Day Hike to the Fortress of Horns
How does the idea of escaping the city and large crowds to visit a unique off-the-beaten-path site sound? The Waqrapukara One-Day Trek is the ultimate choice for some peace and quiet and to discover an incredible site that very few people get to visit—locals and tourists!
Join us on an epic hike to the majestic pre-Inca construction of Waqrapukara, or Fortress of Horns, located in the mighty Apurímac canyon. This beautiful sacred place combines advanced architecture and impressive natural formations in a wonderful landscape—almost like something from a dream—surrounded by small crystalline lagoons. The gigantic horns rise as high as 4,140 m / 13,583 ft.
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When you travel with your partner or a large group of family or friends, you can join us on this one-day trek. You’ll come with us on an adventure through the Peruvian Andes and escape the hustle and bustle of the city to an amazing Inca fortress.
The Waqrapukara Trek is a must for anyone wanting to visit this incredible archaeological site before the crowds discover it and it becomes busy. Waqra means “horn” in Quechua, while Pukara means “fortress.” These “horns” rise up to 4,140 m / 13,582 ft on top of a huge ravine covered with forests.
The archaeological monument is surrounded by impressive platforms, plazas, and stone forests that resemble mythological giants looking like they’re contemplating the Andean landscape.
You’ll also get to soak in the incredible landscape of the mountains, canyon, and crystalline lagoons. Don’t forget to keep an eye out for the unique flora and fauna of the region. Why wait longer to immerse yourself in the wild Andes and see a very special site? Get in touch with us and learn more about this fun one-day adventure.
- Explore a unique Inca fortress and temple in Waqrapukara.
- Be astounded by the extensive, well-preserved agricultural terraces and walls, staircases, and stone chambers carved in the classic Inca style.
- Walk through the incredible Andes, get breathtaking canyons views, and take some stunning photos.
- Observe the local flora and fauna and learn more about them from your expert guide.
- Glimpse into traditional Andean life in the rural communities.
- Enjoy a day off-the-beaten-path and away from the large crowds.
Cusco | Quiquijana - Pomacanchi - Santa Lucia - Waqrapukara - Cusco
Highlight of the day: Exploring the impressive site of Waqrapukara.
Be Impressed by the Amazing Inca Fortress of Waqrapukara
Wake up before dawn to join us as we drive for two hours to Quiquijana for breakfast. Next, we’ll continue another two and a half hours, passing the beautiful Pomacanchi Lagoon to the hike's starting point. The first part of the trek will take around three hours as you observe astounding landscapes that’ll take your breath away. We’ll stop at the Waqrapukara viewpoint to take some photos before continuing to the majestic site itself.
This afternoon, you’ll explore the archeological site and learn all about its history. Climb through the ruins and take spectacular photos before heading back to our transport. We’ll drive you back to Cusco for the evening.
This striking one-day adventure starts bright and early. We'll pick you up from your accommodation at around 4:00 am. and follow a two-hour drive to the town of Quiquijana. From there, and once you’ve enjoyed a wholesome breakfast to boost your energy, we'll continue bordering the shimmering Pomacanchi lagoon, one of the largest in the area. This beautiful lagoon is also flanked all over by pastures and plenty of local agricultural fields.
After that, we’ll follow our route for one hour and a half along an unpaved road until the town of Santa Lucía, witnessing some amazing scenery all around and even looking at the lagoon in the distance. From the town, we’ll take a final 30-min drive to our hike's starting point. There, you’ll have time to get your things together before we start. The first section is around 3 hours long, observing the magnificent Apurimac Canyon, one of the deepest in Peru, and the dramatic landscapes studded with cliffs along the way.
When we reach the Waqrapukara viewpoint, you'll be able to rest a little and take your first photos of the impressive fortress emerging on the edge of a canyon. Next, we'll descend along a steep path on a cliff's edge towards the site while you appreciate the Apurimac River flowing downwards.
You'll get to explore the archaeological site for about an hour and a half; you’ll climb through the temple's remains and take photos of its famous horned-shaped rock formation and the fantastic canyon landscape. The site itself also boasts enigmatic constructions from pre-Inca and Inca periods, terraces, and incredible background history, which makes this a perfect location to learn about the ancient Andean culture. Without a doubt, the place will surely take your breath away from start to finish.
