“Inti Sun Gate” or Puerta del Sol in Machu Picchu
The Puerta del Sol of Machu Picchu is one of the most important archaeological constructions that connects with Machu Picchu. This construction is made up of several walls, windows, doors and rustic stone terraces.
Walking to the Sun Gate is not at all the same as climbing Huayna Picchu or Machu Picchu mountain. There is not much exposure to what is below and the hike is certainly really safe and not difficult at all. It’s not really much of a hike, it’s more like a longer hike than an uphill climb.
Note: Sun Gate Machu Picchu is closed due to covid 19 until further notice. This is because there is only one path to Puerta del Sol that is used to go and return. Therefore there is a risk of contagion among tourists.
Details of the Puerta del Sol in Machu Picchu
- Age restrictions: There is no age limit.
- Height: 2,720 m / 8,924 ft.
- Altitude Gain: 290 m (951 ft).
- Location: Puerta del Sol is located in the upper part, southeast of Machu Picchu in Cusco, Peru.
- Trail Description: Puerta del Sol follows a trail that is more gradual with an angle of no more than 35 degrees. As you get closer to Sun Gate, the path becomes steeper and a little more difficult (the last 15 minutes).
- Archaeological Attractions: Terraces and the unique Puerta del Sol,
- Advantages: You live part of the original Inca trail.
- Disadvantages: there is no.
- Walking time: approximately 2 hours (round trip)
- Difficulty: Moderate
- Walking distance: 4 km/ 2.48 miles (round trip).
What can you do at Intipunku?
Visit the rock of offerings. – Almost halfway through the walk, you will find a rock, where in the time of the Incas the people who came from Cusco used to leave some offerings. Nowadays, daytime visitors bring coca leaves, so you will see the rock with many coca leaves.
See amazing landscapes – From Puerta del Sol you can see Machu Picchu from a different angle that cannot be seen from other places. You will see the Vilcanota River, the Wayna Picchu mountain, the town of Aguas Calientes and its surroundings.
Take unique photos : Some of the best Machu Picchu photos you can take are from the top of Puerta del Sol. Not only from the top, you will also find the best places to take the best photos on the way up to Intipunku.
Bird watching : Walking to the Puerta del Sol, you will have the opportunity to observe some of the bird species that inhabit the Machu Picchu Sanctuary. You can see species such as the cock-of-the-rock, the Andean guan, the tile tanager, the chestnut-breasted hummingbird and the mountain watchmaker, among others.
The best time to walk through Puerta del Sol?
If you plan to walk to Puerta del Sol in the rainy season (December to March), try to arrive after 10:00 am because early in the morning this place remains foggy, so you will not be able to enjoy the beautiful scenery. that it offers.
In dry season (April to November). It is recommended to walk there early in the morning because after 10:00 am the sun is very strong.
What ticket do I need to walk to Puerta del Sol?
You don’t need any tickets. You can walk to the Puerta del Sol (Inti Pinku) with your regular Machu Picchu permit as long as you go there before your guided tour of the Machu Picchu ruins.
If you decide to do your guided tour first and then walk to Puerta del Sol, you must purchase an additional MAPI ticket or a ticket to Machu Picchu Mountain. Once the guided tour of Machu Picchu is over, you must leave the citadel and with only the tickets mentioned above, enter the citadel again and then walk to the Sun Gate.
Finding the path to the Puerta del Sol in Machu Picchu
Once you enter the main entrance of Machu Picchu, walk straight for 2 minutes and then turn left towards the guardhouse. At the guardhouse, you must turn left and follow the cobbled path leading away from Machu Picchu Llaqta through the agricultural terraces. The wooden signs indicating Puerta del Sol obviously mark the way.
About the Sun Gate (Intipunku)
The Inti Punku was a control gate for people entering and leaving the holy Inca city. Due to its remote and tactical location, it is believed that Machu Picchu Llaqta only accepted people from the Inca elite.
The construction of the Puerta del Sol is dedicated to the sun. During the summer solstice, the rising sun passed through the Puerta del Sol each year. People returning after seeing the holy city were treated with special respect by people heading to Machu Picchu.
Things you have to know
- The hike to Puerta del Sol is not as hard as Huayna Picchu mountain, making it more accessible for people of different fitness levels.
- If you plan to visit Puerta del Sol, wear appropriate trekking shoes. This way you will avoid accidents and twists on the cobbled road.
- During the rainy season, which runs from December to March, the path to Puerta del Sol can become slippery and you should watch every step twice and bring a rain poncho. Bring sunscreen and a hat if you visit in the dry season (April to October).
- You will walk above 2400m/7874ft. Make sure you get used to the altitude. Wear walking shoes; Some care is needed in the rainy season (December to March) because some of the rocks on the trail can be slippery.
- There are no shops on the way to Puerta del Sol, so bring plenty of water, snacks, sunscreen, and rain gear in case of a downpour.
- After the Puerta del Sol viewpoint, the trail continues to the Inca ruin of Wiñay Wayna, the last checkpoint of the Inca Trail. However, you are not allowed to continue the trail as you need permission from the Inca Trail.
Is Intipunku worth visiting?
Without a doubt, the hike to Inti Punku is worth it because from the top you get an incredible view of the Inca citadel like the 4-day Inca Trail hikers.
Can I see the sunrise from Puerta del Sol?
Walking the Inca Trail 4 days gives you the opportunity to see the sunrise from Puerta del Sol. However, day visitors cannot see the sunrise.
Why is it called Puerta del Sol?
The construction was dedicated to the Sun god, because, during the summer solstices, the sun’s rays filtered through the entrance door, causing a brilliant glow on the ground. You can see this phenomenon from the Machu Picchu Citadel.
Is the walk to Puerta del Sol safe?
There is very little exposure on the walk from the Machu Picchu citadel to Intipunku, so it is very safe to walk to Puerta del Sol.
Is there an age limit?
There is no age limit to walk through Puerta del Sol. Tourists of all ages can come there.
Is there any time limit?
You can visit Puerta del Sol from 6 in the morning until 2 in the afternoon.
There are several ways to access the Puerta del Sol in Machu Picchu:
Below are some ways to get to the famous Puerta del Sol:
- Directly from the Inca Trail 4 Days, Puerta del Sol is where hikers get their first and well-deserved view of Machu Picchu at the end of their long hike.
- Also directly from the Short Inca Trail 2 days that includes the visit and sightings of the Puerta del Sol the day before the tour of the Machu Picchu citadel.
- Direct walks to Puerta del Sol from Machu Picchu on a regular tour.
What to Bring to El Intipunku
- 2 liters of water .
- Repellent insect.
- sunscreen, sun hat and sunglasses
- Trekking poles with rubber tips (if necessary)
- Rain poncho.
- Camera .