As amazing as visiting Machu Picchu is, the beauty of the ruins is best appreciated from above. While all you Inca Trail hikers will get to see this before you even get to “Lost City of the Incas” from the Sun Gate, all other travellers will need to do a little walking, or hiking, to get this perspective. And while the views from the Sun Gate are amazing, there is nothing that beats the view from Huaynapicchu.
Because of Huaynapicchu’s popularity, and because the climb up is a bit challenging and narrow, the government has decided to limit the amount of hikers each day to 400 people. These 400 tickets are split into two windows of time to visit – and you must begin your hike within your allotted window: either between 7-8AM or 10-11AM. During the busiest time of year, tickets for this hike sell out about a month in advance, so book early.
The hike begins from within the Machu Picchu citadel. You typically hike this on your own, but an Alpaca guide (or anyone within the complex) will direct you to where to begin this hike.
So here is my advice for those who want to hike Huaynapicchu:
** I will say this often, but book this hike early. You must also have an entrance ticket to Machu Picchu to hike Huaynapicchu so it makes the hike a bit expensive for Inca Trail hikers, who access Machu Picchu through the Sun Gate rather than the entrance gate and do not need an actual Mapi ticket. To climb Huaynapicchu is $65 for all Inca Trail hikers and $15 for all other travellers who already are visiting Machu Picchu (this includes all alternative trek hikers).
** Most of our guests book the 10-11AM time slot for this hike since they will be on their tour of Machu Picchu until then, if you prefer the earlier slot, please let us know.
** The hike is challenging. Even if you have completed a long trek, Huaynapicchu will not be a breeze, be patient with yourself and with your fellow hikers.
** Bring your camera. The views from Huaynapicchu are absolutely incredible, so please make sure you have battery life and a good camere – you will want these photos forever.
** Most importantly – have fun. How often do you get to be in the Andes staring at one of the 7 Wonders of the World. It’s amazing.