Places you can see on the Inca Trail

by Freddy September 5, 2022
tours machu picchu

After a long and strict closure of the Inca Trail due to Covid-19, the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu is once again reopened for tourists from all over the world. If your goal is to travel the Inca Trail and reach this famous route to Machu Picchu, in this blog we will give you all the archaeological sites that you can visit throughout 4 days of walking.

1. Patallacta

This archaeological site is located 1.5 kilometers from the start of the 4-day Classic Inca Trail. The complex is located in the Cusco region, Urubamba province, Machu Picchu district. It is made up of 112 rooms, a ceremonial site, and the agricultural sector. It is located on a flat surface on the right bank of the Urubamba River.
This archaeological complex was discovered by Hiram Bingham in 1912 on his way to discover Machu Picchu. Hiram Bingham passed through Patallaqta, and his first name was Llactapata.
patallacta camino inca


The location of Runkurakay is close to the pass with the same name, at an elevation of just under 4,000 meters above sea level. It is located in the middle of the Inca trail to Machu Picchu. Its semicircular structure is made of slate stone and gray granite, which makes it peculiar to all the archaeological sites of the Inca Trail. It is estimated that Runkurakay would be a resting place for the chasquis (messengers) or an Inca tambo (control site), in this place they stopped to feed and rest for a while and continue their journey to Machu Picchu or return to Cusco. .
runkurakay camino inca

3. Sayacmarca

It is situated to the southwest of the Runkurakay pass and to the southeast of the Phuyupatamarca and Qochamarca sites. It was discovered by Hiram Bingham referring to it as Cedrobamba since in the surroundings there was a plain of cedar trees. All its architecture is adapted to the slopes of the mountain on which it was built.
sayacmarca camino inca

4. Phuyupatamarca

This small city itself consists of magnificent stone constructions in the Inca style, with religious and administrative functions. It also has several ceremonial baths where the ancient Inca priests purified themselves to perform worship rituals for Mother Earth (Pachamama), the sacred mountains (Apus), elements of nature (Sun, Moon, lagoons, etc). Finally, it presents the famous terraces or stepped platforms that they developed to expand the agricultural land, using the slopes of the mountains. They are irrigated by a complex, admirable hydraulic system that also supplies the ceremonial baths.
phuyupatamarca camino inca

5. Winay Wayna

It consists of a lower and an upper sector connected to each other by a long staircase along whose side a fountain descends. Both sectors are made up of agricultural terraces and buildings, the lowest sector being the largest. The buildings are arranged according to the Inca urban pattern of the “kancha” type.
The architecture is of the same type as in Machu Picchu. The buildings are built with lithic granite elements. The main portal has a double jamb and the others have a simple jamb. As is characteristic of Inca architecture, the portals, windows, and niches are trapezoidal in shape; while the roof structures were supported by steep gables, supported by brackets, and rings.
The wiñayhuayna terrace system is special for having managed to gain territories that are totally difficult for cultivation, there is also a series of enclosures used as permanent residences
This is the last archaeological site, before entering the Machu Picchu Sanctuary, and is visited once the last Wiñayhuayna camping site is reached. The origin of its name is due to the large quantities of Epiderdrum orchid (Wiñayhuayna) in its surroundings. Huayna Picchu is built in the high jungle and the difference compared to other archaeological remains is that in this place you can see a great biodiversity, both flora, and fauna.

winaywayna camino inca

6. Intipata

Located in the middle of two very important archaeological sites within the Inca Trail. Intipata is located at 2,840 meters above sea level within the historic sanctuary of Machu Picchu. It is a set of platforms built on the side of a mountain in the middle of the jungle’s edge, thus adopting its shape, and keeping a beautiful harmony with its surroundings. The platforms of Intipata are an attraction beyond the history of its origins and function; It is today a landscape resource, they are lost at times along the way to appear, then, attached to the natural curve of the mountains that keep a beautiful harmony with their surroundings.

intipata camino inca

7. Intipunku

It is known by this name since it is the gateway to the Inca citadel of Machu Picchu, in this place it also has a construction with walls, enclosures, windows, and niches all made of polished stone with great technique. During the summer solstices, its windows and doors receive the sun’s rays. To get to the Intipunku you can do it by the classic Inca trail or also by the short Inca trail. The landscape of this place is one of the most amazing in the whole place.
intipunku camino inca

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