Temple of the Moon – Ruin
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Situated about 400 meters beneath the pinnacle of Huayna Picchu (about a 45-minute walk each way from the summit) is the Temple of the Moon, another spectacular example of Inca stonemasonry. The temple consists of a large natural cave with five niches carved into a massive white granite stone wall. Towards the cave’s center is a rock carved like a throne, next to which are five carved steps that lead towards darker recesses where even more carved rocks and stone walls are visible. The temple’s name originates from the way it radiates with moonlight at night, but many archaeologists believe that it was also symbolically aligned with the surrounding mountains. Steps on either side of the small plaza in front of the temple lead to more buildings and some interesting stone sanctuaries below. For equally incredible views of Machu Picchu and Huayna Picchu, you can take the other trail leading down from the guardian’s kiosk behind Sacred Rock. The 30-minute climb to Intipunku, the main entrance to Machu Picchu from the Inca Trail, is slightly less demanding and a good option for anyone lacking in time or energy.
Machu Picchu and the Inca Trail, Peru
Here are other activities in and around Machu Picchu and the Inca Trail that may be of interest: Temple of the Sun, Chamber of the Princess, Wiñay Wayna, Three-Windowed Temple, Royal Tomb, Intipunku, Intihuatana, Huayna Picchu and Principal Temple.
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