The Mountain of Huaynapicchu is located in the Inca citadel of Machu Picchu, with an altitude of 2720 m.a.s.l., it is well known for being the backdrop of the most panoramic photographs of the Inca citadel of Machu Picchu. Inside is the Great Cavern or Temple of the Moon; inside the Incas made staircases with fearsome cliffs, its construction must have been arduous and extremely dangerous: It is a very steep, narrow road, which includes several sections with stairways carved in the live rock at the very edge of the vertical rock wall. On the top of the Huaynapicchu we can find some minor constructions, among them, a large carved stone as a throne, called as the Inca's chair and a cover.
However, the most interesting thing about ascending to the mountain of Waynapicchu is the view that we can see from the entire valley of Machu Picchu and the Urubamba river at the bottom of the Canyon, whose turbulent waters are heard thundering even in such a high place.
Also we can appreciate the snowy Salkantay (sacred by the Incas). as we can also see the curious alignment that exists between the Huayna Picchu, the summit of Machu Picchu and the mentioned snowfall that according to Johann Renihard is one of the main reasons why Machu Picchu was important in the days of Pachacutec (1438-1572).
From the Inca citadel of Machu Picchu we can appreciate a steep climb to the summit of difficult travel and indeed it is.
The route of the ascent to the Mountain of Huaynapicchu is very requested, it is recommended to make the reservation of your spaces with 3 months of anticipation in high season: from April to October, the spaces are limited, there are two access schedules to the Mountain of Huaynapicchu :
Entry times to Huaynapicchu
- The first shift is from: 7:00 am to 8:00 am
- The second shift from 8:00 am to 9:00 am
- Third Schedule from 9:00 am to 10:00 am
Availability of spaces to Huaynapicchu
The spaces to enter Huaynapicchu are limited, being able to enter 400 people per day, distributed in three schedules. The spaces for the Mountain of Huaynapicchu can be seen on the same page of the Deconcentrated Directorate of Culture Cusco or reservations can be made with travel and tourism agencies. In case of not finding spaces for the ascent to Huaynapicchu, there is another hiking option that is Machupicchu Mountain, it is another peak from where you can appreciate the whole valley of Machu Picchu from the top, this is a new route that has landscape beauty and the roads are wider, the difference between the Machu Picchu Mountain and the Machu Picchu Mountain is that it will take you one more hour of walking.
Entrance cost to Machu Picchu:
The cost of admission to the Huaynapicchu Mountain is S / 200 soles or U$64 dollars, the entrance to the Inca citadel of Machupicchu is already included, that is, they do not sell only entrance tickets to Huaynapicchu separately.
How to get to Huaynapicchu Mountain
It is a road that starts from the north end of Machu Picchu through the narrow tongue of land that connects the mountains Machu and Huayna Picchu. Then the road forks. The right branch ascends to the top. To climb to the top of the Huaynapicchu it takes 1 hour with 30 minutes of ascent and the same time of descent, the ascent is steep, Huaynapicchu is considered one of the most incredible short walks on the planet. Every year there are more tourists who dare to travel these ancient Inca trails on the edge of fearsome cliffs.
The ascent - It begins with a slight ascent along trails. The first difficulty is to cross a huge rock whose only possible way is a narrow opening. The ascent continues along stone steps of small space. On one side it borders the rock wall of the mountain and on the other a precipice several meters long. The view is scary. However, if fear is overcome, it reaches the top. It is estimated that the ascent takes 1 hour depending on the physical state of the tourist.
The highest - The top of the Waynapicchu is the perfect reward of the effort deployed. From that point you can see the Inca Citadel and the surrounding nature like nowhere else. The highest part of the mountain is 300 meters higher than the archaeological site. From there you can also see the town of Aguas Calientes, the Vilcanota River, the Putucusi and even the snowy Salkantay. It is believed that the proximity to this nature and mountains was the reason that Machu Picchu was built in that place.
The descent - The descent is as arduous as the ascent. It begins on a different path to ascent. On a stretch there is a detour that leads to the Great Cavern or Temple of the Moon. The stone steps are also narrow and next to cliffs. These join at one point with the initial ascent path. It is estimated that going down from the top of Huayna Picchu takes 1 hour depending on whether or not the visit to the archaeological temple is made.