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Along the southern plateau of the Sacred Valley, past the Four Lakes district, lies the Inca temple fortress of Waqrapukara. This impressive Inca archaeological complex is less known and more remote than the more famous monuments of Saqsaywaman, Tipón, Moray or Ollantaytambo.
The destination is, however, gaining attention as a hidden treasure for travelers seeking an alternative trekking and camping adventure.
Located in the province of Acomayo in Cusco’s Pomacanchi district, the name Waqrapukara means "Horn Fortress", in clear reference to the rock formation.
Getting there involves a 2½-hour drive from Cusco to the town of Santa Lucia, and then a 2-hour trek. Similar to Machu Picchu, the Inca ceremonial architecture at Waqrapukara melds amazing stone masonry and spectacular natural formations.
Nestled sinuously along a rocky outcrop, built around two horn-shaped, towering mountain peaks, the site features eight Inca terraces with retaining walls and stone stairways.
At one end, it features rectangular stone enclosures with niches and double and triple jamb Inca doorways.
At the other end are more enclosures, one of them an E-shaped structure, flanked by a longitudinal wall with trapezoidal niches.
The Incas occupied the site of Waqrapukara, after their conquest of the ethnic group the Kanas. This Quechua word gives its name to the southern province of Cusco where this magnificent archaeological site is located.
Built on the top of the mountain, Waqrapukara offers us a view of mountain ranges that disappear into the horizon, as well as gigantic rock formations which give depth to the valley of the Apurimac River.
This archaeological site was linked to astronomical observation and rituals for the development of agriculture, as the buildings face the sun rise. We can also observe vaulted niches with three jambs, a detail only found in Mauka Llacta arquitecture, in the mythical Paqarektampu.
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Contact form and we will get in touch with you shortly