Machu Picchu is most beautiful from above. No matter how you get to Machu Picchu: Train, Inca Trail, Inca Jungle, Salkantay or an alternative trek, seeing Machu Picchu from above is always possible. There are three popular ways to get this view: the Sun Gate, Machu Picchu Mountain (montana) or Huaynapicchu, the last being the most popular.
Huaynapicchu (often written as Waynapicchu) is a steep climb with many stairs for 45 minutes until the top. If you are scared of heights, it is not recommended. Tickets are required and it sells out months in advance. Tickets can be purchased for one of the two windows offered: either starting between 7-8AM and 10-11AM. Since this is done typically after your tour of Machu Picchu with your American Inca Trail tour guide, we typically purchase the second window so please assume you need to begin some time after 10AM unless told by your booking agent. Only 400 tickets are sold for this hike – 200 for each time window, so please let the office know as soon as you decide you want to add this hike.
Machu Picchu Mountain also offers amazing views – the best view during beautiful weather. This hike is approximately 1.5 hours to the top and higher than Huaynapicchu. This also needs to be reserved in advance, and the ticket will also have an indicated time you must begin.
This hike is typically done on your own (without the guide) unless you requested assistance.
Unfortunately if you are trekking the Inca Trail, no matter how long of a trek you chose, you would be charged an extra entrance fee climb Huaynapicchu or Machu Picchu Mountain. The reason for this is because when we purchase your permit for the Inca Trail, the permit includes entry to Machu Picchu, without the option to add an extra climb of either mountain. This is something required by the Park office and not something done by American Inca Trail.
When choosing to purchase this extra hike please remember that it is challenging and quite steep. While the views are extraordinary, there are also beautiful views from the “Sun Gate” which is free to access. Also remember that we do not control the weather and if it’s cloudy, your view will be affected. However, if you choose to do this hike, and the weather cooperates, you will have your Facebook profile photo for life – the views are incredible.
Please let us know if you have any further questions about Huaynapicchu, Machu Picchu mountain or the Sun Gate.