Machu Picchu is most beautiful from above. No matter how you get to Machu Picchu: train, Inca Trail or an alternative trek, seeing Machu Picchu from above is always possible. There are three popular ways to get this view: the Sun Gate, Machu Picchu mountain (montana) or Huayna Picchu, the last being the most popular.
Huayna Picchu (often written as Wayna Picchu) is a steep climb with many stairs for 45 minutes until the top. If you are scared of heights, it is not recommended. Tickets are required and it sells out a few months in advance. Tickets can be purchased for one of the two windows offered: either starting between 7-8 AM or 10-11AM. Since this is done typically after your tour of Machu Picchu with your Alpaca Expeditions guide, we typically purchase the second window so please assume you need to begin some time after 10 AM unless told by your booking agent. Only 400 tickets are sold for this hike – 200 for each time window, so please let the office know as soon as you decide you want to add this hike.
Machu Picchu mountain also offers amazing views – the best view during beautiful weather. This hike is 1.5 hours to the top and higher than Huayna Picchu. This can be done anytime as long as you start before 11 AM and availability is typically not an issue.
If you have arranged with our office to have tickets, once your tour of the ruins are over, your guide will show you where to begin. This hike is typically done on your own (without the guide) unless you requested assistance. The permit for Huayna Picchu is $35 per person to hike unless you are doing one of our Inca Trail treks.
Unfortunately if you are trekking the Inca Trail, no matter how long of a trek you chose, it will be $75 per person to climb Huayna Picchu. Why so much more for Inca Trail trekkers? When we purchase your permit for the Inca Trail, the permit includes entry to Machu Picchu. You don’t need a physical ticket into the Lost City of the Incas. But Huayna Picchu can only be purchased with an entrance ticket, forcing us to purchase an additional entry into the ruins to obtain this permit. This is something required by the Park office and not something done by Alpaca.
When choosing to purchase this extra hike, please remember that it is challenging, and quite steep. While the views are extraordinary, they are similar to the Sun Gate which is free to access. Also remember that we do not control the weather and if it's cloudy, your view will be affected. But if you choose to do this hike, and the weather cooperates, you will have your Facebook profile photo for life – the views are incredible.
Please let us know if you have any further questions about Huayna Picchu, Machu Picchu mountain or the Sun Gate.