Machu Picchu is bursting with a rich history, culture, amazing architecture and even a touch of mystery. It may be one of the most recognized of all the Wonders of the World.
However, what many travelers don’t know is that once you get to Machu Picchu you have the opportunity to go beyond the basic package and take a once in a lifetime hike up the Huayna Picchu Mountain. This hike will give you breathtaking views of the forests and valleys surrounding this ancient site as well as an aerial view of the Machu Picchu ruins that is unparalleled.
What is the Huayna Picchu hike?
The Huayna Picchu hike is that gorgeous mountain that is tucked up against the Machu Picchu ruins in all the best photos and postcards. The hike up Huayna Picchu is a truly challenging climb. However, the effort is so worth it because you’ll be rewarded with some of the best views of Machu Picchu possible. You’ll feel like a bird flying all over one of the most beautiful places on the planet.
What do I need in order to hike Huayna Picchu Mountain?
1. You need a permit. Every single person who intends to do the Huayna Picchu hike is required to get a permit. Without one you will not be allowed into the entrance of the hike. This permit can be purchased by your official tour operator - Alpaca Expeditions.
2. You need to purchase a ticket. When purchasing the Huayna Picchu tickets on your own, or through Alpaca Expeditions, it’s important that you plan ahead or use an experienced company to book your hike. One of the most common mistakes people make is that they don’t realize that your Huayna Picchu hike permit also includes entrance into the Machu Picchu ruins. So, you’ll want to make the decision to hike Huayna Picchu or not when you’re planning your Machu Picchu guided tour. Machu Picchu citadel + Huayna Picchu hike.
> Already purchased your Machu Picchu ticket? If you have already purchased your Machu Picchu entrance ticket then you’ll need to purchase your Huayna Picchu hiking permit. Or, when booking with Alpaca Expeditions, we can add it to your Machu Picchu tour for an additional $75 fee.
3. Proper Gear. When hiking through Machu Picchu the usage of walking sticks is forbidden and you won’t need it for hiking Huayna Picchu. However, you’ll want to be sure to have sunscreen, bug repellent and good sunglasses for the way up. If you are hiking the Huayna Picchu Mountain during the wet season, having waterproof clothing is critical to your comfort. And, like all hiking, water is a MUST! We recommend that you bring a small backpack to include some snacks and the rest of your necessities. Remember to pack lightly! This is a steep climb so less is more.
Pro Hikers Tip: This hike sells out quickly! Remember that this is the most popular hike available within the Machu Picchu ruins. And for that reason permits can get sold out very quickly. You will need to book them months in advance to guarantee your access and not lose out on this experience. Contact your Alpaca Expeditions sales representative to book this option as soon as possible and get ready for your once in a lifetime adventure inside of Machu Picchu.
How hard is the hike up Huayna Picchu Mountain?
Huayna Picchu Mountain (or also written as Wayna Picchu) is the most popular extra hike in Machu Picchu due to the amazing views as well as the challenge it involves.
Some hikers and even the guides will call the hike ‘’dangerous’’ but that’s all about the perspective. If you have a fear of heights you will want to skip this trek because it’s built up of steep steps and because of that the views to the ground beneath the mountain are unbroken. However, if vertigo is not an issue for you then you should seriously consider this hike. It really does offer absolutely amazing views. Again, we advise against this hike if you have a fear of heights or vertigo since the views can be a bit scary.
How long does the Huayna Picchu hike take round trip?
Climbing Huayna Picchu is a challenge. The steep paths and narrow steps make this hike an adventure the more advanced hiker will love. The climb up can last from 1 hour to 2 hours based on your rhythm and pace. The views on your way up and all the flora and fauna can also slow your pace as you stop to enjoy nature.
Once at the top, you will have unbroken and highest possible views of the Machu Picchu ruins. The Huayna Picchu altitude is 2700 meters high. You’ll feel like you’re enjoying the views from the top of the world. The way back is easier but it’s still a slow steep climb back down the same way you came up.
What is The temple of the Moon?
While on your hike up Huayna Picchu you’ll have the chance to visit The Temple of the Moon (or Templo de la Luna), an Inca temple constructed inside of a natural cave. This temple is a great example of the amazing Inca architecture located in the area. We highly recommend taking the time to visit this temple. However, be warned that including this in your hike can add up to 2 more hours to your total hiking time. So, keep that in mind when you’re managing your schedule and your departure times.
What time of day is the best time to do the Huayna Picchu hike?
Since you will most likely be doing your Machu Picchu guided tour on the same day we recommend to do it after the site visit. The goal is always Machu Picchu so, rushing your visit has no point. This allows you to enjoy the early morning hours within the Machu Picchu ruins with your hike happening afterward using the 10 to 11 am entrance time. When booking with Alpaca Expeditions, we will always purchase the entrance time in order for you to get the best out both experiences. We know that you’ve been looking forward to this adventure and our job is to ensure you have the best possible experience. In our experience, that means an inspiring Machu Picchu guided tour followed by a challenging Huayna Picchu hike and then catching your train back to Cusco.