Machu Picchu mountain vs. Huayna Picchu: which one to choose?
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 constructions of more than 600 years ago. But that’s not all, it is also possible to do two hiking trails considered among the best on the planet. It is about the treks to the peaks of the Machu Picchu and Huayna Picchu mountains. Both promise to see the Inca citadel from the top. Which of the two to choose? Learn a little more about each of these experiences in the Inca llaqta and be encouraged to live the trip of your life.
- What are the mountains of Machu Picchu?
- Huayna Picchu, the young mountain
- Machupicchu, the old mountain
- What adventure to choose?
- The Ticket Machupicchu + Mountain
- The Ticket Machupicchu + Huayna Picchu
- Some advices
What are the mountains of Machu Picchu?
- By orders of Pachacutec, the Incas built an urban, religious and resting place for the emperor and his family in approximately 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 lower summit. In this last mountain there is also a small peak called ‘Huchuy Picchu’ ( Small mountain). In the distance you can also see the top of the imposing Putucusi mountain.
- The result was the Wonder of the World, an enclosure that harmonizes with the nature around it. Many things have changed since then.
- Now, the site is one of the largest tourist spots on the planet. However, the two peaks where the Inca llaqta was raised remain firm: the Machu Picchu mountain and the Huayna Picchu.
- Currently, these two mountains offer incredible adventures for the visitor.
Huayna Picchu, the young mountain
View of the Huayna Picchu mountain covered by clouds
- Huayna Picchu, translated from the Quechua language, means ‘young mountain’. This is due to its smaller size compared to the imposing Machu Picchu mountain.
- It is located north of the Inca citadel, at 2,720 meters above sea level. On its slopes, the Incas built a dizzying path, viewpoints, platforms and an incredible enclosure in the middle of two natural caves.
- Although the function of this mysterious construction is still uncertain; this enclosure was called the Great Cavern or Temple of the Moon. To get there they also had steep paths along the mountain limits.
- Today, these stone paths on the limits of Waynapicchu are one of the most requested attractions by visitors. It is the trekking route to the top of Huayna Picchu, from where all the beauty of the Wonder of the World can be appreciated.
- This short hike is considered the most incredible adventure in Machu Picchu. The ascent is arduous and extreme due to the terrifying ravines next to the Inca trails. It takes an average of 2 hours between going up and down. Even so, it is still one of the favorite adventures for tourists.
Machupicchu, the old mountain
Machu Picchu mountain, the place where the incredible Inca city stands
- Machu Picchu comes from a Quechua word that means ‘old mountain’. This may be due to its greater dimension to the Waynapicchu (young mountain).
- It is located in the upper part of the Inca citadel, at 3,082 meters above sea level
- Inca trails were erected on its slopes in order to reach the top and worship the Andean gods such as the hills, the sun, etc.
- Although no Inca temple was built on its roads, the great elevation of this summit made it one of the most important ‘apus’ that surround the Wonder of the World.
- Today, the steep trails that lead to the top of Machu Picchu Mountain are one of the most adventurous new tourist attractions in the Inca llaqta.
- This hiking route covers almost 2 kilometers of steep Inca roads from where you can appreciate all the beauty of the geography that surrounds the Inca citadel.
- Unlike Waynapicchu, the paths are wider and safer. Getting to the top and back takes an average of 3 or 4 hours depending on the physical condition of the person.
What adventure to choose?
- Huayna Picchu and Machu Picchu Mountain offer different experiences in the Wonder of the World.
- The first is shorter but more intense. It is only allowed to people over 12 years old. On its paths is the Temple of the Moon (The Great Cavern ).
- The second is longer and is allowed for visitors of all ages. At its top you can see the Inca citadel from its highest point.
Here are the characteristics of each mountain.
Why choose Huayna Picchu?
- Because the adrenaline rush is unlike any other hike. At the top the effort will be rewarded with a complete 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 scenic beauty of the place. Also, because your entrance ticket is not difficult to get.
The Ticket Machupicchu + Mountain
- The Ticket Machu Picchu + Mountain allows access to the ‘old mountain’.
- This ticket is preferred by adventurers who did not get access to Huayna Picchu.
- Daily only 400 people can walk the roads of this summit. It is advisable to reserve it at least 2 or 3 weeks in advance.
- The ticket includes a visit to the Inca citadel. It also allows you to leave and re-enter the archaeological site.
Admission is in 2 groups which are accessed at the following times:
- Group 1 – The entrance to the Inca citadel of Machu Picchu is from 6 in the morning. The entrance to the Machupicchu mountain is from 6 to 7 in the morning.
- Group 2 – The entrance to the Inca citadel of Machu Picchu is from 8 in the morning. The entrance to the Machupicchu mountain is from 8 to 9 in the morning.
The Ticket Machupicchu + Huayna Picchu
- The Ticket Machu Picchu + Huayna Picchu allows access to the ‘young mountain’.
- This ticket is the one with the highest demand. For security reasons, only 200 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 entrance is in 4 groups which access in the following schedule:
- Group 1 – The entrance to the Inca citadel of Machu Picchu is from 6 in the morning. The entrance to the Huayna Picchu mountain is from 6 to 7 in the morning.
- Group 2 – The entrance to the Inca citadel of Machu Picchu is from 8 in the morning. The entrance to the Huayna Picchu mountain is from 8 to 9 in the morning.
- Group 3 – The entrance to the Inca citadel of Machu Picchu is from 10 in the morning. The entrance to the Huayna Picchu mountain is from 10 to 11 in the morning.
- Group 4 – The entrance to the Inca citadel of Machu Picchu is from noon. The entrance to the Huayna Picchu mountain is from noon to 1 in the afternoon.
The mountains of Machu Picchu are considered the quintessential adventures in the Wonder of the World. To fully enjoy them, the following must be taken into consideration:
- The Ticket Machu Picchu + Huayna Picchu must be reserved a minimum of 3 months in advance, especially during high tourism season (from April to October).
- The ticket Machu Picchu + Mountain must be reserved a minimum of 3 days in advance, especially during high tourist season.
- Although it is not necessary to be an expert mountaineer, it is advisable to be in an acceptable physical condition before the adventure.
- Before doing either of the two walks, it is recommended to adapt to the height of Cusco. Two days of acclimatization will be enough.
- The ascent to the Machu Picchu and Waynapicchu mountains is not a race for who comes first. Walk at your own pace. There is enough time to complete the tour.
- During the rainy season (November to March) mountain trails tend to get wet. It is recommended to wear suitable shoes or shoes for hiking.
- In both cases it is only allowed to carry a backpack with no more than 5 kilos of weight. Take only the most important things: sunscreen, water, sunglasses, hat or hat, rain poncho, camera and some snacks.
By Ticket Machu Picchu – Last updated, November 26, 2021