The province of Canas

Canas is one of the thirteen provinces that make up the department of Cusco. It is famous for historical events that happened there such as the Túpac Amaru II Revolution. It is also famous for hosting the Queswachaka bridge, considered the last Inca suspension bridge. To get there you must travel 156 kilometers by road from the city of Cusco. Learn more about this historic province of Peru.

Explore the province of Canas

In the province of Canas you can visit incredible Andean landscapes. Also towns with a lot of history and tradition. One of these is the town of Quehue where the famous Inca bridge of Queswachaka is located. Learn more!

1 Bridge Queswachaka

Queswachaka in Cusco, Peru is the last Inca suspension bridge. Thanks to the renewal ceremony, it is still in force. It is Cultural Patrimony of the Nation.

Bridge Queswachaka

The province of Canas in Cusco

The province of Canas is one of the oldest created in Cusco since it dates back to 1834. It has a history marked by the presence of the ‘canas’, the Incas, the Spanish and, one of its most important chapters, the Tupac Amaru II revolution.

As a trace of its history, today there are archaeological sites, colonial churches, traditions and other vestiges such as the famous Queswachaka Bridge, considered the last Inca suspension bridge. This town is in the district of Quehue.

The province of Canas is made up of the districts of: Yanaoca (capital), Checca, Kunturkanki, Langui, Layo, Pampamarca, Quehue and Túpac Amaru.

The province covers a territorial extension of 32,484 inhabitants. It has a population of 38,293 people, according to the official 2007 census. The most widely spoken languages ​​are Spanish and Quechua (the language of the Incas).

Where is it located?

The province of Canas is located southeast of the city of Cusco. Its capital Yanaoca is 128 kilometers by road from the city of Cusco.

Canas limits to the north with the province of Acomayo, to the east with the department of Puno and the province of Canchis, to the south with the province of Espinar while to the west with the province of Chumbivilcas.

Geographically, the province is in a mountainous territory marked by the Apurimac River. At the foot of the Yana Khuchilla, Chimboya and Kunka mountains, the Langui lagoon is immense. On the north side, the Tungasuca lagoon stands out. Yanaoca, the capital of the province, is located at 3,913 meters above sea level.

How to get there?

To get to Yanaoca, the capital of the province of Canas, you must follow the following route:

  • From anywhere in the city of Cusco you should take a taxi or public transportation to the bus stop located next to the closed coliseum (house of youth).
  • At the whereabouts of the closed coliseum, public transport buses are waiting to take you directly to the town of Yanaoca. The trip takes almost 3 hours and costs approximately 15 Peruvian soles.
  • Once in Yanaoca you can take a collective taxi that will take you to the town of Quehue, where the Queswachaka Bridge is located. The trip takes 40 minutes and costs 6 Peruvian soles.

Site Map

History of Canas

Canas is known as the ‘Cradle of American Emancipation’ because it was there that the great Revolution of Túpac Amaru II (from 1780 AD to 1783 AD) began to take shape. However, its history goes back a long way. This area was inhabited by the Kanas, an ethnic group that ended up allying with the Incas. According to the chronicler Cieza de León, the Inca Wiracocha was the one who managed to expand his territory through the region of the ‘Kanas’ and its neighbors ‘Kanchis’. The Inca presence left several traces to this day. The best example is the Queswachaka suspension bridge.

The arrival of the Spanish and the establishment of colonialism in the 16th century caused a radical change in the territory of the Canas. The descendants of the Incas were affected by the new Spanish tax system. That is why the revolution of the curaca José Gabriel Condorcanqui (born in the town of Surinama) was born in 1780. Finally Túpac Amaru II was executed in the Plaza de Armas of Cusco in 1781.

During the republican era, the current provinces of Canas, Canchis and Espinar were part of the former province of Tinta created in 1825 by decree of Simón Bolívar. The province of Canas was created on August 13, 1834. Today the province of Canas is made up of more than 30,000 inhabitants, the majority dedicated to agriculture and livestock. Many aspects of the Inca culture remain alive today. For example, the Quechua language and the Inca bridge of Queswachaka, its main tourist attraction.

Tourist attractions in the area

These are the main tourist attractions in the province of Canas:

  • Queswachaka suspension bridge – This bridge was part of the ‘qhapac ñan’ network of Inca roads. It is a suspension bridge made of icchu fibers. The structure was built and changed every year thanks to the community work of the population. Today, more than 500 years later, local people continue to renovate the bridge just like the Incas did. The renovation work is considered as Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO (in 2013).
  • Micaela Bastidas and her children: Hipólito, Mariano and Fernandito. The place has paintings and exhibitions that show the life of the Peruvian revolutionary. Office hours are from 8 in the morning to 5 in the afternoon. The cost of admission is 5 Peruvian soles.
  • Pueblo de Quehue – The district of Quehue is not only famous for its proximity to the Queswachaka bridge, it is also famous for its traditions, landscapes and because there you can carry out community rural tourism. The Inca bridge renewal ritual takes place every second Sunday in June. This festival is a great tourist attraction in the province.

The weather

The province of Canas has a temperate-cold climate that varies according to each town and altitude. The city of Yanaoca, capital of the province, has a temperature that varies from a maximum of 22ºC. and a minimum of 0ºC. The rainy season occurs from November to April. From May to October, the dry season occurs with little rain and more intense cold at night.

Photos of Canas

Provincia de Canas
Provincia de Canas
Provincia de Canas
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More information about the province of Canas

The most famous thermal baths in the province of Canas are in the town of Layo (called Exaltación thermal baths).

One of the most amazing traditions in the province is the ‘Chiriaje’. This ritual pits two communities in the Langui district against each other. At the tip of stones and huaracazos a winning community is achieved, which will have better omens in the year.

The most famous archaeological sites in the province are the ‘Machu Pucara’, the ‘Machu Llacta’ and the ruins of Qora Pucara. These were used by the Incas and even cultures before them.