The great Machu Picchu Mountain rises more than 652m/2,139ft above the Inca city 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 extra trek within the Machu Picchu complex that does not include a guide. The climb is usually done on your own. It is no longer possible to do the climb on the day of your Machu Picchu tour due to the new entrance hours of 7am to 8am conflict with the Machu Picchu Tours. It must be done on a second day to Machu Picchu. The charge is $75 for the second day, If you require a guide, please request in advance, Orange Nation can organize it for you. There is an extra charge for this extra service.
***You must always respect the scheduled entrance times between 7am to 8am. 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.
First shift to Montaña (7:00 am–8:00 am)
The first shift is ideal for those who stayed in Aguas Calientes the previous night. You must board early morning buses to Machu Picchu and ascend this peak before sunrise. From the summit of Montaña, one can see how slowly Machu Picchu becomes crowded. If you choose this option, the total cost of Machu Picchu Mountain and Machu Picchu Citadel will be USD 75. But there is a downside: after a 3-hour round-trip hike up this peak, you will be too tired to continue your 2- to 3-hour guided tour of Machu Picchu.
***When you purchase this option, you must enter the Machu Picchu citadel between 6:00 a.m. and 7:00 a.m. It takes 25 minutes to hike from the main gate to the control point of this mountain. Once you finish the hike, you can reenter Machu Picchu through the lower part (Circuit 3)
Second Shift to Montaña (8:00 am to 9:00 am)
The second shift, from 8:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m., allows 200 people to enter; this is ideal for people arriving at Machu Picchu after hiking the Short Inca Trail, Salkantay Trek, Lares Trek, Inca Jungle, or Tours by train. It would be best to first explore the Citadel of Machu Picchu before ascending the mountain. It will take around 1.5 hours to reach the mountain’s summit and a similar time to return.
Unless you take a private trip, we don’t suggest this mountain if you’re trekking the Classic 4-day Inca Trail to Machu Picchu. Then, you hike this mountain first and then visit Machu Picchu. If you stay an additional day in Aguas Calientes after the Inca Trail, you may hike this mountain and return to Cusco the following day. Machu Picchu Mountain tickets allow you to reenter Machu Picchu but only through the shortest circuit called “CIRCUIT 3 OR LOWER ENTRANCE.”
***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.
Which is the best time of the day to hike?
Whether you are on a group tour or have a private tour guide, these options are recommended.
Private Tours to Machu Picchu.
You can hike up to Machu Picchu Montaña first and then meet your tour guide at a specific point and explore the citadel. You can also request your tour guide to go up to the mountain. However, this is an extra charge as the Machu Picchu guided tour only includes the citadel. If this is your plan, you will only need one ticket, and the cost is 75 USD in total.
Group Tours to Machu Picchu
If you are part of a group tour, the one ticket option is not for you. The group guided tours are always in the morning when Machu Picchu is not very crowded. After exploring Machu Picchu, you can climb Machu Picchu Mountain by yourself. You need 2 tickets; 1 for Machu Picchu early entry (55. USD) and one for Machu Picchu + Montaña (75. USD). A tour guide for Machu Picchu Mountain is not necessary.
Which time of the year is best to hike Machu Picchu Montaña?
Machu Picchu is located in the tropical cloud forest in the warm and humid upper Amazon. Like in the movie of lost cities, Machu Picchu is situated on a high mountain top with difficult access and cannot be seen from the lower part. Also, the area gets covered by mist and clouds for most of the year. Travelers will visit Machu Picchu all year round, even with intense sun, clouds, or rain; the city will still amaze you.
Below are some recommendations to consider when visiting Machu Picchu. The dry season is from May to October and is expected to have little rain. However, you must always have rain gear as the weather can change in minutes. This season is also busy, especially from June to September, when there will be long lines for the buses, Machu Picchu, and trains. The wet season is from November to April; rain is expected early in the morning, and the sun will come out around 9 to 10 a.m. However, in the cloud forest, the weather is unpredictable. Preparing for the sun, rain, and cold weather is better.
**The best time to visit Machu Picchu and hike Machu Picchu mountain are the shoulder seasons: April, May, September, October, and November.
Montaña Machu Picchu is the highest mountain in the area at 3082 meters (10111 ft.). The hike begins at Machu Picchu citadel, located at 2430 meters (7972 feet). To reach the top of Machu Picchu Mountain, you need at least 1.5 hours and a similar time to come back the same way.
Machu Picchu Mountain is located southwest of the citadel, and the entrance is in the upper part of Machu Picchu near the Guardhouse. After passing the checkpoint, you hike up toward the Guardhouse three times on the left side until you arrive at the main trail that leads to the Sun Gate (Intipunku). Then continue hiking this trail for about 5 minutes until you see a sign that says Machu Picchu Mountain, and turn to the right. You will see a set of long stairs going upwards until you arrive at the checkpoint. The total time from the main entrance of Machu Picchu to the gate of Montaña is about 25 minutes.
