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Huchuy Picchu Hike: The Ultimate Guide to Huchuy Picchu Mountain

Huchuy Picchu Hike: The Ultimate Guide to Huchuy Picchu Mountain

The Huchuy Picchu hike is the new kid on the block at Machu Picchu. Opening in 2021, the trail up Huchuy Picchu Mountain is the most recent addition when it comes to hiking at Machu Picchu. Given the Huchuy Picchu hike is a brand-spanking new trail, there’s not much information about it online.

In this travel guide, we’ll cover everything you need to know about the Huchuy Picchu hike. We’ll talk about the hike itself, explain the situation around tickets, and tell you how to get there and the best time to visit. Also, we’ll compare the Huchuy Picchu hike with the Huayna Picchu and Machu Picchu Mountain hikes. In doing so, we’ll discuss whether it’s actually worth doing this hike when there are already other great and well-known Machu Picchu hikes to choose from.

What Is Huchuy Picchu?

Huchuy Picchu is a small mountain located adjacent to the extraordinary Machu Picchu archaeological site. Also written as Huchuypicchu or Huchu’ypicchu, this mountain isn’t as well known as Huayna Picchu or Machu Picchu Mountain. In fact, Huchuy Picchu (2,497m) is dwarfed by Huayna Picchu (2,693m), which is positioned north of Huchuy Picchu. Yet, given Huchuy Picchu’s position next to Machu Picchu, it’s one of the most photographed peaks in the world. If you’ve visited Machu Picchu or plan to visit, you’ll basically be staring right at Huchuy Picchu, if you’re facing the Inca city from the southern side.

Other hikes at Machu Picchu: read our guides about Huayna Picchu and Machu Picchu Mountain

Dan admires Machu Picchu, Huchuy Picchu and Huayna Picchu

Until recently, there was no trail leading to the summit of Huchuy Picchu. That all changed in 2021 when a new route leading to Huchuy Picchu officially opened. By doing the Huchuy Picchu hike, you’ll enjoy phenomenal views of Machu Picchu that have rarely been seen before.

Alternative to Hiking Huayna Picchu and Machu Picchu Mountain

Until 2021, there were only two Machu Picchu hikes. These included the Huayna Picchu (otherwise known as Wayna Picchu) and Machu Picchu Mountain hikes. But, with the opening of the Huchuy Picchu trail, there are now three hikes to choose from at Machu Picchu. Of course, given how well-known Huayna Picchu and Machu Picchu Mountain are, these hikes remain the most popular. But, with more time and exposure, Huchuy Picchu should also become a more popular hiking option. It’s certainly the easiest Machu Picchu hike and this certainly will be appealing to many visitors. So, let’s look at some nitty-gritty details about the Huchuy Picchu hike itself.

Dan and Beck look towards the Inca city from the summit of the Huchuy Picchu hike

Huchuy Picchu Hike Preview and Map

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

Huchuy Picchu Difficulty

Straight up, the Huchuy Picchu hiking route is very easy. From the Huayna Picchu Registration Hut, the trail leading to the summit is only around 250 metres. Plus, you’ll only climb up around 50 metres or so. Whilst, trail navigation is simple and straightforward.

All in all, you’ll reach the Huchuy Picchu summit in around 10–15 minutes. Returning to the trailhead is even quicker. So, yeah, you don’t have to be fit or have any hiking experience to be able to do the Huchuy Picchu trek. Certainly, when compared with climbing Huayna Picchu Mountain and climbing Machu Picchu Mountain, the Huchuy Picchu hike is very easy.

Beck hikes along the Huchuy Picchu trail

Huchuy Picchu Hike: What Else to Expect

You can expect breathtaking views of Machu Picchu by doing the Huchuy Picchu hike. Best of all, there’s such little effort required to reach the summit. Certainly, it’s a case of huge reward for minimal effort. By doing this hike, you’ll also enjoy sensational views of Putucusi Mountain and Sacred Valley. Of course, good weather isn’t always guaranteed. Early morning low-lying mist is commonplace at Machu Picchu. So, you may encounter obstructed views of the Inca site. But fingers crossed you have good weather!

