Waqrapukara is one of the newest attractions in Cusco. It is a little-explored Inca fortress whose main attraction is its horned shape on the top of the mountain where it was built. The Inca temples and enclosures there are of great quality. Visitors can go there, either on their own or with an all-inclusive tour. In any case, they will have to hike for a few kilometers surrounded by mountains and lagoons. Definitely, it is one of the new attractions of Peru.

What is Waqrapukara?

The archaeological site of Waqrapukara is an Inca fortress located on top of a mountain south of Cusco. Its name comes from a Quechua word that means 'Horn-shaped fortress' as this construction is between two rock formations in the shape of horns. Its walls, terraces, temples and enclosures are made on the basis of structures from the Canchis culture, which inhabited this area of ​​Cusco until the Incas conquered it and built their buildings. In 2017, Waqrapukara was declared by the Government of Peru as 'Cultural Heritage of the Nation'. Today, it is one of the new tourist attractions of Cuzco.


The Waqrapukara fortress was a fortress initially built by the Canchis culture, which coexisted with the Incas in the century and was established south of the city of Cusco. Both groups battled for control of the region. They also joined forces to fight their common enemies, the Chancas. Thus, the Canchis ended up allying with the Incas in the period of Inca expansion. The Incas built the most perfect temples and enclosures in the area in Waqrapukara.

Its temples with three jambs located in the highest part stand out, right in the middle of the two large rocky mounds that form the horns of the mountain. There are up to four roads or trails that lead to the archaeological site. Legend has it that the Inca general T'ito Qosñipa, who had his army in Canchis, rebelled against the Inca emperor Huayna Capac. An Inca army cornered him but the warrior took refuge in the Waqrapukara fortress where he managed to easily defeat his enemies, due to the special geography in the upper part of the mountain. The Inca emperor cut off his water supply and forced him to surrender. As punishment, the Inca spared his life but cut off one of his ears. Years later, T'ito Qosñipa was one of the most courageous and faithful warriors of the Inca.

What to see

The Waqrapukara fortress is divided into two zones, the upper and lower zones:

Where is?

The Waqrapukara fortress is located in the district of Acos, in the province of Acomayo south of the city of Cusco in Peru. The fortress is on top of a mountain, from which you can see the abyss that falls directly into the Apurímac River.

Map to get to Waqrapukara

How to get there?

There are several routes to get to Waqrapukara. All depart from the city of Cusco, the ancient capital of the Inca empire:

How high is it?

Waqrapukara Fort is 4,300 meters above sea level (14,107 ft).

How's the weather?

The archaeological site of Waqrapukara has a cold climate whose temperatures drop to 4ºC at night. (39ºF). During the day, when more tourists visit it, the temperature can reach 23ºC. (73ºF). The rainiest months, when the place turns greener, are January, February and March. The hottest and coldest dry season is June, July and August.

How much does it cost to go?

The best option to visit the Inca fortress of Waqrapukara is to hire a 1-day all-inclusive tour: complete transportation, tour guide, lunch, hiking equipment and entrance to the archaeological site. Prices range from USD 80 to USD 120 per person.

If you decide to go on your own, you must take public transport to the town of Acomayo. From there they must take a private transport (hire a taxi) to one of the three points where the walk begins: the towns of Sangarará, Huayqui or Santa Lucía. The cost of private transportation can be more expensive than hiring a tour, so the latter is the best option.

Tips for your visit

Sitio arqueológico de Waqrapukara
Sitio arqueológico de Waqrapukara
Sitio arqueológico de Waqrapukara
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