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Hidden tunnel discovered in Machu Picchu
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Machu Picchu: a new Inca Trail and a hidden tunnel for 500 years

Machu Picchu, more than 100 years after its discovery, continues to surprise the world. Researchers at the archaeological park found a section of the Inca road network. This one leads to the Inca City of Machu Picchu. It was hidden for more than 500 years.

Where was the new Inca Trail to Machu Picchu found?

  • This ancient Inca Trail is located more than 2700 meters high.
  • It joins the areas of Wayraqtambo (Place of the winds) at the back of the Machu Picchu mountain.
  • Near this discovery, there are the archaeological sites of Wiñay Huayna and Intipata , which are part of the famous Inca Trail to Machu Picchu.
Machu Picchu hidden tunnel
Tunel discovered in a new section of the Inca Trail and that was hidden for more than 500 years

When was the new Inca Trail discovered?

  • The excavation works of the new section of the Inca Trail were carried out at the beginning of 2014.
  • In June of that year, the world learned the news of the discovery of the hidden tunnel.

Machu Picchu was built approximately in 1450. In 1911, after being found by Hiram Bingham, excavation work begins.

How is the new section of the Inca Trail?

  • This is section 41 of the great network of Inca roads.
  • This trail goes from the back of the Machu Picchu mountain to a platform located in the Inca City.
  • The discovered section has a dimension of one and a half kilometers long. The width of the road varies between 1.20 and 1.40 meters, depending on the geography of the terrain.

How is the new tunnel in Machu Picchu?

  • On the new Inca Trail, a tunnel almost 5 meters long that crosses a rock stands out.
  • It is known that this tunnel served to overcome the collapse of the upper sections that led to the Sacred City.
  • To avoid leaks, the Incas sealed the cracking of the ceiling with carved stones (technique widely used in the incanato).

What was the function of the new tunnel in Machu Picchu?

  • Fernando Astete, director of the Archaeological Park, suggests that at some point in history, the main route to Machu Picchu collapsed due to landslides.
  • This forced the Incas to create an alternative route and they had no choice but to make a forado in the rock.
  • This caused the tunnel that allowed alternative access to Machu Picchu.

How to see the new Inca Trail to Machu Picchu?

  • The work of conditioning the new Inca Trail continues.
  • This attraction will be valued at the conclusion of its restoration.
  • It is known that it will allow to see Machu Picchu for places with stunning views.
  • The tunnel, more than 500 years after its construction, remains intact and could continue to fulfill its function.

Visits to the new section of the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu are not yet available.

What is the Inca Trail?

  • The Incas had as their only means of communication the immense network of roads they built throughout the empire.
  • These Inca roads (Qhapac Ñan) connected the main points of the Inca empire. Through the messengers (Chaskis), the news was communicated.
  • Many sections of these Inca roads remain until today.

How is the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu?

  • The Inca Trail to Machu Picchu is the section that linked the Inca City with Cusco during the incanato.
  • This stretch of the Inca Trail was rescued and valued. Today, it is considered one of the most incredible hiking trails in the world.
  • The Inca Trail travels 40 kilometers in 4 days and 3 nights until you reach Machu Picchu through the Puerta del Sol (Intipunku).

What Inca archaeological sites are on the Inca Trail?

  • The Inca Trail to Machu Picchu combines beautiful landscapes with ancient Inca constructions.
  • Among the main Inca precincts during the Inca Trail include: Sayacmarca, Winawayna, Runkuraway and others.
  • On the fourth and last day, tourists arrive at Machu Picchu in full dawn.

Other findings in Machu Picchu

In addition, of the new section of the Inca Trail and the tunnel in Machu Picchu, the works in the Inca City found other findings:

  • The Inkaraccay

    One of the most important finds inside the Machu Picchu Sanctuary. It is a spicy hanging fortress with walls and terraces that line cliffs that rise from the depths of the valley. It was found in 2010.

  • The Secret Door of Machu Picchu

    A French archaeologist discovered a secret door that would lead to hidden passages beneath Machu Picchu. They have not yet managed to penetrate this door due to the risk of damaging the Inca City. There is a hypothesis that there would be the tomb of the Inca Pachacutec.

  • New platforms in Machu Picchu

    Two European archaeologists found new platforms four meters below the Sacred Square of Machu Picchu. Researchers believe that the Inca City had several phases of construction. The research works continue.


By Ticket Machu Picchu – Last updated, February 12, 2020