Finally, when the group is ready, we'll begin the hike back the way we came. We'll arrive by private transport after about three hours of walking, and we'll return to Cusco, arriving at approximately 7:00 p.m.
Why Travel with us
At Salkantay Trekking, we specify the included and non-included services under all the tour itineraries listed on our website. We take care of all the logistics, but please pay attention to the details to avoid missing anything. Some items may be different for specific programs, so please read carefully before booking with us.
What Is Included?
High Quality Service & Safety
Experienced Tour Guide
English and spanish speaking official tour guide. All our guides are graduates of the professional career of Tourism of the National University San Antonio Abad of Cusco. We choose them for their professionalism, experience, responsibility, seriousness, unbridled passion for exploring, and sincere desire to proudly share in our culture and history. He or she will keep you safe, sound, and comfortable on your trek so that you can enjoy your time worry-free!
Medical Kit or First AID Kit
All Salkantay Trekking guides have received specialized training in first aid. We hold mandatory training sessions with our guides every February. Your guide will always carry a first aid kit to face basic emergencies (altitude sickness, travelers' diarrhea, cuts, scrapes, etc.) as well as oxygen. If necessary, we’ll evacuate you from the path as quickly as possible and ensure that you arrive at a clinic for treatment.
Trekking Poles with rubber tips
24/7 Customer Service
We have telephone service available 24 hours/day for ease of communication with Salkantay Trekking leading up to your trek.
Breakfast & Box Lunch
Snacks and water
Before the hike, we'll provide you with a water bottle and snacks of local fruits, cookies, chocolate, caramels, etc.
One cloth snack bag per person
To avoid the usage of plastic bags that contaminate our environment, we'll give you a cloth bag for your snacks.
You’ll be provided with a small towel and soap before each meal to clean your hands.
All transportation is included in this tour. We’ll pick you up from your hotel and after the end of the trip, we’ll drop you back at the door of your hotel in Cusco.
Permits & Entrance Tickets
Entrance Ticket to Waqrapukara Archaeological Site
What Is Not Included?
Tips for our staff
Tipping is the standard in any excursion in Peru. Although we pay good salaries to our team, something extra is always welcome.
Additional costs or delays beyond our control
Landslides, bad weather conditions, itinerary modifications due to a safety concern, illness, pandemia, government policy changes, political instability, strikes, act of God, etc.
Here we leave you with a brief list of extras that you can enjoy during this package.
Huayna Picchu Mountain
Huayna Picchu is the mountain behind Machu Picchu and which can be climbed in 45 minutes. Although this excursion is up to you, our guide will take you to the place of entry. This walk requires an entrance ticket which we can assure for you if we have enough time in advance.
Your entry ticket will be purchased to coincide with the dates of your excursion on the Inca Trail. The entry can be done in two shifts: from 7:00 am to 8:00 am or from 10:00 am to 11:00 am. We buy the tickets in the second shift so that our clients can fully enjoy their guided tour of Machu Picchu. Remember, the shifts only indicate the time of entry. You can go up and down Huayna Picchu without haste.
The ticket for Huayna Picchu costs US$ 75.00 per person.
Machu Picchu Mountain
Machu Picchu Mountain is another of the mountains that surround the archaeological site of Machu Picchu. It offers even more incredible views than Huayna Picchu, but it takes 1.5 hours to reach the top. This walk requires an entrance ticket which we can assure for you if we have time in advance.
The excursion entrance to Machu Picchu Mountain is open in two shifts as well, the first from 7:00 am to 8:00 am, and the second from 9:00 am to 10:00 am.
The ticket for Machu Picchu Mountain costs US$ 75.00 per person.
All our tours include the PeruRail Expedition train. This train leaves Aguas Calientes at 4:22 pm. The Vistadome train is a higher category service that offers more comfortable seats, a panoramic design that will allow you to see through the roof, as well as an entertainment show on board. The Vistadome train leaves Aguas Calientes at 4:43 pm and goes to Ollantaytambo train station. From there, we’ll take you on our transport to your hotel in Cusco.
You can access this service for an additional payment of US$ 45.00 per person.
