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. Find our the best information about the Putucusi Mountain bellow.
But wait! There’s another mountain just a little further away from the ruins. Visited less frequently, also giving the climber great views: Putucusi (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, Putucusi Mountain 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.
Challenging difficulty – It is without a doubt the most difficult hike in Machu Picchu. It is considered quite intense and involves overcoming high stairs and quite steep trails located on rocky slopes. It is recommended for hikers in good physical condition. Not suitable for people with fear of heights.
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"
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!