Huayna Picchu (“young peak” in Quechua) is the iconic mountain is looming behind the lost city, and it is an important part of the city of Machu Picchu. It forms the backdrop of the most amazing Machu Picchu photos. The highest point is 2700 metres.
Huayna Picchu can be climbed to get great views of the whole site.
The Huayna Picchu hike offers trekkers the chance to see the Machu Picchu ruins from a new and breathtaking point of view! Here you will have the photo opportunity of a lifetime.
Some people say the hike is a bit tough and a decent level of fitness is required.
As you hike up, you will pass along the so-called Stairs of Death. They’re appropriately named: you will be going up over 183 meters of steps with large drop-offs to your side and no railing. The narrow trail is not recommended for people with vertigo.
Since 2011, a special ticket is needed to get access to this exclusive trek. Since 2017, this ticket can only be bought together with your Machu Picchu Ticket. The ticket is not an add-on and certainly not something you buy once at Machu Pichu: the Huayna Picchu tickets need to be purchased well in advance (between 5 – 8 months ahead).
There are only 400 tickets available daily between 7:00 AM and 10:00 AM (two shifts).
Although the path of the Huayna Picchu hike is quite steep, it is possible to climb up in less than an hour. The trail 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. When you finally reach the top of Huayna Picchu and gaze down over the Machu Picchu Ruins you can truly feel the magic of the ancient Inca civilisation.
The trailhead is inside the citadel through the entrance of Machu Picchu. Behind Sacred Rock you will show your tickets to the Warden, and you must register at the hut The hike takes about 50 minutes to reach the top of the mountain.
There is one archaeological site you can visit during the Huayna Picchu hike.
It 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. In front of the cavern, you can see a rock sculpted in the shape of an altar, which makes us suppose that this was a place for sacrifices. You can find the temple of the Moon a the back part of the mountain.
Huayna Picchu was used by the Incas to build several of complexes.
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.