Enjoy the strategic location of the Inca Citadel of Machu Picchu and the surrounding lush canyon from the different angle view points of Huayna Picchu Mt, the Sun Gate, Machu Picchu Mt, the Llactapata Inca ruins, Putukusi Mt and the Inca bridge section……
Those who are doing the Inca Trail will see Machu Picchu for the first time from the Sun Gate! This is one of the highlights of the trail and a big reason why so many people choose the Inca Trail hike. Those doing the Alternative treks arrive at Machu Picchu from Aguas Calientes, stay a night in a hotel and take the shuttle bus to Machu Picchu at 5:30am to enjoy the sunrise.
Please have a look at the optional hikes and things to do at Machu Picchu provided below.
Huayna Picchu which translated from Quechua means Young Mountain, is located at 2,667m/8,750ft above sea level and is apart of the Andean foothills bordering the Amazon. Huayna Picchu is well known for being part of the vast majority of the panoramic photos of Machu Picchu. On Huayna Picchu you may see some archeological 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.
***The climb to Huayna Picchu is steep and can be slippery when wet. Please evaluate your ability to climb it before booking.
***The two extra mountain hikes options within the Machu Picchu complex that do not include a guide. The climb is usually done on your own after you tour of the Machu Picchu citadel. If you require a guide, please request in advance. There is an extra charge for this extra service.
***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!
Yes! Its limited to 400 hikers a day, so you will need to plan early to book the extra hike. Especially for Huayna Picchu, you should book at least 2 to 3 months in advance. We will purchase the permit for you with your trek if entrance tickets are available.
Schedules for hiking up to Huayna Picchu:
First schedule: 7 – 8 AM
Second schedule: 10 – 11 AM
***This is the time you start the hike. It takes approximately 45 minutes to reach the top of Huayna Picchu, take some photos and 45 minutes down.
The price for Huayna Picchu is an extra cost: US$75 per person
The great Machu Picchu Mountain rises more than 652m/2,139ft above the Sacred Citadel of Machu Picchu and is located 3,082 meters above sea level. It offers some breathtaking views of Machu Picchu, a unique perspective like no other place in the world. The trailhead is located at the base of the Inca City of Machu Picchu.
Thousands are drawn everyday by the 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.
***This is an optional trek within the Machu Picchu complex that does not include a guide. The climb is usually done on your own after you tour of Machu Picchu. If you require a guide, please request in advance. There is an extra charge for this extra service.
***You must always respect the scheduled entrance times between 7am to 8am or 10am to 11am. If you arrive 5 minutes late you will not be allowed to enter!
The amount of time to climb Machu Picchu mountain depends on how fast you hike and how often you stop for photos. It can take from 1 to 1.5 hours to climb up, which makes it 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) and more.
The climb to Machu Picchu Mountain is considered moderate to difficult, but not challenging. During the rainy season, the trail can be slippery, making the ascent more difficult.
Schedules for hiking up to Machu Picchu Mountain:
First schedule: 7 – 8 AM
Second schedule: 10 – 11 AM
***This is the time you start the hike. It takes approximately 1-1.5 hours to reach the top, take some photos and another 1-1.5 hours to return.
The price for Machu Picchu Mountain is an additional $75USD.
Llactapata Inca Ruins give a fantastic view across to Machu Picchu, from where you may enjoy the strategic location of the citadel and of course the sunset and sunrise over Machu Picchu… This is our camping site on the Salkantay trek to Machu Picchu and the Inca Jungle Trek, a specialty of ORANGE NATION… This picture has been taken from Llactapata Inca ruins.
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 travelers who trek the Inca Trail, they enter Machu Picchu through the Sun Gate, or 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 uphill climb with a few sections of stairs, which is not a problem for anyone with a fear of heights, unlike Huayna Picchu. 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 top.
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.
When heading for Machu Picchu, climbers often want a birds’ 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.
But wait! There’s another mountain just a little further away from the ruins. Visited less frequently, also giving the climber great views: Putukusi (also spelled Putucusi) laying 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 (maybe 6:00 a.m.) to see the ruins before the crowds enter Machu Picchu and also because 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 Aquas Calientes, even closer than Machu Picchu, Putukusi is a shear cliffed, 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 absolute 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. They are completely covered by cloud forest.
The trail leading up the mountain is more vertical than horizontal, that seems to be the general patterning among the mountains here. When looking out at Machu Picchu from the summit of Putukusi it is interesting to think why the Incas chose to build this masterpiece in such a rugged place.
Perhaps 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 and much of it has most likely has never seen a human being. It is interesting to imagine that there might be another Macchu Picchu hidden in these mountains that nobody knows even exists.