Skip to Content

Huayna Picchu Hike: How to Climb This Mountain and Its Stairs of Death

Huayna Picchu Hike: How to Climb This Mountain and Its Stairs of Death

The Huayna Picchu hike is a highlight of visiting the Machu Picchu ruins. By hiking Huayna Picchu, you’ll enjoy unrivalled views of Machu Picchu. Better yet, climbing Huayna Picchu Mountain itself is a thrilling trek. Whilst conquering the relatively modest Huayna Picchu elevation, you’ll get to explore Inca sites on the mountain itself. In fact, part of the hike includes taking on the Huayna Picchu stairs of death – a series of Inca-built steps. Don’t worry – these are not as scary as they sound!

In this Peru travel guide, we’ll cover everything you need to know about hiking Huayna Picchu in Peru. Most importantly, you can’t just rock up and expect to hike Huayna Picchu. Usually, the Huayna Picchu Mountain hike is booked out about two months in advance. So, to do the Huayna Picchu hike, you’ll need to be prepared and book online in advance. We’ll discuss how to do this in the guide. Before that, we’ll cover all the nitty-gritty details about Huayna Picchu mountain and the trek itself. After talking about how to buy tickets, we’ll cover all the other essentials about the Huayna Picchu trek.

What Is Huayna Picchu?

Huayna Picchu is a mountain located next to the incredible Machu Picchu archaeological area. Also known as Wayna Picchu Mountain, this epic pinnacle sits just north of Machu Picchu. Basically, if you’re looking at Machu Picchu from the southern part of the complex, you’ll see a huge mountain behind it. That’s Huayna Picchu mountain! By the way, you’ll see a smaller mountain peak below Huayna Picchu Mountain too. That’s Huchuy Picchu Mountain.

Read about the other hikes at Machu PicchuHuchuy Picchu and Machu Picchu Mountain

Dan admires Machu Picchu, Huchuy Picchu and Huayna Picchu Mountain

Huayna Picchu and Machu Picchu

Given its location, Huayna Picchu and Machu Picchu should go hand-in-hand during a trip to this world-class attraction. Of course, the far majority of people who visit Machu Picchu, don’t hike Huayna Picchu. That’s because not all visitors are physically capable of doing the Huayna Picchu hike. Whilst those who are fit enough, may not be able to if tickets for the Huayna Picchu trail are sold out. But, if you’re capable and prepared, you can expect marvellous views of Machu Picchu by hiking Huayna Picchu.

FYI – the Huayna Picchu hike is also known as the Wayna Picchu hike.

Of course, many people hike Huayna Picchu for the incredible views of Machu Picchu. But, on Huayna Picchu Mountain itself, you’ll find awesome Inca sites. Essentially, Huayna Picchu Mountain is an extension of the Machu Picchu Inca site. So, to fully explore Machu Picchu, you’ll want to do the Huayna Picchu hike.

Huayna Picchu Meaning

The name ‘Huayna Picchu’ is derived from the name ‘Wayna Picchu’. Both names come from the Quechua language. ‘Wayna’ and ‘huayna’ mean ‘young’ and ‘picchu’ means ‘mountain’. Ipso facto, ‘Huayna Picchu’ and ‘Wayna Picchu’ mean ‘young mountain’. So, what’s the difference between the names ‘Huayna Picchu’ or ‘Wayna Picchu’? Well, the names are essentially used interchangeably. At Machu Picchu and on your tickets, you’ll find the name Waynapicchu used. But, you’ll find ‘Huayna Picchu’ is the preferred term used by most people these days.

Where Is Huayna Picchu?

Specifically, Huayna Picchu (and Machu Picchu) is located in the Urubamba Province, which is around 80 kilometres northwest of Cusco. In fact, Huayna Picchu Mountain forms part of the beautiful Andes mountain range and is positioned above Sacred Valley, also known as Urubamba Valley.

Quick Stats and Trail Map

  • Type: Out & Back
  • Distance: 2km
  • Huayna Picchu hike time: 1.5 hours
  • Huayna Picchu hike elevation gain: 180m
  • Huayna Picchu hike difficulty: Moderate
  • Trailhead: Huayna Picchu Registration Hut
  • Map: Wikiloc

Huayna Picchu Elevation and Difficulty

So, how high is Huayna Picchu? The elevation of Huayna Picchu is 2,693 metres above sea level. In comparison, Machu Picchu is around 2,430 metres. In reality, the Huayna Picchu hike is only a short trail, around 1km one-way from the trailhead to the summit. Indeed, at 2km return, the Huayna Picchu hike doesn’t seem hard.

