Exploring the Sun Gate Peru: Hike the Inca Trail or Take the Short Route

by | Mar 8, 2024 | Peru Travel Blogs | 3 comments

Sun Gate Peru Machu PIcchu

The Sun Gate in Peru, located in the Cusco Region, now offers two approved hiking routes – the short Inca Trail or the classic Inca Trail spanning 4 days. Explore this iconic site through these newly regulated paths.

Machu Picchu is an iconic piece of Incan architecture and a true testament to the engineering skills of this ancient civilization. In Order to visit this Santuary there so many option.

In this article. I’ll provide you with the latest insights on the best and alternative routes to hike to the Sun Gate.

How to Reach Sun gate And Machu Picchu?

  • Machu Picchu By Train ( fastest way to visit Machu Picchu in one Day )
  • Alternative Trail To Machu Picchu (This trail doesn’t take you to the Su gate )
  • Inca Trail 4 Days. You will hike through Sun Gate in the day Morning and wait for the sun to rise there.
  • Opt for the Short Inca Trail 2 Days: A top choice for several reasons. You can pair it with trails like the Lares Valley Trek, Short Inca Trail 4 Days, or 5 Days, and the Quarry Trail 5 Days. Experience the beauty of two Sun Gates as shown in the picture below.

Pro Tip:

While hiking the Short Inca Trail, you’ll witness the breathtaking sunset and sunrise at Machu Picchu the following day. Highly recommended experience!

What does The Sun Gate offer Tourists?

The Sun Gate offers visitors a breathtaking view of the valley below and marks the finish point to the classic Inca trail treks to one of the world’s most remarkable historical sites, Lost City of The Incas.

Here, visitors can enjoy a breathtaking view from the sun gate of Machu Picchu. Photographing the incredible ruins while learning more about the Inca culture and history. Take some time to explore this ancient wonder and appreciate flora and fauna from the top of Sun Gate in Peru.

Sun Gate Peru
Amazing View from the Sun Gate

The Historical Background of The Sun Gate Peru

Dating back to the 15th century. The Sun Gate of Machu Picchu is a stunning archaeological landmark situated in Machu Picchu sanctuary.

Constructed by the Inca civilization. This site is considered to be one of the most remarkable pieces of engineering from that era. It was built as an entry point to the ancient citadel of las Refuge of the Incas.


The sun gate Machu Picchu elevation. Also known as Inti Punku in the Quechua language, is located at 7,720 feet (2,350 meters) above sea level. From here, visitors can appreciate the stunning views of Machu Picchu and its surrounding landscape.

It is believed that the Incas used this gateway to observe solar events, such as solstices and equinoxes.

Ancascocha Trek via Ollantaytambo
Sun Gate in Inca Quarry Trek 5 Days Hike to Machu Picchu

Comparing Sun Gate Peru and Bolivia

Sun Gate, Peru

1- Is more Popular because is the main exit of the Classic Inca train for 4 days and 2 days short Inca trail.

2- Amazing Panoramic Views

3 – Good point for a photographer

4 – Since the new regulation in Machu Picchu Its, not enimore Free Waking Tu the Sun gate

Tiahuanaco Bolivia

One of the most beautiful masterpieces left by our South American ancestors is the Sun Gate in Bolivia. It is a gigantic arch carved into a single block of andesite volcanic stone. Measuring 3 meters (9.8 ft) tall by 4 meters (13 ft) wide, and believed to weigh at least 10 tons (9072 kg). While it can be viewed where it was found today, its original location remains uncertain.

Sun Gate is More than just a Viewpoint.

When people hike the classic 4-day Inca Trail, they usually get their first glimpse of Machu Picchu. This particular spot used to be a gate that monitored who came in and out of the holy city of the Incas. It’s believed that only the elite members of the Inca Empire were granted entry to Machu Picchu due to its distance from the ruins.

What entrance Ticket Do You Need to get for The Sun Gate?

Due to new government regulations. The only way to access the sun gate from Machu Picchu is via the Classic Inca trail to Machu Picchu 4 days.

The othe fastest option is to hike the Short Inca Trail to Machu Picchu 2 days – with Hotel

All alternative trails to Machu Picchu will guide you to the town of Aguas Calientes. But none will take you to the Sun Gate.

Long History Short: you only have 2 chances to hike throughout the sun gate either 4 day inca trail or 2 days short inca trail.

Is a ticket required for the Sun Gate at Machu Picchu?

Before venturing to hike the Sun Gate at Machu Picchu. Make sure to secure your Inca Trail tour ticket at least 4 to 6 months in advance for a smooth experience. Additionally, there is no need to separately book Sun Gate tickets as they are included in the Inca Trail tours.

Machu Picchu Entrance Ticket
Entrance Ticket for Machu Picchu

Is embarking on the Sun Gate Hike a rewarding experience?

The first view from the Sun Gate is a moment of rediscovery

The Sun Gate offers wonderful views over the Inca citadel. It is a must-visit for anyone trekking the Inca Trail. As you pass through the iconic Sun Gate on your way to Machu Picchu. You will feel a real sense of accomplishment and a rewarding feeling.

One of the best things about the Sun Gate is its accessibility.

The pathways are well-maintained, making it easy to navigate for all types of trekkers. Additionally, there is no extra entry requirement, so anyone can visit this incredible site. You simply have to be part of the Inca Trail adventure.

