The Hike to Huayna Picchu Mountain:

Huayna Picchu is a tough hike that you shouldn’t miss. Be sure to make reservations way (months) ahead of time. Tickets are mandatory and fill up fast. If you wait until your visit, it will be too late. Perhaps the most amazing aspect of this hike is the 360-degree view from the summit, which overlooks the Inca ruins, the snaking Wilkamayu (Urubamba) River, and the lush mountainous landscape. We highly recommend it

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Useful Information to hike to Huayna Picchu

  • IMPORTANT.- With MAPI + Huayna Picchu ticket, you don’t have a chance to grab your “postcard shot” with Machu Picchu, because you access Mapi by the lower part and must complete circuit 04(long bass – light blue) and then hike to the Huayna Picchu Mountain and will not be able to re-enter Machu Picchu.
  • There are some areas that are exposed to steep drops, so caution should be taken all over the hike, keeping an adequate distance between hikers in front and behind you. Especially in the rainy season when the trail is wet.
  • Don’t forget to bring your original passport, as this is going to be cross-checked against your entrance permit to Machu Picchu and Huayna Picchu Mountain.
  • Be sure to use the bathroom before hiking to Huayna Picchu. There are no bathrooms inside and peeing on a tree is not tolerable.
  • There are some beautiful views looking down on Machu Picchu on your way up. Make sure to look around while you hike.
  • The hike for the most part is in the shade if taken in the morning hours. There is not much shade on top. 
  • Bring 2 liters of water per person.
  • The 10 am shift permits for the Huayna Picchu Mountain run out quickly because they are bought in advance by people who hike Inca Trail 4 days.

Huayna Picchu mountain Video

huayna picchu mountain video
Play Video about huayna picchu mountain video

Learn in detail what  Huayna Picchu mountain offers:

  • Restrictions: Only for those over 12 years of age.
  • Height: 2,720 meters/ 8,923 feet.
  • Altitude Gain: 340 m/ 1,115 feet.
  • Location: Situated directly to the North of the ruins of Machu Picchu.
  • Trail Description: The trails are quite steep, The path narrows towards the upper section of the trail and goes up steep staircases and past stone ruins clinging to cliff precipices. There are handrails and ropes to grab onto for extra support, but it’s a scary experience for anyone with a fear of heights.
  • Height to climb from Machu Picchu:  353 meters /1,158 feet.
  • Height to climb from Moon temple: 420 meters / 1,401 feet.
  • Access: From the Inca City of Machu Picchu, through the Sector de las Huayranas (Sacred Rock). Here you will find a small shack with a gate to access Waynapicchu mountain.
  • Archaeological Attractions: Terraces and the unparalleled Temple of the Moon, built inside a natural cave and a tunnel
  • Advantages: the Inca structures by the cliff blow your mind and the amazing mountain environment where it is located.
  • Disadvantages: steep ascent, narrow roads.
  • The number of visitors: 400 tourists per day.
  • Walking Time
    • Short Trail: 2 hours roughly (round trip)
    • Full trail: 3 hours and 30 minutes roughly (round trip)
  • Difficulty. It is a steep mountain, with cliffs and many steps (not recommended if you suffer from vertigo).
    • Short trail: Moderate – Difficult
    • Full Trail:  Difficult
  • Walking distance.
    • Short trail: 2km / 1.2 miles.
    • Full Trail:5 km/2.7 miles.

What is huayna picchu

Huayna Picchu or Wayna Picchu which means “Young Peak” is the large Mountain that is commonly seen in pictures as the background of the ruins in every classic picture of Machu Picchu.

huayna picchu mountain guide

Huayna Picchu Schedules

The alternative route Huayna Picchu Mountain will have 300 spaces per day, distributed in 4 hours, the first hour being from 07:00 to 08:00 hours, the second hour from 08:00 to 09:00 hours, the third hour from 09:00 to 10:00 hours, and the fourth hour from 10:00 to 11:00. Visitors who access this alternate route must complete circuit 4 (long bass – light blue) and will not be able to re-enter the monument.

Trail Option to Hike to Huayna Picchu

Short Trail

This trail is very steep. This path is approximately 50-60 minutes up and then another 40 minutes down. After registering at the checkpoint, you will follow the trail for approximately 10 minutes until you get to the base of Huayna Picchu, then you will start the 40-minute ascent up 750 stone steps to the summit of Huayna Picchu, overlooking the Urubamba River and Machu Picchu citadel in all its glory.

After climbing all Huayna Picchu stairs up until the summit, you will encounter a small and narrow tunnel that you will cross on your hands and knees. 

