One of the Seven Wonders of the Modern World located in South America is a truly spectacular place located between the Andes and the rainforest, obviously we are talking about the citadel of Machu Picchu. We will also see the differences between the Machu Picchu and Huayna Picchu mountains, as soon as you set foot inside and observe the ancient citadel, you will get goose bumps and wonder what it was like to live here hundreds of years ago, as well.
Rows of terraces, fantastic architecture made of stone and without adhesives are visible between these and impressive green hills around them. How was something so majestic built on the side of a mountain? If you go beyond the citadel itself, you will be able to see Huayna Picchu, the mountain that dominates the place and is seen iconically in the classic photos of the place, you will also be able to see the Machu Picchu mountain, on the other side, next to the path to the Gate of the sun.
If you want to make your trip to this iconic fortress a little more special, you can take the opportunity to climb one of these additional mountains which will receive its deserved reward upon reaching the top, no matter which alternative you choose. There is an additional cost, and you will have to ask yourself if you have energy, courage and motivation, especially after your guided tour. But if you decide to do it, you won’t regret taking this extra hike and will look to do it again as soon as you can.
In this article we will analyze the Differences between Machu Picchu and Huayna Picchu Montains so that you can compare them and decide which one best suits the type of adventure you are looking for. We’ll also dig a little deeper into the facts behind each one and what you need to be prepared for this extra hike.
Why climb an extra mountain in Machu Picchu?
Let’s start by answering this question that so many people have. They want to know if it’s really worth pushing their body to the limit with this extra effort. We’d say it’s more than worth the effort, and here’s why.
Crowning this mountain you will enjoy a fantastic view of the entire archaeological complex and of the beautiful surrounding hills and valleys, honestly a view that leaves more than one stunned with its beauty.
It will give you an extra sense of achievement and it will be something you will remember for a lifetime. Getting to this point will generate a unique feeling of satisfaction that cannot be compared to another experience.
You will probably only visit Machu Picchu once or twice in your life, so why not make the most of it and complement your visit by doing all the activities that fit your itinerary?
You will be able to see parts of the citadel that you would not otherwise see, and that memory will only be with you.
There are some fantastic unique and fantastic photo opportunities at the top of both mountains.
Information about Huayna Picchu
We will start with Huayna Picchu, the most popular mountain for visitors among these additional hikes. Its name means “young mountain” and it is one of the most popular short hikes in the world.
The narrow path to reach the top may put off some people with a fear of heights. It is a path in the typical style of the Incas. If you suffer from vertigo, it is not recommended that you take the walk since the height rises many meters above the level of the citadel and you have to advance through narrow and steep sections.
At the top there is a small archaeological building called the Temple of the Moon.
Hiking Huayna Picchu is the only opportunity you will have to see it in all its splendor. It is necessary to book tickets months in advance to guarantee a place as they are limited places per day.
Information about Huayna Picchu
Now that you know a little more about the mountain in general, let’s dig into the data so you can compare it to Machu Picchu Mountain.
- The height of the mountain is 2,720 meters above sea level.
- The distance is 2 km of steep and narrow paths.
- It is only for hikers over 12 years old.
- It is located north of the Inca citadel.
- The trail can seem a bit tricky and daunting due to the steep climbs and narrow paths at some points of the ascent.
- You will have to pass through the Huayranas Sector (Sacred Rock) to reach the entrance of the walk where you will show your ticket.
- There are only 400 tickets available each day.
- The difficulty of the walk is relatively high due to the slope, the numerous steps and the plummeting fall to which it is exposed.
- The ascent and descent last about two and a half hours.
- You will be able to see the archaeological sites of the Andenería and the Temple of the Moon.
Pros of climbing Huayna Picchu
The pros of climbing Huayna Picchu include the fact that you will get a spectacular and unique view of the site where the citadel of Machu Picchu is located and you will be able to take one of the most popular short walks in the world.
Cons of Huayna Picchu
There are really no cons, except the fact that it is very steep and can cause feelings of vertigo, especially if you are susceptible to feeling that way, if you opt for this hike considering the risks there are no cons.
Information about the Machu Picchu mountain
The second optional walk inside the citadel is the Machu Picchu Mountain. This is not visited as often as the Huayna Picchu mountain hike, but this peak is where many of the iconic photos are taken from, making it a great place to get a great shot.
The ascent to this mountain is much less steep and the path is not as terrifying as that of Huayna Picchu. Its name means “old mountain”, and it is at the foot of it where the ancient Inca city was built.
