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Huayna Picchu and Machu Picchu Mountain hike cuzco, sun gate

Extra Hikes and Things to do in Machu Picchu after the Guided Tour!

Enjoy the strategic location of the Inca Citadel of Machu Picchu and the surrounding lush canyon from the different angled view points such as: Huayna Picchu Mountain, Sun Gate, Machu Picchu Mountain (not to be confused with the citadel itself), Llactapata Inca ruins, Putukusi Mountain and the Inca bridge section.

Those who are doing the Inca Trail will see Machu Picchu for the first time from the Sun Gate, which is one of the highlights of why people choose the Inca Trail Trek.   Those doing alternative treks arrive to Machu Picchu from Aguas Calientes. After the last day of your trek, you will stay a night in a hotel in Aguas Calientes and take the early bus the next morning to Machu Picchu to enjoy the sunrise.

Please have a look at the optional hikes and things to do at Machu Picchu below:

HUAYNA PICCHU

Huayna Picchu (which translated from Quechua means Young Mountain) is 2,667m/8,750ft above sea level and is part of the Andean foothills. Huayna Picchu is well known for being part of the vast majority of the panoramic photos of Machu Picchu citadel. Climbing Huayna Picchu, you may see some archaeological sites, including the Temple of the Moon built in a natural cave. At the top of Huayna Picchu, there are small terraces and some buildings that were a part of an astronomical observatory and is a point of guardianship to the citadel.

PLEASE NOTE:

***The climb to Huayna Picchu is steep and can be slippery when wet.  Please evaluate your ability to climb it before booking.

***This is an optional trek within Machu Picchu Citadel that does not include a guide. The climb is usually done on your own after your tour of Machu Picchu Citadel. If you would like the extra hike to be guided, please request in advance. There is an extra cost for this extra guided tour.  

***You must always respect the scheduled entrance times between 7 to 8am or 10 to 11am.  If you arrive 5 minutes late, you will not be allowed to enter! 

ARE THE ENTRANCE TICKETS LIMITED?

Yes! They are limited to 400 hikers per day so you will need to plan early to book this extra hike. At least 2 to 3 months in advance.  We will purchase the permit for you with your trek, if tickets are available.

 Schedules for hiking up to Huayna Picchu:

  • First schedule: 7 – 8 AM * This is the schedule we will purchase for alternative treks. 
  • Second schedule: 10 – 11 AM * This is the schedule we will purchase for Inca trail treks. 

***This is the time you start the hike.  It takes approximately 2 hours (roundtrip) to hike Huayna Picchu.

PRICES

  • For trekkers of the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu: $75 USD per person
  • Alternative treks to Machu Picchu: $75 USD per person
  • Tours to Machu Picchu: $75 USD per person

What is the difference in buying a ticket to Huayna Picchu with and without the Inca Trail?

  1. When we buy the permit for the Inca Trail trek, the Machu Picchu entrance is included with it. The government only sells the Inca Trail permits as a combined ticket with Machu Picchu entrance.  It does not allow us to add on the Huayna Picchu entrance with the combined permit.
  2. In order for our Inca Trail trekkers to climb Huayna Picchu, we have to buy another entrance ticket to Machu Picchu combined with the Huayna Picchu entrance ticket. It is not possible to buy just a Huayna Picchu entrance ticket by itself!
  3. Salkantray/Lares Treks and other alternative treks do not need an Inca Trail permit, thus we can just buy a Machu Picchu entrance combined with the Huayna Picchu entrance together.

MACHUPICCHUMOUNTAIN

MACHU PICCHU MOUNTAIN

The great Machu Picchu mountain rises more than 652m/2,139ft above the Sacred City of Machu Picchu and is located at 3,082m/10,111ft above sea level.  It offers some breath taking views of Machu Picchu, a uniqueness like no other place in the world. It is seated at the base of the Inca Citadel of Machu Picchu. Thousands are drawn everyday, by the unique energy emanating from the earth at Machu Picchu,  which is considered sacred to the Inca civilization. Machu Picchu Mountain’s summit was used by Inca priests to perform rituals on special dates and is a place of worship of the Apu Salkantay.

***This is an optional trek within Machu Picchu that does not include a guide. The climb is usually done on your own after you tour of Machu Picchu.  

***You must always respect the scheduled entrance times between 7 to 8am or 9 to 10am.  If you arrive 5 minutes late you will not be allowed to enter! 

HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE?

The amount of time to climb Machu Picchu mountain depends on the physical condition of the individual and can range from 1 to 1.5 hours to climb or 2 to 3 hours (round-trip). From the top, you have incredible views of Machu Picchu and the last part of the Classic Inca Trail.  You can also admire the amazing canyon formed by the slope of the Vilcanota river with green mountains on one side and on the other side the mountains of the Cordillera Vilcabamba,  and the snowy summit of Salkantay (6,271 m/20,574ft) and more.

