Huayna Picchu is the beautiful, verdant conical mountain tha forms the backdrop of most iconic Machu Picchu phots. Few people know that it, too, has Incan ruins, and that it is possible to climb up to those ruins in less than an hour.
You will be amazed at the determination and engineering skills of the Incas when you see the slopes of the mountain that they had to overcome to complete this construction. You will also enjoy the unique view of Machu PIcchu (and the road leading up to it) that you get from these ruins. This hike is a must-do for anyone in even moderately good shape. Of course, the better shape you're in, the more you'll enjoy it, so I recommend doing some cardiovascular training starting a few months before your trip. That being said, it is worth all the sweat and breath.
Of course, once you reach the Huayna Picchu ruins, you are almost at the top so you should keep going. Not just for the view -- frankly it doesn't change much -- but for the feeling of accomplishment and to see one more Incan item. It is shaped in the form of an arrow and it points south -- just like several other similar stones all around Machu Picchu. It's a great place to sit for photos and it also helps with your orientation.
While on the top, you will encounter people from all over the world. There were about ten people lounging at the summit, from places as diverse as Ireland, New Zealand, Argentina, France and Hungary. No matter where you're from, if you wait long enough, you'll probably encounter someone that you can ask in your native language to take your photo.
After seeing the Machu Picchu the previous day, I returned to go up that mountain that overlooks it and looks so amazing on pictures (that jutting peak you see guarding the ruins). The mountain is called Huayna Picchu.
The gates open early and only 400 people are allowed per day in two groups of 200 to climb up Huayna Picchu (Young Mountain). I was greeted by a registry at the gate to the Huayna Picchu (separate from the main gate to Machu Picchu) and at the time, they were securing signatures and emails for making Machu Picchu one of the New Seven Wonders! And so I did sign, and lo and behold, on June 7, 2007 this place was named one of the new Seven Wonders of the World!
At first I thought the climb could not be too hard, but it took me about 45min to an hour to reach the top (stopping at some areas to take pics). Some of the stairs are really steep, and close to the top, you have to go through a narrow tunnel and crouch down. It seemed to me that there were other ways to go up but that seemed to be the most logical choice for me then.
I also noticed at the top a person holding some king of radio, and I guess there are also guards to make sure that everything is in order at the top.
But once you’re there on the top, you see the zigzagging road that the Bus takes to go up to Machu Picchu and you just marvel at the whole site. I felt like I was on top of the world! Like some Peruvian Zeus looking over the ruins…
We decided to spend the night in Agua Caliente the first day in Machu Picchu to have more time inside the Machu Picchu compound itself. It was a good decision for us and we arrived by the bus system at the front gate at 6:15 A.M.
There were barely anybody there and even the workers were barely stragelling in to thier posts. It was so peaceful and felt like we had the whole site to ourselves. It is also a different perspective and feeling to see Machu Picchu and Huayan Picchu covered in a shroud of morning clouds and mist. Very mystical and ancient sort of way. The pictures does not do it justice.
Another benefit is hiking Huayan Picchu early and not having to be part of the pile ups up and down the narrow, steep trail/stairs. It felt like a complete zoo when 11:30 a.m. rolled around the wave of people started arriving from the first train up. Luckly, we were close to our fill of the place and when people were coming up on the bus, we were going down!
Well what can I say about this view that hasnt already been said.....?
Huayna Picchu,meaning young peak,its the mountain that you`ll see behind most photos of this wonderful place.
You can climb it,but it can be dangerouswe never had time sadly,mind you,I think you`d have to be fit,both phsically and mentally.keeping your wits about you.Some of the steps are a wee bit precarious.
If you’re not in a rush to go down from Huayna Picchu, there is also an alternate route to the great cave of the Moon Temple. Ladders are involved to go down to the great cave and some people might find it difficult to do the narrow Cliffside staircase (fear of heights).
And then after reaching the Moon Temple, you have to go back up again to the original path because the great cave is at a lower altitude. So, because of this tiring up and down, up and down route, people just skip the Moon Cave. And guess what, I was one of them, hehehe…. (lazy bum)
Huayan Picchu is the prominent peak behind Machu Picchu in all the photos. On top has its own temples/ruins. As posted by others, it is not the easiest hike but it sure is worth it. Due to its danger/traffic control, you must sign in and out of the hiking entrance and is limited to the first 400 people. On most of the trail, I would classify the hike more like a climb since its all rock steps and there isn't even a dirt trail to "hike" on.
Supersize Tip: 1. Others have mentioned having hiking sticks to help in the hike- I was glad the front entrance didn't allow my bamboo stick (not even metal tips). For me, having the use of both hands to grab the steel cables, and counterbalancing is more useful than having a stick. 2. Even though the main gate opens at 5:30 A.M. The entrance to Huayan Picchu isn't open until 7 A.M.
We opted not to do the climb up to the top of Huayna Picchu. We had a good enough view of the guardhouses at the top from the ruins below.
However, we did walk to the entrance gate, which is located at the far side of Machu Picchu, behind the Sacred Rock. Anyone who opts to do the climb must sign in by 1 pm.
Once you are in Macchu Picchu, you gotta take a couple of hours and hike the Huayna Picchu.
At the entrance you have to leave your details, then you can hike and get to the top.
The trek is not so hard, but there are some points where you have to take care, morevoer if the ground is not in perfect conditions....
The "stairs" are very small (a.k.a. Incas!!) so take care...
Once you are on the top,. after let's say 1,20Hrs, you will enjoy such a beautifull view on the Machu Picchu...
It is just unbelievable!!!
If you think Macchu Picchu is high, Huanya Picchu is even higher.
Its about a one and a half hour hike up to the top of the mountain behind Machu Picchu.
Up there are even more terraces and buildings and another stunning view down on Machu Picchu
It was thought it was used as a lookout post
While you are touring the Inca city, you can hike up Huayna Picchu (which means new mountain and is the mountain facing MP). You will get an incredible view of the ruins. The hike is approximately 400m up and is very steep. There are ropes and chains at points for you to pull yourself up. It takes between 20 and 45 mins each way.
Huayna Picchu is the really tall mountain you see in all the pictures. It is a hard climb but well worth it. You should make the time to do it.
It will take about three hours to climb to the top. There is much to see along the way and the view from the top is awesome.
Allow about 1 1/2 to 2 hours to get down. This is because it is very steep and you need to go slowly. This climb can be hard on the knees, but take some Aleve and do it!!
If you stay the night in Municipalidad Macchupichu, you will have the extra hours needed to get up on top om Huyna Picchu (the young montain).
Entry closes at 2 PM and you have to be out at 4 PM. You need 1 hour to get up, and 40 minutes to get down.
The ascent is around 400 m, it is very steep, but it is worth it!
Shall be a great view from above ( I didn´t climb up, only my friend told me)
But be careful, they say, the way up is not very safe, there have been already some people falling down.....and after three days of trekking maybe you are not anymore at best condition.
To have other VIRTUAL views from Machu Picchu and surroundings I can recommend you the website mentioned here.
Most of the hikers choose to go to Huayna because it's the most famous in Machu Picchu area, but there's also the little Huchuy Picchu that you can also go up. When you descend about halfway to the split, you'll see a sign to direct you to Huchuy, which is a bit shorter, but personally, I think has a better vantage view of the lost city. The last few minutes of the hike to the top require the use of rope, so it's not for everyone. But it's less crowded, and highly recommended if you have the energy after climbing the bigger Huayna.