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Qeswachaka trek - Cusco

Discover the Living Bridge of the Incas: Tour to Q'eswachaka, Cusco - Tradition and Adventure with Rap Travel Peru

Qeswachaka Bridge Tour

All day Tour: Hiking and Adventure Min: 2 persons
Carol B
2024-03-20
Breathtaking views beyond describable lifetime adventure Very informitive and beautiful views wonderful pictures. I have already sent word to family they MUST come see!! The guides were friendly and helpful!!!
Heath A
2024-03-19
Amazing Experience!! An absolute once in a lifetime experience I will never forget! We were met by our guide immediately when stepping out of the train station and he was very friendly, funny, and very knowledgeable. Highly recommend anyone coming to Peru to book through Rap Travel Peru!!!
John V
2024-03-19
Totally unforgettable!! I was an amazing experience from start to finish. Every checkpoint was smooth and efficient. I would definitely recommend this tour to anyone!!!
nick d
2024-03-19
Amazing time at Machu Picchu!!!!!👏👏👏👏👏 Had amazing time with some amazing people from rap travel the guide was amazing and very knowledgeable and attentive of everything that he was showing us had great insight and information and made it to where we can understand and enjoy what we were looking at in the history of the site!!!!!👏👏👏📣📣📣📣
Adriano M
2024-03-15
Passeios Maravilhosos e equipe receptiva Equipe super prestativa, desde a reserva até os guias turísticos. Fomos atendidos pelo brasileiro Luis, que estava sempre a disposição para ajudar com quaisquer dúvidas ou problemas. Os guias também foram super receptivos e bem dispostos a ajudar. Recomendo 100%
Yoselin A
2024-03-15
Mejores Días en Perú Desde el primer día la atención y servicio fueron excelentes, muy buenas recomendaciones sobre lugares donde comer, conocer y los mejores guías/fotógrafos. Gracias por recibirnos!
Castro Díaz D
2024-03-15
Experiencia increíble en Perú Mi estancia en Cusco con la agencia RAP Travel fue increíble, nos hicieron sentir como en casa desde que llegamos a la ciudad, los tours, guías, atención, todo fue demasiada buena. Recomendable para que vengan a conocer Perú de la mejor manera.
Marco F
2024-02-24
Nuestro viaje a Perú. Todo fantástico!! Nos encantó las atenciones de RAP Travel Perú y de todo su personal. Los tours bien planificados, puntuales. Todo A1, nos vamos súper contentos con el servicio. Los recomendamos al 1000%, el cooking class traditional fue excelente. El ceviche de trucha y lomo de alpaca para chuparse los dedos.
Madrily D
2024-02-24
Experiencias en Cusco. La experiencia en Perú, fue muy placentera. Nos encantó todo nuestro viaje, la compañía RAP Travel Perú. Nos ayudó muchísimo con la planificación con este viaje. 100% recomendado.
Silvia R
2024-02-23
Viaje mágico Excelente experiencia con la agencia rap travel , todos fueron muy amables y nos ayudaron a armar nuestro paquete turístico de acuerdo a nuestras necesidades

DESCRIPTION

Description Qeswachaka Cusco Bridge Tour:

With the “Qeswachaka Cusco Bridge Tour”, you will enjoy a getaway outside the city of Cusco, be in contact with the Andean nature and get to know the last living Inca bridge in the area of Q’ewe. We will relive the history of the why of the Inca bridges and we will know why this tradition of renewing it every year continues.

QUESHUACHACA, q’iswa = maguey rope or braided dry ichhu and chaka = bridge. It is a bridge made of ropes made of grass that crosses the Apurimac River near Huinchiri, in the district of Quehue, province of Canas – Cusco. It is the last remaining Inca rope bridge.

The Qeswachaka bridge has a length of 28.67 meters and is suspended 30 meters above the Apurimac River. It was part of the huge network of Inca roads (qhapac ñan) that led to the Inca city of Machu Picchu. Every year the local population renovates the bridge just as the Incas did hundreds of years ago.

This road network included different types of bridges, such as: log bridges, stone bridges, floating bridges, oroyas (sliders) and hanging bridges. Hanging bridges were the most used by the Incas, as they easily withstood earthquakes. They were built with ropes made of ichu (wild grass from the Andes) and could reach lengths of 60 meters.

By Inca order, the suspension bridges were renewed once a year through the work of the ‘minka’ (community work for the benefit of the entire population). After the Inca Empire, suspension bridges continued to be used due to their resistance to earthquakes. The best known example is the ‘Qeswachaka Bridge’ in the city of Quehue (Cusco).