But, it’s the Huayna Picchu elevation gain that makes it challenging. To climb Huayna Picchu Mountain, you’ll ascend 180 metres in just 1km. Yes, the Huayna Picchu elevation gain is very steep. In fact, some of the climb up is done so via the steep Huayna Picchu stairs of death. Certainly, this part of the trail is challenging. But, luckily, the Huayna Picchu stairs of death are fairly short in the actual number of steps.

Overall, if you’re relatively fit and careful, you shouldn’t have any problems with the Huayna Picchu elevation or stairs of death. Although, be prepared to work up a bit of a sweat as you hike Huayna Picchu!

Dan stands at the edge

Huayna Picchu Hike: What Else to Expect

Because the Huayna Picchu hike is very well-known, you can expect the trail to be busy. When you arrive at the Huayna Picchu Registration Hut, expect there to be lots of people registering their details before the hike. Yes, numbers are limited to 400 people per day (200 people per day during the COVID-19 pandemic). But, because the trail is short and narrow, hiking Huayna Picchu can feel crowded. Particularly, the summit of Huayna Picchu Mountain is a small area. People will generally linger at the summit to get their Insta-worthy shot. So, expect the summit to be very crowded.

FYI – make sure to print and present your ticket at the Huayna Picchu Registration Hut.

Huayna Picchu Hike Description

The trailhead for the Huayna Picchu hike is actually just a few metres away from the registration hut. Instead of turning left for the Huchuy Picchu hike, you’ll turn right for the Huayna Picchu hike.

At the beginning, you’ll follow a flat dirt path with lovely forest-covered mountainside. Although, early on, you’ll start climbing up steep steps, which meander around Huayna Picchu Mountain. As you gain elevation, you’ll enjoy your first view of Machu Picchu from Huayna Picchu. Before even reaching the summit of Huayna Picchu Mountain, the views of the Inca citadel are simply mindblowing! Once you’ve gawked at the impressive views, it’s time to continue. In fact, after around 120 metres of elevation, you’ll catch sight of your first Inca sites on the mountain.

Huayna Picchu Inca Sites

After climbing a decent amount of Huayna Picchu Mountain, you’ll pass epic Inca buildings and terraces. Apparently, these buildings were inhabited by the priests of the former Inca civilisation at Machu Picchu. Incredibly, it’s possible to wander around these buildings. We imagine that in the future, such an activity will be prohibited for the purposes of preservation. But, for now, feel free to explore. After scoping out the Inca sites, you’ll finally reach the Huayna Picchu stairs of death!

Huayna Picchu Stairs of Death

Also known as the Machu Picchu stairs, these Inca stairs are a steep set of steps ascending to summit of Huayna Picchu Mountain. Indeed, climbing the Huayna Picchu stairs of death is the hardest part of hiking the mountain. But, as mentioned before, don’t let the name fool you. If you’re sensible, the Huayna Picchu stairs of death aren’t that scary or even too difficult to navigate.

Yes, some of the steps are very narrow and steep. But, there’s often a rail to hold on to. Also, the Huayna Picchu stairs of death aren’t very long. You’ll just need to conquer a few series of difficult steps to reach near the summit, where the steps are more regular. Indeed, by hiking up the Huayna Picchu stairs of death, you would have gained a lot of elevation quickly, reaching the summit before you know it!

Huayna Picchu Peak

You’ll feel a great sense of accomplishment as you reach the Huayna Picchu summit. At the Huayna Picchu peak, you’ll find a signpost. On this level of the Huayna Picchu peak, you’ll have phenomenal views of the surrounding Andes Mountains. In particular, you’ll have awesome views of Putucusi Mountain and Sacred Valley. At this level of the peak, you won’t be able to see Machu Picchu. To get that unforgettable birds-eye view of the Inca citadel, you’ll need to climb up a few more steps.

Dan standing by Huayna Picchu signpost, which is at the peak of the hike

Huayna Picchu Views

Once you reach the small summit area, you’ll have astonishing views of Machu Picchu. Similar to Huchuy Picchu, from the summit, you’ll be looking at Machu Picchu from the north side. Many of the viewpoints around Machu Picchu are from the southern end of the complex, where you can actually see Huayna Picchu in the background. But, from Huayna Picchu, you’ll be looking at the Inca site in a southerly direction with Machu Picchu Mountain behind it.

