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.
Tour Start Time: 4:30 am to 5:00 am
Tour End Time: Approximately 4:30 pm
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. Once the whole group is gathered, around 5:00 am, we will start our journey in our private transportation.
We will then have a one hour and half van journey to the town of Cusipata, where we will have our buffet breakfast. After this will continue drive for 30 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 for short ralaxing moment, After this will continue drive for 15 minutes until we will get the Cusipata where we will have our buffet lunch. We will then make our way back to Cusco, which should take around one and half hour.
Our Qeswachaka Tours are done privately and the cost is based on your group size.
2 to 6 participants: $260 total
7 to 13 participants: $360 total
14 or more: Will be arranged and priced by your Inti representative.
NOTE: We sometimes offer to combine private tours (with your permission) into smaller groups with a discount. Let us know if you would be open to others joining you.
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 (vegetarian options available)
- First aid kit (includes emergency oxygen tank)
- Entrance fee (10 soles per person)
- 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)
- We strongly recommend to bring your Camel Back and water canteen due to that government of Peru will not allow disposable plastic bottles anymore on the Inca trail and in Machu Picchu or any other inca site
- 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 4:30 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 breakfast and Lunch in the town of Cusipata
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.