Although there is a modern bridge nearby, the residents of the region keep alive the ancient tradition and skills by renewing the bridge annually on the second Sunday of June. Thanks to this tradition of Inca origin, it has been possible to maintain the Qeswachaka suspension bridge. This cooperative work is carried out by the communities of Huinchiri, Chaupibanda, Ccollana, Quehue and Pelcaro. The festival lasts 4 days and involves all the men and women of the villages involved.

At dawn of the first day, the ‘Paqo’ (officiant of the ceremony) celebrates the rite in favor of the ‘Apu tutelar Quinsallallawi’. The ‘icchu’ (straw) was collected and stacked in advance by members of the 4 communities. The women of the communities who have the function of weaving the first soguilla or ‘qheswa’ participate actively. In the afternoon the men divided in 2 groups gather at the sides of the bridges and spread the ‘queswas’ in a straight line on the road, the ropes are braided by the ‘Chakaruwac’ (Inca engineer) to build the ‘Qheswasca’ (big braid). On the fourth day, the Chakuruwacs finish weaving the bridge securing the last fibers and give a shout announcing the end of the arduous work; it is a festival with typical dances of the region and sale of typical Cusco food.

The bridge can now be used by tourists who come to the village to experience the adventure of crossing the Qeswachaka bridge.

MAIN POINTS OF VISIT

  • Cusco (3,399 masl)
  • Combapata
  • Yanaoca
  • Q’ewe

TRAVEL PLAN

  • Día 1: Cusco – Combapata – Yanaoca – Q’ewe – Q’eswachaka – 4 Lagunas – Comabapata – Cusco

DETAILED ITINERARY

Día 1: Cusco – Combapata – Yanaoca – Q’ewe – Q’eswachaka – 4 Lagunas – Comabapata – Cusco

  • 04.30 – 05.00 hrs We will start our adventure by picking you up at your hotels. We will begin our journey to the south of Cusco.
  • 07.30 hrs Our first stop will be in Combapata, where we will stop to use the restrooms and enjoy a continental breakfast in a local family’s house. Then we will go to the viewpoint of Combapata.
  • We will advance through the district of Yanaoca, one of the eight districts of the province of Canas in Cusco.
  • Then we will continue our tour for 1 hour more and we will arrive to the district of Q’ewe after a 15 min. walk on a trail where the famous Inca bridge of “Q’eswachaka” is located.
  • 10.00 hrs The guide will tell us the story of this Inca engineering work, the history, the process of construction each year, why this tradition is continued. We will take pictures and pass from one end to the other over the bridge. It is optional to take a boat ride, adding to the tour S/.10.00.
  • 13.00 hrs After the visit we will board the transport to Combapata to enjoy lunch, then we will make a digestive walk until we reach a viewpoint where we will appreciate the Pampamarca and Asnacqq Lagoons: Pampamarca and Asnacqocha, then we will go to another point of a viewpoint where we will appreciate the lagoons of Acopía and Pomacanchi observing a large amount of regional flora and fauna experiencing an enriched Andean culture.
  • At the end of this circuit we will return to Cusco by cell phone, travel time 2 hours, arrival at approximately 17.00 hrs. We will leave you at your hotel or near the main square.

Breakfast & Lunch – Agency /Dinner – Passenger

INCLUDES


INCLUDES:

  • Tourist transportation
  • Bilingual guide
  • Entrance to Q’eswachaka Bridge
  • Breakfast and lunch
  • First Aid Kit
  • Oxygen


NOT INCLUDED:

  • Mineral water
  • Snacks
  • Boat ride S/. 10.00
  • Personal expenses
  • Tips

WHAT TO BRING FOR THE TREK?

  • Small backpack
  • Rain jacket or poncho
  • Sweater or sweater for cold weather
  • Sun block
  • Camera with extra battery
  • Hat or cap
  • Sunglasses
  • Comfortable hiking shoes
  • Mineral water
  • Snack: Chocolates, dried fruit, cereal bars
  • Extra money in soles
  • Toilet paper
  • A good positive mental attitude

PRICES

GROUP SERVICE TOUR

Qeswachaka Cusco Bridge Tour

PRICE PER PERSON

Minimum 02 people

GROUP SERVICE TOUR

  • Tourist transportation
  • Bilingual guide
  • Entrance to Q’eswachaka Bridge
  • Breakfast and lunch
  • First Aid Kit
  • Oxygen

Photo Gallery The best of the Tour!

