The Most Impressive Inca Site You’ve Probably Never Heard Of

Wiñay Wayna means “forever young” in Quecha. Conceivably, it’s how your spirit will feel when you first cast your eyes upon this mind-boggling example of Incan ingenuity.

It’s really quite impressive. The upper levels of the Wiñay Wayna archeological site is a series of agricultural terraces, descending toward the valley below like a big, green amphitheater. The lower level contains a series of stone structures that remain remarkable intact, given they were built over five centuries ago.

No one is exactly sure why the Incas built Wiñay Wayna. It could have been for agricultural or ceremonial purposes. Or it could have been simply to serve as a resting point on the Inca Trail before Machu Picchu, which is only three miles to the north. Regardless of its original purpose, you can’t stand at Wiñay Wayna, and not be overwhelmed by pondering the extraordinary effort that must have gone into its construction.

And as if that weren’t enough, Wiñay Wayna features a scenic waterfall, and is spotted with orchids that share its name.

If you needed one more reason to hike the Inca Trail, Wiñay Wayna could be it. If you need another reason, check out the savings on these trips featured below.