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Difference between Machu Picchu mountain and Huayna Picchu mountain


When we have the great opportunity to visit the Inca citadel of Machu Picchu; we can also enjoy the mountains that are located around the citadel: we are talking about the Huayna Picchu mountain and the Machu Picchu mountain, yes, the same name of the citadel. This has confused several travelers before, for that reason here we talk about these two mountains.


This mountain is the best known of the two, why? It is the mountain that appears in the famous photo that floods the social networks of 99.9% of the people who visit the lost city of the Incas. It is a mountain of 2693 meters above sea level and is located north of the citadel. The ascent and return will take about 2h30. How to get there? Once in the citadel, you should go to the control booth located in the Huaraynas or Sacred Rock sector. Once at the top, you will be able to enjoy the wonderful view of the citadel and the entire valley as well as the also famous temple of the moon built inside a cave in the mountain. There are several hypotheses about the beliefs of the Incas with respect to the caves; the most famous: it connected them with the dead.
However, you will only be able to enjoy this temple if you first make the famous ascent that consists of 2 km of really creepy roads that will test your nerves and concentration. The paths are very narrow and you even have to support yourself with cables on the sides of the road. Our recommendation is that if you suffer from vertigo, please do not attempt to climb; likewise, if you are accompanied by children or older people, it is best not to do so.
The ascent to Huayna Picchu is only done with a ticket which must be booked 6 months in advance (if you want to do it anyway) since access is limited to 400 people per day, divided into two groups of 200 and at the following times:
  • First Group: 07:00 hrs. - 08:00 hrs.
  • Second Group: 10:00 hr. - 11:00 am

Here is the summary of data about Huayna Picchu:

  • Height: 2,693 meters above sea level.
  • Distance from the road to the summit: 2Km
  • Aproximate travel time: 2h 30m (ascent and descent)
  • Characteristics of the trail: Very steep trails, need for extra help, precipices, abundant vegetation.
  • Difficulty of climb: Medium-High


The Machu Picchu mountain, on the other hand, is more friendly since its climbing characteristics are less "scary" than those of Huayna Picchu. The mountain also offers a great view of the citadel and the valley. It is at 3082 meters above sea level and also has approximately 2km of ascent although it will take you a little longer to reach the summit: 3h 20. The trails are much wider so, as we already mentioned, it is ideal to do it with children or older adults.
In the same way as Huayna Picchu, the Machu Picchu mountain needs a ticket to climb, which is a little more accessible since it can be booked only a few weeks in advance and 800 people are allowed to climb per day divided into 2 groups of 400 and the schedules are:
  • First Group: 07:00 hrs. - 08:00 hrs.
  • Second Group: 9:00 hr. - 10:00 hr.

Here is a summary of information about Machu Picchu Mountain:

  • Height: 3,082 meters above sea level.
  • Distance from the road to the summit: 2Km
  • Aproximate travel time: 3h 30m (Ascent and descent)
  • Characteristics of the trail: Wide paths, view of the citadel, abundant vegetation.
  • Difficulty of climb: Medium
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