  • Tour puente Qeswachaka Cusco-02
  • Tour puente Qeswachaka Cusco-03
  • Tour puente Qeswachaka Cusco-04
  • Tour puente Qeswachaka Cusco-05
  • Tour puente Qeswachaka Cusco-06
  • Tour puente Qeswachaka Cusco-07
  • Tour puente Qeswachaka Cusco-08
  • Tour puente Qeswachaka Cusco-09
  • Tour puente Qeswachaka Cusco-01

Frequently Asked Questions about the Qeswachaka Bridge Cusco Tour

The “Qeswachaka Bridge Cusco Tour” is an exciting tourism experience that allows you to explore the last living Inca bridge in the Q’ewe area near Cusco, Peru. This experience offers you the opportunity to immerse yourself in Andean culture, learn the history behind Inca bridges, and witness the annual tradition of renewing this ancient bridge.

The Qeswachaka Bridge is a suspension bridge constructed with ropes made from braided ichu grass, which is suspended over the Apurímac River at a height of 30 meters. It has a length of 28.67 meters and was part of the Inca road network (qhapac ñan) that connected different regions of the Inca empire, including the Inca city of Machu Picchu.

The best time to do the “Qeswachaka Bridge Cusco Tour” is during the dry season in the region, which spans from May to October. The best time to experience the Qeswachaka Bridge tour is during the bridge renewal festival, which typically occurs on the second Sunday of June. This is when you can fully experience this unique tradition.

In the name “Qeswachaka,” “Q’iswa” and “chaka” have specific meanings in Quechua, the traditional language of the Incas still spoken in some Andean regions.

  • “Q’iswa” (also written as “q’iswa” or “qheswa”) refers to “maguey rope” or “braided dried ichhu.” Ichhu is a wild Andean grass, and the Incas used it to make ropes. In this context, “Q’iswa” refers to the ropes made of ichhu used to construct the Qeswachaka suspension bridge.
  • “Chaka” simply means “bridge” in Quechua. In this case, “Qeswachaka” is a combination of “Q’iswa” (ichhu rope) and “chaka” (bridge), which would roughly translate to “ichhu rope bridge.”

The Qeswachaka Bridge holds great historical significance in the Inca road network for several reasons:

  • Part of the Inca road network: This bridge was part of the extensive Inca road network known as “qhapac ñan.” This network of roads connected various points of the vast Inca Empire and was essential for communication, transportation of people and goods, and territorial control.
  • Earthquake resistance: Suspension bridges like Qeswachaka were particularly useful in earthquake-prone areas. They were constructed with ropes made of ichhu (an Andean grass) that had the ability to absorb the impact of seismic movements, making them earthquake-resistant. This resilience contributed to the durability of the Inca road network.
  • Annual renewal: Following an ancient tradition, the Qeswachaka Bridge is renewed every year through a community labor process known as “minka.” This tradition dates back to Inca times when suspension bridges were renewed to keep them in optimal condition. This annual renewal not only preserves the bridge’s structure but also keeps Inca culture and construction skills alive.
  • Cultural heritage: The Qeswachaka Bridge is a tangible testament to the Inca’s skill and engineering in building suspension bridges. It is an important cultural heritage that allows current and future generations to connect with Inca history and traditions. The annual renewal of the bridge is a living manifestation of this cultural heritage.

The Qeswachaka Bridge is primarily constructed with ropes made of ichhu, a wild Andean grass. Here’s how it is built:

  • Ichhu Ropes: The main material used in the construction of the Qeswachaka Bridge is ichhu ropes. Ichhu is a plant that grows in the Andean region and is known for its strength and durability. Ichhu leaves are harvested and dried before being braided into thick, sturdy ropes.
  • Rope Braiding: The ichhu ropes are meticulously braided to create the cords that will compose the bridge. This braiding process is carried out by traditional Inca engineers known as “Chakaruwac.” These experts in the ancient art of bridge construction ensure that the ropes are well-braided and strong enough to support the weight of people crossing the bridge.
  • Bridge Structure: The Qeswachaka Bridge is a suspension bridge supported by four stone pillars on the banks of the Apurímac River. The ichhu ropes stretch from one side of the river to the other, creating the bridge’s platform. These ropes are braided together to form a large braid known as “Qheswasca.”
  • Annual Renewal: As part of the tradition, each year, local communities work together to renew the bridge. During the renewal ceremony, worn-out ropes are replaced with fresh ichhu braided ropes. This renewal process is an integral part of the local culture and is carried out with rituals and celebrations.
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