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Water mirrors in Machu Picchu
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The water mirrors in Machu Picchu

The water mirrors or room of mirrors are one of the most famous constructions of Machu Picchu. It is a circular formation (like a plate) made of stone carved into the ground. When filled with water, it projects the reflection of the sky. Thus, the Incas used it as an astronomical observatory. Find out how to visit it, how much it costs, visiting hours and more information.

Machupicchu Water Mirrors
The Water Mirrors in Machupicchu

Machu Picchu was an Inca citadel and religious precinct that stands out for its scenic beauty and architectural wonder. Some of its most famous constructions are: the Temple of the Sun, the Intihuatana, the Temple of the 3 Windows, the Sacred Rock, the Temple of the Condor and the Water Mirrors. This last enclosure was an astronomical observatory where the Incas could observe (through water) the stellar gods such as the moon (keel). Learn more!

What are water mirrors?

  • The water mirrors are two cylindrical Inca constructions located in the archaeological site of Machu Picchu.
  • Its construction –similar to two mortars– was made on a natural outcrop of granite. Because of this it is also known as the ‘Mortar Room’. However, its symmetry is not suitable for grinding.
  • The investigations indicated that the function of these constructions was to contain water –brought from sacred lakes or rivers–. And thus reflect the sky where the Inca gods rise (the sun, the moon, the stars). Due to this, the place was renamed ‘The mirrors of water’.
  • Above all the gods, the ‘Mirrors of the water’ served to reflect the moon, also called the goddess ‘Killa’. This Inca goddess (wife of the sun god) was linked to the chastity of women.
  • That is why the researchers presume that, unlike the neighboring Inca enclosures, the room of ‘The water mirrors’ did not have a roof.

Where are they located?

  • The ‘Water Mirrors’ are located in the urban area of ​​Machu Picchu (in the lower part of the citadel).
  • Next to this Inca construction are the Temple of the Condor and the House of the Inka.
  • Machu Picchu and all its buildings are located approximately 2,430 meters above sea level.

History of Machu Picchu’s water mirrors

  • The Water Mirrors, as well as most of the constructions of Machu Picchu, were ordered to be built by Emperor Pachacutec approximately in 1450 AD
  • For its construction, the abundant rock formations in Machu Picchu were used. Thus, the Water Mirrors were carved in a natural rock located in the lower part of the enclosure.
  • In 1535 AD, and for the next few years, Machu Picchu was abandoned due to the Spanish invasion and the Vilcabamba wars. The Water Mirrors, and many constructions of the citadel, were covered with thick vegetation.
  • Finally, in 1911 the American explorer Hiram Bingham arrived at Machu Picchu giving news of his discovery. In the next few years, research work and enhancement of the Inca archaeological site were carried out.
  • Today the Water Mirrors are one of the most famous Inca constructions in the Inca city of Machu Picchu.
Machupicchu Water Mirrors
Water Mirrors – Machupicchu

What is the entrance fee to visit it?

  • The Water Mirrors can be visited with the tickets: a) Machupicchu Only, b) Machupicchu with Inca Bridge, c) Machupicchu with Huayna Picchu or d) Machupicchu with Huchuy Picchu.

How much does it cost?

Ticket Machupicchu OnlyTicket Machupicchu + HuaynapicchuTicket Machupicchu + MountainTicket Machupicchu + HuchuypicchuTicket Machupicchu + Inca Bridge
Foreign adults152 S/.200 S/.200 S/.152 S/.152 S/.
University students77 S/.118 S/.118 S/.77 S/.77 S/.
Minors from 3 to 17 years old70 S/.118 S/.118 S/.70 S/.70 S/.

Visiting hours

The visiting hours for Los Espejos del Agua are every day of the year from 6 am to 5 pm.

More information

Currently it is forbidden to touch the Mirrors of Water. You can only zoom in so far to take photos or view the construction. Moreover, there are protection ropes in place.

Near the Mirrors of Water, tourists can visit other famous Inca constructions such as the Temple of the Sun or the Temple of the Condor. Take advantage of!

Questions and answers about Machu Picchu’s water mirrors

  • 1. What are water mirrors?

    The water mirrors are two cylindrical Inca constructions located in the archaeological site of Machu Picchu. They fulfilled the function of an astronomical observatory for the worship of the Inca gods.

  • 2. Where are the water mirrors?

    The water mirrors are located in the urban sector (lower part) of Machu Picchu.

  • 3 What is the history of the water mirrors of Machu Picchu?

    The construction of the water mirrors dates back to 1450 AD, when Emperor Pachacutec ordered their construction along with other temples and enclosures of Machu Picchu.

  • 4. With what ticket to Machu Picchu can I visit the water mirrors?

    You can visit the water mirrors with the ticket Machupicchu Only, the Machupicchu entrance with Inca Bridge, the Machupicchu entrance with Huaynapicchu and the Machupicchu entrance with Huchuypicchu.

  • 5. What are the visiting hours of the water mirrors?

    The water mirrors are available every day of the year from 6 in the morning until 5 in the afternoon.

  • 6. How much does the visit to the water mirrors cost?

    The ‘Machupicchu Only’ ticket offers a visit to the water mirrors. Cost: 152 soles for adults, 77 soles for university students and 70 soles for those under 18 years of age. Citizens of Peru, Colombia, Ecuador and Bolivia have greater discounts.

  • 7. Can I touch the mirrors of the water?

    No, the mirrors of the water cannot be touched by tourists. There is a safety rope that only allows you to observe or take pictures from a safe distance.

  • 8. Can everyone visit the water mirrors?

    Yes, tourists of all ages can visit the water mirrors of Machu Picchu. There is no age limit!

  • 9. What other Inca constructions to visit besides the water mirrors of Machu Picchu?

    In addition to the water mirrors, it is possible to visit: the temple of the sun and the temple of the condor in Machu Picchu.

  • 10. What Inca ordered the construction of the water mirrors of Machu Picchu?

    The chronicles indicate that this and the other temples and enclosures of Machu Picchu were built by order of Emperor Pachacutec in approximately 1450.


By Ticket Machu Picchu – Last updated, December 5, 2022