The climb to Machu Picchu Mountain is considered moderate to difficult but not challenging. An average physical condition is required.  During the rainy season, the road can be very slippery, making the ascent more difficult.

Schedules for hiking up to Machu Picchu Mountain:

  • First schedule: 7 – 8 AM * This is the schedule we will purchase for alternative treks.
  • Second schedule: 9 – 10 AM * This is the schedule we will purchase for Inca Trail treks.

***This is the time you start the hike.  It takes approximately 3 hours (roundtrip) to hike Machu Picchu Mountain.

PRICES

  • For trekkers of the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu: $75 USD per person
  • Alternative treks to Machu Picchu: $75 USD per person
  • Tours to Machu Picchu: $75 USD per person

What is the difference in tickets for the Inca Trail and alternative treks?

  1. When we buy the permit for the Inca Trail trek, the Machu Picchu entrance is already included with it. The government only sells the Inca Trail permits as a combined ticket with Machu Picchu entrance.  It does not allow us to add on Machu Picchu Mountain entrance with the combined permit.
  2. In order for our Inca Trail trekkers to climb Machu Picchu Mountain, we have to buy another entrance ticket to Machu Picchu combined with the Machu Picchu entrance ticket. It is not possible to buy just a Machu Picchu Mountain entrance ticket by itself!
  3. Salkantray/Lares Treks and other alternative treks do not need an Inca Trail permit, thus we can just buy a Machu Picchu entrance combined with the Machu Picchu Mountain entrance together.

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INFORMATION ABOUT THE SUN GATE

You always have the opportunity to walk to the Sun Gate for free, it takes 1 hour to get to the top and 1 hour to get back.

For travellers who trek the Inca Trail, they enter Machu Picchu through the Sun Gate, also called Inti Punku, and watch the sunrise. For those who don’t do this multi-day trek, it’s still possible to enjoy the impressive views from the Sun Gate without the cost of an additional ticket.

The trail is a gradual up hill climb with a few sections of stairs, which shouldn’t be a problem for anyone with a fear of heights. It takes between 40-60 minutes walking at a steady pace to reach the top. The surrounding mountains and beautiful valleys should be all the motivation you will need to reach the summit.

The trail to the Inca Bridge wraps around the backside of a mountain in the opposite direction of the Machu Picchu ruins. A special ticket is not needed to walk the path, although daily traffic to the Inca Bridge is documented. Each visitor must log their name in a book at the entrance and then sign out. It’s about a 20-minute hike along a fairly narrow path towards the bridge. While the climb isn’t steep, some of the drop-offs along the edges may make some people uneasy.

The Inca Bridge is made of a few narrow logs perched above a sheer vertical drop – it´s believed to have served as a secret entrance to Machu Picchu. Crossing the bridge itself is strictly forbidden today for safety reasons but you can take as many photos as you like. On the return hike, you’re likely to ponder whether or not you would have the courage to cross the bridge if you lived during the time of the Incas.

PUTUKUSIMOUNTAIN

PUTUKUSI MOUNTAIN

When heading for Machu Picchu, climbers often want a bird’s eye view of the ruins and most head up to the summit of the famous Huayna Picchu. This mountain makes the backdrop for Machu Picchu. Wait! There’s another mountain just a little further away from the ruins. Visited less frequently, this mountain also gives the climber great views: Putukusi (also spelled Putucusi) lays directly across the Urubamba River from the ruins of Machu Picchu.

The summit has wide open views over Machu Picchu as well as the surrounding valleys and mountain peaks. It’s best to get there early (around 6:00 am) to see the ruins before the crowds enter Machu Picchu. Also, the light is best at that time of the day.

Aguas Calientes is a small village surrounded by rugged impenetrable mountains in the eastern part of Peru’s Oriental Cordillera . The entire town exists for one sole purpose: to serve the millions of yearly visitors to Machu Picchu.

Right next to Aguas Calientes, even closer than Machu Picchu, Putukusi is a sheer cliff, a jungle coated mountain rising the better part of two thousand feet up from the valley. On a clear day, it’s possible to see Machu Picchu with snow-capped Salkantay behind it, which is an absolutely spectacular sight. Putukusi is the best and almost only thing to do in the Aguas Calientes area that doesn’t involve Machu Picchu and doesn’t require paying an entry fee.

The mountain, like all others in the area, is composed of near vertical, perfectly smooth stone walls with steep gullies intersecting them. The walls are entirely covered by cloud forest.

The trail leading up the mountain is more vertical than horizontal; that seems to be the general pattern among the mountains here. When looking out at Machu Picchu from the summit of Putukusi, it is interesting to ponder why the Incas chose to build their empire in such a rugged place. Surely the incredible beauty of the landscape inspired them and they thought of themselves as standing in the presence of their gods. The wilderness here is some of the most pristine left anywhere on earth. It is interesting to imagine that there might be another “Machu Picchu” hidden in these mountains that today nobody knows even exists.