Enjoy the amazing experience of the Incan Citadel of Machu Picchu and its surrounding lush canyon from varied angled outlooks like: Huayna Picchu Mountain, the Sun Gate, Machu Picchu Mountain, Llactapata Incan ruins, Putukusi Mountain and the Incan bridge section.
Those who are doing the Inca Trail will see Machu Picchu for the first time from the Sun Gate, which is one of the classic highlights of why people choose the Inca Trail trek. Those doing alternative treks, arrive to Aguas Calientes, spend the night in a hotel and take the bus to Machu Picchu citadel at 5:30am to enjoy the sunrise.
Please have a look at the optional hikes and things to do while in Machu Picchu below:
Huayna Picchu, which translated from Quechua means Young Mountain, is located at (2,667m/8,750ft) above sea level and is part of the Andean foothills. Huayna Picchu is well -known for being part of the vast majority of the panoramic photos of Machu Picchu. At Huayna Picchu, you may see some archaeological sites, including the Temple of the Moon built in a natural cave. At the top of Huayna Picchu, there are small terraces and some buildings that were a part of an astronomical observatory and is a point of guardianship to the citadel.
***The climb to Huayna Picchu is steep and can be slippery, when wet. Please evaluate your ability to climb it before booking.
***This is an optional hike within Machu Picchu citadel that does not ever include a guide. The climb is usually done on your own after touring Machu Picchu citadel.
***You must always respect the scheduled entrance times between 7 to 8am or 10 to 11am. If you arrive 5 minutes late, you will not be allowed to enter!
Yes! It’s limited to 400 hikers a day, so you will need to book the extra hike in advance and coordinate your arrival to this World Wonder early. At least 2 to 3 months in advance. We will purchase the permit for you as part of your trek, if tickets are available.
***This is the time you start the hike. It takes approximately 45 minutes to reach the top, take some photos and hike 45 minutes down.
The price for Huayna Picchu will depend on which trek or tour you choose!
The great Machu Picchu mountain rises more than (652m/2,139ft) above the Sacred Citadel of Machu Picchu and is located (3,082 m/10,111 ft). It offers some breathtaking views of Machu Picchu, a uniqueness like no other place in the world. It is seated at the base of the Incan Citadel of Machu Picchu. Thousands are drawn everyday, by the opulent energy emanating from the earth at Machu Picchu, which is considered sacred to the Incan civilization. Machu Picchu Mountain’s summit was used by Incan priests to perform rituals on special dates and is a place of worship of the Apu Salkantay.
***This is an optional trek within Machu Picchu that does not ever include a guide. The climb is usually done on your own after you tour of Machu Picchu.
***You must always respect the scheduled entrance times between 7 to 8am or 10 to 11am. If you arrive 5 minutes late you will not be allowed to enter!
The amount of time to climb Machu Picchu mountain depends on the physical condition of the individual and can range from 1 to 1.5 hours to climb or 2 to 3 hours (round-trip). From the top you have incredible views of Machu Picchu and the last part of the Classic Inca Trail. You can also admire the amazing canyon formed by the slope of the Vilcanota river with green mountains on one side and on the other side the mountains of the Cordillera Vilcabamba, and the snowy summit of Salkantay (6,271 m/20,574 ft) and more.
The climb to Machu Picchu Mountain is considered a moderate to difficult trek but not challenging. An acceptable physical condition is required. During the rainy season, the road can be very slippery, making the ascent more difficult.
***This is the time you start the hike. It takes approximately 1-1.5 hours to reach the top, take some photos and 1-1.5 hours to return
The price for Machu Picchu Mountain depends on which trek or tour you choose!
Llactapata Inca Ruins give a fantastic angle view to Machu Picchu from where you may enjoy the strategic location of the citadel and of course the sunset and sunrise over Machu Picchu… This is our camping site on the Salkantay trek to Machu Picchu and the Inca Jungle Trek, a speciality of SAM Travel Peru… This picture has been taken from LLactapata Inca ruins.
“You always have the opportunity to walk to the Sun Gate for free; it takes 1 hour to get to the top and 1 hour to get back.”
For travellers who trek the Inca Trail, they enter Machu Picchu through the Sun Gate, or Inti Punku, and watch the sunrise. For those who don’t do this multi-day trek, it’s still possible to enjoy the impressive views from the Sun Gate without the cost of an additional ticket.
The trail is a gradual up hill climb with a few sections of stairs, which shouldn’t be a problem for anyone with a fear of heights. It takes between 40-60 minutes walking at a steady pace to reach the top. The surrounding mountains and beautiful valleys should be all the motivation you will need to reach the summit.
The trail to the Inca Bridge wraps around the backside of a mountain in the opposite direction of the Machu Picchu ruins. A special ticket is not needed to walk the path, although daily traffic to the Inca Bridge is documented. Each visitor must log their name in a book at the entrance and then sign out. It’s about a 20-minute hike along a fairly narrow path towards the bridge. While the climb isn’t steep, some of the drop-offs along the edges may make some people uneasy.
The Inca Bridge is made of a few narrow logs perched above a sheer vertical drop – it´s believed to have served as a secret entrance to Machu Picchu. Crossing the bridge itself is strictly forbidden today for safety reasons, but you can take as many photos as you like. On the return hike, you’re likely to ponder whether or not you would have the “courage” to cross the bridge if you lived during the time of the Incas.
When heading for Machu Picchu, climbers often want a bird’s eye view of the ruins and most head up towards the summit of the famous Huayna Picchu. This mountain makes the backdrop for Machu Picchu. But wait! There’s another mountain just a little further away from the ruins. Visited less frequently, also giving the climber great views: Putukusi (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 surroundng 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 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, Putukusi is a shear cliffed, jungle coated mountain rising to about 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 the 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. The entirety of them are covered by the 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 their empire in such a rugged place. Surely, the incredible beauty of the landscape inspired them and they thought of themselves as standing in the presence of their gods. The wilderness in this area is some of the most pristine left anywhere on earth and much of it has most likely never been seen by a human being. It is interesting to imagine that there might be another “Machu Picchu” hidden in these mountains that nobody knows even exists.