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Huayna Picchu: hike to the top

Huayna Picchu: hike to the top

For a whole new Perspective on Machu Picchu

How many times have you seen a picture like the above of the amazing Inca Citadel Machu Picchu? Probably numerous times. Before travelling to Peru, many people dream of taking a picture like that! And many travellers in Peru actually think that the mountain you see here is called Machu Picchu. But that’s not the case. This mountain is called Huayna Picchu. Did you know there is a beautiful hike up to the top of this mountain from where you have a stunning view over the ruins of Machu Picchu! Read more about the Hike Up To Huayna Picchu.

Before you travel to Peru, let’s get the terminology straight. There is the old Inca town, or Inca Citadel Machu Picchu also called the ruins of Machu Picchu. But there is also Machu Picchu mountain and Huayna Picchu Mountain.

On the famous pictures of the Inca Citadel Machu Picchu in Peru, you see so often, the mountain Machu Picchu is behind us! The impressive archaeological site is actually named AFTER the mountain Machu Picchu!

And the mountain you see in our picture above is called Huayna Picchu (or Wayna Picchu)! In Quechua – the language that the Inca’s of Peru spoke – Huayna Picchu means “young peak,” while Machu Picchu means “old peak.”

A visit to the Machu Picchu archaeological site is a highlight of many people’s trip to Peru. If you want to make it even more special, consider doing the climb or hike to the Huayna Picchu mountain. But be prepared: the path up to the top of Huayna Picchu had a nickname: the stairs of death.

Tips for your visit to Machu Picchu and the Huayna Picchu hike

1) Head of to Huayna Picchu

There are numerous ways to explore the area around Machu Picchu. You can do the Inca Trail from Cusco, take the Machu Picchu train tour train to Aguas Calientes to get there.

Once there, you can hike up Machu Picchu Mountain, walk to the Sun Gate or stroll around and pretend you are an Inca. And you can also choose to head up Huayna Picchu! It will give you a whole new perspective on the new world wonder.


Permits to hike up mountain Huayna Picchu are limited per day! You need to book them at the moment you book your Machu Picchu entrance.
So make sure you reserve your ticket with your travel agency on time before your visit.
In the high season (May – September) you should book the Huayna Picchu hike up to four months in advance!
You can find more info below on How to Book the Ticket to Huayna Picchu.


Huayna Picchu mountain Cusco Peru

2) How to enter Huayna Picchu?

Once you are at the Machu Picchu site and have the ticket for your reserved time slot, head to the Huayna Picchu trail entrance. It is not difficult. You need to follow the enormous mountain overshadowing the whole area.

There is a bamboo entrance with a checkpoint where you have to show your ticket plus your original passport. Your name will be written down in a big book to keep track of the people who entered on this day.

Once you return to the exit, you’ll have to check off your name so that they know you´re not still wandering around lost at Machu Picchu! Make sure you are back at the entrance of the Huayna Picchu hike before 4.30 pm.

Entrance Huayna Picchu Peru

3) Is the Huayna Picchu Hike very steep and difficult?

The hike up to the Huayna Picchu is spectacular! Are the steps steep? Yes, definitely. Have you heard of the Stairs of Death in Peru? Well..….they refer to the stairs along the path up (and down!) to Huayna Picchu!

But relax, you won´t have any problems if you watch your step and take it easy.

Huayna Picchu looks so majestic and high, but once you are on the hike to climb it, the path kind of just winds up and you reach a nice height quite fast. It´s just so amazing to step by step up and see more and more of the stunning view over the Inca Citadel with every turn.

4) Reaching the Top of the Huayna Picchu

Once you have reached the top of the Huayna Picchu, take your time and simply marvel at the tiny houses down on the foot of the mountain. Take a picture of you up there – as well as many other photos, because not every visitor to Machu Picchu gets to see this incredible view!

View Machu Picchu Peru

5) How to get the best view of Machu Picchu

“This part of visiting Machu Picchu was my favourite part”, say many people who did a Machu Picchu tour with Dos Manos. Who knows that there is a whole different perspective on the Machu Picchu site? Many people dream of visiting Machu Picchu, and they have seen many photos before their trip to Peru. But most did not imagine to see Machu Picchu from this perspective!

If you wonder how to get the best view of Machu Picchu, now you know. To have this stunning view of these impressive ruins, you need to do the Huayna Picchu Hike: step after step, to the top of Huayna Picchu. It is worth every second and every single step!

Stair of death Huayna Picchu

Fast Facts about Huayna Picchu

  • The peak of Huayna Picchu, or Wayna Picchu, rises approximately 360 meters higher than that of Machu Picchu Mountain.
  • The hike up to Huayna Picchu, including the stairs of death, takes around an hour.
  • During the Incas, there was a trail leading to the Huayna Picchu peak with temples and terraces where the high priest and the virgins lived. This high priest would climb down Huayna Picchu every morning before sunrise to reach Machu Picchu in time to welcome the new day.
Where and How to buy Tickets for Huayna or Wayna Picchu
Tickets or permits for Huayna Picchu need to be booked and paid in advance. You can (and need to) buy them – together with your Machu Picchu entrance fee – at

Note: many people inform us the site is regularly down or has issues with online payments.

Mountain Huayna Picchu

If you have any problems with Machu Picchu entrance tickets, Dos Manos Travel Agency can help. We can buy the ticket or permit for Huayna Picchu or your Machu Picchu permit, as well as general any other entrance fees.

tours to Machu Picchu     treks or hiking tours

How much does the Huayna Picchu ticket cost?

The price for the add-on “Huayna Picchu” is approximately USD $ 13.00.

Note: if you do the Inca Trail, the price is much higher because you will have to buy a new Machu Picchu + Huayna Picchu add on ticket. You cannot only buy the $ 13 add-on when you have an Inca Trail permit.

Quiere leer este artículo en espanol? Lee: Huayna Picchu: una nueva perspectativa de Machu Picchu

Wil je dit artikel liever in het Nederlands lezen? Ga naar:  Huayna Pichu voor de beste Machu Picchu fotos

Do you want to read this article in Dutch?

Huayna Picchu: una nueva perspectiva de Machu Picchu

Do you want to read this article in Spanish?

Huayna Picchu voor de beste Machu Picchu Foto’s

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