Sun Gate above Machu Picchu
Machu Picchu (2 430 m asl) is not only about a tour around the Inca ruins surrounded by scenic rock cones and covered with mist forest. There are several nice hiking opportunities. One of the easiest is the ascent to the Sun Gate (2 770 m asl), which is in fact a small fortress high on the ridge overlooking both sides of the valley. This ascent is basically the last stage of the famous Inca Trail. Views of Machu Picchu and the surrounding countryside are absolutely delightful.
Start of the ascent to Intipunku
The trip to the Sun Gate Intipunku begins at the most famous outlook of the whole Machu Picchu at the house of the Watchman of funeral rocks. It leads at the beginning along the terraced fields and in a short time you have this little bit different, but still very nice view of the ruins of this Inca town.
Small Inca ruins
Everywhere around Machu Pichu you will encounter various extensive Inca ruins, so this way is certainly no exception.
The Inca trail
The trail itself is a paved walkway of high-quality built by Incas surrounded by lush vegetation. There are many lamas here and before you ascend to the Sun gate, be sure to meet lots of them.
One of the reasons why is Machu Picchu seen as one of the world wonders are not only nicely preserved Inca ruins, but probably also gorgeous surrounding landscape full of deep valleys, green canes, sharp ridges and ice-covered peaks of mountain range Vilcabamba on the horizon.
One of the dominants of the region is a beautiful cone Putukusi (2 350 m asl), although it is one of the lowest in the surroundings. Even so it exceeds the valley of the Urubamba River by nearly 400 meters. Surprisingly, even to this peak leads the tourist path, but almost nobody knows it.
Winding mountain road
After an hour hike you have the entire Machu Picchu from the bird’s eye view. Interesting is also the road leading zigzag path through the forest in the mountain slope.
The ascent path
You can clearly see virtually the entire ascent path to the Sun Gate during this view. Looking at the sky you can get to know that the weather changes quickly in these mountains – sun can be shining and a few minutes later, the sky is overcast and it can start to rain. Muggy weather is ubiquitous.
You are finally at the destination of this ascent – the Sun Gate Intipunku. It is the ideal place for a snack and admiring the views.
Also Intipunku respects the architectural tradition of the Incas – the stones of the walls fit together amazingly.
View of the other side
If you want, you can go even further along the route of the famous Inca Trail, so in the opposite direction and explore the landscape on the other side of the pass.
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