Sun Gate

Sun Gate: Our most recommended tours and activities

Salkantay Trek 5-Day Hike to Machu Picchu

1. Salkantay Trek 5-Day Hike to Machu Picchu

Follow in the footsteps of the ancient Incas and hike along the same paths they used to trek through the mountains centuries ago. Get back to nature and experience amazing views of the snow-capped mountain peaks of the Andes. Day 1: Cusco - Mollepata - Markhuq’asa - Soraypampa - Humantay Lake - Salkantaypampa (L, D) Depart Cusco and journey to Markhuq’asa for the start of your trek to Soraypampa, 3,850 meters above sea level. Stop for lunch at the base camp and then go on a round-trip hike to Humantay Lake. Then continue to the Salkantaypampa base camp to spend the night. Day 2: Salkantaypampa - Salkantay Pass - Collpapampa (B, L, D) Hike to the highest point of the trail at Salkantay Pass and get spectacular views of the snow-capped mountains before a 2-hour downhill hike to the camp for lunch. Then, enter the upper part of the Amazon jungle on a hike through what is know as the cloud forest. Look for native wildlife on the way to the village of Collpapampa, where you will spend the night. Day 3: Collpapampa - La Playa (B, L, D) After breakfast, take an easy hike to La Playa through the Santa Teresa valley and marvel at the waterfalls and wild orchids. Encounter coffee, banana, and avocado plantations, and get the chance to sample the local coffee at an organic coffee farm. After a typical lunch in La Playa, here you will have the option (at an extra cost payable onsite) to visit the hot thermal springs and abundant birdlife. Return to the campsite for an overnight stay. Day 4: Santa Teresa - Hidroelectrica - Aguas Calientes (B, L, D) On this day, in Santa Teresa, you can choose to visit the zipline, rafting, or canopy at an extra cost payable directly on-site. Then, you will head to Hidroelectrica, passing through waterfalls coming from the glaciers and fields of cocoa and coffee. After a nourishing lunch, begin a 2-hour walk to Machu Picchu Pueblo, known as Aguas Calientes. Once in Aguas Calientes, you can go to your hotel to shower and relax before dinner. After dinner, get some rest before the early morning climb up to Machu Picchu the following morning. Day 5: Machu Picchu (B) Explore Machu Picchu in the early morning before the crowds arrive. You can choose to hike uphill to the ruins or take the bus for an additional charge. Benefit from a 2-hour guided tour on arrival and learn more about the temples, palaces, priest houses, and more. Take the train to Ollantaytambo in the afternoon and then catch the bus back to Cusco for drop-off at your hotel or hostel on arrival.

From Cusco: Inca Trail 4-Day Guided Group Hiking Tour

2. From Cusco: Inca Trail 4-Day Guided Group Hiking Tour

Walk the world-famous Inca Trail on this guided trek over 4 days and 3 nights. Follow an ancient footpath through the Sun Gate and into Machu Picchu, passing magical cloud forests on the way. Enjoy scenic camping, tasty meals and the expertise of local guides and porters. Day 1 Start with pickup from your hotel in Cusco, Urubamba, or Ollantaytambo on the first morning. Enjoy a hearty breakfast and meet your team of guides and porters before an 82km drive to the trail’s starting point. Hike in 2 hour intervals, with regular stops to eat and take a break. The first night’s campsite will be at Ayapata with an elevation of 3300 meters. Relax here with a hot drink, dinner and a well-deserved rest. Day 2 Wake up early for the trek’s longest day which will include the trail’s highest point, Dead Woman’s Pass, at 4215 meters. Stop here to enjoy the spectacular views before you descend into the Pacaymayu Valley in time for lunch. Next, climb to the Inca site of Runcu Raccay where you can admire two huge waterfalls across the valley before another descent to the remote site of Sayacmarca. After a quick tour, take a short walk to the second campsite, where you can watch the sun set over the Vilcabamba mountains before dinner. Day 3 Start early again for the trail’s most beautiful day. Walk along gradual inclines as you approach the Cloud Forest and Salkantay, the second highest peak in the Sacred Valley. Then, begin the climb to the final peak, Phuyupatamarka, where you’ll get your first views over Machu Picchu. From here, it’s a 3-hour walk down a flight of steps to Wiñay Wayna, where you’ll camp in close proximity to Machu Picchu. Share a relaxed final evening with your guides and porters, and get an early night before your final day of exploring. Day 4 Get up at the crack of dawn to catch a stunning sunrise over the ruins of Machu Picchu. Trek down to the Sun Gate and make your way into the Lost City of the Incas, where your private tour of the ruins will begin. After the tour, head down to Augas Calientes by bus. Take a few hours here to explore the city, or optionally to climb Huayna Picchu, before catching the train to Ollantaytambo or Poroy. From here, a driver will transfer you back to your hotel by bus.

