From very early in the morning, you will be able to notice how visitors line up to enter the Inca citadel. Many who are early in line do so to enjoy one of the hiking trails. In general, everyone seeks to enjoy the Huayna Picchu mountain. But there is a route that is not so busy and much less difficult with equally impressive views. We refer to Machu Picchu Mountain, one of the two mountains available to climb. If you are planning a trip to Machu Picchu, here we can show you some complimentary routes within your tour. Machu Travel Peru has prepared this article to be of help in everything you need to know about Machu Picchu mountain and other recognized treks.
The Machu Picchu Mountain together with the Huayna Picchu Mountain create the site where the Inca citadel sits. These two mountains offer fascinating and enchanting views of the Inca citadel. Previously this hike did not have a surcharge fee, but today the purchase of the ticket is necessary. The hike is one of moderate difficulty, although it is much easier than the Huayna Picchu hike. This follows an original Inca stone route where it goes up to the summit. Keep in mind that during the rainy season, the trail can get more slippery. So it is advisable to do it during the dry season.
Everything you need to know about hiking Machu Picchu mountain.
- How to get your ticket
- What to pack for the hike
- What is Machu Picchu mountain?
- How do I hike it?
- Is it difficult?
- What is the best time to go?
- A brief history of the mountain
- Other alternatives and tips
HOW TO GET YOUR TICKET
Normally, those who plan to visit Machu Picchu must reserve their entrance tickets a few months in advance. And the same is true for those looking to climb Huayna Picchu mountain or Machu Picchu mountain. For the Machu Picchu mountain, you must reserve your ticket along with that of the citadel. So if you are interested in doing this wonderful route, it is best to start planning right now. Note that there are only about 400 spots available to climb the mountain. So if you’re looking to avoid disappointment, it’s best to start right now.
Two main hikes can complement your tour in the citadel. Huayna Picchu Mountain and Machu Picchu Mountain. Both are renowned and amazing hiking trails. Note that you cannot do both on the same day as it is virtually impossible to get there with the schedules. But within the Andean country, we recommend both routes, everything will depend on your available time. The price of the entrance to the citadel plus the ticket to Machu Picchu Mountain can be around $ 80 dollars for foreign adults. For students under 25, both tickets are $ 25. While members of the Andean Community can see important discounts. Both tickets for adults are about $ 50. And for both students and children, it is about $ 36 dollars.
WHAT TO PACK FOR THE HIKE
If you are someone with a fear of heights, the walk can be somewhat dizzying. Besides that, the trail can be very steep. If you plan to enjoy this walk, the morning may be an ideal time. You will find cooler temperatures and sectors with more shade.
As for tips, we recommend not forgetting to take these essentials for your trip:
- Hiking sticks or poles
- Camera (A good idea would be to bring an additional SD card)
- Sunscreen, sun hat, and sunglasses
- 1 liter or 1.5-liter reusable water bottle
- Light Snacks
- Hiking boots or shoes
- Toilet Paper
WHAT IS MACHU PICCHU MOUNTAIN?
The Machu Picchu Mountain is one of the mountains that form the landscape of the Inca citadel. It is very high and is 3,082 meters above sea level. This mountain rises over the southern region of the Inca citadel. The mountain is located in the southwest corner. It is walled to the archaeological complex, with Huayna Picchu facing it. Like the name of the citadel, it could be translated from the Quechua language to “Old Mountain” or “Old Peak”.
The mountain should not be confused with the citadel. Despite having the same name, they are not the same. This hike provides one of the best experiences within all Machu Picchu tours. It is not usually as demanded by tourists as its adversary Huayna Picchu route. But being less crowded, you could spend one of the best moments at the summit. You will be able to enjoy the incredible view of the citadel and its surrounding peaks.
The Machu Picchu Mountain trek is considered moderately challenging. But most say that the effort is fully rewarded with a panoramic view even better than Huayna Picchu. It is the highest mountain in the entire Machu Picchu area. To be able to enjoy this hiking route you will have to buy an extra ticket next to the one with your entrance. And in the same way with the tickets to the citadel, it is advisable to reserve them in advance. The hike is optional but offers some wonderful views of the Inca citadel. You will be able to enjoy panoramic views of the sanctuary and the surrounding landscape. In Inca times, Inca priests were believed to perform rituals on the top of the mountain.
HOW DO I HIKE IT?
First of all, for those interested in hiking the beautiful route of Machu Picchu Mountain, they have to reserve their entrance ticket in advance, since tickets can be sold out prematurely. This process can be easily done by a tour operator who helps you with all the details. Notice that children under 12 are not allowed to climb. You can also enjoy a wonderful Machu Picchu virtual tour and get to know the citadel a little before starting your trip.
As in Huayna Picchu, if you come from the Inca Trail you will have to buy another ticket that ensures your entrance to the route. Normally, the Inca Trail includes its entrance to the citadel. But the tickets for the complementary routes are sold together with the one for the entrance to the complex. Keep all this in mind when choosing your routes.
THE START OF THE PATH
Once you have your ticket, you only have to enjoy Machu Picchu Mountain. We recommend enjoying the mountain hike first before starting the Machu Picchu guided tour. For this, you have to follow the upper trail in the direction of the Caretakers Hut. The path is well signposted, so you can follow the small wooden signs. It is the same path that leads to the Sun Gate in Machu Picchu (Inti Punku). You may even see those who chose to enjoy the Inca Trail entering from there. From the entrance of Machu Picchu to the checkpoint, it takes about 30 minutes.
