Temple of the Sun
This impressive structure is recognized for its carved stone walls. Due to this authentic curvature and architectural style resembling the ones found in the Qoricancha temple, Hiram Bigham deduced that this could be a Sun cult temple.
The Temple of the Sun comprehends three rear windows, where two of them allow the sunlight entrance during the winter and summer solstices, and the third has several perforations around its frame that probably held precious stones, this last window is called the ’Snake’s Window.’
This structure was built on top of a natural rock cave that was probably used as a tomb or mausoleum. Some historians theorize that this was the Inca Emperor Pachacutec’s burial place.
This mysterious carved rock is located in the highest point of Machu Picchu. It is believed that on the winter solstice, the shortest day of the year, the Incas reunited here to implore not to be abandoned by the Sun God, Inti, as well as performing sacrifices and offerings to this deity.
The Incas had a great astronomical and geographic knowledge, which is also reflected in this sacred monument since the protruding part is intended to match the sunlight in every season of the year. It is also considered that this is some kind of solar watch.
The Condor Temple
It is located in the urban area of the Historic Sanctuary of Machu Picchu. Its name was given due to the similarities of the constructions with the imposing bird of the Andes. This structure seems to be used as a punishment cell since a dungeon was found in its interior.
The Andean Condor was a sacred bird to the Incas, for that reason, it is believed that sacrifices were made in this location to honor it by maybe offering the corpses of their enemies after being tortured.
It’s located in front of the Inca Sanctuary Machu Picchu and has an altitude of 2,667 meters above sea level. This is the background mountain to every classic picture of Machu Picchu. This place was used as a vigilance center during Inca times.
To get to the summit you can take the lower left path going through very steep stone stairs. From the top, you can visualize the impressive Inca citadel and the Andean mountain range. Although the trek is considered to have a high level of difficulty, once you reach the top, you’ll realize all that hard work has been paid off.
The walk up to Huayna Picchu takes about 70 min or less, according to your physical condition. It is worth mentioning that this is an additional activity in the archeological complex, therefore, you must purchase a separate entrance ticket to experience this trail.
However, tickets are limited to 400 entrances per day, which means you must purchase them at least 3-5 months in advance.
The Machu Picchu Museum
Also known as the Manuel Chávez Ballón Museum, it is located one kilometer away from Machu Picchu. It was built in the 1960s, with the purpose to exhibit all the cultural details of the Inca Citadel.
The museum has a collection of archeological pieces that were found in the archeological site. Some of these pieces were sent to Yale University to be studied and then later returned to Peru.
Besides, this attraction comprehends beautiful botanical gardens with an exhibition of the local flora of the region, where they have a distinctive collection of orchids.
Belmond Sanctuary Lodge
It is the only hotel located at the Machu Picchu entrance, belonging to the famous Belmond hotel chain. This luxurious lodging comprehends 31 suites and rooms, with eco-friendly features and details that echo the energy of the Inca citadel.
The Belmond Sanctuary Lodge offers the best fusion of Peruvian gastronomy with international cuisine on a buffet modality. It is worth mentioning that it’s not necessary to stay in the hotel to enjoy their authentic dishes.