The Ruins on the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu

Brief Notes on the Main Archaeological Sites, with Photographs

Part 2 : Sayaqmarka, the Inca Tunnel and Phuyupatamarka

Sayacmarca, the town on the hillside to the left of the path descending from the Second Pass.  


The name means Inaccessible Town or possibly Dominant Town. On descending the Trail from the Second Pass and approaching the bottom of the valley Sayaqmarka will be seen a short way up the hillside on the left. From it there are good views of the Second and Third Passes. Although Sayaqmarka is a much bigger ruin than Runkuraqay the colours of the stone work seem to blend in with the landscape so photographs of it from a distance don't always turn out very well. Needless to say this picture was taken inside the ruins.



An Inca Tunnel, through which the trail passes.  

Inca Tunnel

The photo shows an Indian porter with a load on his back disappearing into a 20 metre long tunnel that the Incas dug through solid rock without modern tools and equipment. The Trail passes through a forest and after the tunnel there is a gentle climb to the Third Pass.





The ruins of Phuyupatamarca, just over the crest of the Third Pass.  


Phuyupatamarka, or Cloud-Level Town is just after the Third Pass. From it you can see down to the River Urubamba and the terraces of Intipata and Wiñawayna. The views are even better from the high ground just to the side of the Third Pass since from there you can also see back along the trail stretching from Sayaqmarka as well as the snow-capped peak of Salcantay (6,270 metres), among other mountains.


        Quechua           Hispanic
       Sayaqmarka        Sayacmarca 
       Phuyupatamarka        Phuyupatamarca  
Go to section 1 Go to section 3

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Last updated 6 September 2008.