Certainly, the view from Huayna Picchu of Machu Picchu is sensational. But, of course, throughout most of the hike, you’ll enjoy splendid views of Machu Picchu.

Moon Temple

The Temple of the Moon is located further north of Huayna Picchu Mountain. In the past, it was possible to hike to the Moon Temple as part of the Huayna Picchu trek. However, in recent times, hiking Huayna Picchu is much more regulated. The Huayna Picchu hike has a more rigid and defined trail that basically guides you up and down the mountain without any side trips. Indeed, these days, the current trail doesn’t allow access to the Moon Temple. What a shame!

Huayna Picchu Tunnel

Once you’ve enjoyed the views, it’s time to head through the Huayna Picchu tunnel! It’s a very tight squeeze. You’ll have to squat, crouch and awkwardly manouvre your body through the small hole and short tunnel. It’s definitely a fun part of the Huayna Picchu hike. Although, if the Huayna Picchu stairs of death weren’t enough to put you off, this possibly could. The awkward movement involved to squeeze through the hole and progress through it might be too much for anyone with mobility or lower back issues. But, as they say, you only live once!

Tickets to Huayna Picchu Peru

If you’re keen on the Huayna Picchu hike, you’ll need to buy tickets around two to three months in advance. It’s a popular hike that sells out! You’ll find different online travel agencies offering tickets. But, to avoid the middle man, you should buy tickets from the official Machu Picchu website. The website functions really well. But, when speaking with other travellers, many were unsure about which Machu Picchu ticket to buy. So, let’s clear that up.

Essentially, there are four different Machu Picchu tickets to choose from. There’s ‘Llaqta of Machupicchu (Circuits 1, 2, 3, 4)’, which is a general ticket for Machu Picchu. This ticket doesn’t give you access to Huayna Picchu Mountain or any other Machu Picchu hikes. Indeed, the other three options are specifically for hikes at Machu Picchu. Each of these other options also includes Machu Picchu entrance which involves one of the circuits around the Inca citadel. To purchase Huayna Picchu hike tickets, simply select ‘Circuit 4 + Waynapicchu Mountain’.

Selecting tickets to Huayna Picchu Mountain

Huayna Picchu Opening Hours and Entrance Fees

In 2022, there are 200 Huayna Picchu tickets sold daily. Tickets are sold in one hour time slots starting from 7–8am and finishing with a 10–11am slot. At the time of writing, only 50 tickets are sold for each time slot. Honestly speaking, we hope this number doesn’t increase in the future. Given the Huayna Picchu summit is a small area, it really can only accommodate a dozen people at a time. Also, the trail is quite narrow in most sections. So, it really can’t allow for too many more people.

For the Huayna Picchu hike, you’ll pay S/200 ($53USD), plus S/5.40 ($1.50USD) for card payment. Overall, you’ll pay S/205.40 ($54.50USD). Yes, the ticket is quite expensive! But is it worth it? Find out what we think here.

Ticket to Huayna Picchu

Is a Tour Guide Needed For the Huayna Picchu Hike?

No, a tour guide isn’t required to hike Huayna Picchu. You can enter Machu Picchu to do the Huayna Picchu hike independently without a guide. This is also the case for the Huchuy Picchu and Machu Picchu Mountain hikes. Although, on official maps online, you’ll notice that it says, ‘it is recommended to hire a tour guide’. Essentially, a tour guide is only recommended and not mandatory.

Of course, if you want to learn more about the Machu Picchu site, having a guide for a half-day tour is ideal.

Machu Picchu Tours

Undoubtedly, you’ll have a better experience at Machu Picchu by doing a guided tour. A guide will explain the history of the Inca civilisation and describe the importance of features at the site. It’s quite easy to find a guide in Aguas Calientes (Machu Picchu town) or at the entrance of Machu Picchu.

Although, personally, Beck and I didn’t hire a tour guide this way. As part of the Salkantay Trek, our trekking guide actually showed us around Machu Picchu. With that in mind, if you’re also keen to do a guided Salkantay Trek that involves a Machu Picchu tour, we booked with Apu Andino Travel Peru. They’re an awesome family-run Cusco-based tour company. Beck and I enjoyed doing the Salkantay Trek and Machu Picchu tour with Apu Andino Travel Peru.

