Patallacta archaeological site – Inca Trail.

The Incas ruled an empire that extended from the Andes mountains to the Pacific coast, they were the most advanced in the world, and their empire was the largest in pre-Columbian America. The Incas had a complex social hierarchy, with a king at the top and various classes of nobility below him, and the economy was based on agriculture. They had developed an extensive system of trails connecting the most important cities, such as Cusco and Machu Picchu.

Patallacta Inca site.

They also mined gold and silver to make elaborate works of art. The Incas were skilled architects and engineers and constructed many impressive buildings, including the city of Machu Picchu and LLactapata. The Spanish conquered the Inca empire in the 16th century, but their legacy remains in South America today.

Patallacta archaeological site.

Patallacta was an important Inca site located on the first day of the Inca Trail Classic Inca Trail to Machu Picchu. The Incas occupied the site from the 1400s until the Spanish Conquest in 1533 AD.

Patallacta is a large Inca site with over 150 buildings, including residential, administrative, and ceremonial structures. The buildings are made of stone and mud bricks and are arranged in a series of terraces that step up the hillside. Several buildings, including temples, administration buildings, and workshops, are scattered around the site. Patallacta was an important stop on the Inca Trail, which ran from Cusco to the Sacred citadel of Machu Picchu.

The site was likely used as a base for Inca troops patrolling the trail. It is also thought that Patallacta may have served as a way station for travelers on the trail, providing them with food and shelter. Today, Patallacta is a popular tourist destination due to its location along the Inca Trail.


Patallacta is Located near the Village of Corywayrachina-KM 88 on the railway route from Cusco to Machu Picchu. Patallacta is at the end of the first day’s hike along the Inca Trail with an altitude e of 2840 m (9317 ft).


The site was built by the Inca Emperor Pachacuti in the 15th century and served as an important administrative center for the Inca Empire. Patallacta was abandoned after the fall of the Inca Empire in the 16th century and was rediscovered by archaeologists in the 20th century.

Patallacta was built under the reign of Pachacuti Inca Yupanqui, the ninth emperor of the Inca Empire, in the 15th century. It was an important administrative, political, and religious site near Machu Picchu. Its believed that Llactapata provided food to Machu Picchu since we have intensive farming terraces near the Cusichaca and Urubamba rivers.
Pallacta was abandoned soon after the Spaniard’s arrival for unknown reasons. However, in recent excavations where found several ancient tombs where a lot of people were buried together in caves, and many of them show systems of violence. Few show evidence of injuries made with swords and weapons used by the Spanish conquistadors. This finding shows a battle in Llactapata, and many people died violently. It is possible that this site was the scenery of a bloody battle between the Incas a Spaniards in 1536.
The site was abandoned and covered by vegetation until 1912, when Hiram Bingham III. Since then, excavations have uncovered many important artifacts that provide insight into life at Patallacta during the height of the Inca Empire.
Today Patallacta is a protected area and part of the Classic Inca Trail 4 days to Machu Picchu.


Patallacta is a compound Quechua word meaning; Pata “high” and Llacta “Town” from this, Patallactais translated as the town in the upper part or high town, overflow.” The site is over a high plateau, about 50 meters from the Urubamba and Cuschaca rivers.

The historical importance of Patallacta.

Patallacta was a rest stop place for travelers from Cusco to Machu Picchu and a control point for travelers on the Inca Trail or following the river basin until Machu Picchu. Patallacta has a strategic location between the Sacred valley, The Valle of Machu Picchu, and the Salkantay region. This was a major trading center and an administrative area near Machu Picchu.
Machu Picchu was a large town in the cloud forest; however, farming at the citadel was impossible due to its remote and difficult location. Pallacta has the biggest gaming terraces near Machu Picchu, and for sure, the food was transported using llamas along the Urubamba River using the Inca Trails to Machu Picchu.
Another important historical event was the battle at this place, where a group of Incas fought against the Spaniards and protected Machu Picchu.

Patallacta Today.

Today, Patallacta is a popular archeological site during the first day of the Classic Inca Trail to Mahcu Picch. It offers visitors a glimpse into the daily life of the Incas.


The average temperature in Patallacta is 20°C, with a high of 25°C and a low of 15°C. The rainy season is from November to March, and the dry season is from April to October.

How to get to Patallacta.

There is only one way to get to Patallacta: hiking the Classic Inca Trail to Machu Picchu for 4 days and 3 nights of Camping. You can hike from km 82 or Km 88 on the railway from Cusco to Machu Picchu. Most hikers will start at Km 82 and arrive in 2 hours Patallacta.

What to expect to see?.

Llaqtapata is located at the junction of the Kusichaka and Vilcanota rivers. It comprises 112 enclosures located in the upper of the farming terraces, and they are organized in different Kanchas (neighborhoods): There is also a religious/ceremonial area near the Kucichaca river.

Other Inca sites near Patallacta.

Patallacta is not the only Inca site in the area. There are many other Inca sites nearby, including:

Willkarakay: Located at the eastern border of Machu Picchu district and Ollantaytambo district. This spectacular site is on top of the hill overlooking Patallacta with 31 buildings.

Patawasi: Located in the village of Wayllabamba, made up of several buildings with circular terraces.

Tarayoq: Large farming terraces with irrigation systems on both sides of the Kusichaca river.

Difference between Patallacta and Llaqtapata.

There are a few key differences between the Patallacta and Llaqtapata archaeological sites.

is Located on the first day of the Classic Inca Trail; from this place, food was sent to Machu Picchu.
is located in the Santa Teresa region and is only accessible when hiking the Salkantay Trek. Llactapata was a control point in the jungle.
Best time of the year to visit Patallacta
The best time to visit Patallacta and hike the Inca Trail is during the dry season, which runs from May to October. During this time, there is little rainfall, and the temperatures are milder than during the wet season.

Packing list for the Inca Trail.

When you book a tour of the Inca Trail, your tour company will provide you with a packing list of recommended items to bring. Here is a list of what we recommend you pack for your journey:

A small daypack or backpack to carry your belongings while on the trail
Comfortable walking shoes or hiking boots
Sun protection, such as sunscreen, a hat, and sunglasses
Rain gear, even if you are traveling during the dry season
Layers of clothing to adjust to changing weather conditions
Snacks and water for energy on the trail
A camera to capture memories of your experience!

Tips for visiting Patallacta.

When visiting the Patallacta Inca archaeological site, there are a few things to keep in mind.

First, it is important to wear comfortable shoes as a lot of walking is involved.
Second, it is best to visit during the dry season (May-October), as the rainy season can muddy the trails.
Third, bring plenty of water and snacks, as there are no food or drink vendors at the site.
And finally, don’t forget your camera! The views of the surrounding mountains and valleys are truly stunning.