Waqrapukara Trek 1 Day - The Inca Horn Fortress
Discover the majestic pre-Inca construction of Waqrapukara or Fortress of the Horns located in the mighty Apurímac River's canyon. If you're looking for something completely different and with few people, Waqrapukara is ideal for you. This beautiful sacred place combines advanced architecture and impressive natural formations in a dream landscape. In addition, it's surrounded by small and crystalline lagoons. These gigantic horns rise to 4,300 masl / 14,107 fasl.
Before You Go
Waqrapukara Trek is a must for anyone wanting to visit this stunning archaeological site before the crowds discover it. Waqra is "horn" in Spanish. Pukara is equivalent to strength. These "horns" rise 4,300 meters above sea level, on top of a huge ravine covered with forests. The archaeological monument is surrounded by impressive platforms, plazas, and a forest of stones that resemble mythological giants that contemplate the Andean landscape.
Itinerary at a Glance
Cusco | Chuquicahuana - Acomayo - Waqrapukara - Cusco
Today starts very early. We will pick you up from your hotel between 3:30 a.m. and 4:00 a.m. to start a 2.5-hour car trip to the town of Marcaconga. Then we’ll continue to the Pitumarca district where we’ll enjoy a delicious and nutritious breakfast.
We will continue for 30 minutes towards Punta Carretera. There we’ll have a few minutes to organize all our things and get the last details to be ready to start our excursion. We’ll walk for 2 hours while observing glorious landscapes dotted with small glacial lakes.
Once we reach the Waqrapukara viewpoint, we’ll stop to take the first photos of this incredible fortress perched on the edge of a canyon. Then we’ll descend for about 40 minutes on a steep path, at the edge of the cliff, to the archaeological site itself while the Apurímac River roars below us.
We’ll have a guided tour to discover all the mysteries of this archaeological site for approximately 1.5 hours. You can walk through the remains of a temple, take photos of the incredible scenery that forms the canyon, and rest on the cliffs, under the shadow of the stone walls. Once the group is ready, we’ll begin our journey back. We’ll walk for 3 hours before being picked up by our mobility. We’ll arrive in the city of Cusco at approximately 6:00 p.m.
- Difficulty: Challenging to Hard
- Walking Distance: 9.9 miles
- Minimum Elevation: 3296 m / 10813 ft
- Highest Elevation: 4087 m / 13480 ft
What Is Included?
High Quality Service & Safety
You will meet your guide and group in our office for an orientation before your trek. At this time, we will provide you with the duffle bags which will be carried by our porters. The meeting will be at 6:00 PM the evening before the trip begins.
All our guides are graduates of the professional career of Tourism of the National University San Antonio Abad of Cusco. Also, they speak English. As good cusqueños, they feel a great commitment to transmit the knowledge they have inherited from their grandparents. They are very friendly and professional. They’ll make sure you are safe and happy.
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 emergency situations (altitude sickness, traveller’s diarrhoea, 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.
Customer Service 24/7
We have telephone service available 24 hours/day for ease of communication and preparation with the agency leading up to your trek.
Round trip private transportation.
What Is Not Included?
Tips for our staff
Tips are usual on any excursion. Although we pay good salaries to our entire team, something extra is always welcome, especially considering the hard work they do. Typically, group participants collect their tips to hand out to the porters and chefs together.
Additional costs or delays out of control of the management
Landscape, bad weather condition, itinerary modification due to a safety concern, illness, change of government policy, political instability/strike, etc.
Personal clothing and gear
We want to make your trip to Peru as memorable and as easy as possible. In this section, you will find speedy answers to all those questions you had about trekking Salkantay in one place. Please read the following information carefully – it will help you with any questions about our services.
Has another question that we haven’t answered here? Drop us a line, and we will get back to you asap!
Briefing or informative meeting
All information meetings are held in your hotel at 6:00 p.m., one night before the tour begins. If you cannot attend, you must coordinate another time at the Salkantay Trekking offices. These meetings last approximately 30 to 45 minutes and there you will be given a small duffel bag, in which you’ll put all the belongings you intend to bring on the trek that won’t be in your day pack.
Payment of Trek Balance (in Cusco)
The trek has to be paid for in full by at least 7.30 pm two days before departure. For example, if your tour departs on a Wednesday, then you must come to our office before 7.30 pm on Monday.
It would be much appreciated if you pay the trek balance in cash US dollars or local currency. You can withdraw some money from several ATMs along Avenida Sol (either in US dollars or local Peruvian Soles). You can pay by credit card or PAYPAL online, but you will have to pay an 8% service charge, charged by VISA and PAYPAL. We do not accept bank checks or payment of the balance by traveler’s checks.
Storing your luggage at our Office.
Of course! During the travel, your main luggage can be stored at our office(you can organize briefing day or by email) or at your hotel, both free of charge.
Any equipment that you are not going to need on the trek can be stored safely in your hotel. Nearly every hotel will provide this service. Don’t leave items of value with your bags, put them in the hotel safe and obtain an itemized receipt (In the unlikely case of theft many insurance companies require that you have a copy of the receipt itemizing all the items). Best put items such as credit cards inside a sealed, signed envelope for extra peace of mind.
Salkantay Trekking can pick you up from your hotel, as long as it’s in the Historic Center of Cusco. The pickup time will be coordinated with your guide in the briefing. The pickup time may vary between 30 and 45 minutes due to traffic. Cusco is a very old city, therefore, 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. We strongly recommend that you book accommodation with good access.
Group tours are made up of different types of people. 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, it will be the guide who decides, after consulting with all the participants, if said modifications can be made.
Strikes and demonstrations:
Strikes and demonstrations are usually frequent 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 excursion as planned, even if it means leaving the night before the scheduled date. Under these circumstances, tours may also be cancelled. In case of changes or cancellations, all situations will be coordinated with you by our operations department. Your safety is our highest priority and our decisions will be made to protect it.
You’re responsible for your objects during the tour. Please pay attention to where you leave your things and remember to take everything once you leave our trucks, tents, or restaurants.
The Waqrapukara Trek can leave any day of the week, from March through January. We do not run this trip in February because rainy season & maintenance.
2020 Land Cost
- This small-group journey is guaranteed to operate with just two guests.
Online Payment Waqrapukara Trek
Private Tour - 2020 Land Cost
Private tours are available and priced by party size.
- 2 Trekkers: US$220 per person
- 3 Trekkers: US$200 per person
- 4 Trekkers: US$180 per person
- 5 Trekkers: US$160 per person
- 6 Trekkers: US$140 per person
- 7 Trekkers: US$120 per person
- 8 or more Trekkers: $100 per person
If you would like to customize this itinerary and create a Tailor Made Journey just for you and your companions, click here to inquire, or speak to your travel professional.
Extensions & Offers
There are several extensions you can include to your Adventure:
- Rainbow Mountain: $100 $80
- Sacred Valley: $100 $80
- City Tour: $20
Once your booking has been confirmed we guarantee the price will not increase, whatever the circumstances. Before booking please ensure you have read our important tour pricing information