Because the Huchuy Picchu hike is still relatively unknown, you can expect the trail to be nice and quiet. Given how busy Machu Picchu can get, it’s refreshing to have a part of the Inca site without crowds of people. When Beck and I hiked Huchuy Picchu Mountain in 2022, we were the only ones at the summit. We only bumped into a group of three on the way back down.

Although, when you arrive at the Huayna Picchu Registration Hut, you may see lots of people. But, don’t be alarmed. Huchuy Picchu and Huayna Picchu share the same trailhead. So, those hiking Huchuy Picchu and Huayna Picchu, respectively, will register at the same hut. You’ll find most people at the hut will be doing the famous Huayna Picchu hike. So, once you’ve registered, you’ll leave the crowds behind and likely join an empty trail. With that in mind, make sure to print and present your ticket at the Huayna Picchu Registration Hut. You’ll register your details and then you’ll be all set to go!

Dan admires Putucusi Mountain
Putucusi Mountain

Huchuy Picchu Hike Description

You’ll find the trailhead for the Huchuy Picchu hike is just a few metres away from the registration hut. Instead of turning right for the Huayna Picchu hike, you’ll turn left for the Huchuy Picchu hike. Initially, you’ll follow a flat dirt path with lovely forest surrounds. But, soon enough, you’ll begin climbing up fairly steep steps, which wind around the small pinnacle. About halfway to the summit, you’ll get your first glimpse of Machu Picchu. Indeed, the views of Machu Picchu from this initial sighting are spectacular. After a few more steps, you’ll eventually wind around to the summit and main viewpoint.

Dan descends the Huchuy Picchu hike

Huchuy Picchu Summit

At the summit, you’ll find a signpost and a couple of uneven rocky landforms. Indeed, the peak of Huchuy Picchu is small. By standing on the rocks, you can improve your view of Machu Picchu. Because Huchuy Picchu is a small mountain, you won’t feel too far away from the Inca site. This means you’ll have a brilliant perspective of the ruins.

Similar to Huayna Picchu, from the summit, you’ll be looking down at Machu Picchu from the north side. Many of the viewpoints around Machu Picchu are from the south side, where you can actually see Huchuy Picchu and Huayna Picchu in the background. But, from Huchuy Picchu, you’ll be looking at the Inca site in a southerly direction with Machu Picchu Mountain in the background. Truly, the Huchuy Picchu summit provides unforgettable views of this world-famous attraction.

Once you’ve enjoyed the views, simply retrace your steps to return to the trailhead to continue your exploration of Machu Picchu.

Anyway, you’ll need tickets to complete the trail!

Huchuy Picchu Mountain Tickets

To do the Huchuy Picchu Mountain hike, you’ll need to buy tickets in advance. You’ll find different travel companies offering tickets online. But, to avoid the middle man, you can simply buy tickets from the official Machu Picchu website. Thankfully, the website translates well to English if you don’t speak Spanish. Although, when speaking with other travellers, many were confused about which Machu Picchu ticket to buy. Well, when you enter the website, there are four different Machu Picchu tickets to choose from.

Basically, there is ‘Llaqta of Machupicchu (Circuits 1, 2, 3, 4)’, which is a general ticket for the Inca site. This ticket doesn’t grant you access to any of the hiking trails. The other three options are specifically for the Machu Picchu hikes, which also include one of the circuits around the Inca citadel, respectively. For instance, if you want Huayna Picchu tickets, select ‘Circuit 4 + Waynapicchu Mountain’.

Anyway, to do this hike, simply select ‘Circuit 4 + Montaña Huchuypicchu‘.

Huchuy Picchu ticket selection

The entrance ticket fee is 152 soles ($40USD), plus a 4.10 soles ($1USD) processing fee for card payment. So, all up, you’ll be paying $156.10 soles ($41USD) to do the hike. Yes, it’s pretty expensive for a 30-minute hike! Is it worth it? Find out what we think here.

Huchuy Picchu ticket

Huchuy Picchu Schedules and Availability

There are 200 Huchuy Picchu tickets sold daily. Tickets are sold in hour time slots starting from 7–8am and finishing with a 2–3pm slot. In 2022, only 25 tickets are sold for each time slot. Personally, we hope this number doesn’t increase in the future. Given the summit is quite a small area, it really can only accommodate a dozen people at a time. Also, the trail is quite narrow. So, it really can’t allow for too many more people.

