqra (“horn”) and pukara (“fortress”), and it is a real sight to behold. It is the horn-like rock formations that likely give the Inca fortress its name.

    Waqrapukara is an imposing archaeological feature perched on a mountain top, surrounded by gorgeous, lush scenery. We’ll have about an hour to explore this fascinating site. Signs direct us to the different areas of the site, which actually includes several structures.

    When we’ve had our fill of Inca history and interesting ruins, we will return along the same path. As we walk another 2h to our starting point, we’ll have one last opportunity to take in the stunning beauty of the surrounding mountains. We’ll even have a glimpse of Mount Veronica (5700m / 18,700ft)!

    Finally, we arrive at Paltacancha where our vehicle will be waiting to take us back to Cusco, arriving at about 7pm.

    Total Walking Distance – 15km
    Total Walking Time – 5-6h
    Minimum Altitude – 3350m/ 10,991 ft / Maximum Altitude – 4150m / 13,615 ft

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