- Hiking / Trekking
- Archaeological Site
Wiñay Wayna will be the last site you come to before reaching the undoubted highlight of your hike – indeed of your whole trip to Peru – namely Machu Picchu. Imagine the feeling and the energy of the moment: after several wonderful days of walking that have taken you over high mountain passes and through subtropical forest, you arrive at a fantastic yet not very well-known site close to which you will be pitching your tent, amid a landscape just as beautiful as what you've experienced so far. As well as the campsite, there's also a hostel here: a useful option for those tired of sleeping on the ground.
Wiñay Wayna is completely made up of terraces and is quite fantastic to behold. The architecture here is similar to what you see at Machu Picchu. The aforementioned terraces are frame by two groups of buildings, forming an upper section and a lower section. The whole ensemble lies surrounded by lush vegetation; it's quite simply magnificent. And of course, these ruins stand, once again, as testament to the exceptional mastery of construction techniques, hydraulic science and craftsmanship displayed by the Incas, which is something you'll be in no doubt about yourself after having visited a whole series of the sites left behind by this civilisation. Make sure your camera, tablet or smartphone batteries are sufficiently charged!
It is worth going to Peru just for the trek along the Inca Trail. Exploring the Incan Empire on this hike generally takes four days, with the famous Machu Picchu as the final destination.
It was on our 4th day on the Inca Trail that we discovered the splendid city of Wiñay Wayna, known as the City of Eternal Youth. To access the Incan ruins, you have to climb a steep hill which overlooks the Urubamba river and a waterfall. The Wiñay Wayna site is a collection of houses connected by stairs. You also find some agricultural terraces which are really typical of Peru, as well as the ruins of some religious temples. The habitants of Wiñay Wayna worshipped the gods of water, and the town was a religious centre where the bathing ritual was carried out.
You have to be impressed by the quite remarkable conservation of the Wiñay Wayna ruins, which provide a perfect taster of what to expect at Machu Picchu.