We want to make your trip to Peru as memorable and as carefree as possible. In this section, you’ll find the answers to all the questions you have about traveling with Salkantay Trekking in one place. Please read the following information carefully – it will help you with any questions about our services.
Have another question that we haven’t answered here? Drop us a line and we will get back to you asap!
Can I store my luggage at your office?
Of course! During the trip, you can store your main luggage for free at our office (arrange it with us at our office or by email).
You can also safely keep any equipment you won't need for the tour in your hotel. Almost every hotel offers this service. Please do not leave valuable items in your bags; put them in the hotel safe and ask for an itemized receipt (in the unlikely case of theft, many insurance companies require that you have a copy of the receipt). For extra peace of mind, place items like credit cards inside a sealed and signed envelope.
Pick up of guests
All pickups are within Cusco City. Please also note:
- We recommend booking a hotel in the historic center for its convenient location.
- The pickup time is confirmed the day before the tour.
- Due to traffic, the pickup time may vary between 30 and 45 minutes.
- Cusco is an old city; thus, it has many narrow cobbled streets. Some hotels and Airbnbs may be located on streets without access to cars or on long, steep slopes, making it difficult to transport luggage. For such reasons, we strongly advise you to book accommodation with good access.
Group tours are made up of different types of people, then physical conditions and ages can vary. By agreeing to be part of a group tour, you also accept that some people may be faster or slower than you. Therefore, each person can go at their own pace on the route.
It may be the case that a group wishes to modify the tour; however, the guide will be the one who decides, after consulting with all the participants, if such modifications are possible.
Strikes and demonstrations
Strikes and demonstrations are common in Peru, and this may interrupt some of our tours. Roads can be blocked, and train tracks can be taken over. However, we will try to keep your trip as originally planned, even if it means leaving the night before the scheduled date.
Under these circumstances, tours may also be canceled. In case of changes or cancellations, everything will be coordinated with you by our operations department. Your safety is our highest priority, and our decisions will be made to protect it.
Please pay attention to where you leave your things and remember to take everything once you leave our transport or restaurant. You’re the only one responsible for your objects during the tour.
"Waqrapukara Trek" can leave any day of the week, from March through January. We don’t operate this itinerary in February because of the rainy season & maintenance of the route.
Waqrapukara Trek Price 2022
Group Price: US$ 100.00 per person
This small-group journey is guaranteed to operate with just two guests.
Notice that PayPal & Niubiz charge a fee of 5%, which we ask the client to cover since it's due to the use of their secure payment gateway. This tax is just for online deposits.
Please, after your payment, send us the transfer number (PayPal) or a screenshot of your transaction (Niubiz) to firstname.lastname@example.org; only after that, we'll be able to confirm your deposit and reservation.
Extensions & Deals
There are several extensions you can include to your Peru Adventure.
- Cusco City Tour: US$ 30.00 US$ 20.00
- Sacred Valley: US$ 60.00 US$ 50.00
- Moray & Maras Salt Mines: US$ 60.00 US$ 50.00
- Vinicunca Rainbow Mountain: US$ 100.00 US$ 80.00
- Palccoyo Rainbow Mountain: US$ 100.00 US$ 80.00
- Pallay Punchu Rainbow Mountain: US$ 100.00 US$ 80.00
- Ausangate Seven Lakes: US$ 100.00 US$ 80.00
- Queswachaka Inca Bridge: US$ 100.00 US$ 80.00
Once your booking has been confirmed, we guarantee the price won’t increase, whatever the circumstances. So please, before booking, ensure you’ve read all our important tour information.
Thank you for your interest in having an adventure travel experience in Peru curated by Salkantay Trekking. Please take a moment to complete our short form, so one our friendly Adventure Consultants could provide you all the information for your trip of a lifetime in Peru.
Our Pledge | Your privacy is respected and protected. The Salkantay Trekking Company will never share, sell, or make public any of your personal contact information to third parties.
Remember | One of our Travel Experts will contact you soon to confirm the availability of the trip you chose, give you more information, and/or provide you alternative options. Once availability is established, we will ask for a deposit and a completed online registration to confirm your spot on the trek. Please call us at (+51) 958 191 179 with any questions or to confirm availability over the phone.
Note | Due to the rainy season and trail maintenance, we don't offer this trek during the whole month of february. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause you, we are working to provide you a better service!