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Alternatives to climbing Huayna Picchu
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Huayna Picchu: alternatives if you did not get an entrance ticket

The Huayna Picchu mountain is the most popular attraction of Machu Picchu. The entrance to this place has a reduced amount of income. That is why there are many tourists who do not get an entrance to this place. In this article you will learn about the best four options for hiking very similar to Huayna Picchu. That way you won’t miss the best of Machu Picchu!

Top of Machu Picchu Mountain
Top of Machu Picchu Mountain

The ascent to the Machu Picchu mountain

  • Machu Picchu Mountain is the largest of the mountains around the Inca city of Machu Picchu. It is located in front of the Huayna Picchu mountain. Although the stretch up to this mountain is almost the same distance as Huayna Picchu, the ascent is slower and more gradual.
  • The top of this mountain is 600 meters above the Inca citadel of Machu Picchu which rises to 2,430 meters above sea level.
  • The view from the top of the mountain is simply breathtaking. For many visitors, they are the best landscape views that can be achieved in the entire area of ​​Machu Picchu.
  • The trails up the Machu Picchu mountain are quieter and much less traveled than Huayna Picchu. You won’t have to worry about crowds.
  • If you are an average hiker it will take about 2-3 hours to climb to the top and just over an hour to descend.
  • It is the most recommended route for families with children, since the path is easier than Huayna Picchu. To get to the site, you will have to walk in the direction of the Sun Gate (Intipunku), and halfway there you will see a sign that will direct you to the Machu Picchu mountain.
  • To visit this mountain you must buy the ‘Machu Picchu + Mountain’ ticket. The price of this ticket is the same as the ‘Machu Picchu + Huayna Picchu’ ticket. In other words, it costs 200 soles for foreign adults and 112 soles for Peruvian adults.

The ascent to the Huchuy Picchu mountain

  • Huchuy Picchu Mountain is the new hiking route organized by the Machu Picchu authorities. It is a slope of the Huayna Picchu mountain.
  • Its summit reaches 2,497 meters above sea level, only about 50 meters higher than the archaeological site of Machu Picchu.
  • The route from Machu Picchu to the top of the Huchuy Picchu mountain is only 1 kilometer. This walk is easy, with a last stretch up stone steps. The distance is 1 kilometer. An average tourist can reach the top in approximately 1 hour.
  • The view of Machu Picchu from the top of Huchuy Picchu is higher and more scenic. You can see a large part of the buildings that make up the archaeological site as well as the Machupicchu mountain.
  • The route through the Huchuy Picchu mountain is very simple. Anyone can do it. From children to older adults. Along the way you can see birds and butterflies.
  • To enter Huchuy Picchu, the tourist must first enter Machu Picchu and go directly to the Sacred Rock sector. Then you must enter Huchuy Picchu through the same entrance gate to the Huayna Picchu mountain.
  • To visit this mountain, tourists must buy the ‘Machu Picchu + Huchuy Picchu’ ticket. The price of this ticket is the same as the ‘Machu Picchu Only’ ticket. In other words, it costs 152 soles for adult foreign tourists and 64 soles for adult Peruvian tourists.

The ascent to Intipunku

  • If you are lucky enough to enter Machu Picchu via the classic Inca Trail, then the Sun Gate (the Intipunku) will be the first place you come to when approaching Machu Picchu. This point offers you fantastic views of the sacred city.
  • The top of Intipunku is 2,745 meters above sea level, about 300 meters higher than Machu Picchu. From there you have scenic views of the entire Inca city and the set of mountains that surround it. In addition, visitors will be able to observe the set of Inca constructions that form the Intipunku. Not many tourists have the privilege of getting there.
  • If you are one of those who arrived at Machu Picchu by train, you can access the Intipunku through the entrance road to the Inca city and then follow the route of the Inca Trail in the opposite direction. It will take approximately two hours to get to Sun Gate. The distance of this walk is almost 2 kilometers. Almost the entire section is uphill through trails built by the Incas.
  • Many visitors who like hiking seek to be the first to arrive at Machu Picchu. For this they must take the buses that depart at 5.30 in the morning from the town of Aguas Calientes (Machu Picchu opens its doors at 6 in the morning). Then they must make the trek to the top of Intipunku as quickly as possible. This way they will be able to appreciate a beautiful sunrise from the Intipunku before 7 in the morning.
  • To visit the Intipunku you must buy the ‘Machu Picchu Only’ ticket, the basic ticket to enter the archaeological site. The price of this ticket is 152 soles for adult foreign tourists and 64 soles for adult Peruvian tourists.
View of Machu Picchu from the Sun Gate or Intipunku

The ascent to the Putucusi mountain

  • If you are lucky enough to have extra days in Machu Picchu, you have an adventurous soul and I did not reach the Huayna Picchu mountain; then the hike to the Putucusi mountain is an excellent alternative.
  • Putucusi is a Quechua word that means ‘happy mountain’. The walk to its top is a very good alternative that will undoubtedly be worth it. However, this trek is not for the faint of heart, as it has a higher degree of difficulty than Huayna Picchu or Machu Picchu mountain.
  • The top of Putucusi is 2,560 meters above sea level, almost 100 meters higher than the height of Machu Picchu (2,430 meters). From the top of the Putucusi it is possible to observe a part of the constructions that make up the Inca city.
  • It should be noted that Machu Picchu and Putucusi are not in the same sector but are separated by the Vilcanota River. Therefore, the views are more distant compared to the Huayna Picchu, Huchuy Picchu or Machu Picchu mountains.
  • To access Putucusi, visitors must follow the train tracks from Aguas Calientes to Machu Picchu. After a few kilometers you will see a sign on the right that will take you to Putucusi. From this point the route follows a steep section of 600 meters along stone steps.
  • The most difficult section is a slope of almost 90 degrees of verticality. To overcome this section, you must follow a rope ladder that reaches approximately 60 meters. This section must be approached with great care, since a fall from that height could be fatal.
  • The final stretch is switchbacks along a steep hill. In total, the walk takes about 2 hours and a half to 3 hours to ascend and a similar time to descend. The views from the top are stunning and the trail is often very quiet, without many visitors.
  • You do not require any permit or entrance ticket to enter. It’s free. However, it is not recommended for travelers with a fear of heights. The stair preview is quite daunting, even for the most experienced hikers. It is recommended to make this visit in the dry season, between the months of May to September.
View of Machu Picchu from Putucusi Mountain
View of Machu Picchu from Putucusi Mountain


By Ticket Machu Picchu – Last updated, March 25, 2022