Because the Huchuy Picchu hike is still relatively unknown, you don’t need to book tickets too far in advance. But, of course, that’s as of 2022. In the future, the hike will become more popular and well-known. So, this situation may change regarding booking in advance.

Booking Huchuy Picchu tickets

What’s Included in Huchuy Picchu Circuit Tickets?

By purchasing a Huchuy Picchu ticket, you’ll have access to the Huchuy Picchu trail, as well as Circuit 4 of Machu Picchu. Circuit 4 is also known as ‘bajo largo’, which loosely translates to the low long route. Basically, the Huchuy Picchu ticket doesn’t give you access to all sections of the Machu Pichu Inca citadel. But, Circuit 4 is a long route around the ruins. So, essentially, you’ll still get to explore and see most of the Inca citadel with this ticket.

For most tourists, the Huchuy Picchu ticket will suffice for their visit to Machu Picchu. But, perhaps if you’re a history buff or want to avoid FOMO, you may also want to buy the standard Machu Pichu ticket, which grants access to all sections of the Inca citadel by including Circuits 1, 2, 3 and 4.

Huchuy Picchu Ticket Circuit Map

Here’s a map of Circuit 4, which is included in the purchase of a Huchuy Picchu ticket. This map has been sourced from the Peru Ministry of Culture website.

Is a Tour Guide Needed For the Huchuy Picchu Hike?

The simple answer is no. You can enter Machu Picchu to do the Huchuy Picchu hike independently without a guide. This also holds true for the Huayna Picchu and Machu Picchu Mountain hikes. Although, on the Circuit 4 map above, you’ll notice that it says, ‘it is recommended to hire a tour guide’. So, it seems a tour guide is only recommended and not mandatory.

Of course, if you want to learn more about Machu Picchu, having a guide is a great idea. Head to Machu Picchu tours for more information.

How to Get There

To do the Huchuy Picchu hike, initially, you’ll have to get to Aguas Calientes, which is also known as Machu Picchu town. Many tourists will visit Aguas Calientes from Cusco.

Getting to Aguas Calientes from Cusco

The easiest and quickest way to get to Aguas Calientes from Cusco is by train. But, this is the most expensive option. Train costs are usually around 260 soles ($70USD) per person one-way.

A cheaper option is to take a 1.5 hour colectivo from Cusco to Ollantaytambo for 10 soles ($2.50USD). Then, you can jump on a train to Aguas Calientes from Ollantaytambo. This option is usually around 185 soles ($50USD). If this is all too expensive, then you can catch a 7 hour bus from Cusco to Hidroelectrica for around 60 soles ($18USD). From Hidroelectrica, you can walk 10km along the train tracks to Aguas Calientes. It’s a tedious walk. But, it’ll save you plenty of pennies!

Of course, you can always hike to Aguas Calientes! Read our guides on the Salkantay trek and Choquequirao to Machu Picchu trek for more information.

Getting to Machu Picchu from Aguas Calientes

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

  • Bus: they leave Aguas Calientes regularly from 5:30am. The bus takes around 30-40 minutes. The price of the bus is $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 labelled ‘BUS TICKET’. FYI – you’ll need to present your passport a number of times to buy your bus ticket, so make sure you have it with you.
  • Hike: you can simply hike 4km from Aguas Calientes to Machu Picchu. But, it’s a steep climb up the mountainside with around 650 metres of elevation gain. The hike takes around 1.5–2 hours. Honestly, it’s a punishing hike – much harder than the actual Huchuy Picchu hike. But, this is a popular option because it’s the option that’s free!

Alternatively, you could always take the bus up and walk back down. After doing the Salkantay trek, Beck and I were pretty buggered. Additionally, we still had the Huayna Pichu, Machu Picchu Mountain and the Huchuy Picchu hikes to do. So, to save our legs, Beck and I skipped the tough hike up by getting the bus. Then, to save money, we did the walk back to Aguas Calientes, which is quite easy as it’s all downhill.

