If you’re the adventurous traveler type, you must have heard of the Huayna Picchu mountain, a towering peak located in the surroundings of the famous Inca Sanctuary. For those who don't know what Huayna Picchu is, let us tell you that you surely have seen it since it is the mountain spotted in almost every picture of Machu Picchu.
This optional hike is the most sought after activity within the archeological complex. Entrance tickets to the natural wonder tend to sell out even months in advance, which is why if you want to take the trek, you’ll have to plan it long in advance.
The Huayna Picchu mountain is recognized for its dramatic and strenuous trail, but also because of the Inca constructions it hides on the way. If you wish to make your experience in Machu Picchu even more exciting, then you certainly need to step up and take this challenge!
However, we’d like to mention that the hike to huayna picchu is definitely not for the fainthearted or the ones that haven’t overcome their fear of heights. But, if you are feeling courageous and up to this adventure, here we’ll tell you how to experience it at its fullest.
To join the adventure, you must purchase a combination ticket that includes both the citadel and the natural attraction. Nonetheless, you must keep in mind that you should coordinate the entry times so you don’t miss your guided tour through the sanctuary in case that you've booked one already.
It is a self-guided hike of approximately 2.5 hours in total, depending on your physical condition. It is worth mentioning that the trail is not as easy as the Machu Picchu trek since the cobbled stairs are narrower, at some point you’ll have to use your hands for balance, and even climb a wooden ladder.
The mountain has an altitude of 2,720 meters above sea level and the trail can surely cause some panic to those who are not comfortable with heights, even though it is over 300 meters smaller than the Machu Picchu mountain.
We know, it may sound as if we are scaring you off, but on the contrary, we want you to be aware of the challenge ahead. Although the trail may be quite dramatic, this hasn’t stopped tourists from booking the hiking permit even 6 months in advance.
Therefore, we know there are many of you thinking about climbing to the top of the mountain, which is why we have prepared a short guide for you adrenaline seeker:
- To find the trailhead to Huayna Picchu, you just need to find the ‘Sacred Rock’ which is right next to the warden’s hut.
- Once you get there, you’ll be asked to present your passport and entrance ticket.
- At some point after de warden’s hut, the trail splits in two. The upper path takes you directly to the top of the mountain, whilst the lower trail leads you through the Great Cavern and Moon Temple before reaching the summit.
- Once in the summit, keep in mind that the peak isn’t very comfortable to walk through, but the view it offers is incomparable. From here, you’ll be able to glance at the whole citadel, the surrounding mountains, and the Vilcanota river.
The trek has a moderate to challenging difficulty, it takes you through a very steep path and cliff edges. It is also worth noting that only childs over 12 years old are allowed to climb the mountain.
For those who have been struggling with altitude sickness symptoms, please take cautions before committing to this physically demanding activity. Although the trail doesn’t even take you over the 2,500 meters of elevation, some travelers have experienced shortness of breath and mild headaches.
This is one of the most frequently asked questions we receive from our passengers. The Machu Picchu and Huayna Picchu mountains are the only two optional hikes within the archeological circuit.
Therefore, if you’re willing to include any of these in your itinerary, keep in mind that they both offer different experiences, here we’ll detail each one:
- The Huayna Picchu Mountain is significantly more difficult due to its very steep trail that can cause some fear by only looking at it. However, the peak offers some sights on the way, such as the Moon Temple and some other smaller Inca constructions located on its summit.
It is considered a challenging hike since the path is very steep and it’s composed of a narrow cobbled staircase. It takes about 2.5 hours to complete it, but for those up to the adventure the site offers a closer view of the citadel and its surroundings.
- The Machu Picchu Mountain trail is easier and less frightening in comparison to Huayna Picchu. Although the trek may be difficult due to the altitude factor, the route is totally uncomplicated.
Unlike Huayna Picchu, the trail offers a total immersion in the distinctive nature of the region. Here, you’ll be able to spot different species of orchids and birds, making your experience even easier to put up with (We’re joking, it is certainly more pleasant to walk).
As you can see, the adventures provided by these two peaks are totally different, and the entire location offers activities for almost every type of traveler.
If you wish to include any of these attractions in your travel plan, then you must organize and book any of the entrance fees in advance.
Whether you’re taking the Machu Picchu or Huayna Picchu mountain, there are only 400 tickets available for each one. However, Huayna Picchu mountain tends to sell out very quickly, which is why we recommend booking at least 5-6 months in advance.
On the other hand, to book the ticket to Machu Picchu mountain, you will need to do it at least 1-2 months in advance. Please note that if you’re traveling during the high season (June - October), you will need to plan ahead due to the high-demand for these attractions.
We, as travelers, know how difficult it could be to plan a trip without guidance. Therefore, in Viagens Machu Picchu, we want to take that stress away by providing anything you need so you can have a unique experience during your trip to Peru.
Are you up to this adventure? Include the Huayna Picchu mountain in your trip itinerary and spice up your experience through the ancient country of the Incas. If you don’t know where to start, don’t worry, contact our group of travel experts and start planning the trip of your life!