Among all the most impressive hiking trails in Peru, there are a few in the vicinity of the ancient Inca citadel. Huayna Picchu, one of the mountains that make up the Machu Picchu region. This imposing mountain can be seen behind all the famous photos of the Inca citadel. In any photo of the complex, you can see it appearing behind. This renowned mountain has some impressive panoramic views of the Inca citadel. It has a famous hiking trail that is usually done by hundreds of tourists a day. This beautiful mountain will give us an incredible view of the Wonder of the World. And it is for this same reason that, together with Machu Travel Peru, we have decided to prepare a small article about hiking Huayna Picchu mountain. In this way, you will know in depth what awaits you when you undertake this imposing route within the citadel.
For many people, being able to go to Machu Picchu is a dream and something to cross off their wish list. But while you’re there, you should also consider hiking Huayna Picchu. But is Huayna Picchu part of Machu Picchu? The famous and impressive Huayna Picchu mountain (Wayna Picchu as it is known in the Quechua language) is one of the treks you can do while visiting the citadel of Machu Picchu. This is the place where most of the iconic photographs of Machu Picchu have been taken. But the panoramic view that you can have of Machu Picchu is not the only reason why you should do this hike. There are beautiful and interesting archaeological remains there and you will also be challenged by a complex but rewarding climb.
BETTER TO SEE SOMETHING ONCE THAN HEAR ABOUT IT A THOUSAND TIMES
Are you planning a trip to Machu Picchu? Do you want to do the Machu Picchu trek? In Machu Picchu, you will not only have the option to visit the Inca citadel but also enjoy some interesting hiking routes. Perhaps if you are feeling brave and energetic, hiking Huayna Picchu mountain would be the best option. From there, you will have an excellent and magnificent view of the ruins. In addition to having panoramic views of the surrounding valleys and peaks. It is an excellent hike after having known the meaning of Machu Picchu.
This stepped mountain stands at a height of 2720 meters above sea level. Typically this walk can be done in about 45 to 90 minutes. Everything will depend on your physical condition and your previous acclimatization. Also, you will have to be careful and take some precautions. Since the staggered steps can be slippery when wet in the rain. That is why we will have to try to avoid the rainy season at all costs.
Everything you need to know about hiking Huayna Picchu in 2021
- Regarding Huayna Picchu mountain
- Before hiking Huayna Picchu
- How to get a ticket?
- About the Huayna Picchu tickets
- The best time to visit
- Trail difficulty
- What to expect on the Huayna Picchu route
- What archaeological sites will I find in Huayna Picchu?
- Huayna Picchu alternatives
- Don’t be afraid
REGARDING HUAYNA PICCHU MOUNTAIN
There are many things to do in Machu Picchu, and one of the best things is to go hiking Huayna Picchu mountain. First of all, how long does it take to climb Huayna Picchu? About an hour and a half is the time it takes for the average person to climb to the top for a spectacular view. Within the hike, you will be able to appreciate The Temple of the Moon. This is inside a cave discovered in the middle of the north face. This Temple contains some of the best stonework in the entire archaeological complex of Machu Picchu. The path that leads to the temple forks off the main path to the left approximately.
Huayna Picchu is the pointed cone-shaped mountain behind the ruins. In any of the different classic photos, you can see it in its magnificence. At first glance, it can seem like a very challenging mountain for a hike. But technically it is not that difficult, although the climb will be very steep. It is a hike suitable for all audiences, but if you are traveling with your children there are other more relaxed options.
BEFORE HIKING HUAYNA PICCHU
If you are considering hiking Huayna Picchu, there are many things you need to know before booking your Machu Picchu tour and Huayna Picchu tour. One of the things to consider is how you will get to Machu Picchu. There are many ways to get there, there are beautiful trails, but you can also take the train from Cusco to Machu Picchu. The short Huayna Picchu trail is accessible to most people of all ages, but you will need to be in good physical shape.
The climb to the top from the base of the mountain is more strenuous than you might expect. From the top to the Temple of the Moon, there is a wooden staircase that you must climb. Hiking Huayna Picchu is very challenging. The peak of the mountain is 2,720 meters (8,920 feet), this is one of the most incredible Machu Picchu facts. But don’t let this scare you off, take your time and enjoy the hike, there are plenty of places to stop and rest. The reward of finishing the trek will be one of the highlights of your trip to Cusco and Peru. It cannot be denied that Huayna Picchu is one of the best tours in Peru.
HOW TO GET A TICKET?
First of all, you might wonder how to get Huayna Picchu tickets. You may have heard how difficult it can be to get a ticket to climb Huayna Picchu. And it could be! Just a limited number of people can climb each hour due to the new policies of the Culture Ministry.