Full Trail

The full trail is a nice loop with fewer crowds. It is for those people who have the time and fitness to finish this amazing hike. You are going to also be able to explore the Moon Temple, which is an unparalleled Inca ruin to visit, located in a cave. It is a more challenging hike than the short trail as you are looking at 3 hours and 30 minutes for the path up. The trail starts at the split and follows the side of the mountain around to the Moon Temple. The long trail is a full loop around Huayna Picchu Mountain before you climb the stairs to the summit of Huayna Picchu.

huayna picchu mountain map

Huayna Picchu ticket price 

  • Adult: 200 Peruvian soles($65 US Dollars)
  • Students: 118 Peruvian Soles($40 US Dollars)
  • Child (8 to 17 years old): 118 Peruvian Soles($40 US Dollars)

Note: If you are from these countries(Peru, Ecuador, Bolivia, and Colombia). You have a discount to buy the Huayna Picchu Mountain ticket.

How to buy Huayna Picchu mountain tickets in 2023?

There are 3 ways to buy Huayna Picchu Mountain tickets:

1.- Online.

Search the Ministry of Culture’s official website at:  Click on the UK flag at the top right to change the site into English. Remember that the website is not working sometimes and that it could sometimes be hard to buy your Huayna Picchu Mountain ticket online.

2.- Book your ticket with a Travel Company.

The easiest, safest, and best way to buy a Huayna Picchu Picchu Mountain ticket is through a Licensed travel company that will buy the entrance ticket for you. You just need to send them a payment,  a copy of your Passport,  and the date of your visit. One of the recommended Companies is AB Expeditions. This is their WhatsApp number +51976510080 to help to buy your Huayna  Picchu ticket

3.- Book your tickets when you arrive in Cusco.

It is almost impossible to find the Huayna Picchu tickets arriving in Cusco. Tickets run out quickly because the traveler buys them in advance. The only time that you can find the tickets is in February because very few people visit Machu Picchu. We will leave those Official Offices in Cusco:

  • Go to the ‘Direccion Regional de Cultura’ office with your passport at Street Garcilaso s/n Cusco – The Garcilaso House is only 2 blocks away from the Plaza de Armas(main square).
  • Go to Maruri Street 324 – It is also a few meters from the Main Square of Cusco City.

Opening hours: Monday  – Saturday 07:00 – 19:00. Closed on Sundays and Holidays. This option is a little riskier especially in peak season when permits are overbooked.

huayna picchu mountain

What to see in huayna picchu

1.- Terraces with flying stairs and houses.

Almost getting to the top, you will see flying stairs, placed with geometric precision, embedded in the walls of the terraces, allowing access between the different levels. The stair treads are high and far apart, needing a bit of a jump between them. Also, you will find Incan houses along the way. Some of them are very well restored.

2.- Tunnels

Almost getting to the summit of Huayna Picchu, you will meet with a narrow tunnel that you must navigate through. To cross the tunnel, you need to crawl on your hands and knees. The idea to construct this tunnel was something of a “Choke point” for any invading forces trying to make their way up to the top of the mountain

3.- The moon temple

Most people hike to Huayna Picchu to only see Machu Picchu from above and from a different angle. But if you have more time and your train Schedule is late, we recommend you hike the moon temple. It usually takes 4 hours to visit the Moon temple and the view of Machu Picchu from above.  This temple is a well-carved lithic structure located inside a natural cavern (the great cavern).

4.- Endemic flora

There are more than 300 plants on Huayna Picchu. We will mention some of them. As Machu Picchu, the Huayna Picchu Mountian is located in the rainforest with a humid and warm climate. Therefore, You will find beautiful orchids. Also, you will find the Bromeliads suspended in almost all trees and bushes. Another plant that you will see while hiking to the top is ferns covering the ground, some stone walls, and some big trees.

5.- Special fauna

 You will see some Viscachas sitting on top of the rocks, many types of jungle birds, Lizards, and hummingbirds. If you are lucky, you can see cock of the rock and Spectacle bears.

moon temple located in Huayna Picchu
Temple of the Moon in the Huayna Picchu

 Climb Times (7 – 9 am or 9 – 11 pm?) 

There are pros and cons to both times. The 7 – 9 am time is a cooler time of the day, particularly during the dry season(April to November), when temperatures can get quite hot by the time the third group departs. However, in the rainy season(December to March), there is a higher possibility of encountering mist in the early mornings which can entirely obscure the view from the summit of Huayna Picchu. On a sunny day though, the early morning view is gorgeous.

