During the reign of the Incas, a massive network of roads, and one in particular, called Qhapaq Ñan, united every part of the Inca empire. To cross the rugged geography of the Andes, many hanging bridges made out of vegetal fibers were erected. This complex technology has been transmitted from generation to generation in order that there is still today one remaining bridge. Indeed Q’eswachaka Inca bridge has been renovated annually for more than 500 years, connecting the past with the present. Suspended above the Apurimac River at 3,700 meters (12,139 ft) above sea level, Q’eswachaka bridge is restored each June by over a thousand of people from four communities. This ancient ritual was recognized in 2013 by UNESCO as Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.
Crossing it is like going back in time.
Places visited on this tour: Combapata Overlook, Q’eswachaka Inca Bridge, Pampamarca, Asnacqocha, Acopía and Pomacanchi Lagoons.
Category: Adventure, culture, and ecology
Duration: 1 day
Languages: English, Spanish
Tour Start Time: 4:30 am to 5:00 am
Tour End Time: Approximately 4:30 pm
Minimum Group Size: At least six people are required for this tour to depart.
Maximum Group Size: 20 people
Seasons Available: Year-round, April through November especially recommended
Maximum Altitude: 3,800 meters (12,467 ft)
The tour begins with the pick-up from your accommodation between 4:30 and 4:45 am. If your hotel or hostel is not located in the city center, we will pick you up from the doorway of our office building. Once the whole group is gathered, around 5:00 am, we will start our journey in our private transportation.
We will then have a two hours hour van journey to the town of Combapata, where we will have our local breakfast (made of local cereals like quinoa, quiwicha, maca). After this will continue drive for 15 minutes until we will get the Combapata viewpoint, from which we will enjoy the beautiful landscapes and see where the Salcca River meets the Vilcanota, the Sacred River of the Incas.
Then, we will continue our journey to Yanaoca, one of the eight districts in the Canas province of Cusco. From Yanaoca, we will drive thirty minutes more to the Q’ewe district. From there, you will have your first glimpse of the ancient bridge suspended between the steep rock cliffs, as we drive down the Apurimac canyon.
We will then leave the car and descend a steep path to a viewpoint to take photos, before carefully crossing the bridge together! Get ready for the adrenaline rush of a lifetime as you make your way across the swaying bridge, and try not to look too closely at the river several meters below! On the other side, the bridge attendant will greet us and give a brief demonstration of the bridge’s history and construction.
After visiting the bridge, we will drive to the region’s where the four famous lakes are: Pampamarca, Asnacqoccha, Acopia, and Pomacanchi. Set like jewels among the gold-green hills, they shine in the warm, afternoon sun as native flamingos and other birds fly and feed around their edges. We will stop in one of the lakeshores to set our picnic blanket and enjoy our picnic.
Finally, we will explore Rumi Punku before returning to Cusco at about 4:30 pm.
2 people : US $130 per person
3 people : US $100 per person
4 people : US $90 per person
5 people : US $80 per person
6 to 8 people: US $70 per person
Group Size: 2-8 people
Included / Not Included
- Pick-up from your accommodation and drop-off near the main square
- Professional, bilingual tour guide
- We use private buses and minivans, which are very comfortable and come with all necessary safety features. Our driver has several years of experience and is an expert at navigating the narrow mountain roads.
- Breakfast and lunch box (vegetarian options available)
- First aid kit (includes emergency oxygen tank)
- Tips for your tour guide and driver
- Breakfast or dinner
What to Bring:
We suggest only bringing the essential to enjoy the tour and leaving the rest in your hotel
- Small daypack
- Light, comfortable clothing
- Warm jacket
- Water (we recommend at least 1 liter)
- Rain Gear
- Cash (in small denominations of Peruvian nuevo soles)
- Personal medications
- Toilet Paper
- Snacks (granola bars, dried fruits, chocolate, etc.)
Can I cross the bridge?
Yes! All visitors are welcome and encouraged to cross the bridge. However, it is not recommended for visitors with vertigo.
What is the length of the Q’eswachaka Bridge?
The bridge is approximately 28 meters (99 feet) long and 1.2 meters (4 feet) wide.
Where is Q’eswachaka?
Q’eswachaka is located four hours from Cusco by car, on the edge of Apurimac canyon, in the Quehue district of Canas province.
When does the tour start and finish?
Since the location is four hours away, we will have an early start at 4:30 a.m. The tour finishes at 4:00 p.m.
What does the tour consist of? Is this a walking tour?
This is mostly a bus tour, with various stops at points of interest before and after the visit to the Q’eswachaka Inca Bridge.
Are lunch and breakfast included?
Yes, we will have a local breakfast in the town of Combapata and you will receive a boxed lunch later.
Is there a toilet on the bus?
No, however we can stop for toilet breaks. We although recommend that you bring paper toilet and a little bit of money for the toilet stops.
What is the maximum altitude?
The maximum altitude we will reach is 3,800m/12,468ft.
What will I do if I suffer from altitude sickness?
We will treat you accordingly. We carry oxygen cylinders and altitude tablets.
Should I tip the guides? How much is appropriate?
A tip is customary, but the amount is at your discretion. Whatever you feel is appropriate based on the service you have received is fine; please remember to always be courteous and respectful with our guides.