Admittedly though, Beck and I didn’t book Huayna Picchu tickets directly through Apu Andino Travel Peru. Basically, we booked Huayna Picchu tickets independently in advance, as were knew they sell out. Then, we sought out a company that was offering the Salkantay trek on a specific date, based on the date we were doing the Huayna Picchu hike (on the fifth day of the Salkantay Trek when you visit Machu Picchu). Of course, all of this requires a bit of planning and patience to find a Salkantay Trek leaving on your desired date.

Anyway, to book a tour with Apu Andino Travel Peru, message or call them on Whatsapp (+51 984 609 485 or +51 984 067 472). Or, feel free to drop into their office in Cusco (Centro Commercial Imasumaq, Office #216) to find out more information about the tours they offer. Why not scope them out on Facebook and Instagram?!

Dan wanders around the Inca site

Huayna Picchu Tour

Although it’s easy to book Huayna Picchu tickets independently online, there’s always the option of booking a Huayna Picchu tour. That way, you can leave the hassle to someone else. Basically, by booking a Huayna Picchu tour, you’ll have a guided tour of both Machu Picchu and Huayna Picchu Mountain.

With that said, one of the best options is this private tour of Machu Picchu and Huayna Picchu Mountain on Viator. But, don’t expect to book a Huayna Picchu tour last minute. Because Huayna Picchu hike tickets sell out, you’d still need to book the Huayna Picchu tour at least two to three months in advance to secure tickets.

Guided Machu Picchu and Huayna Picchu Tour

Beck at Machu Picchu
  • Take the hassle and stress out of booking tickets
  • All transfers from Cusco to Aguas Calientes included
  • Private tour of Machu Picchu and Huayna Picchu

How To Get To Huayna Picchu in Peru

To do the Huayna Picchu hike, you’ll need to get to Aguas Calientes. Many people will visit Aguas Calientes from Cusco.

Getting to Aguas Calientes from Cusco

The most convenient way to get to Aguas Calientes from Cusco is by train. But, this is the most expensive option. Train costs are approx. S/260 ($70USD) per person one-way.

A cheaper option is to take a 1.5 hour colectivo from Cusco to Ollantaytambo for around S/10 ($2.50USD). Then, catch a train to Aguas Calientes from Ollantaytambo. This train is approx. S/185 ($50USD). If this is all too pricey, then consider catching a 7 hour bus from Cusco to Hidroelectrica for roughly S/60 ($18USD). From Hidroelectrica, you can walk around 10km along the train tracks to Aguas Calientes. It’s a mundane walk. But, it’ll keep the costs down!

Another option is to hike to Aguas Calientes! Read our guides on the Salkantay trek and Choquequirao to Machu Picchu trek for more information on hikes to Machu Picchu. Or, have you thought about doing the Classic Inca Trail or Short Inca Trail? Certainly, there are many different ways to hike to Machu Picchu!

Getting to Machu Picchu from Aguas Calientes

To get to Machu Picchu from Aguas Calientes, you basically have two options – bus or hike!

  • Bus: leaves Aguas Calientes regularly from 5:30am. The bus takes around 30–40 minutes. Bus costs are $12USD per person one-way. The ticket office is located just off the main street of Avenida Hermanos Ayer. It’s easy to find as there’s a huge sign marked ‘BUS TICKET’. FYI – you have to show your passport numerous times to buy your bus ticket, so make sure you have it with you.
  • Hike: it’s a 4km hike from Aguas Calientes to Machu Picchu. But, it’s a steep climb with approx. 650 metres of elevation gain. The hike takes around 1.5–2 hours. It’s a punishing hike that’s actually harder than climbing the steep Huayna Picchu Mountain and stairs of death. But, this is a popular option because it’s for free!

Otherwise, you could take the bus up to Machu Picchu and walk back down to Aguas Calientes. Admittedly, after doing the Salkantay trek, Beck and I were pretty knackered. On top of that, we still had the Huchuy Picchu, Machu Picchu Mountain and the Huayna Picchu hikes to do. So, to save our energy, Beck and I skipped the tough hike up by getting the bus. Then, to save cash, we did the relatively easy walk downhill to Aguas Calientes.

Best Time to Visit

In Peru, you have a dry and rainy season. The dry season ranges from May to October. Your chances of rain are low and you can expect clear skies. On the other hand, the rainy season runs from November to April. During this time, expect frequent rainfall. But, it’s generally warmer throughout the day.

