From Huayna Picchu, you can take in the glorious land of the Incas and its beautiful snowcapped peaks. The summit, whose name is Quechua for new mountain, rises to 8750 feet above sea level in the province of Cusco.
Reaching the top of Huayna Picchu will prove more difficult than you might think. The ascent is steep and exacts physical endurance and vigor. The hike takes approximately one hour and starts from the Sacred Rock. The path is narrow with steep granite steps etched into the slope.
Huayna Picchu, which sits to the north of Machu Picchu, has a round base and is encircled by the imposing Urubamba River and its captivating variety of green tones. This natural wonder is densely vegetated, and its summit has numerous buildings used to grow crops on the edge of the abyss.
History tells us that Huayna Picchu was used as a lookout and station for relaying messages when faced with threats from neighbouring cultures. Signals from the “new mountain” alerted people to any destructive attack or occurrence.
Climbing Huayna Picchu
The path to Wayna Picchu, as it is also spelled, starts from the far north end of Machu Picchu. The trail then forks and you have to take the path to the right, where the ascent to the pinnacle of this towering mountain begins. After a physically demanding trail, travellers are rewarded with incredible views of the citadel nearly 1000 feet below.
One of the route’s highlights is the “Seat of the Inca,” which closely resembles a throne. Those standing on the summit of Huayna Picchu can also see the glacier-capped Salkantay, which was held sacred by the Incas and revered in the age of Inca Pachacuti.
Make your plans and ready your backpack
Tickets for climbing the mountain can be purchased in advance at www.machupicchu.gob.pe. Only 400 people are admitted, in two waves of 200.
First wave: 7:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m.
Second wave: 10:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m.
The majestic Temple of the Moon
This archaeological site sits in the area of caves on the backside of Huayna Picchu. Considered a ceremonial site, the Temple of the Moon is perched at 8850 feet above sea level. The temple is built in trapezoidal alcoves and has exquisite finishes showcasing the Inca style.
At the heart of this small archaeological complex is a throne hewn into the rock, and the niches inside the place are believed to have housed mummies.