Machu Picchu: 2-Day Group Tour of the Inca Trail

3. Machu Picchu: 2-Day Group Tour of the Inca Trail

Day 1: Cusco to Machu Picchu Pueblo Start your adventure bright and early and meet your guide at your accommodation. After a short drive to Ollantaytambo, you will set off on a 1.5-hour train ride to Chachabamba, taking in the scenery of the Urubamba river along the way. From the checkpoint at Chachabamba, you will start your trekking experience. Visit the archaeological sites of Chachabamba and Wiñay Huayna and take in the variety of flora and fauna.  Enter Machu Picchu through the Sun Gate, and from here, you can take in one of the most spectacular views of the Lost City of the Incas. Arrive in Machu Picchu late in the afternoon and have the unique opportunity to see the city almost empty. After a short bus ride to your hotel, you can enjoy a relaxed end to the day with dinner and a night of comfortable sleep.   Day 2: Machu Picchu to Cusco After another early start, you will prepare to visit Machu Picchu, the tour's highlight. Board your bus just as the sun rises. Your guide will take you on a 2 to 3-hour comprehensive tour of the city before leaving you in Machu Picchu to explore independently. You also have the option to climb either Huayna Picchu or Machu Picchu Mountain.  Your guide will explain how to take the bus from Machu Picchu back to Aguas Calientes and then take the train and bus back to Cusco. After a full day of sightseeing, you will be conveniently shuttled back to your accommodation for a relaxing end to your Inca exploring adventure. 

Cusco: 4-Day Inca Trail to Machu Picchu Small Group Trek

4. Cusco: 4-Day Inca Trail to Machu Picchu Small Group Trek

Day 1: Cusco to Wayllabamba After pick-up Cusco, drive for 1.5 hours by bus to the Sacred Valley of the Incas, where the trek begins. The walking on the first day is relatively easy. Along the way you will visit the ruined city of Patallacta, and Willkarakay, a military post located above Patallacta. Then enter the lush valley of Wayllabamba, walking along the banks of the Cusichaca River. The trail continues gradually upward through dense Andean forest, to the first campsite in Wayllabamba. Day 2: Wayllabamba to Pacaymayu You will start early, as the walking is physically intense for those who are not accustomed to high altitudes. Trek through the densely vegetated Andean forest until you arrive at a campsite, where you will take a short rest. Continuing your ascent in the afternoon, the habitat will begin to change. After another rest, with snacks and hot drinks, begin the final ascent to a 4,215 meter pass, the highest point of the trek. Enjoy panoramic views of the surrounding valleys below, then descend to the campsite in Pacaymayu for the night. Day 3: Pacaymayu to Wiñay Wayna  Visit the archaeological site of Runkurakay, a former resting lodge for ancient pilgrims. Then after a 45-minute ascent, you will reach the second highest pass of the Inca trail. Descend to the archaeological site of Sayacmarca. After visiting the site, continue down the beautifully paved road to the lunch stop. From here you will enter the high Andean cloud forest. The trail continues along a narrow ridge, arriving at a natural viewing area, where it is possible to see the Sacred Valley and numerous mountain peaks, as well as Machu Picchu. From here, descend to the campsite at Wiñay Wayna, passing an important archaeological site and a temple where offerings are made to the sacred mountain spirits. Day 4: Wiñay Wayna to Machu Picchu Rise early to complete the final stretch of the Inca Trail. After about an hour you will reach the Sun Gate, and see the sunrise over the Andes (weather permitting). A 45-minute walk will take you into the higher area of Machu Picchu. Take a 2-hour tour to learn more about this magical place, and then you will have time to explore the citadel by yourself. The climb to Huayna Picchu or Machu Picchu mountain is optional (at additional cost and must be booked in advance). In the afternoon you will descend by bus to the town of Aguas Calientes, where you will receive your train tickets for the return journey to Cusco. The train will arrive to Ollantaytambo, where you will be picked up and driven by bus back to your hotel in Cusco.