Best Time to Visit

In Peru, and in this part of the world, there’s a dry and rainy season. The dry season runs from May to October. Your chances of rain are low and you can expect mostly sunny days. Whereas, the rainy season is from November to April. You can expect frequent rainfall during this time. But, on the flip side, temperatures are generally warmer throughout the day.

Of course, visiting in the dry season is recommended to increase your chances of good weather when visiting Machu Picchu and climbing Huchuy Picchu Mountain. Although, even in the dry season, low lying mist around Machu Picchu is very common early in the morning. So, to increase your chances of good views of Machu Pichu from the summit of Huchuy Picchu, it’s best to avoid an early time slot (7–9am). From 9–10am onwards, you’re more likely to have unimpeded views of Machu Picchu. But, of course, weather in the mountains is unpredictable!

Beck admires Machu Picchu

Is Huchuy Picchu Worth It?

Yes, we think it’s worth hiking. Because the Huchuy Picchu hike involves following a new trail, you’ll get to enjoy rarely seen perspectives and angles of Machu Picchu from the summit. Best of all, the hike is still relatively unknown. So, you’ll enjoy a peaceful and quiet hike despite many people visiting the ruins. Although, at $41USD, it’s a very expensive hike! If you’re on a shoestring, it’d be hard to justify climbing Huchuy Picchu Mountain.

So, is it worth it for you? Let’s compare the Huchuy Picchu hike with the other Machu Picchu hikes to help you answer this question.

Other Machu Picchu Hikes

Other than the new Huchuy Picchu hike, there are the well-known Huayna Picchu and Machu Picchu Mountain hikes. In the past, many tourists weren’t sure whether to hike Huayna Picchu or Machu Picchu Mountain. Now, with the arrival of the Huchuy Picchu hike, there’s a third option! Let’s compare Huchuy Picchu with the other two Machu Picchu hikes to help you figure out which trail or trails to do!

Huchuy Picchu vs. Huayna Picchu

The main differences between the Huchuy Picchu and Huayna Picchu hikes are the difficulty and views of Machu Picchu. To help us compare the two hikes, let’s look at some quick stats for a better understanding of the difficulty concerning the Huayna Picchu hike.

  • Type: Out & Back
  • Distance: 2km
  • Time: 1.5 hours
  • Accumulated elevation gain: 180m
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Trailhead: Huayna Picchu Registration Hut

As you can see, the Huayna Picchu hike is four times as long and has three times more elevation gain. Although trail navigation is simple, the Huayna Picchu hike includes harder trail orientation. For instance, climbing Huayna Picchu Mountain involves some very narrow and steep steps. So, the trail is much harder to negotiate.

Although, with a steeper hike, you’ll have an even more far-sweeping view of Machu Picchu. Indeed, the view from Huayna Picchu is absolutely mesmerising. Compared with the Huchuy Picchu hike, you’ll have to work much harder on the Huayna Picchu hike. But, the more glorious and birds-eye-type views of Machu Picchu make it all worth it! For this reason, perhaps the Huayna Picchu hike is better.

But, as mentioned earlier, both the Huchuy Picchu and Huayna Picchu hikes share the same trailhead. So, why not do both hikes? You could simply do one after the other. Although, the ticket entrance fee for the Huayna Picchu hike is 200 soles ($53USD), plus 5.40 soles ($1.50USD) for card payment. Overall, you’d be paying 205.40 soles ($54.50USD) to do the Huayna Picchu hike and also 156.10 soles ($41USD) for the Huchuy Picchu hike. Yeah, fair enough, if you only choose one!

For more information, read here: Huayna Picchu Hike

Huchuy Picchu vs. Machu Picchu Mountain

Now, let’s compare the Huchuy Picchu and Machu Picchu Mountain hikes. The main differences between these hikes, again, are the difficulty and views of Machu Picchu, owing to the trail location. First, let’s look at some quick stats regarding the Machu Picchu Mountain hike to see how it compares with the Huchuy 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, climbing Machu Picchu Mountain is much harder than climbing Huchuy Picchu. The Machu Picchu Mountain hike is around six to seven times longer and has approx. 10 times more elevation gain! Although, similar to the Huchuy Picchu hike, trail navigation is simple and easy.

