Huayna Picchu (Quechua for Young Mountain) is none other than the great mountain that appears behind the Inca citadel. Located to the north of the citadel of Machu Picchu with an altitude of 2,667 msnm, it is a place where you can get breathtaking views of the archaeological complex.
Getting to the top of the Huayna Picchu is a challenge, Huayna Picchu is a very steep, narrow road, which includes several sections with steps and stairways carved into the living rock. The ascent takes, for an average person, between 45 to 60 minutes depending on the fitness level of each person.
The mountain of Huayna Picchu is part of a great orographic formation known as Batolito de Vilcabamba, in the Central Cordillera of the Peruvian Andes. They are located on the left bank of the so-called Urubamba Canyon, formerly known as Quebrada de Picchu. At the foot of the hills and practically surrounding them, runs the river Vilcanota – Urubamba. The mountain itself is within an intangible territory of the National System of Natural Areas Protected by the State (SINANPE), called the Historic Sanctuary of Machu Picchu, which extends over an area of 32,592 hectares (80,535 acres or 325.92 km²) of the Vilcanota-Urubamba river basin (the Willka Mayu or Sacred River of the Incas). The Historical Sanctuary protects a series of biological species in danger of extinction and several Inca establishments, among which Machu Picchu is considered the main site.
At the summit of the Huayna Picchu Mountain there are some archaeological remains such as the Temple of the Moon, one of the most beautiful Inca constructions which is inside a cave. This has magnificent structures in vault forms that confirm the refined architectural technique of the Incas.
Although some studies claim that the Temple of the Moon was used for funerary purposes, its specific function has not yet been determined. Nevertheless, the specialists agree that it was part of a set of elite buildings, due to the apparent effort that demanded its construction. The name “Temple of the Moon”, although popular among tourists and archaeologists, lacks archaeological foundation.
In front of the cave, we can find a stone carved in the form of an altar, believed to have been used for sacrifices.
The best time to climb the Huayna Picchu mountain is definitely the dry season between April and October.
Panoramic view of the Putukusi mountain, Inti Punku, the Inca city of Machu Picchu and the Vilcanota river.
Visit to the temple of the moon.
Climbing Huayna Picchu is pure adrenaline. Getting to the top not only gives you the best panoramic view of the citadel, but you are literally among the clouds! Make sure you wear light but waterproof clothing and shoes with a good grip since there are very steep moments that could be slippery in the rain. Getting up and down takes about 1.30hs. It is advisable to climb in the first group so the path is free going up- those who go up in the second group, go slow because they must share the paths (for very narrow moments) with those who are already going down. If you like challenges you can not miss this attraction!
You should bring:
- Comfortable shoes
- Bottle of water
- Sun Blocker
- Insect Repellents
Entrance to the Mountain of Wayna Picchu:
The maximum capacity for entry to the mountain Huayna Picchu is 400 people divided into two groups of 200. The first entry is between and 7 and 8am, and the second is between 10 and 11 am.
For those travelers who want to ascend to Huayna Picchu, they are advised to purchase their ticket well in advance, the Boleto Machu Picchu + Huayna Picchu Group 1 is one of the most popular tickets available due to the great interest of hundreds of tourists who wish to climb this mountain and the limited amount of spaces that are for sale.