5 Things You Must See When Climbing Machu Picchu
As one of the best preserved Inca sites in Peru, Machu Picchu attracts thousands of tourists every year who come to enjoy stunning natural landscapes and see some of the most impressive Inca monuments.
Climbing Machu Picchu is not for the faint-hearted, however. The Inca site sits on a top of a nearly 8,000 feet high mountain range in the Peruvian Andes.
Those who decide to embark on such an adventure need to be in good physical shape and ready for a long climb but the trip is worth the effort.
While on your way to the ancient Inca city, you will have a chance to see amazing natural sites, as well as several ancient buildings.
Here are top 5 things you need to see on your way to Machu Picchu.
Short Inca Trail
Arriving at Machu Picchu may take a while and if you’re more concerned about exploring the ancient city itself, you’ll want to save time by taking a shorter route to the mountaintop. Climb Machu Picchu via short inca trail that starts from Cusco and ends just in front of the iconic Sun Gate.
In order to use the Short Inca Trail, a permit is required and there’s a limited number of permits per day. Also be sure the check the current prices for a standard 2-day Inca trail.
The Sun Gate
The Sun Gate served as the main entrance to Machu Picchu in Inca times. To reach the gate, you will need to follow the original Inca stone path which starts from the Guardhouse. Reaching the Guardhouse is can be achieved by following the trail leading from the main entrance and around the city itself. You will encounter signs to provide you with directions.
It’s a moderately difficult trail so make sure you’re adequately prepared for it.
The Inca Bridge
Just a short walk from the Guardhouse you’ll find yourself on a narrow path to the famous Inca Drawbridge build into the side of the cliff by ancient Inca architects. The walk itself offers a stunning view at the lush Andean vegetation and of Machu Picchu.
Keep in mind that the path can be dangerous and some parts of it are not accessible.
Temple of the Sun
Arriving in the city itself, you’ll find many amazing buildings which stand as monuments to the power of the Inca Empire. The Temple of the Sun is unique among the other monuments in Machu Picchu, being the only round building in the city. It presents a nice view of the lower terraces and the mountainside.
It is believed that the building served as an observatory as it contains a massive sundial called the ‘Intihuatana’.
Machu Picchu is famous for its terraces that were used by the Inca for many purposes, among others, to provide an area for growing crops and preventing erosion. Visiting one of the many terraces that surround the city is also an opportunity to rest and enjoy the view.