All About Circuit 1 Ruta Portada Intipunku

One of the most popular, but also challenging treks you can do in the Machu Picchu area is the Ruta Portada Intipunku. The route has become one of the top trips people to in the region, because it has stunning views and historical/cultural significance. If you go on this trek, you will go to the Sun Gate, also known as Intipunku.


What makes the Sun Gate special?

It’s a stone gateway which locals see as the entrance to Machu Picchu along with the Valley of the Incas. Aside from that, it was an astronomical observatory at the time. People in the Andes were stargazers and they had a lot of focus on understanding the cosmos. That’s why throughout the region you can find temples and observatories. Intipunku is one of them, and it has an ideal position.

It’s aligned with the Pleiades constellation, but also the mountain of veronica. Some associate it with the Andean new year and the winter solstice. In their belief, Andean people thought Intipunku was their spiritual bridge, a way to connect to the afterlife.

How can you reach Intipunku?

Going to Intipunku is a great idea, since you get to see one of the most beloved places within the Andean culture. The Ruta Portada Intipunku is also one of the top circuits in Machu Picchu, just because it’s immersive, informative and with stunning views as well.

  • From the start gate, you go to the Guardian House Viewpoint. In order to do that, you will have to go on a stone staircase walk that will take up to 10 minutes.
  • Now you reach the caseta de control, and you can view the Temple of the 3 Ventanas, Sagrada Square, Temple of the Sun and more. From here, you go up to the Intipunku, the Sun Gate, simply by following the markers and going up to the location.
  • The hike takes around 2 km and it’s along farming terraces. It can be a bit challenging to go on this route. 
  • As you reach the Portada Intipunku, you will see a variety of things like the neighboring Huayna Picchu mountains, the Urubamba River and even the town of Machu Picchu as well.
  • After that, you take the same route to go back. Depending on the Ruta Portada Intipunku trip you paid for, you might also visit Platforma Superior and Inferior, or you are taken to the gate of Machu Picchu at the end of the trip.
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When can you go on the Ruta Portada Intipunku?

What’s important to keep in mind about the Ruta Portada Intipunku is that the circuit is closed during the low season, and it’s available during the high season only. That means you can’t go on this route from mid-October to the end of May. The reason for that is bad weather can make it very difficult to reach Intipunku, and it can make the entire trek very slippery and difficult.

Having good physical condition is important when you take the Ruta Portada Intipunku. That’s because you are going up the mountain, so good stamina levels are highly recommended. The circuit is open for people of all ages, but a good physical condition can be helpful here. It is a lengthy trip that takes up to 3 hours, and it’s imperative to make sure you are doing it right.

Is it safe to go on the Ruta Portada Intipunku?

Yes, you are going to Intipunku along terraces, and if you go during the high season, the temperatures are great too. It will rain quite a lot during the low season. That’s why you only have access during the high season. That helps prevent any possible problems with the route, including slippery routes and any accidents that can arise.

The Ruta Portada Intipunku is also made with safety in mind, and there are signs in the region to ensure you get to Intipunku and back without a problem.


If you like trekking and want to have an incredible view of Machu Picchu, but also see one of the most beloved locations in the form of Intipunku, this circuit is for you. It’s an exceptional trek to keep in mind, and one that will impress with its outstanding look, stunning vistas, but also the historical and cultural significance of Intipunku. Getting to Intipunku via this route will take a bit of preparation, but it’s still one of the top ways to explore the neighboring region of Machu Picchu!

Ruta Portada Intipunku

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