Hike Machu Picchu Mountain

1.2 Miles Round Trip - 2000 ft gain - Out-and-Back Trail

Machu Picchu - Search Nearby - Added by Sachith Siriwardane

Once you've reached Machu Picchu, try this challenging, steep hike that ends in a stunning view of Machu Picchu Village with Huayna Picchu behind it.

Getting There:

When you're purchasing your ticket for Machu Picchu, there is the option to add on "Machu Picchu Mountain". To do this hike, you need to purchase this add-on. Like Huayna Picchu, only a certain number of people are allowed up per day, so make sure you purchase your ticket ahead of time. To get to the entrance, enter Machu Piccu via bus or hiking from Agua Calientes. Once inside, there are signs for Mountain Machu Picchu. Follow these, and you'll find yourselves leaving the masses of tourists and at a gate where your pass will be checked.

The Hike:

The hike itself is relatively short, only about 1.2 miles, but it's the elevation gain that will get you. The majority of the hike is steps, and the total elevation gain is roughly 2,000 feet. If you aren't used to the altitude, it can get to you, so make sure you prepare accordingly (coca leaves/altitude medicine). It can take you anywhere from an hour to two hours based on your fitness level, but just keep chugging along and take breaks. When you reach the top, you'll be rewarded with a stunning view of Huayna Picchu and Machu Picchu as well as stunning views of the surrounding valleys. 

What I wish I knew

  • The tricky part about Machu Picchu Mountain is the cloud coverage. Some people finish the grueling hike, and never get a glimpse of Machu Picchu. In order to give yourself the best chance, get the earliest morning slot, and be prepared to spend some time up there. If you're lucky, the clouds will all clear and you'll be able to see Machu Picchu. I included pictures of both with cloud coverage and without so you can see what it looks like.
  • Even if you don't get a view of it at the summit, keep your eyes peeled on the way down. There are viewpoints all along the trail and the lower you get the better chance you have at a cloud-less view of Machu Picchu. 
  • The weather is oh so fickle. It can be raining and cloudy one second and sunny the next. You're going to get good at tearing off layers and throwing them on. Pack accordingly. 
  • Your ticket will have a time slot on it for Machu Picchu Mountain. You have to start your ascent in that time slot - MAKE SURE YOU DO THIS. They almost didn't let us up. Whoops. 
  • Want to learn more about buying tickets?

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Fitness
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Hiking
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Scenic

Details

1.2 Miles
2000 ft elevation gain
Out-and-Back Trail

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Don't forget insect repellent!

My then-fiancee (and now wife) and I went to Peru last fall (spring?!) and took the train into Aguas Calientes. We took the bus up to the park, but walked back down. I have to say, being my first foray into a jungle (really what they call "seja de selva") I am really glad I brought one thing: bug repellent. Spray-on sunscreen with bug repellent, and citronella-coated rubber bands we wore on our wrists. Absolute fun-savers.