Wata: Big hike, Small site

This is a site we have been wanting to get to for a while, and recently I had the opportunity to take the hike with a few of our guests. Unfortunately I have not been able to find much information on Wata, but from what I have learned Wata is Quechua for Island, the site is pre-Inka and was likely a center for administrative, economic and/or population control.

Kilometer marker on the road from Huarocondo to Pachar

Kilometer marker on the road from Huarocondo to Pachar

The trail that we took is one of at least two different trails and starts 5.75 km north of our town of Huarocondo, and is allong the new road being constructed to Pachar. The trail starts climbing up from the valley almost immiediatly and continues to climb at a moderate rate for the entire 5 km to the site.

Lower trail section

Lower trail section

The beguning of the trail is somewhat shaded as it passes through some eucalyptus groves, the shade does not last long though and we soon found ourselves fully exposed to the Andean sun. The views along the trail were not overly impressive, the altitude did provide some nice views of the vally but there was nothing that I found to be a great view.

Looking towards Wata

Looking towards Wata

One of the posotive things about hiking to Wata is the seclusion, if you are looking for a day hike that will offer a break from the crowds, this may be a good choice as we encountered no other hikers and only a few locals with animals allong the way. The down side of corse is that this trail runs along the East side of the mountain, which puts you in the sun for the entire hike which is all up hill.

Almost there

Almost there

The site itself was small although interesting, consisting mainly of walls and terraces, but there was also the remnants of a structure or large wall that contained several niches, some small and some large. The main area of the sites seemed to be located in a saddle, which is where we entered, and the hill to the East of the saddle had some terraces and walls. We walked around a bit and did not see any additional structures, although we did find a second trail that decended into the valley to the North.

Wata wall

Wata wall

After exploring the site a bit we relaxed on the top of the hill and enjoyed lunch allong with the view of the valley below, we were considering exploreing the site more after lunch but a large storm was approaching and we felt it was best to head back down the mountain.

Wall niches

Wall niches

Overall I enjoyed the hike and would do it again if we have future guests that are interested in hiking to Wata, but I think it should be done more for the hike than the site, considering it’s small size and lack of significant arcitecture. I would though advise against doing this hike during the rainy season, as there are 2 seperate areas where the trail crosses large slide fields, which could become active during periods of heavy rain.

Trail cutting across a slide area

Trail cutting across a slide area

Wata Hike from Huarocondo
Durration: 4-1/2 hours hiking (round trip)
Dificulty: Moderate
Site Altitude: 3800 m
Accent: 600 m over 5 km
Fee: None

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About Lyle

I love travel and am currently operating a Bed and Breakfast called GringoWasi in Cusco Peru with my beautiful Peruvian wife.
This entry was posted in Hikes & Treks, Local Sights and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Wata: Big hike, Small site

  1. pmaghamfar says:

    Looks to be a beautiful trek through the mountains, although hiking up in the direct sun seems a bit worrisome so packing a good lunch – with maybe a few cookies – would be a good reward! I’m wondering if the altitude would be a problem for some.

    • Lyle says:

      I actually found the hike to Huchuy Qosqo to be much more enjoyable and it had a wider range of scenery, but Huchuy Qosqo is a full day hike of at least 10 hours, so Wata would be better for anyone looking for a shorter and less strenuous hike. The altitude was not that bad, the Huchuy Qosqo trail hits 4,300 meters at it’s high point, but neither of these are a hike that I would recommend anyone do just after arriving, it would be best to have a few days of acclimation under your belt before attempting a hike like these.

  2. wwelvaert says:

    Nice pictures Lyle. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you guys!

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