Visitors guide to Huayna Picchu, Huchuy Picchu & Machu Picchu Mountain

by on 11th July, 2022

There are now three mountains to visit at Peru’s Machu Picchu Inca ruins with the opening of the Huchuy Picchu trail.

The gentler elevations of Huchuy Picchu, which translates as ‘small mountain’ from Quechua, join Huayna Picchu and Machu Picchu Mountain as hiking attractions with great views.

Let’s look at the three options so you can decide which tour best complements your trip to Machu Picchu, plus how to get tickets, altitudes, and more.

Don’t forget: You must have an Inca Trail permit or Machu Picchu entrance ticket to buy Huchuy Picchu, Huayna Picchu, and Machu Picchu Mountain entrance tickets. We can help with all these reservations.

All About Huchuy Picchu Mountain, Machu Picchu

Huchuy Picchu mountain is called the small mountain for good reasons. Its peak lies at 2,497m/8,192ft, just 50 metres (164 feet) above the principal archaeological site of Machu Picchu.

Huchuy Picchu is located next to Huayna Picchu — they share the same entrance — and offers terrific views over the entire Inca citadel. The trail features original Inca stairs and pathways. Some areas are surrounded by beautiful orchids, and the air is filled with bird songs.

Incas would climb Huchuy Picchu enroute to the summit of Huayna Picchu when Machu Picchu was in its pomp. Both formations helped guard the site.

How Difficult Is the Huchuy Picchu Hike?

The Huchuy Picchu hike is much less strenuous than the Huayna Picchu or Machu Picchu mountain options.

A one-kilometre pathway starts on flat trails before heading up some Inca stairs, constructed in the 15th century, towards its summit.

Guides recommend taking an hour to walk the hour-long pathway so you can enjoy the vegetation and views. People need to be in reasonable shape to cope with the stairs. The return journey is a descent down the same path, and people should consider walking poles to assist with potential shocks to the knees.

The walk’s relative brevity means it feels like a 60-90 minute extension of the two-hour-long Machu Picchu ruins tour. People need to be acclimatised to high altitudes to visit Machu Picchu, and the same applies to Huchuy Picchu.

Fit and acclimatised hikers can walk to Huchuy Picchu’s summit much more quickly.

What’s the Highest Altitude at Huchuy Picchu?

The maximum altitude at Huchuy Picchu is 2,497m/8,192ft.

Where Can I Buy Huchuy Picchu Entrance Tickets?

Peru’s authorities have limited Huchuy Picchu entrance tickets to 200 per day. Demand is high for tickets because of the walk’s accessibility and beautiful views. In short, the best advice is to get them when you organise your Machu Picchu trip before they sell out.

People can buy Huchuy Picchu tickets in Cusco when they reserve their Machu Picchu entry ticket or Inca Trail permit. Some Huchuy Picchu tickets can be obtained in Aguas Calientes, too.

We can reserve Huchuy Picchu, Huayna Picchu, and Machu Picchu Mountain entrance tickets when you book your Inca Trail or Machu Picchu tour with us (subject to availability).

What Are the Entrance Times for Huchuy Picchu Mountain?

Huchuy Picchu mountain opens at 6 am and has nine hourly departures until the last entrance at 2 pm.

People can schedule a visit to Machu Picchu, Huchuy Picchu, and Huayna Picchu/Machu Picchu mountain in one day, but probably not all four.


All About Huayna Picchu at Machu Picchu

Machu Picchu site and Huayna Picchu mountain Peru

Huayna Picchu, also known as Wayna Picchu, is one of the most famous landmarks in the Machu Picchu citadel. Many people take pictures of the Machu Picchu ruins with Huayna Picchu, to the north of the fortress, in the background.

In Quechua, Huayna Picchu translates as ‘new’ or ‘young mountain.’ The hike to Huayna Picchu’s summit is challenging, with some vertiginous steps on original Inca staircases. Its reward is one of the best views over the Machu Picchu site.

A series of ingenious hilltop buildings await at the summit, which may have served as a place of worship to the nearby Salkantay mountain and a lookout post.

How Difficult Is the Huayna Picchu Hike?

What’s the phrase about getting out what you put in? Huayna Picchu certainly lives up to that notion, with tremendous views after an energising ascent.

