Of all of the ancient places in Peru, the Inca trail and Machu Picchu take the crown. And in this brief post, we will talk a little bit about the Inca trail ruins and how cool they are, located at some of the whimsical locations along the Inca trail that leads to Machu Picchu. With that said, we invite you beforehand to witness, enjoy, breathe, and feel the intelligence of the ancient Andean men.


At the foothill of an enormous mountain and above the Urubamba river sits the Llactapata archeological site, with its centuries-old Incan terraces undulating through the riverbank. The name Patallacta comes to be a town on a hill according to the Quechuan language. What is particularly interesting about this site is that it boasts a complex of well-structured houses, plus the horseshoe resembling terraces as well as the giant boulders sprinkled around.

Things to know
  • If you are hiking Inca Trail 4 days, you will see this site from above, not visit. But If you are taking the 5 day option, you will visit the site properly.
  • You will see this Inca Site the first day of your Inca Trail hike. 
  • This archeological is located at 9 300 ft / 2 840 m

llacta pata ruins at inca trail


The term Runku means a kind of log, and Rakay refers to housing. Now, if you look back at it carefully, the enclosure seems to be carved out in the widest ever-existing sliced log. It really is a unique piece of architecture on the Inca trail, yet it owns two concentric walls that enclose a patio and the main passageway. It could well have been a rest stop for Incan travelers in a mid-hike break as it is still for today´s Inca trail hikers, besides being a Tambo for the postmen or messengers of the Inca People, of course.

Things to knows
  • This Inca site is located at 12 100  ft / 3 700 m. 
  • It is better to visit it in the afternoon because in the morning it is very crowded.
  • You will visit this Inca site on the third day of your Inca Trail 4 day. However if your first sampsite is Ayapata, you will visit it the second day in the afternoon after your lunch.
  • Runkurakay is the best place to view the famous Dead Woman´s Pass and its mountain silhouette.

runkuraqay ruins at inca trail


Meaning a dominant town built on rugged terrain. It is an amazing place crafted with those gray-colored stones blending in with the nearby bedrocks and in the middle of green vegetation. There is only one entrance to the archeological complex through a stone ladder of almost a hundred steps set up nearly a cliff wall foot. It is featured by its unusual Incan structures attached to the unstable terrain.

Things to know
  • This Inca site is located at 11 800 ft / 3600 m.
  • You will visit this Inca site on the third day of your Inca Trail 4 day. However if your first sampsite is Ayapata, you will visit it the second day in the afternoon.
  • It is not recommended for someone who has vértigo to visit it because the Trail to Access is very narrow.

sayacmarca ruins at inca trail


This archelogical site lies between Sayacmarca and Phuyupatamarca. It was probably a tambo for resting. The best place to see this site is from Sayacmarca ruins. Of course you can visit it too. It will take no more than 5 minutes to explore all the place.  

Things to know

  • This Inca site is located at 11,000 ft/ 3500m. 
  • You will visit this Inca site on the third day of your Inca Trail 4 day. However if your first sampsite is Ayapata, you will visit it the second day in the afternoon.

It is situated at a staggering 11 800 ft / 3,600 m. After visiting Sayaqmarca on the third day, the next stop on the route is Phuyupatamarca, or the city above the clouds. Several tour companies camp here, whereas others make their way down to Wiñayhuayna camp. 

The well-structured terraces begin down into the hillside, and the settlement rests on the upper side. It is smaller in expanse and served as a stop en route to Machu Picchu back in the day. On a quick stop, nowadays tourists witness the remnants of some of its important areas such as its temples, plazas and ritual baths, etc. It also offers a very special platform for the awe-inspiring sights on the north towards Machu Picchu mountain.

Things to know
  • This site stays misty most of the time in rainy season. If you want to see it in its splendor, you should book your permits from May to August. 
  • If you spend the night in Phuyupatamarca campsite, you will have chance to see 2 times this amazing place, in the afternoon and in the morning. 



The Intipata Ruins is located after Phuyupatamarca Ruins and before wiñaywayna, near to the Machu Picchu ruins. You will visit it on day 3 of your Inca Trail 4 day trek. When you hike along the Inca trail, you might miss that place, because it is not on the way. Most tourist dont visit it beacuse of its location or dont have enough time.

Things to know

  • This Inca ruin is located at 2800 m/9186 ft.
  • If the tour guides see that there is not enough time, he/she will take straight to the campsite without visiting the amazing site. But if your second campsite is Chaquicocha, you will have plenty of time to visit it.
  • This site it is not on the way thats why many tourist dont visit. You need to hike extra to visit this amazing inca ruins.
How to get there?

After you visit Phuyupamarca, you will hike down for 2 hours and you will find an electric post where the trail Split. You must turn to the left, because the other path, to the right, leads you to Wiñaywayna campsite. The whole trek is about 20 minutes long.

inti pata ruins


The last and well-preserved Incan settlement amongst the Inca trail ruins, it is of course, Wiñayhuayna. Surrounded by wooded terrain and lush vegetation into a steep hillside overlooking the Urubamba river and the glaciers of Waqaywillka mount. There is a large stone staircase up to down that connects the housings, and its incline surface of the walls and trapezoidal doorways are alluring, just like at Machu Picchu. Those grassy agricultural terraces make it more unique, built with the stones found at the site, with which withstood the natural phenomenon events for years.

Things to know
  • This site is closed at 05:40 pm for the visitors.
  • We recommend you to enter this site before 5 pm, so you will have plenty of time to explore all the site.
  • If you enter at 05:30 for example, you will go only to the viewpoint, but wont visit it.
  • If you spend the second night at Chakicocha campsite, you will have plenty of time to explore this amazing Inca site.
  • People who hike Inca Trail 2 days  explore this site properly on their first day.
  • It takes 5 minutes of hiking from the campsite to get there.
  • Wiñaywayna is located at 8500 ft / 2600 m.

wiñaywayna ruins


The long-awaited day will finally arrive as the groups of visitors leave the camp to set foot in the Sun gate or Inti punku on that last day of the Inca trail hike. Before the morning sunlight streaks over the high mountains, this is where everyone else has the first glimpse of Machu Picchu, the world’s wonder. As the sun rises, this ancient city looks more attractive than anyone has ever imagined; located on a remote jungle hilltop, surrounded first by the mighty Vilconota river and shrub overgrown mountains beyond. In any way, this is a great opportunity to see the proof of an advanced engineering system developed by ancient men.

  • Altitude: 8920 ft / 2720 m

By hiking on the Inca trail to Machu Picchu, you will be re-discovering these ancient ruins in one of the unforgettable journeys in Perú. 

By Aldair Choque

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