The Sun Gate or Intipunku is made of steps that makes believe that these were some kind of control gate for the people who enter and go out of the Machu Picchu Sanctuary.
Is one of the most important archeological constructions that connects with Machu Picchu, is dedicated also to the cult of the INTI, the Sun god, and that’s because the Sun on determined times of the years, comes out from this building.
Getting to Inti punku means the end of the of the trekking road (1, 2, 4 or 5 days Inca Trail), due that from that place is all downhill, and from that you can see the entire Machu Picchu Sanctuary, the view is amazing, takes your breath away observed The Machu Picchu Mountain, the Vilcambamba or Urubamba River, the Putukusi mountain and the Huayna Picchu mountain.
Located at 2745 meters above the sea level, is a wide place, with windows and gates that are hold by terraces, is the first place that you can actually see the whole Sanctuary, and that’s why his name, because you can see how the Sun rises over the whole mountains that conformed Machu Picchu, and realized that not many people lived or visit Machu, given that the location of the gate was to watch and control the pass of the people.
Here are some ways to get to the famous Sun Gate:
NOTE: As of recently, per government regulations, you cannot hike up to the Sun Gate from Machu Picchu Citadel, so the only way to get to the Sun Gate now is through an Inca Trail trek: 1 day Inca Trail, Short Inca Trail or Classic Inca Trail 4 days.
Visit the offering rock
Almost halfway through the hike, you will find a rock, where in Incas times, people who came from Cusco used to leave some offerings. Nowadays, day visitors bring Coca leaves so you will see the rock with a lot of Coca Leaves.
Observe amazing landscapes
From the Sun Gate, you can see Machu Picchu from a different angle that cannot be seen from elsewhere. You will see the Vilcanota river, the Wayna Picchu mountain, Aguas Calientes town, and its surroundings.
Take unique pictures
Some of the best photos of Machu Picchu that you can take are from the top of Sun Gate. Not only from the top, you will also find the best places to take the best pictures on the way up to Intipunku.
Hiking to the sun gate, you will have to chance to spot some of the bird species that inhabit Machupicchu Sanctuary. You can see species such as the cock of the rocks, the Andean turkey, the tile tanager, the chestnut-breasted hummingbird, and the mountain watchmaker among others.
There are two main seasons in the sub-tropical Peruvian Andes:
But, When is the best time of the year for hiking up to the Sun Gate?
The hike can technically be completed all year round, the peak trekking season to Machu Picchu occurs during the dry season and is busiest between May and September. So, the best time of year to do the hike up to the Sun gate is from April to September.
10/10 Amazing experience
If you’re thinking about which agency to use, look no further- Ray and Jimmy went well above and beyond and made this a memorable, safe, fun, and professional experience.
Ray is the most knowledgeable guide I’ve ever had in any country for any excursion - during both the Short Inka Trail and the actual tour of Machu Picchu, Ray’s expertise shined through in his ability to give us a detailed background on every aspect of the history, climate, nature, flora, animals.. anything!
Likewise, Ray and Jimmy were truly the friendliest, kindest hosts that I could have imagined our group having.
Thank you both so much and I will definitely book with you again if (when) I come back!
Did the 2 day Inca trail with Ray and Jimmy they were great and knowledgeable. Ray not only guided us along trail to Machu Picchu but also was an excellent photographer and taught us the history. It was a group of 10 and we had a great time. Even everything going on in Peru, we always felt in good hands.
Short Inca Trial (2-Day)
This tour was the perfect experience for our (group of 10) short trip to Peru. The trail was sometimes challenging, but the views and history made it all worth it. Ray and Jimmy were our guides and imparted sooo much knowledge about the history of Peru, Inca, and beyond. I would definitely recommend!
It was perfect! On the first day we had a great time exploring the Sacred Valley and see the main attractions and learn about the history of this beautiful place.
I would definitely recommend the short Inka trail, I think it was the best way to get to know Machu Picchu and the surrounding area. We arrived at Machu Picchu when most of the crowd was gone and it felt really special.
You won’t regret booking with this tour company, especially if Liz Montesinos is your guide. My boyfriend and I did the 4 day Sacred Valley, Machu Picchu and Rainbow Mountain (private) tour. The tour covered everything; from transportation, hotels, meals, tickets and entrance fees, to stops at local places we would’ve never known to go or check out. We did a private tour because for us we felt this would help us get the most out of our time and experience in Peru
Best mix of adventure, history and nature: Sacred Valley & Short Inca Trail to Machu Picchu
4-day trekking option seemed too intense for us, but we still wanted to experience the entrance to Machu Picchu through the ancient Inka trail, so we opted for Orange Nation’s combination of Sacred Valley & Short Inca Trail to Machu Picchu. I couldn’t be more happy about our decision.
We booked and paid the deposit to Orange Nation / Sam travel for the 4 day Inca Trail and Machu Pichu trip back in 2019. But we couldn't travel in 2020 and 2021 - but the company honoured our agreement and so we came back in 2022.
You won’t regret booking with this tour company, especially if Liz Montesinos is your guide. My boyfriend and I did the 4 day Sacred Valley, Machu Picchu and Rainbow Mountain (private) tour. The tour covered everything; from transportation, hotels, meals, tickets and entrance fees, to stops at local places we would’ve never known to go or check out. We did a private tour because for us we felt this would help us get the most out of our time and experience in Peru. This tour had so many incredible things and places packed into 4 days.
My girl and i did the Machu Pichu trek tour with Orange Nation. It was seriously the most amazing experience that we'll never forget. Gorgeous views! The long trek was worth the amazing view. The tour guide was friendly and very knowledgeable. We considered other tours but chose Orange Nation because we liked the idea of smaller groups and this was definitely worth it. I will be using Orange Nation again next year when I come back to Peru!
Wow, what a wonderful trekking experience! My trip to Peru was amazing thanks to this awesome tour that i took with Orange Nation. I did multiple tours with this company. I'm a solo traveler and everyone in my group was always still friendly and did not make me feel left out. I loved going off the beaten track with this company. It's much better to pay extra to go off the path for the quality experience of this amazing guided tour They definitely helped guide us and gave us a quality experience with a small group and paid special attention to each one of us. I highly recommend using Orange Nation for your next tour in Peru!
Has one of the most outstanding meal services. Our chefs have been highly trained to prepare the best peruavian and International food our treks. You should be prepared to not only have a superb trekking experience, but also a culinary one. "The food has been the highlight for all our hikers"