Runkurakay Pass

So the high point (physically) of day 3 on the Inca Trail is Runkurakay Pass — with views just as good as Dead Woman Pass had, but not nearly as painful to get to.  Just before the pass, the trail winds between two small hanging lakes (I haven’t been able to find any reliable names for them).  First, we’re looking uphill / west across the lower / larger of the two (you can see some of my hiking buddies on the trail above it to the right).

Looking up to Runkurakay Pass

In this next shot, we’re at the pass and looking to the east.Runkurakay Pass, looking eastThe first lake is down in the lower right corner of this photo; its smaller / higher sibling is just left of center and more-obvious in this photo (well off the trail). Some descriptions I’ve read describe these two lakes as being foul-smelling — but we must have been lucky, they looked clear and weren’t boggy or smelly when we visited.

Meanwhile, the view to the west from Runkurakay Pass is pretty nice as well.

Runkurakay Pass, looking west

The snow-capped massif on the horizon is called Pumasillo (from the Quechua for “puma claw”), as is one of the three main peaks in the group.

After a scenery break, it’s on to the next ruins!