Of course, you should visit Machu Picchu and hike Huayna Picchu Mountain during the dry season to improve your chances of good weather. Although, even in the dry season, it’s typical to have low-lying mist around the Machu Picchu site early in the morning. To increase your chances of good views of Machu Picchu from the summit of Huayna Picchu, it’s best to avoid an early time slot (7–9am). From 9–10am onwards, you’re more likely to have unhampered views of Machu Picchu. But, of course, mountain weather is unpredictable.

Beck admires Machu Picchu

Is Huayna Picchu Worth It?

Yes, we think hiking Huayna Picchu is worth it. There’s a reason why the Huayna Picchu hike is popular and well-known. Given the elevation, Huayna Picchu Mountain offers unparalleled views of Machu Picchu. Indeed, it would be a shame to travel all the way to Machu Picchu and miss out on the views on offer from the high Huayna Picchu elevation. But, at around $55USD, it’s an expensive hike! If you’re on a tight budget, it’d be hard to justify climbing Huayna Picchu Mountain.

So, do you think it’s worth it? Let’s compare the Huayna Picchu hike with the other Machu Picchu hikes to help you answer this question. Hold on a second, what are the other Machu Picchu hikes?

Other Machu Picchu Hikes

The two other main Machu Picchu hikes are the Huchuy Picchu and Machu Picchu Mountain trails. You’ve probably heard of the Machu Picchu Mountain hike. That’s another really well-known hike at Machu Picchu. Previously, the dilemma was whether to climb Huayna Picchu or Machu Picchu Mountain. Now, with the arrival of the new Huchuy Picchu hike, there’s a third option! So, let’s compare Huayna Picchu with these two other Machu Picchu hikes to help you figure out which trail or trails to do!

Huayna Picchu or Huchuy Picchu?

The main differences between the Huayna Picchu and Huchuy Picchu hikes are the difficulty and views of Machu Picchu. Firstly, let’s look at some quick stats regarding the Huchuy Picchu hike for a better understanding of its difficulty.

  • Type: Out & Back
  • Distance: 0.5km
  • Time: 30 minutes
  • Accumulated elevation gain: 60m
  • Difficulty: Very easy
  • Trailhead: Huayna Picchu Registration Hut

As you can see, the Huchuy Picchu hike is four times shorter and has three times less elevation gain compared with Huayna Picchu. Also, the trail terrain and orientation are much easier on the Huchuy Picchu hike.

With far less elevation (2,497m) compared with Huayna Picchu (2,693m), you’ll have less impressive views of Machu Picchu from Huchuy Picchu. Of course, compared with Huchuy Picchu, you’ll have to work much harder on the Huayna Picchu hike for the more far-sweeping views of Machu Picchu!

As mentioned before, both the Huchuy Picchu and Huayna Picchu hikes share the same trailhead. So, you could do one hike after the other. Although, overall, you’d be paying S/205.40 ($54.50USD) to do the Huayna Picchu hike and also S/156.10 ($41USD) to do the Huchuy Picchu hike. Yeah, fair game if you only choose one!

For more information, read here: Huchuy Picchu Hike – The Ultimate Guide to Huchuy Picchu Mountain

Huayna Picchu or Machu Picchu Mountain?

Now, let’s compare the Huayna Picchu and Machu Picchu Mountain hikes. The main differences between these hikes are the trail orientation and views of Machu Picchu, owing to their opposing locations. First, let’s look at the main stats concerning the Machu Picchu Mountain hike to see how it compares with the Huayna Picchu hike.

  • Type: Out & Back
  • Distance: 3.3km
  • Time: 2–2.5 hours
  • Accumulated elevation gain: 515m
  • Difficulty: Hard
  • Trailhead: Machu Picchu Mountain Registration Hut

As you can see, hiking Machu Picchu Mountain hike is longer and has approx. three times more elevation than Huayna Picchu! But, the elevation gain of Machu Picchu Mountain is more gradual and measured compared with Huayna Picchu. Indeed, there are no stairs of death on Machu Picchu Mountain that you’ll find along the Huayna Picchu trail.

Overall, it’s subjective as to which trail is most difficult. It depends on your hiking preferences. If you find steep elevation challenging (as encountered on the Huayna Picchu stairs of death), then you might find Huayna Picchu harder. But, if it’s hiking fitness that you lack, you might find Machu Picchu Mountain harder. That’s because the Machu Picchu Mountain hike is a longer slog with more elevation compared with Huayna Picchu.

