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HUAYNA PICCHU MOUNTAIN INFORMATION - Incatrailhikeperu
Inca trail Tours

HUAYNA PICCHU MOUNTAIN INFORMATION

Written by: Incatrailhikeperu October 6, 2023

The famous Huayna Picchu Mountain, which in Quechua means “Young Mountain”, is located at 2,667m/8,750ft above sea level and is part of the Andean foothills on the border of the Amazon. Huayna Picchu is a very popular hike from the Machu Picchu Citadel. If you would like to add this hike to your tour or trek, it’s important to book early.

There are a number of reasons why people choose this hike. The 4km/2.4mile round trip takes you on meandering pathways through the lush vegetation of the high Amazon Rainforest. After hiking through the vegetation, you come upon the greatly feared and respected “Stairs of Death”. Although these stairs are both steep and narrow, this trail is not dangerous. Along the way, you will find handrails and ropes to hold on to. After you complete the steep climb, the views that await you at the summit are unparalleled and will leave you in awe. Feast your eyes on spectacular panoramic views of the river that snakes its way through the valley below, unobstructed views of mountain tops and a slew of Inca ruins scattered on the mountain side.

Additionally, there is an optional hike on the other side of the mountain which takes you to the Temple of the Moon. Temple of the Moon adds an extra hour to your overall hike, however it’s well worth it. The Temple of the Moon was built inside a natural cave and was possibly used for rituals, sacrifices or revering the moon. Upon your return to the top of Huayna Picchu, take your time to explore the small terraces and buildings that were a part of an astronomical observatory. Be sure not to spend too much time at the top, so you can make space for other travelers looking to explore this amazing vantage point.

PLEASE NOTE:
***The climb to Huayna Picchu is steep and can be slippery when wet.  Additionally, the hike consists of stone steps, therefore having hiking boots with good tread that fit well is essential.

***For the reasons listed above, this hike might not be for everybody, it’s important to evaluate your ability to hike this mountain before booking. It is especially tricky during the rainy season.
***This optional extra mountain hike within the Machu Picchu complex does not include a guide. The climb is done on your own, however there are personnel that are stationed within the trail for security and safety reasons. If you require a guide, please request in advance. There is an extra charge for this service.
***You must always respect the scheduled entrance times between 7 to 8am, 8am to 9am, 9am to 10am or 10am to 11am. If you arrive 5 minutes late, you will not be allowed to enter!

ARE THE ENTRANCE TICKETS LIMITED?

Yes! It’s limited to 400 hikers a day, so you will need to plan early to book the extra hike. Especially for Huayna Picchu, you should book at least 2 to 3 months in advance. We will purchase the permit for you with your trek if entrance tickets are available.

Schedules For Hiking Up To Huayna Picchu:

  • First schedule: 7am
  • Second schedule: 8am
  • Third Schedule: 9am
  • Fourth Schedule: 10am – This is the best schedule for Inca trail trekkers.

***This is the time you start the hike. It takes approximately 45 minutes to reach the top of Huayna Picchu, and an additional 45 minutes to return.

PRICES

The price for Huayna Picchu is an extra cost: US$75 per person

Why you should hike the Huayna Picchu Mt?

A relevant question to ask yourself in this situation is: Is Huayna Picchu mt worth it? Simple answer, YES! Here are the reasons why.

  • You get a fantastic view across the whole archeological site of Machu Picchu, as well as the surrounding natural beauty.
  • It gives you an extra sense of achievement and will be something to remember for a lifetime.
  • You’ll likely only visit Machu Picchu once, maybe twice, in your life, so why not make the most of it?
  • You get to see parts of the citadel you wouldn’t see otherwise.
  • There are fantastic photo opportunities at the summit.
  • You can visit the temple of the moon.

Can I Visit Machu Picchu and hike Huayna Picchu in 1 day?

Yes, it is possible. You need to take the first train at 05:05 am from Ollantaytambo and buy the 10 am Schedule for Huayna Picchu. Visit Machu Picchu from 08:00 am to 10:00 am, then start hiking Huayna Picchu at 10 am. In case you don’t find early train tickets, you can hike to Huayna Picchu and then do the guided tour at Machu Picchu.

Huayna Picchu Mt Facts

  • The altitude of the mountain is 2,720 m or 8,923 feet above sea level.
  • The distance one way is 2km of steep and narrow paths.
  • It’s only for hikers 12 years and over.
  • It’s located to the north of the Inca citadel.
  • The trail can seem scary and daunting at times due to the steep climbs and necessity of ropes and bridges to cross some parts.
  • You’ll have to pass through the Sector de las Huayranas (Sacred Rock) to get to the entrance to the hike, where you show your ticket.
  • There are 400 tickets available each day.
  • Archaeological attractions; Terraces and the unparalleled Temple of the Moon, built inside a natural cave and a tunnel.
  • The hike is relatively high in difficulty due to the steepness, the amount of steps and far drops.
  • The hike up and down depends on the individual and how long you take to enjoy the scenery, but is generally around two and a half hours.
  • You can see the archaeological sites of Andenería and the Temple of the Moon.

What to see in Huayna Picchu Mountain?

Terraces with flying stairs and houses.
Near the top you will see “flying stairs” placed with geometric precision. These stairs are embedded in the walls of the terraces, allowing access between the different levels. The stairs are far apart, you may need to jump a bit to get from one stair to the next. Additionally, you will find Incan houses along the way. Some of which are very well restored.

Tunnels in the Huayna Picchu Mountain
While approaching the summit of Huayna Picchu, you will arrive at a narrow tunnel. To cross the tunnel, you need to crawl on your hands and knees. The idea of this tunnel was to create something of a choke point for any invading forces trying to make their way up to the top of the mountain.

The Moon Temple
Most people hike to Huayna Picchu only for the Machu Picchu view. But if you have more time and your train Schedule is late, we recommend you hike to the moon temple. It usually takes 4 hours to visit the Moon temple and the view of Machu Picchu from above. This temple is a well-carved stone structure located inside a natural cave (the great cave).

Special fauna
You will see some Viscachas sitting on top of the rocks, many types of jungle birds, Lizards, and hummingbirds. If you are lucky, you may see Andean cock-of-the-rock (a bird native to the region) and spectacle bears.

What to bring to Huayna Picchu Mountain?

  • Original Passport.
  • Huayna Picchu Ticket (you can’t hike without this).
  • Trekking shoes.
  • Long sleeves t-shirt and pants to protect from mosquitoes and sunburn.
  • Lightweight raincoat or rain poncho, especially in the rainy season
  • Backpack.
  • Two liters of water. There is no stream or taps to refill your bottle.
  • Snacks.
  • Sunglasses.
  • Insect repellent.
  • Sunscreen.
  • Camera.

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