All Machu Picchu postcards are printed or promoted with the Huayna Picchu Mountain in the background. However, there is also another mountain right on the opposite side of Huayna Picchu Mountain that you may want to climb as well, for contemplating Machu Picchu citadel from above. Here we tell you a few reasons why you should choose one or the other, so please stay with us on Huayna Picchu vs Machu Picchu mountain.

huayna picchu vs machu picchu mountain map

The difference between the two mountains

The trails

The two mountains are quite high, but with completely different characteristics. Huayna Picchu Mountain reaches 2,693 meters above sea level, but consists of an almost vertical ascent with a much more extreme and narrow path. you are required to use your hands for balance or use cables provided to hold onto. some of the track is exposed to drop offs.

On the other hand, Machu Picchu Mountain reaches 3,082 meters above sea level, almost 650 meters. This hike is difficult, but the path is wider, and anyone can climb it. You have to be careful with altitude sickness though.

Scenery and landscapes

One of the main differences between these mountains is the scenery they offer. Huayna Picchu offers one of the best panoramic views of the Citadel of Machu Picchu. In addition, several inca ruins can be found in the “Young Mountain”, surrounded with the beautiful flora and fauna of this place.

Machu Picchu Mountain offers a completely different view. From the Summit, you have the opportunity to admire the Holy City, Huayna Picchu, last part of Inca Trail, Salkantay Mountain, and the entire range of these stunning mountains. It should be noted that Mount Machu Picchu has no archaeological sites, but is distinguished by a wide variety of flora and fauna.

Ticket Availability

Both Mountains have a limit of visitors per day. Huayna Picchu only sees 400 travelers a day, so getting tickets can be very difficult as tickets sell out months in advance.

Meanwhile, Machu Picchu Mountain receives 800 hikers daily, which makes it easier to find free spots even from one day to the next day.

Information Huayna Picchu Machu Picchu Mount
No Popular
Hiking Time
2. 5 hours(round trip)
3.5 hours( round trip)
Total Height
2720 m/ 8858 ft
3051 m/10,000 ft
Elevation Gain
290 m/ 950ft
S/200 ($65)
S/200 ($65)
People per day
Hiking Length
2.5 km/ 1.5 Miles
3.9 km/ 2.42 miles
Age Allowed
12 years or more
Any age
Inca Ruins
Ruins and Temple of the moon

Huayna Picchu Mountain


  • This leads to having bird-eye pictures of the ancient city and the surrounding mountain range.
  • Visit the Inca structures halfway near the summit.
  • It gives you an overview and different perspective of the citadel
  • A walk through a small cave in the returning hike, and then it reunites back to the main path to leave
  • Extra Hike to Uña Picchu little mountain
  • You can use handrail wires implemented at narrow sections
  • Visit the moon temple 


  • Its incline path might frighten you
  • A steep and narrow path
  • The summit is not that flat, and there you stand over scattered granite rocks.
  • A challenging route
  • Permits run out faster

Machu Picchu Mountain


  • Gradual ascent compared to Huayna Picchu mountain
  • A wider path and less use of hands
  • Doable in a family trip
  • Permits don’t sell out well in advance
  • The summit is relatively wider and flat
  • It gives sweeping views to the Machu Picchu citadel and the snaking Vilcanota river
  • Unexpected wildlife to see. 
  • It is not necessary to reach the top to enjoy the scenery. In the middle of the path, you can take good photos of Machu Picchu


  • It is twice as long as the Huayna Picchu mountain
  • It reaches a higher altitude than Huayna Picchu mountain
  • A difficult route but either manageable too.
  • It may be windy at the summit.
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