So our advice is to book your tickets in advance. If you do so, you won’t find any trouble getting a ticket. You can always go into the https://www.machupicchu.gob.pe/ web page and check the availability and even buy a ticket online! That’s a very easy way to do it.
On the other hand, if you’re traveling with an agency, they will likely take care of everything. Just make sure that you send them your correct passport information. A Machu Picchu virtual tour can also give you an idea of the trek before you actually start it.
ABOUT THE HUAYNA PICCHU TICKETS.
When you get your Machu Picchu tickets, be sure to also buy the tickets for the hiking route of your choice. You will notice that you can choose to climb Huayna Picchu or Machu Picchu mountain. Both tickets are included with a tour of Machu Picchu through circuit number 4. If you are traveling together with your family, it is better to opt for Machu Picchu mountain. But if you are looking for a challenge, better choose the Huayna Picchu tickets. You can buy both in advance with your tour operator. You can also buy them on the Peruvian government page.
With the new regulations and rules imposed by the Ministry of Culture of Peru, there are now 4 circuits available to get to know the Inca citadel. And depending on which alternative route you want to enjoy, you can choose one or the other circuit. For example, if you are looking to go hiking Huayna Picchu, you will have to follow circuit number 4. This circuit runs through the citadel through the lowlands, skipping some sites to save time. It is the short circuit under Machu Picchu, giving you enough time to enjoy hiking Huayna Picchu mountain.
The entrance to Circuit 4 + Huayna Picchu Mountain does not give you the possibility of re-entering the complex. But you will have a wonderful tour through one of the most popular hikes in the complex. Please note that as of October 2021 there are only 200 tickets available per day. These 200 spaces are divided into 4 schedules or shifts. The first of them runs from 06:00 to 07:00 AM. While the last shift is from 12:00 to 13:00.
HUAYNA PICCHU 2021 COST
As of October 2021, the routes of Huayna Picchu mountain, Machu Picchu mountain, and Huchuy Picchu mountain have been reopened. These have new prices. But if you are looking to go hiking Huayna Picchu, foreigners can expect a price that is around S / 200 for adults. While for students the price will be S / 125 and finally the minors will be able to enjoy this route at the reasonable price of S / 118. Now, if you are Peruvian or belong to the Andean Community, then the price will be different. Adults will have to pay a price of S / 112 while minors and students only have a price of S / 80. Also, no matter what price you pay, you can only tour the citadel through circuit 4.
THE BEST TIME TO VISIT
There are two marked seasons in the Cusco and Machu Picchu areas. The dry season runs from May to October, this is also considered the high tourist season. So there are many more tourists and tickets are much more difficult to get. As for October of 2021, there are only 200 tickets a day, so you will need to book in advance. The rainy season, which runs from November to March, is also known as the low season. There are far fewer tourists and there are no lines at the entrance. There are more tickets available to enter but there is also more possibility of rain. The best time to visit Machu Picchu will depend on you, but any time is ideal to visit the citadel.
You can enjoy hiking Huayna Picchu mountain at any time of the year. But you have to keep in mind that as of the new regulations of October 2021, there are only 4 main shifts. Of which these shifts are divided into 200 tickets or spaces per day. That is, for each available shift, only about 50 people will be able to enter. The first shift runs from 06:00 to 07:00 AM. The second shift runs from 08:00 to 09:00 AM. While the third shift goes from 10:00 to 11:00 AM. And finally, the fourth shift runs from 12:00 to 13:00.
Besides, those who opt for the entrance to Huayna Picchu will only be able to visit the Inca citadel through circuit number 4. These schedules are essential when climbing Huayna Picchu. Depending on how you get to Machu Picchu, you will see what the best time is. Either way, you can’t be left out on one of the best tours in Peru.
So, how hard is it to climb Huayna Picchu? Hiking Huayna Picchu could be considered a moderate difficulty trek. Despite being a route of medium difficulty, the real challenge is being able to face the heights that can be appreciated. The fact that its trails are built into the mountain walls hundreds of meters above the Urubamba River is what makes this route challenging. But if you manage to overcome your fears, you will find that it is a hike worth undertaking. As a reward, you will not only feel brave, but you will have at your disposal some enchanting views of the Inca citadel.
WHAT TO EXPECT ON THE HUAYNA PICCHU ROUTE
STARTING THE HIKE
The starting point of the route is located on the north side of Machu Picchu, behind the Sacred Rock. The entrance is clearly marked with a large sign in the Caretaker’s Hut. If you are going to visit Machu Picchu, you will register in the Caretaker’s Hut. From the main entrance of Machu Picchu, it takes 15 to 20 minutes to walk to the beginning of the trail. The Huayna Picchu trail follows an undulating path for about 15 to 20 minutes until the route splits. The route forks into two sections, one goes up and the other goes down. The high trail stretches to the top of Huayna Picchu. While the low trail continues around the base of the mountain to reach the Great Cavern and the Temple of the Moon. Then it climbs steeply to the top of the mountain.
