Visiting the many archaeological ruins that Peru has is a real privilege in the Andean country. With an extensive ancestral history still being discovered to this day, it is normal to find infinities of complexes and sites throughout the Andean country. But today we will talk about one of the many sites that can be found during the incredible Inca Trail. The Wiñay Wayna is one of the many archaeological sites belonging to the Inca period. Together with Machu Travel Peru, we want to tell you everything about this wonderful site.
Wiñay Wayna could be considered as a kind of time travel. Since in this place you can truly know the essence of the Incas. The name Wiñay Wayna translates to “always young” due to the numerous orchids that abound in the surroundings. These ruins are not as popular as one would like, but they truly are quite a sight to appreciate. It is one of the many stops that you will find along the Inca Trail. But, what was Winay Wayna used for? Its purpose is not very clear. But it is believed that it was a kind of spiritual destination or resting place before reaching Machu Picchu.
Everything you need to know about the wonderful Wiñay Wayna ruins
- What is Wiñay Wayna?
- Where is it found?
- How to get there?
- Purpose and function of the site
- Recommendations before visiting
- The road to Wiñay Wayna
WHAT IS WIÑAY WAYNA?
The Wiñay Wayna ruins is an incredible archaeological site belonging to the time of the Inca Empire. The ruins were built by the well-known Inca Pachacutec. He was one of the leading representatives of the Inca culture. These ruins date from the middle of the XV century and were built during the validity of the Inca Empire. It is also one of the many stops offered by the well-known Classic Inca Trail, being located just on its route. Its purpose is still a mystery as is the case with numerous other archaeological ruins. But it is believed that it previously had some kind of spiritual or religious significance. It is even believed to be a resting place where royalty or elders could rest before reaching the Wonder of the World.
The Wiñay Wayna ruins boast a wonderful architectural, agricultural, and religious style. Even its architecture is quite similar to that of Machu Picchu, with its buildings constructed of monolithic granite. One of the Machu Picchu facts surrounding the place is the evidence that its structure follows the Inca worldview. Which is adapting the different constructions to the natural environment, just as it happens in the Wonder of the World. The site is attached to the side of a mountain, being modified for the different agricultural activities that took part in the place. To appreciate the true beauty that the place emanates, it is necessary to see it on your own.
WHERE IS IT FOUND?
So, Where is Winay Wayna located? The Wiñay Wayna site is located in the route known as the Inca Trail. It is located about 5 minutes from the walking trail around the hillside south of the visitor center. The site is located in a cloud forest, with mist constantly moving in and out. One of the main characteristics of the place is that the slopes of the mountains claim a powerful green where you can appreciate the nature of the destination. Despite the unparalleled beauty of the place, it is very little crowded by visitors or tourists. The only and best way to enjoy this particular site is through an Inca Trail to Machu Picchu. You arrive from the third day of the hiking route, although you can also opt for the shorter 2-day alternative of the Inca Trail.
HOW TO GET THERE?
To get to Wiñay Wayna, it is of great importance to book in advance your ticket for the Inca Trail, either the classic option or the short 2-day alternative. Some Machu Picchu tours usually offer the Inca Trail included and you will not have to worry about booking your tickets. During the entire hiking route, you will be accompanied by a professional guide and other companions who will help you get to this incredible and beautiful place. It is one of the last stops you will find on the hiking route and is located just 3 miles (4.8 kilometers) from Machu Picchu. The site is a short walk from the main camps and is accessible during most of the day.
If you opt for the Classic Inca Trail, the trip will last for about 3 days until you reach Wiñay Wayna. The route to get there is the same as that of the Inca Trail. Although other Inca Trail alternatives reach the archaeological site. The road to the ruins offers possibilities to visit numerous natural landscapes and traditional communities. Cusichaca, Huayllabamba, and Chachabamba are some of the communities that you should not overlook.
PURPOSE AND FUNCTION OF THE SITE
The true purpose of Wiñay Wayna is unknown today. But as with other Inca sites and complexes, different theories and hypotheses have been formulated. One of the many theories is that Wiñay Wayna was a resting place for the elderly. And this theory gains some force when we think of Machu Picchu as a spiritual pilgrimage destination.
While other theories claim that the site functioned as a kind of administrative center. This theory tends to gain momentum when you think about the structures of buildings. So it can be assumed that the enclosures were warehouses for the different surrounding crops. It is believed that the administrative work consisted of deposits of potatoes, corn, coca leaves, quinoa, and other crops.
Although the purpose is not entirely clear, the site remains a wonderful archaeological complex. So being able to visit this complex is truly a unique experience. Do not miss this opportunity to know a wonderful Inca archaeological complex. You will know a wonderful place to enjoy Inca history and culture.
RECOMMENDATIONS BEFORE VISITING
If you want to visit Wiñay Wayna, you must book at least 6 months in advance of your route tickets. It is also good to be physically prepared for the hiking route. Even if it is not a very difficult trail, one of the things that affect you the most is the height at which you will find yourself. Therefore try to acclimatize for a few days in Cusco or the Sacred Valley. Or you can also choose to take pills against altitude sickness, known as Soroche in Peru. These pills can be obtained in any pharmacy or drug store in the country and it is ideal in case you do not have so much time available.
The climate of the site will depend a lot on the time in which you travel. But in general, you can expect hot and humid weather. Being much sunnier during the day and cool at night. Now, the rainy seasons are from December to March. While from September to April you will find the dry season. It is also advisable that you decide to do the Inca Trail during the dry season since you will not have bothersome rains during your tour. Keep in mind that the dry season coincides with the high tourist season. So the Inca Trail cost can be influenced.
THE ROAD TO WIÑAY WAYNA
Wiñay Wayna is the third camping point within the Inca Trail, and it is located about 3680 meters above sea level. The interesting thing about this site is that it is located about 4 kilometers from the IntiPunku or Sun Gate in Machu Picchu. So the site is the last resting point before knowing the Inca citadel. The tour of the complex is offered together with a guided tour where you will explore the archaeological complex in all its splendor. You will be able to appreciate numerous views of the Valley below along with the Urubamba River surrounding the different mountains. In addition, you will enjoy a very particular subtropical climate. After you tour the site, you will camp nearby to rest for the day.
If you are going to choose to visit Machu Picchu, the Inca Trail is the best way to appreciate the different landscapes of the Andes Mountains. The hiking route through the ruins will let you climb the mountain, allowing you to explore the entire archaeological complex. Dare to enjoy the beautiful subtropical climate and the exceptional views of the Valley. You will have several opportunities to take photos of the amazing Wiñay Wayna site and much more.
“YOU KNOW MORE OF A ROAD BY HAVING TRAVELED IT THAN BY ALL THE CONJECTURES AND DESCRIPTIONS IN THE WORLD”
As you can see, the Wiñay Wayna ruins are some of the best Inca ruins to enjoy during your tour of the majestic Inca Trail. But it is not the only ruin to visit along the popular hiking trail. So if you choose to enjoy this route, you will know much more than Wiñay Wayna. We hope together with Machu Travel Peru to have inspired you for your next visit. You can consult our advisers for more information about the Inca Trail. What are you waiting for to start organizing the trip of your dreams? Don’t miss out on this magical opportunity.