The Sun Gate in Machu Picchu

the Sun Gate in Machu Picchu

When we talk about Peru, we know it is a country with diverse landscapes to explore. You have hundreds of beautiful places to visit. One of those mesmerizing places is the Sun Gate in Machu Picchu. Being able to see the Inca citadel from the Sun Gate is a unique experience in life. Inti Punku is one of the most famous photos we have seen surfacing on the internet. So, if you are looking to add this wonderful view to your photo album, Machu Travel Peru can help you with everything you need to know.


the sun gate in machu picchu viewpoint

The Inti Punku is an important viewpoint in the Inca citadel. The Sun Gate in Machu Picchu was once one of the main entrances of the citadel, considered at that time as a strategic point to guard the magical citadel. Its location makes historians think the entrance of Machu Picchu was restricted and guarded by the military back then, making it only accessible to visitors of the Imperial Inca Elite.

The Inti Punku is an ancient archaeological complex located just outside the Machu Picchu map. Its name means Sun Gate in the native Quechua language. It was dedicated to the cult of the Sun God or “Inti”. The sun enlightens the door during the winter solstice giving a wonderful view for all those who visit the place.


Assuming your plans are to visit Machu Picchu, this is a unique opportunity to marvel at the picturesque scenery of one of the wonders of the world. Being in the Sun Gate is a mesmerizing view. Whether you are coming from the Inca Trail or Aguas Calientes, the Sun Gate in Machu Picchu has a lot of history. If you are going by train with a simple ticket, you could hike it in about 2 hours each way. It is not as steep as the hike to Machu Picchu mountain, but you will be hiking at a high altitude level.

the sun gate in machu picchu wonder of the world

You can also see the Sun Gate totally free with the classic visitor ticket offered by your tour operator. So the Machu Picchu cost will depend on how you want to approach this beautiful archeological complex. You can make the hiking route to Inti Punku with every ticket available. Even with the Machu Picchu solo ticket. Keep in mind it’s not an easy hike especially if you are planning to do other trekking routes during the day. Either way, it’s one of the most mesmerizing views around Machu Picchu. It’s almost parallel to the road of the Machu Picchu Mountain. You will be able to see the whole picture and take many good photos from there.


Within the guided Machu Picchu tours, being the Inca Trail or any trek that leads us to the citadel, they all give us the possibility to see the Sun Gate. It is the first point of view towards Machu Picchu if you do the classic 4-day Inca Trail.

In order to do the hike, it is recommendable to be in good physical shape and acclimatized already. If you are having doubts, you should ask your doctor. Keep in mind that the Sun Gate is higher compared to the Inca citadel. You will be at over 2700 meters (300 meters higher than Machu Picchu). So it’s better to be precautious and acclimatize ourselves before going to the archeological site.

the sun gate in machu picchu sign

Bear in mind that to see the Sun Gate in Machu Picchu it is vital to have a guide by your side. So when we are looking at any archeological complex, he could explain its history and give us a general context of where we are standing.


The Sun Gate in Machu Picchu is available throughout the year. The best time to visit the citadel is obviously the dry season. But if our reservations are made during the rainy season (November to April), it is convenient to be prepared with the right clothes for the sun and rain. You should also bring a small backpack with essentials on it (like sunblock, repellent, sunglasses, hiking boots, etc.). Anyway, we can appreciate a sub-tropical climate throughout the year making the morning the ideal time for these treks.

the sun gate in machu picchu inca citadel

The route to the Sun Gate is worth the effort in case your plan is to visit the Inca citadel early and you don’t have other tours ahead (such as Huayna Picchu or Machu Picchu mountain). If we have time at our disposition, it is recommendable to look at this breathtaking viewpoint.

We hope this information is useful to you when making your journey. Do not forget to enjoy to the fullest and be present in the moment. Machu Travel Peru wants you to witness one of the most spectacular sceneries this country can offer.

Peru has so much to offer, it can be hard to know where to start. With many years of experience in the tourism sector, Machu Travel Peru is happy to help with anything regarding your trip to Peru and any tours around it. Make your travel experience an unforgettable one!

our customers favorite peru tours