Huayna Picchu, also known as Wayna Picchu or "Young Mountain" in Quechua, is a towering peak that stands at 2,693 meters (8,835 feet) above sea level, located within the Machu Picchu archaeological site in Peru. It offers adventurous hikers a challenging trek with incredible views of the ancient Incan citadel and the surrounding landscape. Here's everything you need to know about Huayna Picchu Mountain:

Huayna Picchu Mountain

Overview:

  • Elevation: 2,693 meters (8,835 feet)
  • Difficulty: Moderate to challenging, with steep sections and narrow trails
  • Duration: Approximately 2-3 hours round trip, depending on fitness level
  • Trail length: 2.4 km (1.5 miles) one way
  • Best time to visit: May to September (dry season)

Permits and Access:

Access to Huayna Picchu is limited to 400 visitors per day, divided into two entry time slots: the first group from 7:00-8:00 AM and the second group from 10:00-11:00 AM. You must purchase a combined ticket for both Machu Picchu and Huayna Picchu in advance, as tickets sell out quickly, especially during peak season. Tickets can be purchased online through the official government website or via authorized travel agencies.

The Hike:

The trail to the summit of Huayna Picchu begins near the Sacred Rock, located within the Machu Picchu complex. The hike involves steep, narrow stone steps, some sections with exposed drop-offs, and a few cable handrails for support. The ascent usually takes 1-1.5 hours, while the descent takes around 45 minutes to 1 hour. The hike is not recommended for those with a fear of heights or for young children.

The Temple of the Moon:

While hiking Huayna Picchu, you have the option to take a detour and visit the Temple of the Moon, an ancient Incan temple built into a cave on the mountain's backside. This detour adds approximately 1-2 hours to the total hiking time.

Safety Tips:

  • Make sure you are well-acclimatized to the altitude before attempting the hike
  • Wear sturdy hiking shoes with good grip, as the trail can be slippery, especially in wet conditions
  • Carry plenty of water and snacks, as there are no facilities along the trail
  • Start the hike early to avoid the heat of the day and ensure you have enough time to complete the hike before the site closes
  • Pay attention to weather conditions and avoid the hike in heavy rain or poor visibility

What to Bring:

  • Passport (required for entry)
  • Sturdy hiking shoes
  • Sunscreen and a hat
  • Rain jacket or poncho (depending on the season)
  • Camera or smartphone for photos
  • Water and snacks
  • A small backpack to carry your belongings

In conclusion, Huayna Picchu is a thrilling and challenging hike that offers stunning views of Machu Picchu and the surrounding landscape. With proper planning and preparation, this adventure will be a memorable part of your visit to the famous Incan citadel.