Differences between Huayna Picchu and Machu Picchu Mountain Hike

Before embarking on your Machu Picchu tour, you need to consider whether or not you want to do one of the two main hikes inside of Machu Picchu; Huayna Picchu Hike or Machu Picchu Mountain Hike. Keep in mind that these hikes are challenging, and as such, they are just perfect for the fit and adventurous travelers.

So if you’d like to challenge yourself, these hikes would just be right for you. What’s more, both mountains require a special ticket. Many people can hike Machu Picchu Mountain, but only a few can hike Huayna Picchu because you need to use your hands in some places for balance. This brings us to the question, what are the differences between Machu Picchu tour and Huayna Picchu hike?

Below is a chart of the differences between the two hikes:

Height 2,720 meters3,051 meters
Total Round Trip of Hike2-3 hours approx3-4 hours approx
Elevation8,924ft / 2,720m10,010ft / 3,051m
Elevation gained952ft / 290m2,038ft / 621m
DifficultyModerate. Steep with many steps. You need to use your hands in some places for balance, especially near the topModerate to challenging. Less use of hands, but a much longer hike.
Number of visitorsMaximum number of 400 persons daily, divided into two groups of 200Maximum number of 800 persons daily, divided into two groups of 400
Availability The tickets are usually sold out a couple of months in advance, so for a chance to hike it, book your Huayna Picchu tour months in advanceAlmost always available
Entrance timeBetween 7am and 8am, or between 10am and 11am. It has a limit of 200 permits per time slot.Between 7 am and 8am, or between 9am and 10am with a limit of 400 people per time slot.
Flora and faunaA jungle eyebrow landscape, lush vegetation which serves as home for moths, birds, and insectsHome to an amazing collection of colorful butterflies, orchids, and birds
Archeological attractionsAndeneria and the spectacular Temple of the Moon, located deep with a natural caveUnfortunately, there’s none.
ViewsSpectacular views of the Machu Picchu ruins and the surrounding mountainsSpectacular views of the Machu Picchu ruins, as well as the Huayna Picchu Mountain
Terrain Inca Trail stone path stepsUneven, steep, stone steps


Sun Gate Trek

The Sun Gate, otherwise known as Inti-punku, once served as the main entrance to Machu Picchu. It is one of the most significant landmarks in Peru. The hike follows an original Inca Trail that takes you through the amazing agricultural sector of Machu Picchu. The Sun Gate Trek is free and can be done only with the ticket of your Machu Picchu tour. Round trip takes about 1.5 – 3 hours to complete.


Best time to Trek (Machu Picchu, Huayna Picchu, and The Sun Gate)

Set in the upper Amazon basin above the Sacred Valley, Machu Picchu is an incredible sight to explore. Though it is accessible all year round, the best time to plan a Machu Picchu tour is during the dry season between May and October. In addition, July and August are the busiest time of the year, attracting thousands of people from different parts of the world.

During the wet season (November – April), there can be a high amount of rainfall and the trail can become more slippery. To escape the scorching heat of the sun as well as the crowd, start your trek as early as possible when you can enjoy a cooler and more favorable temperature. Make sure you pack clothing for rain and sun as the weather can often be unpredictable.

Indeed, Machu Picchu is an incredible destination that every single traveler all around the world should experience at least once in their entire lifetime. And while it is nicknamed the “Lost City of the Incas”, the locals themselves know where to find it.

Renowned for being one of Peru’s most well-known attractions, Machu Picchu is a great place to visit.

Contact us for more information and to help with your vacation to Peru.

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