After a bit of hiking on day 1 of a 4-day Inca Trail trek, you’ll get to the Inca farm town of Patallacta, here seen from its similarly-named neighbor, Llactapata.
But before I prattle on for too long, I suppose I should talk a bit about names. There are two sets of structures here — a small one on the top of a ridge (where I stood to take this photograph), and a much larger one (pictured above) on the valley floor. Our guide told us that despite the gap between them, they’re part of what was once a single site. But generally, online sources give them separate names — Patallacta for the large valley site, Llactapata for the small ridge one.
But sometimes you’ll see the names reversed (generally in older sources), and to add to the confusion, there’s also a peak some distance away named Llactapata. To be fair, since the inhabitants fled when the Spanish conquistadors approached these sites, nobody is really sure of their pre-conquest name(s) any more.
Even the on-trail maps seem to have changed their minds about the names lately. But Google Maps is firmly in the camp with newer nomenclature.
Image Source: Google Maps
Our version of the 4-day trek took us through Llactapata (along the dashed line labeled “Camino Inca” in the aerial view) — vs. on the solid line (labeled “Inca Trail”). I’ve not found any online images from within the site of Patallacta, so I’m not sure what options are available for actually getting down into it.
There are a variety of structures here, apart from the agricultural terraces. Near the river, there is a solar observatory and what may be some sort of gate house. The structures on the top terraces appear to be a mix of storehouses and farmhouses.
For a more-immersive perspective, try this 360 degree view I took with my Theta SC (click here to see it full screen):