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Portada / About Peru /  Machu Picchu Information / Difference between Machu Picchu mountain and Huayna Picchu mountain

Difference between Machu Picchu mountain and Huayna Picchu mountain

When we travel to Machu Picchu, we can visit one of the mountains surrounding the citadel. Here we present the differences so that you can make this important decision.
Diferencia entre la Montaña Huayna Picchu y Machu Picchu
View from the summit of Huayna Picchu Mountain. Source: CuscoPeru.com

When you visit the citadel of Machu Picchu, you will have the opportunity to hike one of the two mountains that surround the Wonder of the World: Huayna Picchu Mountain or Machu Picchu Mountain (not the citadel of Machu Picchu), but each one has a different appeal that makes the journey through them unique.

Huayna Picchu Mountain (Wayna Picchu)

Huayna Picchu Mountain, whose Quechua meaning would be "Young Mountain", is located at 2,667 m of height on the north side of the Machu Picchu citadel. The path to reach the top of this mountain is more complicated, as it has stairs and very steep narrow paths. This route is not recommended for people who suffer from vertigo, nor is it recommended for children under 12 years old or elderly people.

Information about Huayna Picchu Mountain

  • Location: North of the Machu Picchu citadel
  • Height: 2,693 m.a.s.l.
  • Kilometers: 2 Km
  • Hiking time: 2h 30m (ascent and descent)
  • Difficulty: Medium-High

Machu Picchu Mountain

Machu Picchu Mountain, is located at 3,082 m of height on the south side of the Machu Picchu citadel. Being higher than Huayna Picchu Mountain, it has more friendly and less demanding features, as its ascent is not very steep, it has wider paths and rest points along the way.

Information about Machu Picchu Mountain

  • Location: South of the Machu Picchu citadel
  • Height: 3,082 m.a.s.l.
  • Kilometers: 2 Km
  • Hiking time: 3h 20m (ascent and descent)
  • Difficulty: Medium

Differences between both mountains

To make your choice easier, we present a comparative table of both trails:

Differences Huayna Picchu Mountain Machu Picchu Mountain
Location North of the Machu Picchu citadel South of the Machu Picchu citadel
Height 2,693 m.a.s.l. 3,082 m.a.s.l.
Distance 2 Km, elevation change 290 m 2 Km, elevation change 200 m
Hiking time 2h 30m (ascent and descent) 3h 20m (ascent and descent)
Access Huayranas sector Detour at Guardian's House
  • Group 1 from 7am – 8am
  • Group 2 from 8am – 9am
  • Group 3 from 9am - 10am
  • Group 4 from 10am – 11am
  • Group 1 from 7am – 8am
  • Group 2 from 8am – 9am
Number of visitors 200 people per day 400 people per day
Circuit Circuit 4 Circuit 3
Re-entry Does not allow re-entry to the citadel Allows re-entry to the citadel
Archaeological attractions Terraces and the Moon Temple None
Restrictions Only for those over 12 years old For all audiences
Difficulty Medium-High Medium

Advantages and disadvantages of Huayna Picchu Mountain

Advantages Disadvantages
  • Best panoramic view of the Machu Picchu citadel
  • Cloud forest landscape
  • Agricultural terraces
  • Archaeological site: Moon Temple
  • More physical effort required
  • Steep ascent
  • Narrow paths
  • Steep steps

Advantages and disadvantages of Machu Picchu Mountain

Advantages Disadvantages
  • Good panoramic view of the Machu Picchu citadel and Huayna Picchu Mountain
  • Less physical effort
  • Less steep ascent
  • Wider paths
  • Variety of flora and fauna
  • No archaeological sites
  • Longer duration of the journey

Frequently Asked Questions About Both Mountains

Can both mountains be visited in one day?

It is possible to visit both mountains in one day, but it is not recommended, as climbing just one mountain requires a lot of physical effort and climbing one after the other can cause significant fatigue. 

Additionally, it is very difficult to organize the schedules for both mountains because they are very close together and you would have to purchase two different tickets, one that includes Huayna Picchu Mountain and another with access to Machu Picchu Mountain.

How to buy tickets for Huayna Picchu Mountain and Machu Picchu Mountain?

When buying tickets for entry to the Machu Picchu Citadel, it includes the climb to one of the mountains, which you must choose at the time of ticket purchase. 

How far in advance should I buy tickets to the mountains?

It is recommended to purchase tickets for Huayna Picchu Mountain 3 months in advance. Tickets for Machu Picchu Mountain should be bought 4 weeks in advance.

Can children visit the mountains?

Only Machu Picchu Mountain allows the entry of children under 12 years old, in the case of Huayna Picchu Mountain, it only allows the entry of individuals over 12 years old accompanied by an adult.

Can seniors visit these mountains?

Yes, seniors can climb both mountains, but it is recommended that they only climb Machu Picchu Mountain, as it does not require a lot of physical effort and has rest spots.

Is a tourist guide required to visit the mountains?

No, the support of a tourist guide is not necessary for the tour of the two mountains.


  • It is recommended to wear trekking shoes, as well as sunscreen, sunglasses, and mosquito repellent.
  • If traveling during the rainy season (November - March), it is recommended to wear waterproof clothing.
  • Carry only what is necessary for climbing the mountain, as the climb can be very demanding, so avoid unnecessary weight.
  • Check carefully that all data is correct at the time of purchase, as once the purchase is made, no changes or cancellations can be made.