Other than difficulty, the main difference between hiking Huchuy Picchu and Machu Picchu Mountain is the views. Both Huchuy Picchu and Huayna Picchu are located north of Machu Picchu. Whereas, Machu Picchu Mountain is positioned south of the Inca site. Essentially, Machu Picchu Mountain faces opposite Huchuy Picchu and Huayna Picchu. As a result, the views of Machu Picchu from Machu Picchu Mountain are very different when compared with the views from Huchuy Picchu (and Huayna Picchu for that matter). So, perhaps it’s worth doing either Huchuy Picchu OR Huayna Picchu AND Machu Picchu Mountain. That way, you’ll have views of Machu Picchu from opposite sides.

But, again, to do the Machu Picchu Mountain, you’ll need to pay 200 soles ($53USD), plus 5.40 soles ($1.50USD) for card payment. Overall, you’d be paying 205.40 soles ($54.50USD) for both the Machu Picchu Mountain and Huayna Picchu hikes. Perhaps that’s a benefit of doing Huchuy Picchu, as it’s slightly cheaper at 156.10 soles ($41USD).

For more information, read here: Machu Picchu Mountain Hike

Other Things to Do at Machu Picchu

Other than hiking at Machu Picchu, you will definitely need to spend time exploring the Inca citadel. Of course, you’ll learn much more about the 15th Century complex by doing a guided tour!

Beck walks around at the Inca citadel

Machu Picchu Tours

Certainly, you’ll get more out of your experience at Machu Picchu by doing a guided tour. A guide will be able to explain the history of the Inca civilisation and describe the significance of features at the site, such as the Sacred Rock of Machu Picchu. As mentioned, it’s easy enough to find a guide in Aguas Calientes or at the entrance of Machu Picchu.

Although, personally, Beck and I didn’t go with either of these options. As part of the Salkantay Trek, our trekking guide showed us around Machu Picchu. 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 excellent family-run Cusco-based tour operator. Beck and I really enjoyed the Salkantay Trek and Machu Picchu tour with Apu Andino Travel Peru.

To book a tour with Apu Andino Travel Peru, you can reach them on Whatsapp (+51 984 609 485 or +51 984 067 472). Otherwise, drop into their office in Cusco (Centro Commercial Imasumaq, Office #216) to find out more information about the different tours they offer. Why not check them out on Facebook and Instagram?!

Where to Stay at Aguas Calientes

Aguas Calientes is only a small town. But, it has plenty of accommodation options. To hike this mountain, you’ll probably need to stay in Aguas Calientes at some point. We’ve handpicked the best budget, mid-range and luxury options to cover all needs.

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 For Huchuy Picchu

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.

When climbing Huchuy Picchu Mountain, you should also take water, snacks, sunglasses, sunscreen and a hat.

Bonus Tips

  • There’s more to Peru than just Machu Picchu: of course, you should explore popular attractions in Peru, such as Machu Picchu and Sun Gate on the Inca trail. But, make sure to also see lesser-known attractions. Beck and I really enjoyed less-explored natural attractions and treks near Cusco such as the Ausangate and Choquequirao treks and the Huchuy Qosqo One-Day Trek. You could go one step further than us and do the Huchuy Qosqo Trek over 2 or 3 days!
  • Do two Machu Picchu hikes in one day: the Huchuy Picchu hike should only take 30–60 minutes. If you’re keen on another hike, you could easily fit in Huayna Picchu or Machu Picchu Mountain on the same day. Or, why not do all three in one day? It’s possible!
  • Travel Insurance: given the potential for altitude sickness in Peru, you’ll want travel insurance.

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.

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Are you keen to do the new Huchuy Picchu hike? Share this post on Facebook to help us spread the word about this new trail at Machu Picchu!

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.

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  1. Marcello says:

    Hi, Great post. Thank you so much for the great info.

    Do you know what ticket to buy to hike up to the Sun Gate?


    • Daniel Piggott says:

      Hi Marcello,

      As far as I’m aware, there are no tickets available (in 2022 and 2023), which include a hike or visit to the Sun Gate.

      One of the best ways to visit Sun Gate is by doing the classic Inca Trail.

      All the best,