Huayna Picchu Mountain

Huayna Picchu is located north of the Inca city – Machu Picchu. To reach Huayna Picchu, it follows the path that starts a few meters from the sacred rock, the road is very steep and includes flights of stairs and steps.

For many people climbing Huayna Picchu is one of the highlights when visiting Machu Picchu.  The hike up is between 45-60 minutes depending on the physical state of the person.

The stunning beauty of this natural attraction makes it a must for those who want an unforgettable memory of the citadel visit. Although access is a bit hard, but the view is breathtaking and worth the effort. From a distance the mountain looks impossible to climb without the necessary tools.

There are parts you need to be able to climb and crawl through tight spaces. They do not warn you about any of these obstacles, most people might believe it’s just a hike up a mountain, but it is way more than that.

Once you get to a certain point it breaks off into two trails. One is shorter and leads back to Machu Piccu (easier) on the other one you get to see the great cave and the temple of the moon but it is extremely steep. There are two points you get to wooden, hand made ladders. The ladders are steep one goes down the side of the mountain the other you have to climb up the side of the mountain. The views of the Citadel and surrounding landscape are extraordinary from the top and well worth the climbing effort.  In some spots you are on narrow stairs with the steep drop next to you. The view is amazing from the top!

What does huayna picchu mean?

Huayna Picchu (aka Wayna Picchu or Wayna Pikchu), which means ‘Young Peak’ in Quechua, is the large mountain that sits directly behind Machu Picchu, and can been seen in all it’s glory in the picture above.

We can found ruins in Huayna Picchu?

“Huayna Picchu mountain” gives the property to archaeological geographic image to Machu Picchu. On top of this mountain there are many buildings over the edge that were used for crops species, perhaps considered sacred. They remain of a temple, which is not known whether it is a building that ultimately was not completed or was partially destroyed are also observed. From there you can see the main square of Machu Picchu about 400 meters down, the overall picture is impressive Urubamba river canyon of infinite shades of green and the background snow-capped peaks.

What kind of timetable exist to visit Huayna Picchu?

Schedules income: The maximum capacity of Huayna Picchu is 400 people divided into two groups of 200. schedules income are:

– First group: Machu Picchu-Huayna Picchu 7:00 – 8:00 am

– Second group: Machu Picchu – Huayna Picchu 10:00 to 11:00 a.m.
There is an extra cost of $15.00, and prior reservation is required ( approx. 4 months), the availabe spaces of Huaynapicchu Mountain you can see in the goverment page:

Entrance tickets to Machu Picchu, Machu Picchu mountain and Huayna Picchu are limited?

Machu Picchu is one of the World Heritage Sites governed under conservation standards established by UNESCO and the Ministry of Culture; which determines a specific number of spaces according to the site you want to visit, listed below:

  • Entrance tickets to Machu Picchu
  • City ticket Machu Picchu – 2500 spaces
  • Group 1 ticket Huayna Picchu (07h00 to 08h00): 200 spaces; Ticket Huayna Picchu Group 2 (10h00 to 11h00): 200 spaces.
  • Mountain ticket Machu Picchu First Time (07h00 to 08h00): 400 spaces – Second ticket Machu Picchu Mountain Time (09h00 to 10h00): 400 spaces.
  • Museum ticket Machu Picchu: It has limited capacity.
What are the permits and rules to climb Huayna Picchu?

In the early days trekkers were able to climb Huayna Picchu without any permits and there was no limit on the number of visitors on the mountain.

As you can imagine unregulated climbing on the mountain had a rather large impact on the Inca paths that lead up the trail, as well as interrupted some of the archaeological work that continues on the mountain even today. Not to mention the safety risks associated with having lots of people coming and going on steep paths.

A few years ago, the National Institute of Culture of Peru (INC) decided to implement a number of measures to regulate climbing activities on Huayna Picchu. Initially a quota and permit system was implemented that limited the number of climbing permits to 400 per day. Climbers could still ascend and descend at any time of the day as long as the final ascent was two hours before the site closed.

On the 25th July 2011 the ruling on timings changed, and fixed times of departure have been implemented.

There are now two group departure times, each with 200 permits.

The first climbing time runs between 7am-8am, and the second group time runs from 10am-11am. The climb itself takes about an hour to ascend and approximately 45 minutes to descend.

Officially, climbers in the first group need to get back down from the mountain by 10am to avoid cross over with climbers ascending in group 2, but this is very seldom the case as many trekkers take longer to ascend and then like to stay up high to maximise the view, particularly if there is early morning fog that promises to leave by 10-11am.

Which time is better to climb Huayna Picchu – 7 am or 10 am?

The 7am time is a cooler time in the day, particularly during the dry season when temperatures can get quite hot by the time the 2nd group departs.

However, there is a higher probability of encountering fog in the early mornings which can completely obscure the view from the top of Huayna Picchu. On a clear day though the early morning view is amazing.

A key factor is getting the timing right to avoid crowds. Non-trekkers arrive by train from Cusco around 11am. So if you take the early morning time slot you run the risk of getting off the mountain just as the tourist hordes arrive.

That being said the mountain is quieter early in the morning. You don’t have to contend with any one coming down off the mountain and there is usually only a small group of people at the top at any given time.

That being said the mountain is quieter early in the morning. You don’t have to contend with any one coming down off the mountain and there is usually only a small group of people at the top at any given time.

If we were pushed though we would recommend the second time slot as it gives you a chance to tour the Citadel before tourists from Cusco arrive, as well as reduces the probability of encountering fog which can totally negate the purpose of climbing Huayna Picchu. Moreover, by the time you descend Machu Picchu many visitors have departed for lunch.

This can all be academic though if you don’t book early enough and are forced to choose only one of the available times, or worse, denied access as permits are sold out.

But don’t fret, if permits are sold out there are alternatives to climbing Huayna Picchu that provide great views.

What are the Alternatives to climb Huayna Picchu?

There are three main alternatives to getting a birds eye view of Machu Picchu – Cerro Machu Picchu (also know as Machu Picchu Mountain or Montaña), Putukusi Mountain and The Sun Gate. Here we briefly discuss each.


Cerro Machu Picchu (or Machu Picchu Mountain) is the largest mountain that rises out of the site’s complex and sits directly across from Huayna Picchu. The climb up Cerro Machu Picchu is nearly twice as high as Huayna Picchu but has a more gradual ascent profile up to it’s summit at 1,850 feet (~620m) above the city ruins (3,051m above sea level).

The views from the top are fantastic (arguably better than Huayna Picchu), as the visual angle is more gradual and the ruins more exposed. The trail is also a lot quieter than Huayna Picchu so you won’t need to worry about crowds.

It takes an average trekker around 2/2.5 hours to hike to the summit from the ruins and just over an hour to return. The best time to start a trek up Cerro Machu Picchu is around late morning (permits run from 7am-11am), this way you can complete your guided tour of the city and still get back in time before the site closes. Ideally, if you are lucky enough to be spending two days at Machu Picchu, this trek should be kept for your second day.

The route is good for families with children as the gradual and less rocky path is easier to navigate than Huayna Picchu.

To reach the site you will need to walk towards the Sun Gate, about halfway along this trail, just past the Caretakers Hut, you will see a sign directing you to Machu Picchu Mountain.

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