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Definition of Intihuatana

The word Intihuatana belongs to the Quechua language, which was spoken by the Incas and still today by many inhabitants of Peru. It means “place to tie the sun”. Inti means sun, wata to tie and na is a suffix that means instrument or place.

This name is given to a stone that serves as a sundial. This structure made of carved stone is located in the Inca city of Machu Pichu. It is not known with certainty if the Incas really gave it this name, since there are no written records, but the experts baptized it this way due to its form and function.

ORIGIN OF Intihuatana

The Intihuatana of Machu Picchu was carved out of a huge slab of rock from the surrounding mountains.

It is located in the highest part of the archaeological site, which is known as the Sacred Plaza. It sits on a stepped pyramid shape with the rock at the top.

It is a four-sided stone with each point representing north, south, east and west. It resembles a sundial, which was one of its main objectives.


For many years, visitors could touch the Intihuatana to feel the energy it radiated. However, after some incidents, the sacred stone is now sectioned. That is why a security guard always watches over the structure to make sure that no hands are placed on the surface of the Intihuatana.

A beer company was sued in 2005 for damaging the Intihuatana during an advertisement they filmed there. A 500 kilogram crane fell on the top tip of the stone and, unfortunately, a small piece came off.

Many visitors still claim to feel a great energy or something special when passing by the stone.

The Intihuatana can only be visited between 7 and 10 a.m. every day.