Nature lovers will be pleased to know that there is a hidden world stunning in the south of Cusco. This area full of local cultural history unexplored by the western world. Located only 2 hours drive from the city of Cusco. The Pumacanchi Lagoons are four impressive lagoons with black colored waters surrounded by lush tropical landscape and impressive limestone formations. Get upclose to the great outdoors with a boat ride on one of the black lakes. Honourable workmanship of the Inca times that has been maintained and carried over into our modern world is the Q’eswachaka (Inca Bridge) spanning across the Apurimac River. Every year residents of the region keep the ancient tradition and skills alive by renewing the bridge annually. Several family groups have each prepared a number of grass-ropes to be formed into cables at the site; others prepare mats for decking. The effort is performed to honor their ancestors and the Pachamama (Earth Mother).
We will greet you for an early morning pickup from your hotel in Cusco and travel through the province of Acomayo making a number of stops to get up and personal with the lagoons of Pomacanchi, Acopia, Asnaqocha, Pampamarca or Tungasuca. These lagoons have many different uses, fishing, totora hut camps and social activities with motor boats and pedal boats. Each lagoon has its unique individually and multiple species of flora and fauna to observe as we visit.
Moving through the lagoons we pass the the Province of Canas and finally reach our main destination the Inca bridge Q’eswachaka 3,700 masl / 12,139 feet) tucked in and connected to the mountain ledges joining together this 33 meter long and 1.20 meter widegrass and rope platform. Each year the model of ancient history is maintained and renovated by hand to it´s original condition with the use of ichu by the inhabitants of the area. Before carrying out the intricacy of the activity a payment ceremony is made to the Pachamama to get help and protection during process.
If your´re feeling brave the hanging Inca bridge awaits your attempt, if you have a really good imagination you can feel what it would have been like walking the path of an Inca, it is a very special experience that cannot be missed since it is one of the bridges that lives its tradition from the time of the Incas til this present time. Such an opportunity for great pictures of the authentic and unique panorama. Time to return to Cusco and leave you at your hotel.
Qeswachaka is a suspension bridge that crosses the Apurimac River and is located at 3700 meters above sea level, in the province of Canas, district of Quehue, 160 km from the city of Cusco.
It was declared an intangible cultural heritage by UNESCO in 2013.
The maximum altitude we will reach is (3800 m.a.s.l.).
The “Q’eswachaka” bridge requires annual maintenance because the straw (Ichu) used for its construction begins to decompose, since the Inca time the reconstruction is done in 4 days (before the second Sunday of June) and the 4th day the ceremony concludes with a folkloric festival, where you can share the traditions and customs unique in the world.
Made of TEGIDA WOOD, the bridge spans 118 feet and hangs 60 feet above the canyon’s rushing river. Inca women braided small, thin ropes, which were then braided back into large support cables by the men, like a modern steel suspension bridge.
For the renovation a whole traditional festivity takes place, every June 4 Quechua communities renovate the bridge. It lasts 4 days and usually begins on the 1st Sunday of June. It involves the realization of a very important ritual for the communities involved, the material used is the ICHU (straw that grows in the highest areas of the Andes).
The four communities get together to renovate the structure of the old bridge, during this date they gather the material for the bridge which is 28 meters long and 1.20 meters wide.
The first day begins: with an offering to the Apu Quinsallallawi. The collection of the straw material (ICHU), where the Andean women participate and are in charge of weaving the first soguilla or (Qeswa) that will be given to each community member who will attend this work.
Two groups will gather above both sides of the bridge and spread the qeswas from end to end. Chakaruhac (Inca engineer) braids the Qeswaska or major braid.
The second day: We start untying the old ropes, then we will start tying the new ropes and once finished we will start throwing the ropes from one end to the other. Finally, the four ropes serve as a base and the two ropes serve as handrails.
The third day: This day ends with the tying of the handrails and the surface of the bridge, which will be used to cross. Once completed, the inauguration of the bridge begins, and the villagers will celebrate to the sound of dance and music typical of the area.
The fourth day: This grandiose day will begin with a beautiful festivity of the autochthonous dances by the inhabitants of the four communities. And so end the four days and the process of the Inca bridge of Q’eswachaka O queswachaca.
The ritual of the bridge of Q’eswachaka is carried out second Sunday of June in the town of Q’iwe. (The festivity lasts 4 days and involves all the men and women of the villages involved in the reconstruction of the Q’eswachaka bridge.
The cooperative work is carried out by the communities of Huinchiri, Chaupibanda, Ccollana, Quehue and Pelcaro.
The renovation of the bridge is carried out annually.
Does the tour comply with the rules and protocols of Biosafety to prevent Covid 19?
Yes, the tour and our entire itinerary complies with biosecurity rules and protocols which can be reviewed in our manual.