Phuyupatamarca - History and Facts | History Hit


Machupicchu, Cusco, Peru

One of the most picturesque stops on the Inca Trail, Phuyupatamarca is a well preserved Inca ruin which sits over 11,000 feet above sea level.

Image Credit: Mark Green / Shutterstock.

About Phuyupatamarca

The ruins of Phuyupatamarca, located along the Inca Trail, rank among the best preserved and most scenic Inca ruins in existence.

History of Phuyupatamarca

Known as the ‘Town above the Clouds’, Phuyupatamarca is over 11,000 feet above sea level and often surrounded by thick clouds which weave their way through the valleys below – producing a picturesque viewpoint which is not to be missed. It can look like the site is floating above the clouds.

It’s thought the site was built in the 15th century, and was a stop en route to Machu Picchu. It also had some kind of religious ceremonial/ritual function – the baths are hard evidence of this.

Phuyupatamarca today

The site itself contains some excellent Inca ruins, including agricultural terraces built into the hillside and a settlement above them which includes ritual baths with water still running through them during the wet season, a temple and an impressive irrigation system. A number of observation platforms offer excellent views.

Pretty much the only way to visit Phuyupatamarca on one of the many organised hiking tours of the Inca trail. Several tours camp here overnight before making the early morning push to Machu Picchu for sunrise. The views here are second to none regardless, and worth soaking up.

Getting to Phuyupatamarca

The site is only accessible on foot: it’s the third night on the 4 day Inca Trail hike, which tends to originate in Cusco, and starts the trek at km.82.