It is not even necessary to reach the top to enjoy impressive views, and the path is so calm that young and old alike can enjoy it. There are usually tickets for this mountain available until a few days before the reserved date, but it is always good to keep in mind that they can be sold out easily.
Facts about the Machu Picchu mountain
We will now summarize the data for this hill to see how it compares to Huayna Picchu.
- The maximum altitude reached on this route is 3,082 masl.
- The distance is 2 km, but it is not too steep.
- This walk is suitable for all ages.
- This mountain is located exactly in front of the Huayna Picchu mountain.
- From the Machu Picchu complex, you will have to go to the House of the Guardian, take the detour and follow the respective signs to the entrance.
- There is a lot of vegetation along the way, and the path is firm, which allows a nice and easy hike for the most part.
- There are 800 places available every day.
- The walk lasts about three and a half hours roundtrip.
- The difficulty level is moderate.
Advantages of the Machu Picchu mountain
The advantages of this hike are mainly the terrain and the slope. It’s a steady climb and easier for your body to bear at altitude.
Cons of Machu Picchu Mountain
The main negative is that there are no archeological sites to see at the top but you are rewarded with a unique view of the surroundings.
Comparative table between both peaks
Use the table below to quickly and easily compare the two mountains.
|Comparison||Huayna Picchu Mountain||Machu Picchu Mountain|
|Altitude||2,720 msnm||3,082 msnm|
|Distance||2 km||2 km|
|Duration||2.5-hour hike up and down||3.5-hours up and down|
|Age limit recommended||12 years||no age limit|
|Path||Steep, narrow trail, not good for vertigo||A steady and quiet climb|
|Available places||400 per day||800 per day|
attractions at the top
|Fantastic view/Temple of the|
|Unique view of Machu|
Picchu/No additional ruins
What to wear?
Para asegurarse de disfrutar al máximo de la caminata, asegúrese de llevar lo siguiente en su
mochila para el tour.
- Gafas de sol/sombrero para el sol
- Protector solar (al menos factor 50)
- Insecticida o repelente para insectos
- Pantalones y mangas largas (para protegerse de los bichos e insectos. Es buena idea que sean de material delgado para no acalorarse de más)
- Poncho/chaqueta para la lluvia (indispensable en temporada de lluvias)
- Mucha agua: pasarás mucho calor caminando cuesta arriba durante tanto tiempo y estarás cerca del sol, por lo que te deshidratarás fácilmente.
- Entrada (no se puede acceder sin ella)
- Pasaporte (también necesario para su ingreso)
Frequently Asked Questions about Huayna Picchu and Machu Picchu Mountain
Finally, we have compiled some of the most frequently asked questions about the two mountains to help you answer some of the questions you may have.
How much does it cost to climb one more mountain?
Both mountains cost the same, which includes your normal entrance to the citadel of Machu Picchu that is around 70 USD.
What is the best mountain to climb?
It all depends on your personal preferences. If you are going with your family and looking for a quieter hike, opt for the Machu Picchu mountain. If you are looking for a personal challenge and to see more ruins, opt for Huayna Picchu. Both offer magnificent views and unforgettable experiences that will perfectly complement your visit.
How far in advance should I buy the ticket?
If you want to climb Huayna Picchu, you must buy the ticket at least a couple of months in advance, especially between May and October, which is the season of high tourist attendance. If you choose Machu Picchu Mountain, you may find availability a few days from your date but take into account that it can be sold out if you do not book in advance.
Does the ticket include the entrance to the archaeological complex of Machu Picchu?
Yes, the tickets for either of the two mountains include admission to the rest of the Machu Picchu complex. You can also take the walk to Inti Punku at no additional cost.
Can children do the walks?
Children can climb Machu Picchu mountain since the path is relatively easy, but only those over 12 years old can climb Huayna Picchu.
Are the walks dangerous?
The walks are safe as long as you do not leave the trails and respect the respective signs. However, great care must be taken on the climb to Huayna Picchu, due to the steep and narrow trails. Take special care on rainy days as the path can be slippery.
Where do you get the best views?
The views from both mountains are excellent. At the top of the Machu Picchu mountain you will be able to see a unique and special view of the complex. From Huayna Picchu, you get a different perspective from above, but it’s also just as beautiful.
I am founder and content creator of Lorenzo Expeditions, since 2006 I started with the Inca Jungle tour, guiding and serving thousands of tourists in a personal way to get to know Machu Picchu in a unique and authentic way.