The Q’eswachaka is a bridge with incredible architectural wonder. It’s 30 meters long and is more than five centuries old.
The civil engineer and cultural heritage manager Carmen Arróspide describes what it feels like to walk on it saying that it is like being suspended in the air. Unesco also describes it as an example of the continuity of an existing cultural tradition since pre-Hispanic times.
“At more than 3,700 meters above sea level, on a gorge of the Apurímac River, in the region of Cusco, this rope bridge, completely woven by hand, has remained standing for at least 600 years thanks to an Inca tradition handed down from generation to generation”, said the BBC.
Every June a ritual takes place where all of the families of the region participate in the act of re-weaving the bridge. It is the only Inca bridge so far that has survived modernity.
“Each year they change it according to tradition,” Felipe Cerdán, of the National Council of Science, Technology and Technological Innovation of Peru (Concytec) told BBC Mundo.
It is a process that lasts three days and concludes with a festival with native dances by the inhabitants of four communities: Huinchiri, Chaupibanda, Qollana Quehue and Chocayhua.
Tales as old as the 1500s describe these bridges which allowed people to cross rivers and canyons.
The Q’eswachaka was declared a World Heritage Site by Unesco in December 2013. It forms part of the old road network, the huge system (Qhapaq Ñan, in Quechua) that linked the most important cities and towns of the Inca Empire, a vast territory of more than two million square kilometers.
Now that you're here:
We're asking you, our reader, to make a contribution in support of our digital guide in order to keep informing, updating and inspiring people to visit Peru. Why now? In our near 20-year journey as the leading English-language source on travel in Peru, we've had our fair share of ups and downs-but nothing quite like the challenges brought forth in the first quarter of 2020.
By adapting to the changing face of the tourism and travel industry (on both local and international levels), we have no doubt we will come out stronger-especially with the support of our community. Because you will travel again, and we will be ready to show you the best of Peru.
Your financial support means we can keep sharing the best of Peru through high-quality stories, videos and insights provided by our dedicated team of contributors and editors based in Peru. And of course, We are here to answer your questions and help whenever you need us.
As well, it makes possible our commitment to support local and small businesses that make your visit an unforgettable one. Your support will help the people working in these industries get back on their feet once the world allows us to make our dream of enjoying everything Peru has to offer a reality again-from its mouthwatering gastronomy, thriving Amazon and archaeological wonders such as Machu Picchu.
Together, we will find a way through this. As a member of our community, your contribution, however big or small, is valuable.