As of recently, per government regulations, you cannot hike up to the Sun Gate from Machu Picchu Citadel, so the only way to get to the Sun Gate now is through an Inca Trail trek: 1 day Inca Trail, Short Inca Trail or Classic Inca Trail 4 days.
What is the Sun Gate?
The Sun Gate (2,720m/8,924 ft), also known as Inti Punku, is a stunning viewpoint of Machu Picchu, located on one side of the Machu Picchu Mountain.
It is actually the first viewpoint of Machu Picchu for all the people that do the Inca Trails like:
The history behind the Sun Gate
The Sun Gate or Inti Punku was a kind of control gate for people entering and leaving the Inca City of Machu Picchu. Because of its remote and strategic location, it is believed that Machu Picchu only welcomed guests from the elite of the empire.
It is a large place, with windows and doors supported by terraces. From the Sun Gate you can see the entire Inca City of Machu Picchu from the middle of the mountains.
How to get to the Sun Gate?
In the past, you would have been able to hike up to the Sun Gate from Machu Picchu. However, due to new government regulations, the only way to access the Sun Gate is via the Inca Trail Trek. All Inca Treks – whether its the 1 day or its longer variations – will pass the Sun Gate.
What ticket do I need for the Sun Gate?
As the Sun Gate is a guaranteed stop in all of the Inca Trail tours, you will not need to purchase a separate ticket.
Sun Gate at Machu Picchu Details
- Age Restrictions: There is no age limit.
- Height: 2,720m / 8,924ft.
- Altitude Gain: 290m (951ft).
- Location: The Sun Gate is located in the upper southeast part of Machu Picchu
- Trail Description: The Sun gate follows a trail that is more gradual at no more than 35 degrees in angle. As you get close to Sun Gate, the path turns steeper and a little more difficult (the last 15 minutes) The hike down from the Sun Gate is easy an only takes a maximum of 45 minutes.
- Archaeological Attractions: Terraces and the unparalleled Sun Gate,
- Advantages: You experience part of the original Inca trail.
- Disadvantages: there is not.
- Walking Time: It depends on the hike you choose, which can be the 1 day, 2 days or 4 days Inca Trail to Machu Picchu.
- Difficulty: Moderate
Visit the Sun Gate at Machu Picchu
First impressions are important and the Sun Gate offers wonderful views over the Inca citadel, and is well worth visiting. Inca Trail trekkers will feel a real sense of accomplishment and a rewarding feeling with the opportunity to pass through the Sun Gate on the way to Machu Picchu.
The Sun Gate’s accessibility, good pathways, and no extra entry requirement all add to its appeal. Get there at a quiet time, and it’s not hard to imagine yourself as an Inca guard protecting the site.
Inspired to see the Sun Gate? We’re happy to help fulfil your Inca Trail or Machu Picchu dream, so contact us to make your unforgettable memories!