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Spiritual tourism in Machu Picchu
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Spiritual tourism in Machu Picchu

Experience the spirituality of Machu Picchu, one of the most beautiful areas in Peru. In recent years, one of the reasons that attract many tourists is the spirituality and energy that can be felt in the Inca city. According to tourist testimonies, this spirituality can be felt throughout the archaeological site but especially in the Intihuatana, the Guardian’s House, the Sacred Rock and the Sun Gate.

Machu Picchu was considered a sacred place for the Incas. It was sent to build by the Inca Pachacutec in the 15th century. It was later abandoned and rediscovered by Yale University explorer Hiram Bingham in 1911. According to some studies, its location in an energetic vortex makes it a spiritual place.

Is Machu Picchu a spiritual place?

Many tourists who visited Machu Picchu report experiencing an energy that is difficult to explain. This spirituality that exists in the Inca city can be explained by its impressive mountainous landscape as well as by the rich history that exists in each construction. However, some research reveals that the energy could come from the ground and even from some particular buildings.

Spiritual tourism Machu Picchu
Intihuatana, monolith carved in the Inca City of Machu Picchu

What are the places famous for their energy?

  • Intihuatana ‘the Solar Clock’

    – An immense rock carved in three levels that resemble a platform with a rectangular formation at the top whose shadow indicated the position of the sun and, therefore, the seasons of the year. Its function was that of an astronomical calendar. It is believed by the solar energy it receives, people who bring their hands to its structure are filled with vitality. Today, tourists are only allowed to put their hands together, not touch the Intihuatana.

  • The Guardian’s House

    – The Guardian House is a rustic stone building as a room that served as a surveillance point for the city of Machupicchu. It is located in the highest part of the archaeological site. From there you have the most perfect view of the place, which is why tourists prefer to take the classic postcard photo there. On its banks, visitors can sit down to rest and appreciate the scenery. It is even possible to do yoga. That is why it is considered one of the points of greatest spirituality and energy in Machu Picchu.

  • The Sacred Rock

    – As its name indicates, it is a huge irregularly shaped polished rock whose shapes resemble that of a mountain. It is located just behind the Huayna Picchu mountain and, in the distance, the Yanantín mountain. Tourists who dare to ascend the Huaynapicchu often approach the Sacred Rock to fill themselves with the energy necessary to complete the route. Like the Intihuatana, this construction is believed to radiate spirituality and energy.

  • The Sun Gate ‘the Intipunku’

    The Intipunku was one of the most important buildings in Machu Picchu since it was the point of control and access to the city during the Inca period. It is made up of a set of walls, windows and doors through which the sun’s rays enter in the summer solstices. Visitors who make the trek there can see Machupicchu from a unique angle and be filled with the energy that the sun radiates. Visitors who do the Inca Trail (4-day route) have their first view of the Inca city from Intipunku.

Where does this energy come from?

Machu Picchu is located between two geological faults and at the top of an ‘isthmus’, which causes recurrent tremors and earthquakes to occur. This release of telluric force would provoke the energy that some tourists say they feel in the Inca city.

Can I do a spiritual retreat in Machu Picchu?

Although Machu Picchu is an ideal sacred place to practice spiritual retreats or some type of religious ceremony; this is not allowed by the authorities. This is due to the number of tourists who visit the archaeological site every day and seek a quiet visit without setbacks. The spiritual retreats in Machu Picchu would delay the normal flow of tourists on the tourist circuit.

Despite this, the mere fact of being in Machupicchu allows the visitor to feel a special energy. Every year there are more visitors who claim to experience this energy, not only in Machu Picchu but also on the Inca Trail and the Huayna Picchu and Machupicchu mountains. They claim that the Inca city is a special place for spirituality.

Special dates for spiritual tourism in Machu Picchu

  • Inti Raymi Party

    – All winter solstices (from June 20 to 24, depending on the year), the Incas celebrated the ‘Fiesta del Sol’ in a massive ceremony at the Coricancha temple, the Sacsayhuaman fortress and the current Plaza de Armas. Today, the inhabitants of Cusco continue to celebrate this ceremony in honor of the sun through a gigantic staging on the same stages. On those days, many tourists flock to Cusco and Machu Picchu to fill themselves with the joy and mysticism of this festival.

  • Earth day ‘Pachamama’

    – Every August 1 in the different Andean countries the ‘Pachamama Day’ (Mother Earth Day) is celebrated. During those dates, the inhabitants of Cusco usually make the so-called ‘Payments to the land’ , a ritual practiced by the Incas and their predecessors. That day many tourists come to Cusco and Machupicchu to be part of these rituals. In the end, many experience the spirituality and energy that the Inca gods radiate: the mountains, the sun, the earth, etc.

  • Day of the Dead

    – Every November 2 the inhabitants of Cusco usually go to cemeteries to pay tribute to their dead. The deceased are believed to be present in spirit with the living on that day. Drinks, food and different types of offerings are offered in the houses. Tourists who are lucky enough to visit Cusco and Machu Picchu on that date can feel the energy and spirituality of the Cusco people.

Other spiritual experiences in Cusco

  • Payments to land

    – The ‘Pago a la tierra’ ceremonies were practiced by the Andean settlers from a time before the Incas. It is a ceremony in which offerings are made to the mountains and the land to receive good harvests and well-being (even today Andean people believe that nature has life). The offerings are mainly: coca leaves, chicha, camelid tallow and more.

  • Ayahuasca ceremonies

    Although the Ayahuasca ceremonies come from the Amazonian regions of Peru, there are a few master – shamans who perform it in Cusco. Ayahuasca is a plant native to the jungle with hallucinogenic properties. The ceremony consists of physically and psychologically preparing the person before the intake through specific diets and tobacco smoke. The end result is a purifying trance that varies from person to person.

  • Coca leaf reading

    The coca leaf is a plant considered sacred by the Incas and by the cultures that preceded them. They used it to predict the fate of people. For this it is necessary to organize different objects on a ceremonial cloth. The most important thing about reading coca leaves is having a teacher who inherited the knowledge to read this plant through his family. The prediction will depend directly on the flavor, texture, color and other characteristics of the leaf.

  • Andean marriages

    More and more tourists come to Cusco from all over the world in order to carry out an Andean marriage. This symbolic ceremony has characteristics typical of the Inca period such as: colorful clothing, offerings to the gods of nature. Even in some ceremonies payments are made to the land. They are carried out in places considered sacred by the Incas. It has characteristics of western marriage but using products and symbols typical of the Andean peoples.


By Ticket Machu Picchu – Last updated, April 6, 2020