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Inti Punku Spiritual Walk

Summary Itinerary

It is a hike of moderate difficulty – demanding, to La Puerta del Sol (Intipunku); which was at some point, the main entrance to the Inca city of Machu Picchu. This hike follows a path that originally belonged to the Inca road network (qhapaq ñan). It is located directly south of the citadel. This hike has no additional cost, and can be done with the entrance ticket to Machu Picchu.

How to find the entry point?

The upper path is followed, from the entrance gate to the citadel of Machu Picchu. From the point known as the “house of the guardian”, you will have to turn left and follow the path that moves away from the citadel of Machu Picchu, through the agricultural terraces. The trail is clearly signposted, there really isn’t a special place to start this hike, but you could consider the guardian’s house as a good starting point.

around 3 or 4 hours (round trip).

The path

From the “guardian’s house”, the road continues straight, by stone steps of the original Inca Trail. Unlike the trek through Machu Picchu mountain that runs parallel to it, the ascent of the trek to La Puerta del Sol (Intipunku) is more gradual, at an angle of no more than 30º. However, in the last 20 minutes when approaching the sun gate, the slope is accentuated and the road becomes more difficult. The Puerta del Sol is also the entrance gate for hikers who arrive after traveling the 4 days of the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu. If you decide to walk to the door of the sun before 10 in the morning, you will surely meet the people who traveled the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu.

It is known that at the height of the Incas, the imperial guards used the sun gate, to control the entry of people to the Inca city of Machu Picchu; This, in combination with its remote location, suggested that in Machu Picchu, only people from the elite of the empire were received, but then it was known that anyone could enter and offer in Machu Picchu, although they could not remain in the place.

If you continue along the path of the Puerta del Sol for another 2 hours, you will reach another of the beautiful Inca citadels, Wiñay Wayna; The last point of control of the Inca Trail, however, the entry beyond this point of control is restricted, since permits are required to enter the Inca Trail.


To make the walk to La Puerta de Sol (intipunku), a medium physical level is required; However, the road is wide and much less rugged, than other excursions offered by the Inca city of Machu Picchu.

Difficulty: Moderate

Useful information

  • Time needed: 3 – 4 hours round trip.
  • Summit Altitude: 2,720 m.a.s.l.
  • Height in relation to Machu Picchu: 290 meters.
  • Terrain: Inca stone path and grass and dirt paths.
  • Recommended footwear: lightweight hiking boots (never new)
  • Entrance hours: like Machu Picchu from 6:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., being able to stay inside until 5:00 p.m.
  • It is not recommended to start the walk after 2:00 p.m.
  • Tickets: according to the entrance to Machu Picchu limited to 2500 daily income.

The best time to go

The walk to La Puerta del Sol (Intipunku) is available throughout the year, but keep in mind that during the rainy season (November – April), heavy rains are more likely. The region has a subtropical environment throughout the year, with average temperatures around 18º C. In the dry season the humidity is around 40 and 45%, while in the rainy season it reaches 60 and 65%. Hiking early in the morning will offer cooler temperatures and better sun shade.

Puerta del sol

Puerta del sol

Get ready

Since the weather in the southern region of Peru is unpredictable, we recommend preparing for both rain and sun. It is advisable to wear a light rain poncho and sunscreen (hat, sunscreen and UV-protected lenses), whatever the time you visit Machu Picchu, as scattered rains usually occur at any time of the year, regardless of the season. It is recommended to bring enough water during the walk.

Requirements list:

  • Water: 1½ to 2 liters of water.
  • Sun hat, sunglasses and sun protection.
  • Insect repellent.
  • Snacks for the top.
  • Poncho light water.
  • Photographic camera.
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