Huayna Picchu Vs. Machu Picchu Mountain

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After the guided tour in the Machu Picchu Sanctuary for 2 hours, you will have some free time to explore the ruins by yourself.  Also, you can upgrade to climb to one of the two mountains beside the archeological site, both offer spectacular views. Choose either Huayna Picchu Mountain or Machu Picchu.



The Citadel of Machu Picchu—i.e. the archeological site—is located at an altitude of 2420 meters. Behind it and above stands Huayna Picchu Mountain reaching a height of 2703 meters. The round-trip climb to the peak of Huayna Picchu takes about an hour and a half. It is both challenging and picturesque, a nearly vertical climb of 330 meters. It is definitely worth it for the stunning views of the Willcanota Valley and of the archeological site below, at the foot of Machu Picchu Mountain!

We recommend that you book ahead, preferably four months beforehand to be assured of space. (There is a limit of 400 persons per day allowed to climb, so be sure to pre-book if you don’t want to miss out. 

At the end of the 2 hours introductory tour that you will have when you first arrive at the site, your tour guide will point you in the direction of the Huayna Picchu entrance gate, less than 10 minutes from the main entrance gate to Machu Picchu.

Cost: $25 USD

More details for Huayna Picchu:

  • Huayna Picchu Peak Altitude: 2,703 meters.
  • Distance of the Walk: 4 km, very steep, narrow paths and stairs.
  • Location:  Machu Picchu north Area (beyond the archeological site when viewed from the Main Gate)
  • Path Description: The trails are quite steep. They include stairways built in rock and in wood.
  • First Group: 07:00 am - 8:00 a.m. (depending on availability).
  • Second Group: 10:00 a.m. - 11:00 a.m. (depending on availability).
  • Number of visitors: 400 per day, divided into two groups of 200.
  • Walking time: 1 hours and 30 minutes (up and down).
  • Difficulty: Moderate to high. It is a steep mountain, with many steps, precipices and considerable exposure. (We do not recommend this climb if you suffer from vertigo or fear of heights).
  • Archaeological Attractions: Terraces and the amazing Temple of the Moon, built inside a cave.
  • Flora and fauna: This is the natural landscape of ‘eyebrow of jungle’, with lots of vegetation, which serves as habitat for birds, bears and insects.
  • Advantages: Best panoramic views of the ancient Inca City and the amazing mountain environment.
  • Disadvantages: Cliffs covered with vegetation, steep ascent, narrow paths.




As an alternative to the Huayna Picchu climb you can choose to visit Machu Picchu Mountain which gives the ancient Inca townsite its name. This option has been recently opened and lets you see Machu Picchu archeological site from the highest peak. It is less crowded. From the peak you can see the neighbouring mountain valleys and snow capped peaks. 

At the end of the introductory tour our tour guide will point out how to reach the entrance gate for the Machu Picchu Mountain walk or you can find  your own way by yourself. It is about 15 minutes from Main Entrance gate of Machu Picchu Sanctuary to gate for the climb to Machu Picchu Mountain.

Cost: $25 USD

More details for Machu Picchu Mountain:

  • Machu Picchu Mountain Peak Altitude: 3,082 meters.
  • Distance of the Walk: 6 km approximately round trip, will ascend about 600 meters.
  • Location: Above the Main Entrance Gate, on the opposite side of the archeological site from Huayna Picchu Mountain.
  • Path Description: Abundant vegetation, wild orchids stand out. The wider paths are not as steep and will allow you to climb more easily.
  • Access: From the Complex of Machu Picchu, climb up to the lookout (Guardian's House) follow the signs from there. 
  • First Group: 07:00 am. - 8:00 a.m. (depending on availability).
  • Second Group: 9:00 a.m. - 10:00 a.m. (depending on availability).
  • Number of visitors: 800 tickets per day, It is divided into 2 groups of 400.
  • Walking time: 3 a half hours (round trip).
  • Degree of Difficulty: Moderate / High.
  • Archaeological Attractions: none.
  • Flora and fauna: You will find a variety of orchids, butterflies and birds.
  • Advantages: Less steep paths, panoramic views of the Inca City and Huayna Picchu Mountain.
  • Disadvantages: There are no archaeological sites.


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