No one knows for sure the true purpose of the Moon Temple, as there are no historical records relating to it. This enigmatic structure located at the northern base of Huayna Picchu Mountain, 400 meters (1312 feet) below its summit. Known also as the Great Cavern (or Gran Cavern in Spanish), the Temple of the Moon is formed by two natural caves, various terraces and beautifully crafted lithic structures. The first cave is located below a huge rock, with its walls crafted and fitted with incredible precision. The second cave, also below a large rock has niches and a building constructed in a more rudimentary nature on top. A classic trapezoidal shaped door featuring double jams connects the two caves.
The name Great Cavern was given by Hiram Bingham around the time of the scientific discovery of Machu Picchu. It is unknown where the name the name Moon Temple originated.
The Moon Temple can only be accessed by visitors with an entrance ticket to Huayna Picchu Mountain. Tickets are limited to 400 people per day in two entrance time slots of 7-8 am and 10-11 am. The Moon Temple can be found on the lower trail, not the trail to the summit. Incredibly only a handful of people trek the additional short distance to visit the moon temple.
More information on trekking Huayna Picchu and to the Moon Temple can be found by clicking here.