Horseback Trip to Inti Punku
This is an incredible day outing, climbing up a steep mountain on horseback up to the Incan lookout of Inti Punku, which means “sun gate” in the native language of Quechua. The route passes by several archeological sites, none of which have any crowds or entrance fees whatsoever. We will see the Incan workshop at “Las Canterras”, the Quarries in Spanish, where the Incans mined and shaped the massive stones that they used to build the sacred fortress of Ollantaytambo. After visiting this site, (and possibly even getting a glimpse of some ancient Incan mummies), we will continue on upward to the actual site of Inti Punku.
Inti Punku is an astronomical and strategic overlook built by the Incas to serve as a watchpost for the access routes to Machu Picchu from the Amazon Jungle just across the mountains from where it was built. It has viewpoints to 4 different routes towards Machu Picchu, and also has astronomical connections in terms of the lighting it features during solstice events and other important times. While it does not overlook Machu Picchu itself, it does look directly towards it, being blocked only by the massive and sacred glacier of Veronica / Wakay Willka.
It takes about 8 hours total, including plenty of time to visit all the sites along the way. It is very exposed and as such required items to bring include a rain jacket, sun screen, and a wide brimmed hat..