Climbing Machu Picchu — Hiking Huaynapicchu vs. Machu Picchu Mountain

If you’re planning a visit to Peru, a hike to the incredible, mythic city of Machu Picchu is a must. The entrance to Machu Picchu Mountain is a priceless gem where you will see stunning of views. Machu Picchu is surrounded by beautiful peaks, the most spectacular are Machu Picchu peak at 3051 meters and Huaynapicchu peak standing at 2720 meters. Both are open for visitors to climb and are very popular. Tickets are sold out almost on a daily basis, but Huaynapicchu seems to sell out more.

Hiking Huaynapicchu Peak is Not for the Faint of Heart

Why does Huaynapicchu sell out faster? Well for starters, Huaynapicchu is home to the breathtaking Temple of the Moon. This hike has the reputation of being the more difficult, scary climb of the two, especially for people with a fear of heights. Huaynapicchu peak is the steeper climb in comparison. You’ll encounter long sets of stairs and very steep, narrow paths. You’ll need to keep your hands free as it gets trickier towards the top. Stone ladders and cables are provided to hold on to. This hike is perfect for adrenaline seekers.

Along the climb, there are areas of great exposure to big drop offs and the top can get very crowded. However, the great thing about Huaynapicchu is that when you’re at the peak, you are able to look straight down over the Machu Picchu ruins and the Urubamba River. It is a faster hike and you get the bonus of seeing some partially completed Inca buildings. The hike will take about 2 hours, including your descent. Finally, please note that the trail can be very slippery when it’s wet or rainy.

Climbing Machu Picchu Mountain Offers Stunning Views

On the flip side, Machu Picchu Mountain is higher than Huaynapicchu. The elevation gain for Huaynapicchu is about 300 meters. The total climb for Machu Picchu Mountain is much higher at over 600 meters. Generally fewer people pick this peak. However, it is packed with the promise of a 360 degree panoramic view of the whole site, including Huaynapicchu. You will feel as if a helicopter dropped you right there!

When climbing Machu Picchu Mountain, you’ll find wider paths and a more gradual ascent. When approaching the summit, there’s a narrow ridge and a stone gateway. On average, climbing Machu Picchu Mountain will take you about 2 hours. The descent is about 1 hour. At the top, you are able to see the Machu Picchu ruins with the beautiful Huayna Wayna Picchu peak in the background.

Permits are required for both of these hikes and either can be added to any visit to Machu Picchu. We can book your hike and handle all of the details for you.  Contact us today to find out more about these amazing climbs.



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