Cusco: 2-day Inca Trail to Machu Picchu

5. Cusco: 2-day Inca Trail to Machu Picchu

Day 1: Cusco, KM 104, and Machu Picchu You will be picked up in the early morning from your hotel from where you will be transferred to the train station in Ollantaytambo. Once there, you will take the train for 1.5 hours to KM 104. You'll pass the checkpoint at KM 104 from where you will begin trekking for around 3.5 hours to Wiñayhuayna. As you ascend you will be able to take pictures of the beautiful landscapes, including views to the sacred Wilkanota River and Challabamba. At the archeological site of Wiñaywayna your tour guide will explain to you the function of the site, and once you have enjoyed a delicious box lunch you will continue along the classic Inca Trail to arrive to the Sun Gate (Inti Punku). From this place you will be able to enjoy the beautiful and unforgettable views of Machu Picchu's Citadel, after which you will travel down the trail for around an hour to Machu Picchu to enjoy the sunset. From Machu Picchu you will take a bus for 30 minutes to Aguas Calientes Village, where you will be taken to your hotel. You'll end your day in the evening with a delicious dinner with your guide. Day 2: Aguas Calientes, Machu Picchu, and Cusco   Following breakfast at your hotel, you will head to Machu Picchu by bus. Inside Machu Picchu you will receive a 2-hour guided tour during which you will learn about the types of amazing constructions, the engineering of the terraces, and the most important places in Machu Picchu (including how they were used). When you finish your tour you’ll return to Aguas Calientes by bus or by hiking. Once at the village you you will find that there is plenty to discover, as you explore the shops, crafts, and art, and can also enjoy the hot springs or try new foods. Later in the afternoon you will take the train from Aguas Calientes to Ollantaytambo, where as you arrive you will meet with your driver who will return you to your hotel in Cusco.

Cusco: 2-Day Inca Trail Tour to Machu Picchu in Small Groups

6. Cusco: 2-Day Inca Trail Tour to Machu Picchu in Small Groups

After pick-up from your hotel on the first day, travel by bus to the town of Ollantaytambo in the Sacred Valley. From here, a train will take you to the starting point of the trek, on the banks of the Urubamba River. The trail slowly ascends to meet the original Inca Trail. Along the way, pass through dense cloud forest with a rich variety of plants, flowers, and birds. If you are lucky you might see some of the local mammals, such as the rare spectacled bear. After a full day of trekking, arrive at the Sun Gate in the late afternoon for your first views of Machu Picchu. The lighting at this time makes for amazing pictures. Descending from the Sun Gate, continue along the beautiful paved stone path to Machu Picchu, to the famous look-out point above the main part of the citadel. From here, descend to the town of Aguas Calientes in the valley below. Check in to your hotel and enjoy dinner. You will rise very early on the second day to catch the first bus up to Machu Picchu. Take a 2-hour guided tour of the site to see some of the most important locations, altars, and constructions. Learn about the history of this amazing place and the people who once lived here. After this, the rest of the day is yours to explore the citadel by yourself. If you have the additional permit to climb either Huayna Picchu or Machu Picchu mountain, this will be the time. In the afternoon, your train will depart from Aguas Calientes back to Ollantaytambo. From here, drive by bus to Cusco, where you will be dropped off at your hotel.

