When I started planning my trip to Peru, one of the things I knew I wanted to see was the “La Puerta de Hayu Marka” (also known as “The Gateway To The Gods”, “Aramu Muru” and “The Doorway of the Amaru Meru.”) The only problem was, after months of online research, I still had no idea exactly where the giant stone doorway was located. Websites I read said that the doorway was located 35 kms from Puno, that it was located high up in the mountains, and that the mysterious door was nearly inaccessible. All of this, however, proved to be incredibly inaccurate.
That said, I set out to find the doorway with my new friend Molly… and after four different bus/taxi rides and a little help from the locals in the area, we were able to find the large stone doorway that some believe to be a sort of “stargate” to another world, another dimension, or another place on planet earth.
If you too are looking to travel to the Gateway of the Gods, hang tight, because I’ll tell you exactly how to get there.
Our journey began in Puno, Peru. We took a combi bus out of town and paid 2 Soles for a ride to nearby Acora. Once there, we began asking around for “La Puerta de Hayu Marka”, but none of the locals knew what we were talking about. I tried asking for “la Puerta mystico”, but that too was received with nothing but confused stares. After some time, we were led to believe that the door was further south… and that in order to get there we would need to travel to the city of Ilave.
After a short wait for a another combi to come along, we paid a couple more Soles and traveled to nearby Ilave. Once there, we met a local man who knew about the door and told us where to go. He put us in a local motortaxi (which cost 1.5 Soles) and our driver took us across town to another small combi pick-up point. Once here, we jumped in a crowded bus bound for the village of Santiago…. and it was here that we were let off.
To out left was nothing but flat farmland and the shores of Lake Titicaca. To our right were a small range of hills and rock formations. Surely, if the Gateway to the Gods were anywhere nearby, it was going to be on the right-hand side.
Not sure exactly where to go, we began walking up the road, asking locals along the way if they knew where “La Puerta de Hayu Marka” was, but we were met with nothing but blank stares.
Then we stopped a small blue sign with an arrow pointing to the right down a short dirt road in the direction of a small cluster of rocks.
“Surely this couldn’t be it!” I thought to myself. This was right off the road… and all of the websites I had read described the doorway as being nearly inaccessible because it was so far back in the mountains.
But a short walk up the road and there it was… The Gateway to the Gods!
The image below shoes the doorway carved into the rock on the left-hand side of the image. The doorway is in the shadows, but you can see it there if you look closely.
As we walked up to the doorway we were approached by a small boy selling rocks with mystical engravings on them. We passed on purchasing any of the boy’s stone carvings, but we were forced to pay 5 Soles each by a man in a hard-hat who visited us at the doorway just a few minutes after we arrived there.
We took a lot of photos at the portal and I tried to teleport myself to another place, time or dimension… but I had no luck whatsoever. I think I may have been too tall for the doorway to work on me.
Molly and I ate lunch at the base of the doorway and then decided to climb the large nearby rock formations.
The photo below shows Lake Titicaca on the left (you can just barely see it there in the distance), the farming community of Santiago in the middle, and the Puerta de Hayu Marka down in the shadows on the right-hand side of the image.
The doorway was pretty cool, but the hike we had after visiting the doorway was even more amazing.
We hiked along the ridge of the rock formations for quite some distance before finally descending down to the road and taking a taxi back toward Ilave. We thought our adventure was over, but it most certainly was not.
While in the taxi bound for Ilave, we came across a Police baracade and were asked to exit the car, handover our bags for a search, and give the police our passports.
Unfortunately, Molly had left her passport in the hostel back in Puno, so she had no identiication on her at all. I, however, had my passport, wallet, and everything I needed, so I was fine. But the police didn’t let us go easily. For what seemed like nearly ten minutes, two Peruvian police officers (a male and a female) interrogated us about where we were from, where we were staying, where we were going, and whether or not we had any drugs in our posession. After explaining to the police officers that Molly had left her passport at the hostel and that we had simply been staying in Puno and had driven down to see the Puerta de Hayu Marka for the day, they eventually let us go. It was a frightening experience and one I wish not to repeat during the rest of my stay in Peru.
After our little incident with the police, we got back in the taxi cab, which dropped us off in the center of Ilave. From there we took a motortaxi to the central bus station, and from there we rode back to Puno in a hot and crowded combi.
Do you want to visit the Gateway To the Gods (aka La Puerta De Hau Marka?)Don’t trust the other information you find on the Internet.
- The Gateway is not 35 kms from Puno. In reality, it is probably about twice that distance.
- The Gateway is not hard to reach. In fact, it is right by the side of the road and is very easy to walk to.
- The Gateway is not far up in the mountains. It is on nearly flat ground, but it does have some small hills, mountains and rock formations nearby.
Here is how you get to the Gateway:
To get the The Gateway of the Gods from Puno, Peru, take a combi bus toward Ilave and exit there. Once in Illave, take a combi toward the village of Santiago. Exit the bus in Santiago and walk a shot distance up the road to the east while looking for a small blue sign pointing you to the right down a short dirt road. Go down that road just 100 meters or so and there, on your right-hand side, you will see the Gateway to the Gods.