Would you like to travel off the beaten path and meet extraordinary locations along the way? Well, we have a not-so-touristy but impressive location for you located in the region of Cusco. We are talking about an outstanding pre-inca construction that was later adapted during the Inca Empire, the Waqra Pukara Archeological Site.
This Pre-Columbian settlement is located a few hours away from the Imperial City of Cusco. It is one of the hidden prehispanic treasures of the region since not many people seem to know of it.
Waqra Pukara is believed to be an astronomical observatory or a religious sanctuary of the ancient Qanchi civilization. However, it also served as a fortress to this culture during the Inca Empire expansion.
This enigmatic archeological site is located at 4,300 meters above sea level near the Apurimac canyon. Its name means Horn Fortress in Quechua, but locals know it as LLamaPukara, a different name that seems more appropriate since the structure resembles the ears of a llama.
Nevertheless, little is known of this ancient structure, leaving its actual purpose up to speculations, though this won’t stop its visitors from being captivated by its imposing beauty. Waqra Pukara was built on top of a mountain, surrounded by agricultural terraces, chambers, and cobled stairs.
Due to the geographic location of Waqra Pukara, it has the distinctive climate condition of the Peruvian Andean region, comprehending a dry winter and a significantly wetter summer.
- Rainy Season: It takes place between December and April, being the rainiest period between January and March. If you’re planning to visit this structure during this season, keep in mind that the weather changes drastically in this region.
- Dry Season: It is considered the coldest season of the year since temperatures can drop below 0°C during nighttime. However, sunny and bright days are expected throughout this period.
Planning a trip through Peru according to the weather conditions may be quite tricky. Therefore, to help you organize your packing list we’ve come with a section so you can decide when is the best time to travel to Peru.
Altitude Sickness: How to Prevent and Deal with It
The archeological site is located over the 4,000 meters of elevation. Therefore, some travelers may experience shortness of breath, dizziness, tiredness, and headache, these are the effects of the so-called Altitude Sickness, a condition that strikes most people in altitudes that supasses the 2,500 meters above sea level.
Even if you’ve lived on the peak of Mount Everest or at sea level throughout your whole life, altitude sickness may affect you at any time, so don’t take it for granted. However, we don’t mean to scare you off but to make things clear and easy for you. To help you prevent and deal with it, make sure to follow these recommendations:
- Drink lots of water.
- Eat a light but high-calorie diet.
- Avoid drinking alcohol and smoking.
- Don’t commit to physically demanding activities on the first days of your stay.
- Drink Coca tea or chew Coca leaves, this plant is known for helping with acclimatization.
There are some medicines that help to ease altitude sickness symptoms. You can find Diamox or Soroche Pills in almost every drugstore in Peru. However, you should seek medical advice before taking any of these.
If you’re up to this adventure, make sure to spend some time in Cusco city before heading to this archeological site. That way you’ll have archived acclimatization properly.
How to Get There?
To visit this enigmatic structure, one must be in Cusco. Luckily, the so-called Imperial City is easily accessible by train, plane, or bus. To help you organize your itinerary, here are some recommendations regarding transport options:
- Bus to Cusco: This is the perfect travel option for those with a flexible itinerary and plenty of time. Keep in mind that taking a bus ride to Cusco from Lima may take about 22 hours, therefore, we recommend you make stops on the way to visit even more attractions. Learn more about this adventure here! →
- Flight to Cusco: For those with a tight schedule, taking commercial flights might be the most suitable option. That way, you’ll save time and get to know more about the cities you’d like to visit. Find out more here →
- Train to Cusco: Train travel is possible through three of the most in-demand attractions of the Peruvian highlands. The Belmond Andean Explorer connects Arequipa, Puno, and Cusco on a magical ride through the Andes mountain range. Get to know more about it here! →
Once you’ve figured out your transport option for this trip, make sure to book your Waqra Pukara tour in advance. Not many travel agencies offer this attraction, but here we are to assist you. Please, contact our team for more information.