Having climbed Huayna Picchu on Day 1, the main objectives of Day 2 were two hikes: one to the Sun Gate (Intipunku) and the second to the Inca Drawbridge. The remainder of the day would be spent further exploring the ruins of the citadel.
As on Day 1, we entered the ruins in the early morning hours. From the main gate, we opted for a short, steep climb to reach the storehouse for our first glimpse of the day of the citadel.
|Storehouse with citadel in background|
|Beginning of stone path to Intipunku (Sun Gate)|
|Trail from Sun Gate to Machu Picchu with shrine in middle left.|
|Nancy taking a rest stop at the shrine with rock monument in background|
|Another rest stop on the climb to Intipunku|
|Structures at the Sun Gate|
|You are here!|
|Structures at the Sun Gate seen from above|
Looking upon the citadel complex from the Sun Gate, the switchback road up to the citadel is visible in the foreground. While a trail exists from the valley floor up to the citadel requiring a 90 minute walk, we opted for the 20 minute shuttle bus ride from our hotel in Aguas Calientes up to the citadel.
|Road winding up to Machu Picchu|
|Jon taking a rest at Intipunku with citadel in background|
After a brief rest and some refreshment, we headed back down the trail to the citadel. On the hike back, the citadel can be clearly seen as situated in a saddle.
|Machu Picchu from Inca trail|
|Machu Picchu from Inca Trail|
|Our lunchtime view - marvelous!|
|Local resident photobombing my photography|
With the recounting and pictorial of the journey to the Sun Gate taking more space than expected, I will end the Day 2 Machu Picchu travelogue with lunch at the citadel. An exploration of the Inca Drawbridge and the citadel warrants its own entry so I will return to MP at a later date. I will not wait another two years. I promise.