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Huayna Picchu vs Machu Picchu mountain

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Huayna Picchu vs Machu Picchu mountain

Machu Picchu is known since 1911 as "the lost city of the Incas", it is an impressive place, the biggest tourist attraction in South America and one of the most important destinations in the world. Built in the middle of one of the most amazing natural environments that exist, there are so many people who want to be in Machu Picchu, that if you want to have experiences like the Huayna Picchu mountain hike or the Inca trail to Machu Picchu, you have to reserve them with at least 4 months in advance. Machu Picchu has unforgettable walks, and believe us when we tell you not to forget when you enter Machu Picchu by the "Sun Gate" after touring the Inca Trail, or "the stairs of death" on the mountain Huayna Picchu.

The trip to the Wonder of the World allows you to enjoy one of the most incredible natural landscapes in the world. It also offers a tour of the mysterious Inca buildings of more than 600 years ago. But that's not all, it is also possible to make two hiking trails considered among the best on the planet. It is about the treks to the tops of the Machu Picchu and Huayna Picchu mountains. Both promise to see the Inca Citadel from the top. Which of the two do you choose? Learn a little more about Huayna Picchu vs Machu Picchu mountain and encourage yourself to live the journey of your life. 


Huayna Picchu vs Machu Picchu Mountain

On the orders of Pachacutec the Incas built an urban, religious and resting place for the emperor and his family in about 1450. This important building was made as high as possible on a slope of the Machu Picchu mountain and at the foot of Huayna Picchu, another minor summit. The result was the Wonder of the World, an enclosure that harmonizes with nature around it. Many things have changed since then. Now, the site is one of the largest tourism spots on the planet. However, the two summits where the Inca town was built remain firm: the Machu Picchu mountain and the Huayna Picchu. Currently, these two mountains offer incredible adventures for the visitor.  


Huayna Picchu Hike

The Huayna Picchu hike (2,693 masl) are steeper, narrower and visually frightening; so, if you suffer from vertigo or believe that you can not overcome your fear of heights, it will be better to overlook this mountain, since most of the Huayna Picchu hike was on a narrow road built between the walls of the mountain and huge cliffs

There have been cases of hikers who have suffered panic attacks, even before reaching the death stairs; and although no one has really died on these stairs, they look like they were taken from a painting by M.C. Escher; they are totally intimidating and are the main causes of panic attacks; but "the worst", if you can not overcome these stairs, you can not reach the top of Huayna Picchu and the fabulous Temple of the Moon. 


Travel time: from 1 hour and a half to 2 and a half hours, round trip. 

Walk distance: 2 km, steep and narrow roads.  

Access: From the Inca City of Machu Picchu, go to the Sacred Rock (sector of the Huayranas). 

Restrictions: Only people over 12 years old can enter. Not recommended for people with fear of heights. 


Machu Picchu Mountain hike

Unlike the Huayna Picchu mountain, the Machu Picchu Mountain hike (3,082 masl) is wide and not so steep, so they can be traveled without any kind of care, by people of almost all ages. It is the mountain that we recommend in case of hiking with small children or elderly people, since you do not need to reach the top to get amazing views of the Inca city of Machu Picchu. Another advantage of the Machu Picchu Mountain hike, is that it will be your best choice if you want to spend some time alone, or if you do not like the huge crowds; since unlike the mountain Huayna Picchu, where you will have to wait your turn to use the roads, on the Machu Picchu Mountain hike you will find long periods alone. 


Travel time: from 2 hours and a half to 3 and a half hours, round trip.

Distance of the Hike: 2 km., Will ascend approximately 300 m above the Inca city of Machu Picchu. 

Access: From the Machu Picchu Complex, go up to the Guardian's House and continue until a detour indicating the entrance to the mountain with a sign.

Restrictions: No restrictions.


Huayna Picchu vs Machu Picchu Mountain, what adventure to choose?

The Huayna Picchu and the Machu Picchu Mountain offer different experiences in the Wonder of the World. The first one is shorter but more intense. It is allowed only to people over 12 years old. In its paths is the Temple of the Moon. The second one is longer and is allowed to visitors of all ages. At its top you can see the Inca Citadel from its highest point. Below the characteristics of each mountain. 


Why choose Huayna Picchu? 

Because the feeling of adrenaline does not compare with any other walk. At the top the effort will be rewarded with a full view of the Wonder of the World. Also because it is possible to appreciate the Temple of the Moon with few or no visitors around.  


Why choose Machu Picchu mountain? 

Because it can be done as a family. It is not necessary to reach the top to appreciate the unusual beauty of the place. Also, because your entry ticket is not difficult to get. 


Huayna Picchu Ticket

The Machu Picchu Ticket + Huayna Picchu allows access to the 'young mountain'. This ticket is the one with the highest demand. For security reasons, only 400 people a day can enter the Waynapicchu. Due to this, it is recommended to reserve it up to 3 months in advance. The entrance also allows to know the mysterious constructions of the Inca Citadel. The income is in 2 groups which access in the following schedule: 


Group 1: 07:00 a.m. at 08:00 a.m. (200 people)

Group 2: 10:00 a.m. at 11:00 a.m. (200 people) 


Machu Picchu Mountain Tickets

The Machu Picchu + Mountain Ticket allows access to the 'old mountain'. This Machu Picchu mountain tickets are preferred by adventurers who did not get access to Huayna Picchu. Daily only 800 people can walk the roads of this summit. Machu Picchu Mountain tickets are advisable to book it at least 3 days in advance. The entrance includes a visit to the Inca Citadel. Admission is in 2 groups which access in the following hours: 


Group 1: 07:00 a.m. at 08:00 a.m. (400 people) 

Group 2: 09:00 a.m. at 10:00 a.m. (400 people) 



The Machu Picchu mountains are considered the adventures par excellence in the Wonder of the World. In order to enjoy them to the maximum, the following must be taken into consideration:  


  • The Machu Picchu + Huayna Picchu Ticket must be booked at least 3 months in advance, especially during high tourist season (April to October).  
  • The Machu Picchu + Mountain Ticket must be booked at least 3 days in advance, especially during high tourist season. 
  • While it is not necessary to be an expert mountaineer, it is advised to be in an acceptable physical condition before the adventure. 
  • Before doing any of the two walks, it is recommended to adapt to the height of Cusco. Two days of acclimatization will be enough.  
  • The Machu Picchu mountain hike and Huayna Picchu hike are not a race for who arrives first. Walk at your own pace. There is enough time to complete the tour. 
  • During the rainy season (November to March) the mountain trails tend to get wet. It is recommended to wear shoes or footwear suitable for hiking.  
  • In both cases, only a backpack with a weight of no more than 5 kilos is allowed. Carry only the most important: sunscreen, water, sunglasses, hat or cap, rain poncho, camera and some snacks.


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