With Aracari, traveling in Peru often includes a luxury tour of Machu Picchu – especially for those guests vacationing in Peru for the first time. Whether our guests choose to arrive at Peru’s ancient crown jewel via a Machu Picchu hike or via train on one of our Machu Picchu luxury tours, with our expert team of Peru guides – you can rest assured that Aracari’s trips to Peru are one-of-a-kind.
As a luxury travel agency in Peru, the Aracari Machu Picchu luxury tours have only ever been offered to private groups, giving our guests the ultimate Machu Picchu experience of having a local guide dedicated to their Peru holiday, and theirs alone. However, in a virtual world – technology permits everyone to have their own private tour of Machu Picchu. And so, on the 21st of June 2021 that is exactly what Aracari plans to do.
Winter Solstice in Machu Picchu A Virtual Visit
This is a spectacle on many travel bucket lists: witnessing the sunrise over Machu Picchu on the morning of the Winter Solstice, the most important day in the Inca Calendar.
As one of the best companies for Machu Picchu tours, this is an incredible first for Aracari. We invite you to join one of our expert Peru guides via live stream on the 21st of June 2021 – as they climb through some of the most significant Incan landmarks on the ascent to Machu Picchu.
The Significance of the Winter Solstice
The Winter Solstice is the shortest day of the year in the Southern Hemisphere and the most important day in the Inca Calendar. It signifies the death and rebirth of the sun in Andean cosmology. When the Incas built their estates and ceremonial sites, they made sure they accommodated for this special moment by designing architectural constructions to allow for both rays of sunshine and shadows to always play an important role.
The route map for Aracari’s virtual visit of Machu Picchu
You will meet your Machu Picchu guide at 6.30am (Peru time) ready for your tour of the ancient wonder. First, we will climb to the upper terrace where we will find the Watchman’s Hut. This lone hut gives a perfect view to the site, hence its name. It guards any entrance to the site, including the road from Intipunku, the Inca Trail hike up Machu Picchu Mountain, and the road to the Inca Bridge.
From here you will descend toward the Quarry, then on to the Temple of the Sun to see the first shadows cast by the rays of the sun. This round, tapering tower features the most perfect stonework in all of Machu Picchu. It’s centerpiece is a great rock, part of the actual altarpiece onto which the temple was built. This temple was likely used as an astronomical observatory. The rock has been cut with a straight edge, indicative of how precisely aligned the site is to the rising point of the sun on the morning of the June solstice – which will of course, be today.
Our guide, who themselves have led many luxury Machu Picchu tours for Aracari – will stop and provide the relevant explanations and make sure you have the perfect vantage points, both close ups of the magnificent stonework and the awe-inspiring panorama.
We will then continue our visit to the Temple of the Three Windows and Intihuatana, where we will stop to get a close look. Intihuatana (found in most important Inca sites) is known as the «Hitching Post of the Sun» so- called because the Incas are said to have ritually tied the sun during those critical solstice sunrises to prevent it from wandering any further away down the horizon.
We will then continue to the Main Square and the Sacred Rock, the location which marks the access to Huayna Picchu, the mountain backdrop to the Inca site. It’s here where it will finish the tour of Machu Picchu on Winter Solstice.
Tickets for this special event are available to purchase now. Priced at $20 – the funds raised will go towards employing our team of guides in Cusco, who are still being affected by low numbers of travelers in Peru. As with all our events, any remaining monies will be donated to an orphanage in the Sacred Valley, a philanthropic cause that is very close to our hearts.
We hope you chose to journey with us to Machu Picchu on this sacred day in the Inca calendar, perhaps it will leave you inspired to book your next luxury Machu Picchu package, or instead put you in touch with one of our Peru travel advisors about other Peru itineraries with the best Peru travel company: Aracari.