For those looking to truly immerse themselves in the history and culture of Machu Picchu, visiting the Sun Gate at a quiet time is highly recommended. This will allow you to fully appreciate the stunning views and imagine yourself as an Inca guard protecting this sacred site.
If you are inspired to see the Sun Gate for yourself, we are happy to help fulfill your Inca Trail or Machu Picchu dream. Contact us and make unforgettable memories that will last a lifetime.

Our team is dedicated to providing you with an unforgettable experience that combines adventure, culture, and history in one incredible journey. Don’t wait any longer – let us help you plan your dream trip to Machu Picchu and the iconic Sun Gate!

Opt for the Short Inca Trail or the 4-Day Inca Trail for a hike leading to the Sun Gate.

4 Days Inca Trail distance

If you’re up for an adventure and eager to explore Inca archaeological sites, we suggest taking on the 4-day hike to Machu Picchu. Of course, this involves a bit of Inca trail training beforehand to ensure you’re ready for the trek. Keep in mind the effort involved and the preparations needed before embarking on this memorable journey.

The Inca Trail spans a total of 42km/26 miles over four days. The details provided apply specifically to the Classic 5-day Inca Trail itinerary. Different daily distances are applicable if you opt for the Traditional 4-day trek or the alternative Salkantay Route 5 days.

2 Days Inca Trail to Machu Picchu With Hotel

The Short Inca Trail 2 Days is a great option for those who want to experience the beauty of Machu Picchu and the iconic Inca sites, but are short on time or are not able to do the more challenging Classic Inca Trail. This 2-day hike offers a more leisurely pace and is suitable for average trekkers, making it perfect for families with young children as well.

The hike begins at Km 104, which is about a two-hour train ride from Cusco. From there, you will embark on an easy hike that will take you through three significant Inca sites – Chachabamba, Wiñay Wayna, and Intipunku (Sun Gate). Along the way, you will be treated to breathtaking views of snow-capped peaks and unique flora and fauna found only in this region.

On the second day of the trek, you will arrive at Machu Picchu where you will get an immersive guided tour of the ancient Inca city. Our local expert guide will provide insight into Andean traditions while showing you around the prime archaeological sites in Machu Picchu.

Huayna Picchu Mountain

For those looking for a more challenging adventure, there is an option to add on a hike up Huayna Picchu or Machu Picchu mountain. However, keep in mind that permits are limited to only 500 per day and must be booked well in advance (5-6 months).

It’s important to note that although this trail is not as physically demanding as the Classic Inca Trail, it’s still essential to acclimatize to the altitude before beginning your trek. We recommend spending a few days in Cusco or Sacred Valley before starting the trail to avoid altitude sickness.

So whether you’re traveling solo, with a partner, or in small groups, join us on our Short Inca Trail 2-day tour for an unforgettable experience filled with rich culture, stunning landscapes, and ancient history. Book your tour now and let us show you the best of the Inca sites along this incredible trail.

What’s the Weather Like at the Machu Picchu and Peru Sun Gate?

We advise preparing for all weather conditions as mountain weather can be unpredictable. The region has a sub-tropical climate, meaning the sun can be strong and rainfall can be heavy. Here are some recommendations to keep in mind. Read When Is The Best Time To Visit Machu Pichu?

Dry season (April-October)

Average temperature:           16°C / 61°F

High temperature:                 25°C / 77°F

Low temperature:                  2°C / 36°F

Humidity:                               40-45%

Warmest average month:     October, 21°C / 70°F

Wet season (November-March)

Average temperature:           16°C / 61°F

High temperature:                 21°C / 70°F

Low temperature:                  7°C / 45°F

Humidity:                               60-65%

Coolest average month:        January, 18.5°C / 65°F

To prepare for altitude, remember that the weather can change quickly. Bring different layers of clothing for fluctuating temperatures, sunscreen, sunglasses, waterproof gear, and water.

Is Visiting the Sun Gate Worth It?

Absolutely! The sight of Machu Picchu is truly breathtaking, and the trek is manageable, as long as you are physically fit and acclimatized.

The reward of reaching the Sun Gate is worth it, as you get to witness the vast beauty of this inca City from an entirely different perspective. It’s also a great choice for those who want to explore the Inca ruins but don’t feel up for challenging Huayna Picchu or Machu Picchu Mountain hikes. Plan your trip carefully to make the most of it, and you’ll be in for an unforgettable experience!


Hiking to the Sun Gate of Machu Picchu, Peru, is an experience unlike any other. The incredible views, the history and culture that come alive as you walk, and the physical challenge all combine to create a journey that will stay with you for a lifetime.


  1. Dee

    Hello! We are planning on doing the salkantay trek but would still like the experience of seeing machu picchu ruins through the sun gate. Are you still able to hike to the sun gate from machu pichhu? I was reading on a different blog that now the sun gate can only be accessed if you are doing the inca trail.
    Is that true?

    • Cesar Conde

      Correct If you haven’t booked the classic Inca Trail (4 Days) or the short Inca Trail, you won’t have the chance to visit the Sun Gate.

    • Tour Leaders Peru

      Yes, it’s true. Due to the new Machu Picchu regulations, it’s no longer possible to hike to the Sun Gate from Machu Picchu. Only those hiking the Sort Inca Trail 2D or the Classic Inca Trail 4D are permitted to do so.


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Cesar Conde

I’m Cesar Conde, owner of Tour Leaders Peru & Travel Advisor and my other side job is Nomadic Digital. I share my own amazing Tour Experiences, travel stories, guides, and itineraries for travelers like you and me!


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