Climbing Huayna Picchu (also Wayna Picchu)
The Ministry of Tourism for Machu Picchu (Ministerio de Cultura) has a very confusing pricing system regarding Huayna Picchu. We have asked them to alter the abnormality:
For people hiking the Inca Trail:
It is not possible to add the Huayna Picchu permit to the joint Inca Trail / Machu Picchu permit. You will therefore need to buy another Machu Picchu entrance which includes Huayna Picchu. This will cost USD $ 67 and it would be better to enter Machu Picchu for a second day in order to climb Huayna Picchu.
Day 1 - Inca Trail
Day 2 - Inca Trail
Day 3 - Inca Trail
Day 4 - Inca Trail - Guided tour of Machu Picchu - Extra night in hotel in Machu Picchu town
Day 5 - Re-Enter Machu Picchu - Climb Huayna Picchu at 7am
For people hiking an alternative trek:
If you hike an alternative trek or go by train to Machu Picchu then you don't need an Inca trail permit and so you can add Huayna Picchu to your Machu Picchu entrance for USD $ 14
Visiting times of Huayna Picchu
Once you enter Machu Picchu you have 2 time options for climbing Huayna Picchu:
- From 7:00am to 8:00 am - first shift
- From 10:00am to 11:00am - second shift
- Both time options have a daily limit of 200 people
Prices of Machu Picchu + Huayna Picchu (rates for 2016)
- Adult USD $ 67.00
- Student with ISIC card USD $ 38.00
- Youth 8-16yrs US$38.00
- Child 0-7yrs FREE
1. The ascent of Huayna Picchu (2720masl) S/.162.00 (USD $ 67.00)
Huayna Picchu Young peak is the mountain in the backdrop of the Machu Picchu citadel, seen in all the famous photos and is 360 m higher than the Machu Picchu citadel.
It is possible to trek to the top and it has gained in popularity over the years, so much so, that you now have to pay. There are 400 daily permits, 200 at 7am and 200 at 10am.
If you are in good physical condition it will take approximately 45mins to reach the top and the view is fantastic. This is not an easy trek and is dangerous in parts, even more so in the rain. It includes steep steps with cables & railings to help. Close to the top there is a small tunnel through which you will squeeze through (waist size permitting). There are also some Inca temples and agro-terraces near the top and on visiting them you will see there is an alternative route down which leads to some other ruins, Temple of the moon, built inside a cave and thought to have been the abode of high priests and local virgins. The summit can get crowded and can be dangerous so take care not to fall off! If you choose to return by the same route you need 2 hours +
The alternative route down to the Temple of the moon is more difficult, more dangerous and includes more steep steps and ladders and includes a few more ascents en-route. To complete the full round trip you will need to give yourself 3 hours +
2. Climb Machu Picchu Mountain (3,051masl) S/. 160.00 (USD $ 62.00)
The hike to Cerro Machu Picchu is a good alternative to Huayna Picchu, it costs less and is less known and therefore not as crowded. Off the beaten track, this trek offers a quieter, nature walk and the view at the top is said to be superior to the view at Huayna Picchu.
The vote is out as to which hike is better. Huayna Picchu has only been placed higher on our list due to the fact that it is currently more popular.
To get there you will need to take the Inca trail from Machu Picchu ruins going past the Caretakers Hut to Inti Punku The Sun Gate. At about 150 meters past the Caretakers hut you will see a sign for Machu Picchu Mountain. The trail will take you through some interesting habitat including different varieties exotic birds and plants including different varieties of orchids. After an hour you will start the 45-minute steep climb to the summit (601m higher than Machu Picchu). It is a tough trek and the reward is the uniquely stunning view of the Machu Picchu Citadel.
3. Climb Putukusi mountain – 2,560masl
For the adventurer, the trek to Putukusi or Happy mountain should be number one on your list for things to do in the Machu Picchu Sanctuary, but be warned: If you suffer from vertigo then do not even think about it.
To get there you will need to walk from Aguas Calientes (Machu Picchu town) towards Machu Picchu citadel following the rail track until you see the sign for Putukusi off to the right.
The route takes you up a steep ascent of 600m including stone steps and ladders, one of which is huge reaching 60m high up into the jungle canopy and which will need patience and will power to conquer.
Once you conquer the big one, you will climb four smaller ladders before reaching the halfway point. From here, a hard up-hill, zigzag trek to the summit.
You will need sturdy boots; plenty of water, sun-cream and hat; to be in good physical condition and need to take it slow, with lots of caution not to fall to your death! (Not a joke!)
It will take 1.5 hours to reach the summit and more of the same to come down via the same route.
At the time of writing, this trek is not well known and offers a fantastic trek away from the crowds. The ladders have been restored in 2013 after damage caused by flooding.