The trail to the mountain is quieter early in the morning. You do not have to contend with anyone coming down off the mountain and there is only a small group of persons at the mountaintop at any given time.

Hikers using the later time often get to the summit and have to deal with big groups as many persons from the first time slot hang around for greater views.

We recommend the fourth time slot as it gives you a chance to visit Machu Picchu before many visitors from Cusco arrive, also lowers the possibility of encountering mist which can completely negate the purpose of hiking Huayna Picchu. In addition, by the time you hike down to Machu Picchu, many visitors have already left for lunch.

huayna picchu tunnel

Alternatives to Hike Huayna Picchu Mountain

If you can’t make it in time or the tickets are already sold out for Huayna Picchu, here are 4 just as amazing alternatives to climbing Huayna Picchu.

  1. Machu Picchu Mountain
  2.  Sun Gate
  3.  Inca Bridge
  4. Huchuy Picchu Mountain

Frequent Asked Question

What is Machu Picchu’s death of stairs?

The “Stairs of death” are a section of stone stairs built by the Incas; you will find them before getting to the summit of Huayna Picchu Mountain. These stairs are almost vertical and difficult to climb. Moreover, they are located on the edge of cliff views. However, despite its name, no tourist has died there.

How many people have died climbing Huayna Picchu?

Most tourists referred to the Huayna Picchu hike as the most rewarding experience and once-in-a-lifetime adventure. However, the question arises immediately as to the Deaths on Huayna Picchu and How dangerous is the hike? In the following paragraphs, we will list the fatalities.

is huayna picchu worth it?

Huayna Picchu is the perfect addition to any Machu Picchu experience! With its steep ascent and beautiful views, you’ll be rewarded with a great physical challenge and an incredible panorama. By taking on Huayna Picchu, you’ll get a unique perspective of the ancient city that you won’t get on the ground level. Additionally, some might say it’s a rite of passage – a simple way to proclaim “I made it!” at the top.

is Huayna Picchu dangerous?

Making the journey to the top of Huayna Picchu can be an incredible experience, but is it really as dangerous as some people say? Find out now!

Numerous dangers lurk around every corner of Huayna Picchu, and it’s important to keep safety at the forefront of your mind during the journey. You should avoid taking any unnecessary risks or making any jumping maneuvers while ascending the peak; a slip could easily lead to serious injury or worse. Make sure any rocks you step on are securely attached and take extra care when navigating slippery portions of the trail.

Is there a student discount?

According to Peruvian Law, you have to be under 18 years old at the time of your hike to Huayna Picchu Mountain (if you are 18 or over, you need to have valid student cards).

Why is it difficult to get Huayna Picchu tickets?

There are only 600 tickets available per day and there are more than 3000 people entering Machu Picchu so the tickets run out quickly.

How far in advance should I book my Huayna Picchu ticket?

  • If you are thinking to hike Huayna Picchu in May, June, and August(dry season), you should book at least 6 months in advance.
  • If you are thinking to Hike Huayna Picchu in December, January, February, and March(rainy season), we recommend you book 2 months in advance.
  • If you are planning to hike Huayna Picchu in April, September, October, and November (shoulder season), we recommend you buy your tickets 4 months in advance.

Do you need to be an expert hiker to climb Huayna Picchu?

No. Anyone can hike Huayna Picchu Mountain. You don’t need to be an expert mountaineer. A previous physical preparation helps you.

Can I Visit Machu Picchu and hike Huayna Picchu in 1 day?

Yes, it is possible. You need to take the first train at 05:05 am from Ollantaytambo and buy the 10 am Schedule for Huayna Picchu. So Visit Machu Picchu from 08:00 am to 10:00 am then start hiking Huayna Picchu at 10 am. In case you don’t find early train tickets, You can hike to Huayna Picchu and then do the guided tour at Machu Picchu.

Do I need a guide to hike Huayna Picchu?

You don’t need a guide to hike Huayna Pichu Mountain. The trail is only one way and it is very well-marked and easy to follow. If you want a tour guide, you can pay extra for your travel company to provide you with one or you can get one in Aguas Calientes town.

What to bring to Huayna Picchu

  • Original Passport.
  • Huayna Picchu Ticket (you can’t hike without this).
  • Trekking shoes.
  • Long sleeves t-shirt and pants to protect from mosquitoes and sunburn.
  • Lightweight raincoat or Rain poncho especially in the rainy season
  •  Backpack.
  • 2 liters of water. There is not any stream to refill your bottle.
  • Energy snack.
  • Sunglasses.
  • Insect repellent.
  • Sunscreen.  
  • A camera.  
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