Look at any classic photo of Machu Picchu and draw your eyes to the back right. That’s Wayna Picchu, the perfectly placed green peak, complementing the ruins below. And you don’t have to content yourself with just taking photos of it—you can take photos from it as well.
Hiking Wayna Picchu (also spelled Huayna Picchu) is a popular Machu Picchu excursion for energetic visitors. The hike is exciting due to several gasp-inducing drop-offs and has a spectacular payoff: a bird’s eye view of the entire ruin site.
The path up the mountain starts at the far back corner of the Machu Picchu complex, where you’ll have to sign in and present your Wayna Picchu ticket. In the past, this hike was limited to 400 people on a first-come-first-serve basis. Today, the number limit is still in place, but entrance is now limited to those with a previously purchased Wayna Picchu entrance ticket.
The hike itself is a steep mix of switchbacks, narrow Incan staircases, and some pretty awesome tunnels. The trip to the top takes about 45 minutes to 1.5 hour and though the incline is difficult, travelers with a moderate fitness level will be able to complete the journey.
If you have the time, a highly recommended side excursion takes you to the Temple of the Moon. You’ll have to navigate some of the trickiest portions of the trail (ladders are involved) and descend for at least an hour (the trip back up is even longer) to reach the temple, a tiny but intricate isolated ruin.
Keen to see Machu Picchu for yourself? Check out our Machu Picchu & Peru tours here or speak to one of our Destination Experts about crafting the bespoke vacation of your dreams.
Thanks to dmerino13 for the title image of this blog.