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Hiking Huayna Picchu to Explore Machu Picchu From a Different Angle

Machu Picchu is a magical place, there’s no doubt about that! Our favorite Machu Picchu guide introduced all of you to the incredible sunrise that can be seen from the guard house, but there are more secrets that should not be missed out on during a visit of the Inca Capital. All of Class Adventure Travel travelers that visit Machu Picchu receive a second entrance included in their package. We strongly advice to use the second entrance to see Machu Picchu from a different angle, from Huayna Picchu.

Machu Picchu – ‘the old peak’ (which the name literally means in the Quechua language) was built in the 15th century, but only became widely known after the first westerner visited it in 1911. That ‘discovery’ by the later US Senator and Governor Hiram Bingham was the start of an explosion of visitors turning Machu Picchu in the most popular attraction in Peru. That’s not it. There is another peak that can be climbed, Huayna Picchu and Montse our Travel Supervisor & Concierge took this opportunity with both hands, like many other travelers.

Huayna Picchu trail

Huayna Picchu is the mountain located behind the Inca Capital of Machu Picchu. This means that you will need to walk through the ancient ruins to reach the start of the Huayna Picchu climb. As for many travelers, climbing Huayna Picchu was one of Montse’s highlights during her 2 day visit to Machu Picchu. She got up very early on the second morning and joined the first group of people to climb up to this second peak.  You might ask yourself why she got up that early, it is indeed not because of the length of the trek, but because of the restricted visitor times and numbers. Only the first 400 people who make reservations are eligible to climb this small and steep peak behind Machu Picchu. Montse was one of the lucky ones that day and started her hike..

Huayna Picchu cave

Said that this is a unique event, you will need to make sure to not be restricted by time, or physical ability to climb the peak.  The trail is mainly steep and full of different sized rocks, it will give you a peek into the lives of the Inca’s and the trails they had to pass thousands of years ago. The higher you get, the more incredible to view of the Inca Capital. Take a couple of minutes to rest and take photos along the way. Then be ready for the last bit, here you will walk and climb through a tunnel carved in the mountains, with at the end the top of Huayna Picchu. The tunnel was a nice change for the sun that covers much of the trail. And finally reaching the top, Montse couldn’t be more satisfied!


Huayna Pichu Montse reached the top!

Her reward was there, the best view of Machu Picchu and it surroundings! ‘It was amazing the see the Urubamba River around the ancient site, it’s a spectacular view that cannot be missed out on and besides that it sounded almost unbelievable to me that the Inca’s have been able to build terraces even on mountains as steep as this one’, she tells us.

Take some time to enjoy the breathtaking views of the different sectors of this magical archeological side and the surrounding landscapes before starting your hike downhill.

Hiking Huayna Picchu


Some numbers

  • 400 visitors eligible daily (200 per departure)
  • 2 hike departures daily – the first at 07.00AM and the second on 10.00AM
  • Huayna Picchu is open for visitors from 07.00AM – 01.00PM
  • The hike uphill takes 1.5 – 2 hours
  • The downhill hike takes around an hour