Huayna Picchu
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Is it dangerous to climb Huayna Picchu?
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Is Mountain Huayna Picchu really dangerous?

Huayna Picchu is the impressive mountain behind Machu Picchu, rising 360 meters above the Inca City and only 400 people (pre-registered) can climb through it daily. Every year millions of people visit the Inca city, but only a few are lucky enough to see the beauty of Machu Picchu from the Huayna Picchu; Sometimes written Wayna Picchu, has the fame, in addition to its overwhelming beauty, of being one of the most dangerous short excursions on the planet.

Is Huayna Picchu really dangerous or is it just another of the myths surrounding Machu Picchu?

All the time we find travelers who come with references to the danger of climbing the Huayna Picchu mountain. After hearing these rumors, many people wonder if they should or should not, go up to Huayna Picchu.

Tourist descending the stairs of death
Huayna Picchu can produce very intense vertigo sensations

We clarify the doubt

It is true that the ascent to the Huayna Picchu is “visually” terrifying and yes, it has its dangers; However, following the path properly will avoid unnecessary risks. There are cases of people who have died in Machu Picchu or walking the Inca Trail, but in fact only two people are recorded dead while walking the Huayna Picchu mountain trails; And in none of the cases, the deaths were directly related to the mountain, but rather, with the carelessness that these people had when they crossed it.

Huayna Picchu and the stairs of death

It is a nickname “exaggerated” since in reality nobody died when falling of these stairs; However, Machu Picchu is a very humid place, this makes the trails and stone steps very slippery, especially during the rainy season; In addition, despite the limited income, there is plenty of traffic. Once at the top you will find, almost vertically, 700 meters above the throat formed by the Urubamba river and where the village of Aguas Calientes is located.

You will find stairways in many sections, many of them are almost vertical and they go back to times of the Incas (although they are well maintained); There are no handrails on the stairs, but you will have to cross some places, holding up security lines.

Security log

Each tourist must register before starting the tour. These lists allow the guards to make sure that all the people who started the trek up the mountain come out. There are also some guards scattered on the climb. These are there to prevent accidents (and also to take care of the ruins).

Accidents and known deaths in Huayna Picchu

The deaths in the National Park of Machu Picchu are very isolated cases, and in most cases they occurred because these people did not pay attention to the security measures. There are more deaths in the Alps, and these do not attract 400 travelers each day.

Myths about the deaths in Huayna Picchu

Many things circulate on the internet, in many cases, occasional information without sources. If you are planning to travel to Machu Picchu and climb the Huayna Picchu mountain, do not be discouraged by unrealistic and malicious information from sites without authority. Among the unreal information that circulates on the Internet, you will find some pages that speak of about 20 deaths in the mountain Huayna Picchu (without any real source). So let’s “assume” that 20 people have died climbing the Huayna Picchu in the last 10 years. With 400 people climbing every day to the mountain, 11 months a year, the calculated opportunity is 0.00002 percent of the total climbers; The mortality rate related to home accidents per capita in the United States. Is almost a hundred times greater.


  • Any “experienced climber” is aware that any mountain should be treated with respect. Accidents, can, happen and will happen. Huayna Picchu is no different. Whether or not you are an experienced hiker, Huayna Picchu is a challenge; But that anyone (over 12 years old) can overcome.

  • If you suffer from vertigo or fear of heights, we recommend that you overlook this mountain in Machu Picchu; You can get wonderful aerial views of Machu Picchu, from the Puerta del Sol or from Machu Picchu Mountain , No risks.

  • If you want to choose the dates in which you want to ascend to Huayna Picchu Mountain, you must book the tickets 6 months in advance.

Many people die, climbing Everest, the Kilimanjaro, or the ladder while they change the light bulb in their living room. If you are afraid of these things, you’d better stay at home. But you will not be able to see the world without taking some risks; The world is not a safe haven and Huayna Picchu is no exception. There is an inherent risk when enjoying its beautiful views; However, if you prepare enough, you will be able to handle the situation. But, it is worth clarifying, “under no circumstances underestimate this walk”.


Advice from people who have been there

Machu Picchu Mountain

Ana Lucia DBy: Ana Lucia D


“I booked my Huayna Picchu ticket in advance, although I was not fit and I am not a hiker; So I was not sure if I was going to reach the top, I'm afraid of heights, but Huayna Picchu looks beautiful in the photos of Machu Picchu, so I decided to give it a try. I admit it took more time than the others but it was worth it.“


By Ticket Machu Picchu – Last Update, 06-20-2017



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