Views from Huayna Picchu vs. Machu Picchu Mountain

Other than difficulty, the main difference between hiking Huayna Picchu and Machu Picchu Mountain is the views. Both Huayna and Huchuy Picchu are located north of Machu Picchu. In contrast, Machu Picchu Mountain is positioned south of the Inca site. So, the views of Machu Picchu from Machu Picchu Mountain are very different when compared with the views from Huayna Picchu.

Of course, given they’re on opposite sides, you’d expect the views of Machu Picchu to be different. However, as the crow flies, the Machu Picchu Mountain trail leads you much further away from the Inca site. So, from Machu Picchu Mountain, the views of Machu Picchu are very distant. On top of that, the Machu Picchu Mountain summit is 3,082m. So, again you’ll feel even further away from the Inca site. In contrast, as the crow flies, the Huayna Picchu trail doesn’t lead you as far away from the Inca site. Also, with the shorter elevation gain (around 180 metres), again, you won’t feel as far away from Machu Picchu. So, Machu Picchu is much easier to see!

But, perhaps it’s worth hiking both Huayna Picchu and Machu Picchu Mountain. That way, you’ll enjoy views of Machu Picchu from opposite sides. But, overall you’d be paying S/205.40 ($54.50USD) each, for both the Huayna Picchu and Machu Picchu Mountain hikes. So, will you be doing both?

For more information, read here: Machu Picchu Mountain Hike

Other Things to Do at Aguas Calientes

Other than hiking and exploring Machu Picchu, there are other things to do at Aguas Calientes. Also known as ‘Machu Picchu Pueblo’, this tourist town has plenty on offer. Whilst you’re there, why not do some of the following?!

  • Soak in the hot springs: there’s a reason why the town is called ‘Aguas Calientes’, meaning hot springs. They’re not the biggest or best thermal pools in Peru. But, they’re still a welcome relief to sore muscles after doing the Huayna Picchu hike!
  • Chase waterfalls: Cascadas Allcamayo and Mandor are two waterfalls that are easy to visit during your time in Aguas Calientes.
  • Mariposario de Machupicchu: if you like butterflies, check out this sanctuary. Located just outside of town, you’ll find beautiful butterflies in this enclosure.
  • Indulge in happy hour: nearly every restaurant in town has its own happy hour. Wander the streets and you’ll find some 2 for 1 pisco sours in no time.
  • Go shopping: if you’re keen on some souvenirs, like Peruvian jumpers or llama keyrings, then you’ve found the right place. Sure, the prices might be steeper than in the rest of Peru. But, you’ll be sure to find any souvenir your heart desires.

Is Huayna Picchu Dangerous?

Overall, hiking Huayna Picchu isn’t dangerous. We’re sure that if the Huayna Picchu hike was dangerous, it would be closed to the public. It’s probably the ‘Huayna Picchu stairs of death’ tag, which has given the mountain a dangerous reputation. But, honestly speaking, the steps aren’t as dangerous as the name suggests. Sure, the steps are narrow and steep in some sections. A fall from these would be sure enough to cause injury. But, it’s easy to avoid any injury or danger by taking it slow and steady. In most sections, there are rails to hold onto if needed to ensure your safety.

Huayna Picchu Deaths

Given our experience of hiking Huayna Picchu, we believe it’s safe. In terms of deaths, statistically speaking, Huayna Picchu also appears to be safe. Yes, there have been recorded deaths from people hiking Huayna Picchu over the last 30 years. Sadly, most deaths are from people falling. But, there have only been a few reported cases of this. Given tens of thousands of people hike Huayna Picchu every year, the number of deaths is very low.

You’ll actually find most deaths at Machu Picchu are not owing to the Huayna Picchu hike. Instead, sadly, most Machu Picchu deaths tend to happen in older visitors, who succumb to life-threatening health incidents such as heart attacks and strokes.

Where to Stay at Aguas Calientes

Aguas Calientes isn’t a big town. But, it has plenty of accommodation options to choose from. To hike Huayna Picchu Mountain, you’ll probably need a place to stay in Aguas Calientes. So, we’ve handpicked the best budget, mid-range and luxury options to cover all bases.

Budget – Supertramp Hostel Machupicchu

A room in a hostel

Supertramp Hostel Machupicchu is one of the best hostels in Aguas Calientes. It’s well-located, provides complimentary breakfast and even has soundproofing in most rooms. You’ll find great value-for-money dorm rooms and also private rooms.

