What to see when visiting Machu Picchu?
Machu Picchu is a whole citadel, to explore every corner and passage of this amazing place could take about two days or more. Besides, the total area of the Historic Sanctuary of Machu Picchu includes different ruins and tracks on its surrounding such as Huayna Picchu or the Sun Gate. Learn the highlights that cannot be missed while visiting the seven wonder and take notes!
What to see in Machu Picchu? Do not worry check a complete list with the unmissable:
Hike the Huayna Picchu Mountain
Probably the most famous hike on the Machu Picchu area. This hike is considered to be challenging for some it takes to 2 hours in total to be accomplished walking in a regular pace. The hike offers amazing view of the greenish Vilcanota valley and to see Machu Picchu from a different perspective that would be worth the effort!
Because is well known by the visitors the admission fee to the Huayna Picchu usually sold out quickly, because of that we highly recommend you to purchase your tickets far in advances specially if you are visiting the citadel on the peak season (from June to August).
Intipunku or The Sun Gate
In case you have not gotten the chance to purchase the Huyna Picchu or think it would be too much of an effort, then you might want to hike towards the Intipunku or Sun Gate.
The entrance for the Inca Trail trekkers, and also a wonderful place to see Machu Picchu from above with a breath taking view that would leave you a peaceful sensation, an easy walk but extremely rewarding.
The Royal Tumb
As important as the Sun Temple since its located right down it. It is no longer open to the public but can still be appreciated from the outside. The name was given because it is speculated that the Inca Pachacutec was buried there and that its walls where cover in gold. Also its base seemed to serve the purpose to hold offerings.
Machu Picchu Mountain
If you are looking forward to do a Machu Picchu short hike, but think that Huayna Picchu will be too crowded or maybe you do not want to put much of an effort into it, perhaps you would like to hike the Machu Picchu Mountain a longer track that offers a more tranquil walk with a moderate difficulty.
Some visitors are lucky enough to see the spectacled bear that lives on the area, but for sure a breathtaking and overall view of the whole Huayna Picchu and surroundings.
The Inca bridge
Only a 30 min away from the main entrance, can be found the Inca bridge that in fact is not a bridge and more a stone path built on the cliff that seemed to be use by the Inca army in case unwanted visitors arrived into the citadel.
The Temple of the Sun
Is one of the most iconic buildings of Machu Picchu. The sun temple is located in the middle of the urban sector and was built right on top of a natural rock formation and as many people called it Torreon due to its semicircular shaped in comparison to other structures.
Also, it was built in the highest point of the citadel because of that its believed that the Incas used this a religious center to adore the sun the main Inca god.
The Intihuatana was the Inca sun clock, a religious instrument made out of stone that has 4 sides that feature one of each cardinals. Actually, there are two of them in Cusco the first is located in Pisac in the Sacred Valley and the other is in the urban sector of Machu Picchu.
The Intihuatana was the instrument used to measure the winter solstice in order to celebrate the Inti Raimy which was the main festival to celebrate the sun, and also to realize astronomic studies.
The Temple of Three Windows
This temple is actually located on the archeological site of Wiñay Wayna 80km away from Machu Picchu, passing the Sun Gate and can only be access by doing the Inca Trail of four days or the short version of two days that would allow you to see this amazing place.
The temple has three open windows and two carved windows, it seemed that the number correspond to the three worlds that existed in the Inca vision the underground or in quechua Uku-Pacha, heaven or Hanan-Pacha and the present time Kay-Pacha.