The Ruins on the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu

Brief Notes on the Main Archaeological Sites, with Photographs

Part 3 : Intipata, Wiñawayna and Intipunku

The terraces of Intipata, on the way from the Third Pass to Wiñawayna.  


Intipata means Sun Place. When I first walked the Inca Trail in 1989, Intipata was not visible as it was covered by vegetation but it has since been cleared. Most hikers by-pass it as the Trail descends steeply in what feels like many hundreds of steps to Wiñawayna which is a little bit further on and lower down. The terraces of Intipata have a convex shape whereas those of Wiñawayna are concave.



Winaywayna. This site would probably be famous in its own right if Machu Picchu weren't nearby.  


Wiñawayna or Forever Young is the romantic name of these ruins that were only discovered in 1941. They are as beautiful as the name - a lot more impressive close-up than seen from a distance - with many buildings in addition to the terraces. There are good views of Wiñawayna from lower down on a recently opened branch of the Trail which joins the main branch near the ruins.


The Sun Gate, Intipunku, on the hillside, is where hikers get their first sight of Machu Picchu.  

View of the Intipunku from Machu Picchu

Intipunku, or the Sun Gate is in the notch on the hillside. It is at the Sun Gate that hikers get their first sight of their destination - Machu Picchu, the so-called Lost City of the Incas.




        Quechua form           Hispanic form
       Wiñawayna        Huinay Huayna
Go to section 2 Go to section 4

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Last updated 6 September 2008.