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Sun Gate Machu Picchu

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Sun Gate Machu Picchu

Machu Picchu is not only a well preserved XV century city, but its location gives it a surrealism and a feeling impossible to find elsewhere. Machu Picchu is truly inspiring, you can try to experience it through videos, photos, the thousands of guides on the internet, or even Google Street View, but nothing at all compares to standing in Machu Picchu and feeling your energy.

Firstly, above the ruins to the southeast you can see a pass scooped out of the ridge, with a small ruin at the center. This is Inti Punku, the Sun Gate Machu Picchu. You can actually see the sun rise in this gateway from the western heights of the ruins at certain times of year. The trail that you can see traversing the mountainside from this point was the main Inca highway from Huiñay Huayna and other sites farther south. It is well preserved, and makes for a fairly easy climb, taking about an hour and a half there and back. The view of Machu Picchu from Intipunku is magnificient.


Sun Gate Machu Picchu

During the Inca apogee, the people who entered Machu Picchu after traveling the Inca Trail, had their first vision of the Inca city, from the Inti Punku; like the people who travel the Inca Trail today. The Sun Gate Machu Picchu or Inti Punku was a kind of control gate for people entering and leaving the Inca City. Because of its remote and strategic location, it is believed that Machu Picchu only welcomed guests and selected from the elite of the empire.

It is known that people who returned after seeing the city, were treated with greater respect, by people who were on their way to the sacred city. The construction is dedicated to the sun, but not only in name, since during the summer solstice, the sun appears in the Inca City for this place. Definitely the views will cut your breath; Machu Picchu, the Urubamba river, the Huayna Picchu mountain and surroundings are observed. It is a large place, with windows and doors supported by terraces; from this place you can see the entire Inca City in the middle of the mountains.


Where is the Inti Punku?

The Sungate is 2,745 meters above sea level, on one side of the Machu Picchu Mountain. Sungate is where the Incas controlled access to the city. It offers a 180-degree view of Machu Picchu. Most hikers try to get there in time to see the sunrise.

How to get to Sun Gate Machu Picchu?

The Sungate is the place where people enter the Machu Picchu two day hike. This hike begins at km 104 in the town of Chachabamba (2,150 m.). Machu Picchu two day hike is a walk from 6 to 7 hours to reach the Sungate, for being a route without much difficulty it is recommended for children under 12 years old.


The best time to go

The Machu Picchu two day hike is available throughout the year, but keep in mind that during the rainy season (November - April), heavy rains are more likely. The region has a subtropical environment throughout the year, with average temperatures around 18º C. In the dry season the humidity is around 40 and 45%, while in the rainy season it reaches 60 and 65%.



Since the weather in the southern region of Peru is unpredictable, we recommend preparing for both rain and sun. It is advisable to bring a light rain poncho and sun protection, whatever the time you visit Machu Picchu, since scattered rains usually occur at any time of the year, regardless of the season. It is recommended to bring enough water during the walk.


Packing list:

  • Original passport,
  • Travel insurance,
  • Money in cash,
  • A small rucksack,
  • Rain gear (a rain-jacket and a waterproof trousers),
  • Resistible footwear, waterproof trekking shoes are recommended,
  • Hat or a cap (to protect you against the Sun, rain as well as cold),
  • Sun cream or sun block,
  • Insect repellent – recommended minimum is 20% DEET (please note that no malaria cases have been reported during this trip!),
  • Camera and its charger/batteries (please note that batteries are consumed quickly under cold conditions),
  • Flashlight/headlamp + batteries,
  • Handkerchiefs and toilet paper,
  • Snacks (biscuits, energy bars, chocolate, raw fruits, muesli, etc.)
  • Bottled water
  • Optional: walking sticks
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