The path goes zigzagging through the sacred mountain and continues up to where there is a small complex of Inca constructions. During the journey up the road, we will find a marked path that goes to the left and continues along the back of the Huayna Picchu Mountain to reach the Temple of the Moon. The road is easy to follow, but many of its parts are quite steep. We will find stairs too and a cave that can be a bit tedious to pass.
The descent takes about an hour depending on your physical condition, while the ascent may take a little longer. Even so, you can find views and settings taken from a fantasy movie. The path descends and climbs around the Huayna Picchu mountain before plunging into the cloud forest. You will then come to a cleared area where you will find some beautiful ruins to appreciate. Further, all the roads lead behind the picturesque ruin.
REACHING THE TOP
As you approach the top, you will pass some old agricultural terraces so inaccessible and so narrow that their value for agricultural purposes would have been unnoticeable. It is believed that they were probably gardens for decorative purposes or had some structural function in general. After reaching the top, you will have a unique view that accompanies the already beautiful Machu Picchu itself. Make sure to enjoy these views after or before knowing the different Machu Picchu facts.
WHAT ARCHAEOLOGICAL SITES WILL I FIND IN HUAYNA PICCHU?
If you do the long trail you will see the Temple of the Moon. This was a ceremonial temple in the Incas times. It’s done in stone and it has a cave form. In the middle of the place you will see a kind of throne, some experts say that all the stonework in this kind of religious place responds to the three deities: The upper world (Hanan Pacha), represented by the condor, like heaven. The middle world (Kay Pacha), represented by the puma, symbolizes the earth. And the underworld (Ukju Pacha), represented by the snake, symbolizes the world of the dead or the unborn.
Every detail you will see in the Incan structures has a deep meaning. This place is also called “La Gran Caverna”, and it was named like that by Hiram Bingham. This is formed by two natural caves, various terraces, and lithic structures. Some places of great value to know within the Machu Picchu map.
HUAYNA PICCHU ALTERNATIVES
However, if it’s the view you’re looking for and you can’t get tickets to Huayna Picchu, don’t worry. There are some exceptional alternatives to Huayna Picchu. The first is the Cerro Machu Picchu. Also known as Machu Picchu Mountain, this is the largest mountain in the complex and is directly in front of Huayna Picchu. But what is the difference between Machu Picchu and Huayna Picchu? The trail is much less crowded, making it much quieter than the Huayna Picchu trek. Some even say it has better views. The hike takes around two and a half hours to the top and an hour to go back down.
In case you don’t get tickets for both the Machu Picchu Mountain and Huayna Picchu trek, don’t worry. There is another not-so-well-known alternative, the Huchuy Picchu trek. Huchuy Picchu is one of the simplest hikes to do, ideal for the whole family. This is the easiest route of all the trails and alternatives to Machu Picchu. It is the smallest peak in the entire complex and is located right next to Huayna Picchu. The hike is short and not at all challenging, but if you choose this option you can only tour the citadel on circuit number 4. This alternative has 200 spaces per day that are divided into 9 shifts throughout the day.
Finally, there is a hike to Inti Punku or Sun Gate in Machu Picchu. This short hike takes an hour each way but it is a very steep hill. If you do the Inca Trail you will enter Machu Picchu through the Puerta del Sol. This short walk is also very rewarding since the views are spectacular without much effort.
DON’T BE AFRAID
The Huayna Picchu mountain is one of the most famous Machu Picchu tours on offer. The route starts on an original Inca trail, very steep in some particular places. To tackle it, you better be careful. But don’t be put off by the mountain’s fearsome presence. It is not necessary to be a mountaineer to do the Huayna Picchu hike. It is only necessary to have energy and be in good health. The Huayna Picchu mountain may seem dangerous and risky, but it is the opposite. The hike can indeed be very steep and difficult for beginners. But it is just a mere feeling that does not have to make us miss out on this wonderful opportunity. However, if you suffer from vertigo or some other condition, it is best to avoid the route.
“IT’S NOT THE MOUNTAIN WE CONQUER, BUT OURSELVES.”
As you may have appreciated, hiking Huayna Picchu mountain is a challenge to undertake. Especially if you are an adventurous soul visiting the old citadel. Machu Travel Peru hopes that this little article has been useful. If you decide to visit this imposing citadel, this hike should definitely be on your itinerary. Remember that if you like, you can enjoy everything that Machu Picchu has to offer with us. To learn more about our tours or travel programs around the Inca citadel, you can consult with our qualified team of advisors. They will be happy to help you plan your dream trip.