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One of the most representative destinations in Cusco is, of course, Machu Picchu. The Inca Trail is also one of the preferred means for tourists to get there. On the tour it is possible to observe innumerable Andean landscapes and remains of the Inca culture, such as the magical Phuyupatamarca: a dream destination from which we provide you with all the necessary information.


This place is a clear example of Inca culture, its architecture, history and characteristic beauty. Phuyupatamarca in the Inca Trail has a sophisticated retaining wall structure and is located on the steepest side of a mountain.


Phuyupatamarca is known as "place above the clouds" for being located more than 3600 meters above sea level.


Why is it called "The Place in the Clouds"?

The "place above the clouds" owes its name to the fact that, when the mist of the high jungle rises, being next to Phuyupatamarca is like floating above the clouds: a unique experience for any traveler.

In Phuyupatamarca a beautiful landscape dominates, because many of those who reached this point on their way to Machu Picchu, indicate that they feel like they are in the clouds, this effect is caused by the mist of the high jungle rising up to the archaeological complex, filling the whole place with a thick mist and giving the impression of being "floating" among the clouds; the experience is truly amazing. Visiting this place is knowing an ancient citadel of our ancestors.


Architecture pf Phuyupatamarca Ruins

  • Phuyupatamarca Ruins has fifteen buildings, two squares, six ceremonial baths, bridges, stairs, water channels and observation platforms - similar to viewpoints - very close to the end; that is, from the precipice. Phuyupatamarca in the Inca Trail is one of the few buildings that are still mostly intact.
  • There are two small squares, the 6 ceremonial baths stand out, making a classic and traditional atmosphere of Inca philosophy and Andean beliefs.
  • The Phuyupatamarca archaeological site is built on an underground river that irrigates waters for its ceremonial baths.
  • There are water channels; it has an amazing hydraulic system to water all the platforms, and what surprises visitors is that 500 years after being built it is still in operation.
  • We can also mention the bridges and stairs, as in many Inca sites, this is not the exception that combines the balance between nature and the environment.
  • The observation platforms stand out, from where you can see the archaeological remains of Intipata and Wiñaywayna.
  • The citadel is larger than it seems, as it is likely that a hundred people have lived there centuries ago. The purposes of its construction, for that matter, could be many: ceremonial, strategic administrative, military, etc. 

Weather in Phuyupatamarca

The climate in Cusco and Phuyupatamarca Campsite is semi-tropical throughout the year, with sunny days and very cold nights. As mentioned above, it is better to avoid rainy seasons and separate the square on the route months in advance (preferably between May and October). Maximum temperatures (between 20 ° C and 26 ° C) and minimum temperatures (between 0 ° C and 11 ° C) are recorded in June.


You should wear light clothing and mountain shoes. It is also essential to have waterproof garments, fleeces, windbreaks and protective implements for cold or rain at night.


Phuyupatamarca on the Classic 4-Day Inca Trail

During day 3 we march from the archaeological site of Sayacmarca, through an unforgettable view that includes forests with beautiful plants, exotic birds and the winding Urubamba river, we arrive at Phuyupatamarca Campsite. We are already on the western border of the Peruvian Amazon jungle. In "the city of the clouds" you will have a visit with a native professional guide, you will be able to take extraordinary photos, videos, learn more about the Inca empire and continue enjoying the unmatched natural energy of the Cusco Andes.


From there, the 4 day Inca Trail Tour heads towards the fabulous Inca site of Wiñaywayna, an engineering masterpiece dedicated to increasing agricultural production, the foundation of all of its economy.The staggered cultivation terraces create a view that will leave you completely impressed. Wiñaywayna is also the place of the camp and overnight on day 3.


On the next and last day, already very far from Phuyupatamarca Campsite, we set out for the fabulous Inti Punku or Cover of the Sun, which was the entrance to Machu Picchu during the time of the empire. From there you have a classic view of the citadel, ideal for excellent photographs. Immediately after, the expedition continues to the site of Machu Picchu, for the long-awaited tour with a professional guide. After this, you will have extra time to continue exploring the place, which was built as a sumptuous religious-vacation spot for the Inca nobility, also surrounded by white clouds.