Mid-range – Peru Coca B&B Machupicchu

A room with three beds in a B&B

Peru Coca B&B Machupicchu is a fantastic mid-range option for those looking to save but still be comfortable. Beck and I thoroughly enjoyed our stay there. The hosts are approachable and they serve up a wonderful breakfast, while the rooms are spacious and pleasant.

Luxury – Gringo Bill’s Boutique Hotel

A hotel room with great views

When it comes to boutique hotels in Aguas Calientes, you can’t beat Gringo Bill’s Boutique Hotel. It’s one of the most highly-rated accommodation options near Machu Picchu. It includes a hot tub, organic restaurant and a Pisco bar! Better yet, it’s outstanding value for money compared with other luxury lodging options in town.

What to Wear and Pack

When climbing Huayna Picchu Mountain, you should also take water, snacks, sunglasses, sunscreen and a hat. Otherwise, here are some other useful hiking gear to pack and wear.

Osprey Skarab 30
Osprey Skarab 30

The Osprey Skarab 30 is our go-to hiking backpack for day hikes. This well-designed unisex backpack is comfortable and spacious, so you’ll have plenty of space to pack everything without feeling the strain on your upper back.

Osprey Ultralight Raincover
Osprey Ultralight Raincover

A waterproof backpack cover is an absolute must when you’re adventuring outdoors. The Osprey Ultralight Raincover Medium is a high-quality waterproof cover that’ll keep your backpack bone dry.

GRAYL Reusable Water Bottle
GRAYL Reusable Water Bottle

The GRAYL GeoPress is the best water filter bottle that allows you to purify 710mL (12 ounces) of water. This bottle will make water safe to drink wherever you’re hiking.

BUFF Original Ecostretch
BUFF Original Ecostretch

The BUFF Original Ecostretch is a great option when it comes to multifunctional headwear. We use the Ecostretch as a neck gaiter to keep the sun off our necks and it helps us keep warm in cooler climates.

Sony Cybershot RX100 VII
Sony Cybershot RX100 VII

Capture epic photos and videos with the Sony Cybershot RX100 VII. This is hands-down the best compact camera. We love using this simple point-and-shoot camera when we’re hiking as it’s lightweight and durable.

To find out more about all of the gear that we use and recommend, read our guides about our favourite hiking gear, travel gear and camera gear. Otherwise, read our comprehensive travel packing checklist.

Bonus Tips

  • Explore as much as possible during your visit: it’s easy to fit in Huayna Picchu and Machu Picchu in one day. But, if you’re keen to explore some more, you could easily hike Huchuy Picchu and/or Machu Picchu Mountain on the same day. No regrets!
  • There’s more to Peru than just Machu Picchu: of course, you should explore popular places in Peru, such as Machu Picchu, Sacred Valley and Rainbow Mountain. But, make sure to also explore the lesser-known. Beck and I really enjoyed less-explored treks near Cusco such as the Choquequirao, Huchuy Qosqo and Ausangate treks. We wished we had even more time to do other less-known hikes such as the Lares Trek.
  • Huayna Picchu altitude: fortunately, the elevation of Huayna Picchu isn’t likely to give you altitude sickness. But, given the potential for altitude sickness during other treks in Peru, you’ll want reliable and trustworthy travel insurance.

Travel Insurance For Huayna Picchu

Heymondo is one of the best budget travel insurance providers on the market. They provide comprehensive travel and medical insurance that won’t break the bank. Whether it’s single trip insurance, annual multi-trip insurance or long stay insurance, Heymondo offers affordable travel and medical insurance to suit all of your needs. Personally, we use Heymondo travel insurance and highly recommend it. To find out more about Heymondo travel and medical insurance, read our Heymondo travel insurance review.

Travel Insurance

Heymondo Travel Insurance

Don’t leave for your trip without booking travel insurance. We all know accidents can happen and having Heymondo travel insurance could save you thousands of dollars if something goes wrong. Click the button below to receive a 5% discount!

Huayna Picchu Hike pinterest

Do you think the Huayna Picchu hike is worth it? Let us know in the comments below.

Daniel Piggott

Dan is a travel blogger, physiotherapist, hiker, natural wonder seeker and world traveller. He loves writing travel guides to help his readers explore the most beautiful destinations in the world.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  1. Excellent information, very use full, thank a lot to put a lot of images and details.