From Cusco: Small-Group 2-Day Inca Trail to Machu Picchu

7. From Cusco: Small-Group 2-Day Inca Trail to Machu Picchu

Day 1: Follow the path of the Willkamayu River until you reach the Stone Alter site at Chachabamba. Worship the sun and the mountains there, as the Incas did, or just take in the magnificent views offered by the sheer height. Look out for some of the larger local mammals such as viscachas or, if you are lucky, the spectacled bears. Descend into an amazing cloud forest, pass by beautiful waterfalls, and visit the ruins of Winaywayna. As you arrive at Inti Punku (the Sun Gate) the late afternoon rays may filter through and warm you up. Here you will catch your first views of Machu Picchu and its surrounding peaks. As you walk down into the citadel, make sure to break for photos. When you arrive at the bottom your bus will take you to Aguas Calientes where you can rest your tired body in the hot springs, or take a relaxing walk around the colorful town.   Day 2: Begin your day early with a breakfast at the hotel, after which you can either take the bus or hike the remainder of the Inca Trail into Machu Picchu. Meet up with the rest of the group at Machu Picchu, and enjoy a two hour guided tour. You will have sufficient time afterwards to either explore the ruins by yourself, climb up Huaynapicchu or ascend the slope to the most famous spot of Machu Picchu. Take the bus or hike back to Aguas Calientes depending on time. You will depart for Cusco in the afternoon, travelling by bus and train. 

From Cusco: Full-Day Inca Quarry Trail Hike to Cachicata

8. From Cusco: Full-Day Inca Quarry Trail Hike to Cachicata

Hike the Inca quarry trail accompanied by a professional guide. Start your outdoor adventure with a transfer from your hotel in Cusco to the Inca Bridge in Ollantaytambo. Join your guide as you set out from the trail head begin your climb. As you continue your Peruvian trek, head towards the Cacchicata Quarry where the Inca mined and shaped the massive stones to build the vast settlement of Ollantaytambo. See the boulders that still remain in the quarry, known simply as the tired stones, and enjoy a packed lunch while there. Extend your hike with an optional detour to visit the Inca ruins known as Inti Punku or Sun Gate, and admire the spectacular views from this structure located at the top of a hill overlooking Ollantaytambo.

Other Sightseeing Options in Sun Gate

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What people are saying about Sun Gate

Der kleine Inka Trail war ein ganz besonderes Erlebnis und wir sind froh, dass wir ihn gebucht haben. Unser Tour-Guide Edy von TreExperience tauchte uns mit seinen spannenden Erzählungen in die Inka-Kultur ein. Sich den Weg nach Machu Picchu in einem 6 Stunden Wanderung zu "erarbeiten" und mit dem Eintritt ins Sonnentor dann den ersten Blick auf die Inka-Stadt zu werfen ist den anstrengenden Aufstieg absolut wert. Machu Picchu ist trotz der vielen Touristen ein magischer Ort und die Anlage ist groß genug, dass jede Gruppen schöne Fotos machen kann und Fragen stellen kann. Edy wies uns auf viele Details hin, die wir nicht wahrgenommen hätten. Absolut empfehlenswert. Allerdings sollte man eine gute Hiking-Ausrüstung, mind. die richtigen Wanderschuhe haben. Kleidung im Zwiebelsystem. Von kalt bis sehr warm, war alles dabei.

Unforgettable experience. Superb landscapes. Nilton our top guide. Mario the cook made us excellent meals. And the whole team of great porters. To do

Very well organized tour with great guides. And, of course, the hike to Machu Picchu and Machu Picchu itself is magical.

The Tour guide Fernando is really helpful and knowledgeable! We really enjoyed the hike with him. Big thumb up!

It was a great tour, the accommodation was better as I thought