Finally, in the afternoon you can enjoy the pleasant Aguas Calientes, a small city at the foot of the Inca sanctuary, in the middle of the beautiful subtropical jungle. There you will find typical food, drinks, first-class exotic juices, exclusive massages and beauty therapies with Andean products, the huge, well-stocked craft market and of course the relaxing complex of hot springs that gives the town its name, among other attractions. During days 3 and 4 of the Classic Inca Trail you will have walked 21 kilometers in the majestic Andean geography!


How to get to Phuyupatamarca Ruins?

The cost of the bus ticket Lima-Cusco varies between S /. 180 and S /. 250 soles approximately, depending on the transport company or the time of year. The duration of the trip is 22 hours on average, so we recommend that you set aside at least three or four days to complete your tour.


The Phuyupatamarca Ruins are part of the attractions on the Inca Trail tour to Machu Picchu. This is highly requested by tourists from all over the world; therefore, you will have to reserve a place at least six months in advance, since the authorities only allow the entry of 500 people per day (includes chefs, tour guides, porters, etc.).


In order to get to this beautiful archaeological attraction of Cusco, the visitor has to choose to follow the Inca trail (Classic Inca Trail, Machu Picchu 3 day hike2 day Inca Trail2 day Inca Trail with campingone day Inca Trail)   that leads to Machu Picchu.


We recommend you to reserve this place between the months of May and October. This season is characterized by the least amount of rain and the highest level of vegetation. This will make the trekking route easier and, in addition, you will better enjoy the landscapes.


How much does it cost to get to Phuyupatamarca Ruins? Additional costs and recommendations

The average price of tourist agencies for the traditional four-day route varies between S / .600 and S / .1800 dollars. This amount depends on the tourist package contracted, some offer chefs services on the way, camping supplies, etc.


What you will remember from this trip will be the landscapes, the history that you contemplate and the archaeological remains. So, if your budget is limited, don't worry and hire the package that suits you best. Of course, it is better that you bring your own camping implements (tent, sleeping and more) and your light lunches. If this is the case, your physical resistance should be even higher since you will have more weight to carry and you will not have the services of a loader (something that includes more expensive packages).


As additional tips, drink enough water to hydrate yourself during the walk. However, avoid taking large amounts in a single sip as it will complicate your digestion. Take only one or two drinks every fifteen minutes. Avoid fats, smoking and very intense activities before starting the route. Do not forget to take extra batteries or wireless chargers for your cell phone or your camera, since you will not find electricity on the way and you will not want to stay without taking the best pictures.


Tips to get to Phuyupatamarca Ruins

  • Before visiting this place on the route of the Inca Trail, visit the city of Cusco at least one day before. This will serve to acclimatize you to the height while you discover all the mysteries, stories, traditions and historical places of the city.
  • Do not be scammed about the package to enter the Inca Trail route. Currently there are only 200 agencies authorized by SERNANP (National Service of Natural Areas Protected by the State) to buy it. In addition, you can only enter the route in the company of a guide.
  • Being a long trek, you must be in good physical condition to resist the walk without problems. Remember that physical wear, coupled with altitude sickness, could ruin your adventure. Take your time and always obey the guide's instructions and recommendations.
  • Much of the Inca Trail route is located between 3,500 and 5,000 meters above sea level. The route connects agricultural, administrative, mining, religious sectors, among others. In total, they are 60 thousand kilometers in length that our ancestors used to unite the entire Tahuantinsuyo for administrative, political and military purposes.
  • To travel the Inca Trail there is more than one type of route (which vary in the number of days of travel and destinations to know). The traditional route, which lasts 4 days, is the one that will allow you to arrive and appreciate the archaeological remains of Phuyupatamarca.
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