The Annual Restoration of the Q´eswachaka Bridge
Travelling in Peru is a never-ending adventure as there are so many places to explore. One of its several hidden treasures is a grass, woven bridge located over the Apurimac River, at a few hours from Cusco. It’s name is El Puente de Q´eswachaka or, in English, the Q´eswachaka Bridge, formed from two Quechua words: “Q´eswa” meaning “to braid” and “Chaka” meaning “bridge”. It is a unique site to see as it is the only Incan bridge of its kind that still remains today. It is located 11,811 feet above sea level, it is 33 meters in length, and hangs 15 meters above the river. The bridge is made out of native supplies and a special grass called “q´oya”. These materials used to build the bridge deteriorate rapidly and thus require a yearly renovation. The techniques used to reconstruct the bridge have been passed on from the 15th century when the bridge was first built. Later it was destroyed as the Incas tried to prevent the Spanish conquistador, Pizzaro, from getting to Cusco. Eventually the Q´eswachaka was rebuilt and continues to be maintained in good condition with the annual Festival.
The special celebration of the Q´eswachaka´s restoration takes place every second Sunday of June, this year falling on June 8, 2014. The event is a beautiful experience with about 1,000 people gathering from local communities to rebuild, celebrate with native dances, and cross the finished bridge.
Dos Manos Travel Peru offers tours to the Q´eswachaka Bridge throughout the entire year but there is a special two-day tour during this exceptional festivity that allows you to be a part of it all. The scenery is impressive and this is a unique possibility to be immersed on local Peruvian culture. The special trip begins on Saturday, January 7th and ends on Sunday, June 8th after the celebration ends. Check out our website for more details of our tour to the Bridge of Qeswachaka and learn how the incas built a bridge! If you want to join us please send us an email or contact us through Facebook for the last details.