THE PATH TO THE MOUNTAIN
Unlike the route that leads to the mountain of Huayna Picchu, this hike is much simpler and more extensive. In addition, it does not present major difficulties since it is well signposted. After the guardhouse or checkpoint, the trail climbs evenly for an hour. As you gain altitude, the path gradually gets steeper. As you go you can begin to enjoy the wonderful views. Note that the closer to the base, the steeper the trail becomes. The steps get narrower, steeper, and more challenging. If you continue for another 30 minutes you will see a stone entrance. Later you will find a small cabin where you can take refuge and take a breath. And later the beautiful viewpoint with the views of the wonderful Machu Picchu map and its surroundings.
IS IT DIFFICULT?
It is relatively moderate to challenging, it will all depend on your physical condition and will to hike. If you are afraid of heights, it is not recommended to do this route. There are very steep sections that can make it difficult for those in fear. But the Machu Picchu mountain is much less steep than the Huayna Picchu trail. Its path is much more marked and wide than that of Huayna Picchu. The summit of the Machu Picchu mountain is 10,111 feet or 3,082 meters above sea level. Walking this trail lasts approximately 3 hours and is more than 1600 steps to the top of the mountain.
Keep in mind that during the rainy season this path is much more difficult: the stone trail can become slippery if wet. As in the other hiking route, there are two main groups to climb this route. One at 7 am and one at 9 am. If you are on a Machu Picchu day trip from Cusco it is recommended to go in the 9 am group. Despite being a somewhat steep route, it can be one of the best things to do in Machu Picchu.
WHAT IS THE BEST TIME TO GO?
To enjoy Machu Picchu Mountain, you will have to choose one of the two available shifts. First of all, you must think about the type of tour in which you will participate. You have to bear in mind that with the new regulations, foreigners looking to visit Machu Picchu only have 3 hours available. But if you chose to complement your tour with some of the mountains hikes, you will have 8 hours to enjoy the complex. Since about 5 hours are allowed for the walk and about 3 hours to tour the citadel.
The first shift is from 7:00 AM to 8:00 AM. Within this shift, about 200 people a day are allowed to enter. This shift is perfect for those who decided to stay in Aguas Calientes. It is advisable to be at the entrance of the citadel first thing in the morning and thus avoid long lines. The advantage of this turn is that once at the top, you can see how Machu Picchu fills up.
The second shift is from 9:00 AM to 10:00 AM. As in the first shift, only 200 people are allowed to enter. If you have just come on the train to Machu Picchu, it may be the best turn available. It is also usually the best turn for those who opted for the Inca Trail or some of the other alternatives to Machu Picchu. It is important to note that the mountain is available until noon only. After curfew, the others are forced to start going down. There is a ranger here who will not allow you to continue if it is after 12 pm.
A BRIEF HISTORY OF THE MOUNTAIN
The Machu Picchu Mountain was a site just as important as the citadel it keeps. According to the studies of numerous academics, it was a very popular path for the Incas. It is believed that it had a military purpose, where the citadel was protected against any threat from neighboring cultures. Although there is also some evidence of religious and spiritual ritual celebrations at the summit.
The beautiful mountain of Machu Picchu offers a wonderful panoramic view of about 360 degrees of all the surroundings. You can see both the Inca citadel and the mountain of Huayna Picchu and the other hills. It is easy to see the Valley and the Urubamba River from here.
Other theories also investigate the astronomical function of the mountain. Here the scholars and high priests could study the cosmos, the constellations, and the different solstices that occurred. It could have been the climate study zone or future dates. Although the original purpose of the road built on this mountain will always be one of the mysteries of Machu Picchu.
OTHER ALTERNATIVES AND TIPS
Another alternative for your Machu Picchu vacations is the well-known Huayna Picchu mountain. This alternative is actually much more chosen by tourists. The famous peak found in all the well-known photos behind the citadel. It is actually a very popular option due to its additional Inca ruins such as the Temple of the Moon. The Huayna Picchu hike is actually a much steeper one than the Machu Picchu mountain hike. It may even have some sections that are not for the faint of heart.
As an advantage, the mountain of Machu Picchu can be a much more familiar option. You can enjoy it with the children or the little ones. Being chosen by the majority of tourists, it is more likely that the Machu Picchu tickets for this will sell out much faster. In the same way, if you do not tolerate crowded places, Machu Picchu mountain is ideal for you. The walk is calmer since there are not too many people on it.
“MY FAVORITE THING TO DO IS GO WHERE I’VE NEVER BEEN”
Together with Machu Travel Peru, we hope this article has been useful to you. As you can see, being able to hike the Machu Picchu mountain is a unique experience. And it is usually a great alternative in case you cannot enjoy other treks to Machu Picchu. Both the Huayna Picchu mountain and the Machu Picchu are wonderful hiking trails. No matter which one you choose, you will be able to witness wonderful views of the citadel and the surrounding landscapes. If you have any questions, feel free to contact us. Our team of qualified consultants will be happy to help you organize the trip of your dreams. What are you waiting to organize your trip with us? Have fun in this wonderful country with your friends or family!