Huayna Picchu - Machu Picchu
Huayna Picchu means “young peak” and is the mountain that is located to the north of the Inca city. The mountain, looming behind the lost city is an important part of the icon that we know as Machu Picchu as it forms the backdrop of most iconic Machu Picchu photos. Its highest point is 2700 metres and allows us splendid views of Machu Picchu and the nearby mountains.
Though the climb is a little dangerous and quite steep, it is possible to climb up to those ruins in less than an hour. It offers some wonderful Inca ruins and you will be amazed at the determination and engineering skills of the Incas when you see the slopes that they had to overcome to complete this construction. This hike is a must-do for anyone in even moderately good shape.
You can really feel the magic of the ancient Inca civilization that fills this space when you finally reach the top of Huayna Picchu and gaze down over the Machu Picchu ruins. If you do want to climb the Huayna Picchu, as of July 2011 you have to pay an extra entrance fee; the prices is aprox. $60 if you reached Machu Picchu through the Inca Trail, and aprox. $ 12 only, if you are on a train excursion or another trek (such as the Salkantay, or others). You can buy this ticket with your local Travel agent (recommended) or online: www.machupicchu.gob.pe. Please do not forget to book this special Huayna Picchu entrance ticket when you book your trek or excursion to Machu Picchu! There are only 400 spaces available daily for the climb between 7:00 AM and 10:00 AM. Huayna Picchu offers trekkers the chance to see the Machu Picchu ruins from a new and breathtaking point of view! It also presents photographers with the photo opportunity of a lifetime.
Huayna Picchu was used by the Incas to build a number of complexes, like the impressive Temple of the Moon which is found at the back part of the mountain. The Incas also made a series of small agricultural terraces at the peak and some buildings. These buildings could have formed part of an astronomical observatory but also would have served as a lookout point over the city because from this point you can see all over Machu Picchu, Inti Punku and the paths that lead to the city.
Temple of the Moon
This archaeological site possesses one of the most beautiful Inca constructions inside of a cavern, to which they added finely polished rocks and that fit in perfectly into one another, not leaving one millimetre between their joins.
This structure has beautiful vaulted niches and empty trapezoidals of typical Inca type and in front of the cavern, there is a rock sculpted in the shape of an altar, which makes us suppose that this was a place for sacrifices.