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Sun Gate or Huayna Picchu?

RU
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Sun Gate or Huayna Picchu?

Hello,

Please, give me an advise - what to choose: SunGate or HP? I will stay a night in Aguas Calientes and leave to Cusco next day at around 14.30. So I will have time for Machu Picchu till 13.30. What would you suggest to do during that time?

And another question - are the ruins in Ollanto far from bus and train stations? If I arrive to Ollanto at about 16.00 and have to be in Cusco at 19.30 (to catch a bus to Arequipa at 20.00) - is it feasible to spend some time at the ruins?

Thanks!

Ola-ru

Brandon, Canada
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142 posts
414 reviews
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1. Re: Sun Gate or Huayna Picchu?

Proceed immediately to the HP entrance immediately after arriving at the top of Macchu Picchu. Sure, the Sun Gate is okay, with nice views over the valley, so maybe if you still have a couple of hours left over before you want to head downhill....

Ollaytantambo ruins are about 1km up from the train station, and a slight diversion on the road to the Plaza de Armas (where all the buses and taxis leave from). Wilfredo is a great guide, although I'm not sure you're allowing enough time for a proper tour of the site. Your plan is feasible, but rushed.

Cincinnati, Ohio
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476 posts
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2. Re: Sun Gate or Huayna Picchu?

If you get to MP @ 6 you should have enough time to do both, but for sure do HP it's much better than the Sun gate: If you're only going to spend one day at MP then roam MP for the first few hours then up HP by 9:30. It takes about 45-1 hour up 30-45 min down. I think you should only stay up at Mp till 1300 you don't want to miss the train.

Milwaukee, Wisconsin
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330 posts
8 reviews
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3. Re: Sun Gate or Huayna Picchu?

Do Huyana Picchu over the Sun Gate. We did the Inca Trail and enjoyed the Sun Gate, but I loved Huyana Picchu.

Laurel, Maryland
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435 posts
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4. Re: Sun Gate or Huayna Picchu?

I just returned from Machu Picchu, and we did the Sun Gate and Incan drawbridge trails the first day, spent the night in Aquas Calientes, and then did Huayna Picchu the second day. If you have to choose, definately do Huayna Picchu. You will really feel a sense of accomplishment when you reach the top, and the view is amazing. Since I am **older**, we took our time going up. We spent a total of 3 hours on the hike. That time includes a lot of picture taking stops as well as time to reflect on the moment once we reached the summit. Ollanta is a small town, and we enjoyed it very much. We went there before MP, which I think is the best way to do it. I think you would really be pushing yourself to try to see the ruins after spending almost all day in MP, and it depends on what time of year you are going. Last week when we were there it began getting dark by 17:30. The ruins are not far from the train station and are well worthwhile, but seeing them requires lots of climbing. Don't forget you will need to allow at least 1 1/2 hours for the drive to Cusco.

Charlottesville
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122 posts
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5. Re: Sun Gate or Huayna Picchu?

My wife and I did both in one day. If you catch one the earliest buses, you may be able to be the first on up HP. We were on like bus number 5, they all leave right after another. We went right to the entrance and were the first ones there. Everyone else went to get sunrise pictures i guess. But being first in line was really fun, it takes about 3 minutes to sign in so we had a 3 minutes head start on everyone else. We are in decent shape and made it up first(it was harder than I thought it would be), but we had about 10 minutes on the top by ourselves, i will never forget that feeling. After that we went back down, ate some food, then hiked to the Sungate. Much easier, but I think the Sungate had better views, and depending on your activity level may be better. HP is very hard to climb, you will get tired, and if you are not the first up, it will be crowed at the top. The sungate has a lot less people, i was able to lay out on the rocks and take a great nap.

new york
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725 posts
1 review
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6. Re: Sun Gate or Huayna Picchu?

It's interesting that people who climb HP usually say that it's "a feeling of accomplishment". People who do both HP and Sun Gate say that the sun gate has better views and picture taking.

Is this correct?

Charlottesville
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122 posts
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7. Re: Sun Gate or Huayna Picchu?

You are correct

new york
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725 posts
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8. Re: Sun Gate or Huayna Picchu?

Rick, Phyllis,

Can I ask how old you are and what shape you are in.

You wrote that it was harder to climb HP than you expected.

You also climbed up without having to share the path with anyone. In the videos I can see that the path seems very narrow at spots.

The top was downright crowded.

Charlottesville
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122 posts
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9. Re: Sun Gate or Huayna Picchu?

I am 29 years old and 6 foot 4 190 pounds. I work out 5 days a week for like 10 years. I also work in construction so I am outside and moving around a lot during they day. Again it was harder than I thought it would be, but my wife is 28, 5 foot 2, 105 pounds never works out and she blew me away on the path, beat me by like 10 minutes. It is a hard trail, i do not do much hiking so maybe its a different kinds of shape, i dont know. Also keep in mind you are at a high altitude. We were the first ones in line, so it was easier, no one else coming down from the path, but that means less time to rest. Again, it was not hard to be fist in line, you just have to catch the first buses and go right here. The path is very thin at times, and on our way down we had to wait for people many times.

new york
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10. Re: Sun Gate or Huayna Picchu?

Thanks.

I have a quarter of a century on you. I do work out and have for many years, but time has a way of catching up to you.