For many visitors, this day is the longest but also the most impressive and the most interesting day, due to the number of archaeological sites that hikers can see along the way. We get up at 06:00hrs, again, and after breakfast, start off following a steep path that will lead us to the second pass, the Abra Runkurakay (3.970 m. – 13.024 Ft.).
Half way up, we will stop to visit the archaeological complex of Runkurakay. This Inca site, located at 3.700 m. / 12.139 Ft consists of a small oval structure (Runkurakay means in quechua language “egg” hence it name) it is very likely that this Inca building served as a watchtower.
Some meters up we will find a small billabong, where sometimes Andean dears can be seen drinking water. After going over the pass, we descend to Yanacocha (Black Lagoon) and arrive at Sayacmarca (erected building 3.600 m. 11.811 Ft.). This is an interesting Inca building in which you can find semicircular constructions, water fountains, as well as irrigation channels. After visiting these ruins, we enter the cloud-forest, walking up and down, and then come the last climb, that will lead us to the third pass, the Abra de Phuyupatamarca (3.700 m. – 12.139 Ft.) From now on, the rest of the trail is mostly downhill.
We will descend some steps, then will stumble upon one of the best Inca ruins, a site constructed on a marvelous natural setting called Phuyupatamarca. (Phuyupatamarca, means ¨town over the clouds¨). From above, trekkers can observe a sophisticated complex made up of water fountains with solid foundations, and also impressive views of the Urubamba River.
The end of the day leads to the Wiñaywayna ruins, second only to Machu Picchu in beauty. This fantastic site is a perfect example of Inca terrace farming and it is located on a steep edge overlooking the Río Urubamba. The name Wiñaywayna comes from the name given to a beautiful orchid typical in the zone, and means Forver Young. We will spend the night in the camping zone of Wiñaywayna, close to a local restaurant where trekkers usually may enjoy a hot shower, as well as cold beers and party in the evening. This will be the night in which we will say good bye to our porters and cooks, as they leave us the next day before dawn.
The porters will take another trail that leads directly to the village of Aguas Calientes, (last meeting point) carryng with them all camping equipment and our backpacks. Your backpacks will be left at a room deposit we have at the village, so that you can pick them up before returning to Cusco on day 4. Since we will not see the porter anymore, we will have a meeting at dinner time with them and someone from the group will have to give an speech expressing gratitude for their great help. Overnight at the Winaywayna campsite