The trail is steep in some parts of the mountains with stairs and can be dangerous; you must always be careful and follow your tour guide’s signs and instructions.
The climb to Montaña Machu Picchu could be challenging. The sun is intense, and you might wander in the middle of the trail wondering, “why am I doing this?”. You will find the answer once you reach the mountaintop and have a fantastic view of Machu Picchu, the Inca Trail, and the surrounding mountains.
When packing for the hike to Machu Picchu Mountain, bring plenty of water, snacks, comfortable walking shoes, clothes for warm weather, sunscreen, insect repellent, and rain gear. Also, be sure to pack a camera to capture the stunning views!
The average temperature in Machu Picchu is 68 degrees Fahrenheit (20ºC). However, the temperature can range from 50 to 86 degrees Fahrenheit. Packaging clothing for all weather conditions is essential when hiking Machu Picchu Mountain.
Machu Picchu Mountain is one of the most popular hiking destinations in the world, and for a good reason. The views from the top are breathtaking, and the sense of accomplishment you feel after completing the hike is unbeatable. If you’re considering tackling Machu Picchu Mountain, follow our complete guide to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience.
10/10 Amazing experience
If you’re thinking about which agency to use, look no further- Ray and Jimmy went well above and beyond and made this a memorable, safe, fun, and professional experience.
Ray is the most knowledgeable guide I’ve ever had in any country for any excursion - during both the Short Inka Trail and the actual tour of Machu Picchu, Ray’s expertise shined through in his ability to give us a detailed background on every aspect of the history, climate, nature, flora, animals.. anything!
Likewise, Ray and Jimmy were truly the friendliest, kindest hosts that I could have imagined our group having.
Thank you both so much and I will definitely book with you again if (when) I come back!
Did the 2 day Inca trail with Ray and Jimmy they were great and knowledgeable. Ray not only guided us along trail to Machu Picchu but also was an excellent photographer and taught us the history. It was a group of 10 and we had a great time. Even everything going on in Peru, we always felt in good hands.
Short Inca Trial (2-Day)
This tour was the perfect experience for our (group of 10) short trip to Peru. The trail was sometimes challenging, but the views and history made it all worth it. Ray and Jimmy were our guides and imparted sooo much knowledge about the history of Peru, Inca, and beyond. I would definitely recommend!
It was perfect! On the first day we had a great time exploring the Sacred Valley and see the main attractions and learn about the history of this beautiful place.
I would definitely recommend the short Inka trail, I think it was the best way to get to know Machu Picchu and the surrounding area. We arrived at Machu Picchu when most of the crowd was gone and it felt really special.
You won’t regret booking with this tour company, especially if Liz Montesinos is your guide. My boyfriend and I did the 4 day Sacred Valley, Machu Picchu and Rainbow Mountain (private) tour. The tour covered everything; from transportation, hotels, meals, tickets and entrance fees, to stops at local places we would’ve never known to go or check out. We did a private tour because for us we felt this would help us get the most out of our time and experience in Peru
Best mix of adventure, history and nature: Sacred Valley & Short Inca Trail to Machu Picchu
4-day trekking option seemed too intense for us, but we still wanted to experience the entrance to Machu Picchu through the ancient Inka trail, so we opted for Orange Nation’s combination of Sacred Valley & Short Inca Trail to Machu Picchu. I couldn’t be more happy about our decision.
We booked and paid the deposit to Orange Nation / Sam travel for the 4 day Inca Trail and Machu Pichu trip back in 2019. But we couldn't travel in 2020 and 2021 - but the company honoured our agreement and so we came back in 2022.
You won’t regret booking with this tour company, especially if Liz Montesinos is your guide. My boyfriend and I did the 4 day Sacred Valley, Machu Picchu and Rainbow Mountain (private) tour. The tour covered everything; from transportation, hotels, meals, tickets and entrance fees, to stops at local places we would’ve never known to go or check out. We did a private tour because for us we felt this would help us get the most out of our time and experience in Peru. This tour had so many incredible things and places packed into 4 days.
My girl and i did the Machu Pichu trek tour with Orange Nation. It was seriously the most amazing experience that we'll never forget. Gorgeous views! The long trek was worth the amazing view. The tour guide was friendly and very knowledgeable. We considered other tours but chose Orange Nation because we liked the idea of smaller groups and this was definitely worth it. I will be using Orange Nation again next year when I come back to Peru!
Wow, what a wonderful trekking experience! My trip to Peru was amazing thanks to this awesome tour that i took with Orange Nation. I did multiple tours with this company. I'm a solo traveler and everyone in my group was always still friendly and did not make me feel left out. I loved going off the beaten track with this company. It's much better to pay extra to go off the path for the quality experience of this amazing guided tour They definitely helped guide us and gave us a quality experience with a small group and paid special attention to each one of us. I highly recommend using Orange Nation for your next tour in Peru!
Has one of the most outstanding meal services. Our chefs have been highly trained to prepare the best peruavian and International food our treks. You should be prepared to not only have a superb trekking experience, but also a culinary one. "The food has been the highlight for all our hikers"