Hikers need to ascend 200m/656 feet and two kilometres of steep and occasionally vertigo-inducing Inca stonework, passing other walkers on the way up and down. It certainly gives an insight into what life atop Peru’s steep Andean mountains meant.

Some steps are high and narrow and may be close to long drops to the valleys below. Experienced mountain hikers will enjoy the romp. However, it’s best to reserve your entrance ticket fully knowing what to expect.

Huayna Picchu’s summit sits at 2,693m/8,835ft and has four separate entry times. It’s one of the most sought-after tickets in town because of the vistas it offers. We highly recommend you book up your Huayna Picchu ticket when you book your Inca Trail or Machu Picchu tour.

Children under 12 years old cannot climb Huayna Picchu, and a parent or guardian must accompany those aged 12-18.

The Temple of the Moon, also located on Huayna Picchu, remains closed at the time of writing (July 2022).

What’s the Highest Altitude at Huayna Picchu?

The maximum altitude at Huayna Picchu is 2,693m/8,835ft.

Where Can I Buy Huayna Picchu Entrance Tickets?

Huayna Picchu entrance tickets are restricted to 200 per day. They can sell out many months in advance, especially during the peak season (May-Sept).

In theory, in some quieter months, people can buy Huayna Picchu tickets in Cusco or Aguas Calientes. We recommend avoiding the risk of disappointment by booking up at the time you reserve your Machu Picchu tour or Inca Trail hike.

What Are the Entrance Times for Huayna Picchu?

There are four entrance times for Huayna Picchu:

  • 7 am
  • 8 am
  • 9 am
  • 10 am

Allow two hours to summit and descend Huayna Picchu.


All About Machu Picchu Mountain at Machu Picchu

Machu Picchu Mountain shares its name with the Inca citadel, meaning a great and ancient mountain in Quechua. Its summit is the highest point in the ruins, at 3,082m/10,112 feet, and it lies to the south of the ruins.

Fret not! Visitors to Machu Picchu ruins don’t have to climb Machu Picchu Mountain; the two are separate entities. The ruins lie at the feet of Machu Picchu Mountain.

Few people summit Machu Picchu Mountain because of the time and effort required. Most people don’t know that it has probably the best view of all three options, with a 360-degree view over not only the ruins but also the valleys and mountains surrounding Machu Picchu.

How Difficult Is the Machu Picchu Mountain Hike?

Machu Picchu Mountain’s ascent is a moderate one to start with, swiftly turning into a more challenging climb. The hike winds for two kilometres through verdant forest, with birdsong and beautiful flowers accompanying the walker’s passage before the final steep section.

Machu Picchu doesn’t have the sheer drops and awkward staircases of Huayna Picchu, but it is a longer walk that goes higher. Allow up to two to three hours to ascend the entire 500m/1,640 feet and a further 25 minutes to walk from the entrance to Machu Picchu to the start of the walk.

The view from the summit gives an unparalleled panoramic of the area’s peaks. There is also the small matter of the Machu Picchu ruins below and glimpses of the Urubamba canyon that snakes around the entire location. The return is along the same path to the ruins.

What’s the Highest Altitude at Machu Picchu Mountain?

The maximum altitude at Machu Picchu Mountain is 3,082m/10,112 feet,

Where Can I Buy Machu Picchu Mountain Entrance Tickets?

Machu Picchu Mountain entrance tickets are restricted to 200 per day. They may sell out a few weeks in advance in the peak season (May to Sept), but you may be able to find availability close to your departure date.

People can buy Machu Picchu Mountain tickets in Cusco or Aguas Calientes. We recommend avoiding the risk of disappointment and booking up at the time you reserve your Machu Picchu tour or Inca Trail hike.

What Are the Entrance Times for Machu Picchu Mountain?

There are two entrance times for Machu Picchu Mountain:

  • 7 am
  • 8 am

Huchuy Picchu, Huayna Picchu, or Machu Picchu Mountain?

Huchuy Picchu offers a new, exciting, and accessible way to climb above Machu Picchu ruins. All three offer a sense of personal achievement and great photo opportunities.

Demand will be high for tickets, just as they are with Huayna Picchu. Below is a quick summary of all three.

Whichever you choose, we recommend making reservations at the time you book your Machu Picchu tour. You’ll probably only visit the Inca citadel once in your life — so make the most of it.

Inspired? We are Inca Trail and Machu Picchu dream makers, so contact us for more.

Overview plaza Machu Picchu Peru


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