WIÑAYHUAYNA - MACHU PICCHU - CUSCO
It is important to set aside sufficient time to visit the archaeological
sites and their surroundings. It would a pity if the travellers,
worrying about reaching Machu Picchu in a hurry,
do not stop over long enough to get to know the awesome archaeological
sites along the way. The landscape has now changed from the typical
Andean to the typical Amazonian.
The Incas always built their fortresses
from which they could see without being seen, from where they could
attack but not be attacked. The mysterious citadel of Machu Picchu, hidden
away on a mountaintop on the edge of the tropical cloud forest region
was thus a very difficult place to find.
this last part, the traveller
can see how the Urubamba river, finding its way down from the high
Andes to the deep Rainforest, meanders its way past hundreds of
metres tall freestanding cliffs all covered by luxuriant vegetation.
The trail continues along the side of a massif hanging over a wide chasm with green slopes that come down to the noisy and foaming rapids of the Urubamba River, thousands of metres further down.
Each turn of the road reveals a different species of plant life or wildlife and beyond them, a new perspective of the impressive surrounding landscape.
After three hours walk, the traveller suddenly finds himself at Intipunku, or the sun gate. A small complex of small buildings that apparently seem to have been used as a control and outlook post. It is an excellent photo opportunity for panorama shots of all of Machu Picchu.
If the traveller has started out very early, he (or she) will arrive
just at dawn. This is maybe the best place and moment to contemplate
the majestic grandeur of Machu Picchu, the Lost City of the Incas.
You will return to the city of Cusco in a tourist van and then by
The van will take you downhill from Machu Picchu to the town
of Aguas Calientes, and once there you take the train that will
drive you back to Cusco and your comfortable hotel in only four hours.
Time on the Trail: Three hours until Machu Picchu, which we reach approximately at seven in the morning.
Investigations continue to try and find out whether Machu Picchu was a fortress or just another citadel. Meanwhile, all of Mankind gets to see what is the most beautiful, best-conserved and world-famous Inca complex ever.
The citadel is divided into three main areas: Living quarters, farming and adjacent areas. In the urban part one will find, amongst others, the following archaeological areas: the City Gate, the Sun Temple, the Royal Tomb, the Ceremonial Fountains, the Royal Palace, the Temple of the Three Windows, the Principal Temple, the Intiwatana (the Tying Place of the Sun) the Main Square, the Sacred Stone, the Manufacturing Building and the Jail area.
The Farming part includes the Cemetery and the Funeral Rock. Finally, the adjacent areas include the Intipunko, the Moon Temple, Wayna Picchu and the Draw Bridge.
At the end of the trail, the visitor will not only find his expectations
fulfilled, but even surpassed. To look over Machu Picchu in quiet
contemplation will raise your spirit, and you will realise that
such an immensely heartfelt place, can only be approached in this
manner, by foot, and on the Inca Trail.