6 Tips to enjoy the hike to the Machu Picchu mountain

Hike to Machu Picchu mountain

Before dawn, a large group of travelers congregates in Aguas Calientes, hoping to be the first the hike to the Machu Picchu mountain; since only the first 400 have the privilege of climbing Huayna Picchu (that vertiginous peak that we always see at the foot of the citadel of Machu Picchu).

However, most miss the great opportunity to ascend to the summit located at the other end: the <Machu Picchu> mountain. That is why we have created this complete guide so that you know where the Machu Picchu mountain is and everything that is required to explore it, so that you live a complete experience within the Machu Picchu Natural and Archaeological Park.

Do not miss it!

Knowing the mountain of Machu Picchu

Also known as <Old Mountain> in Quechua, it is the mountain next to Machu Picchu, whose summit rises from the southern area of the Machu Picchu citadel, which is why many often confuse them, believing that they are the same place.

Historically, it is believed that this territory was inhabited before the arrival of the Incas, so during the period of the ninth Inca Pachacútec, the stairways, temples, platforms, and enclosures were built that became their permanent residence and religious center. In fact, thanks to the altitude of Cusco, this area functioned as a surveillance and control post against the threat of invasions.

All this was possible until the arrival of the Spanish in Cusco in 1535, for which the Inca city of Machu Picchu was abandoned until its rediscovery in 1911, by the young American explorer Hiram Bingham, who managed to transmit to the world through his scientific work his fascination for this natural jewel.

What are the hours to do the trek to the mountain of Machu Picchu?

Usually, the schedules and routes for hiking to Machu Picchu mountain are often overlooked either due to the excitement of trekking to Machu Picchu or the high expectations generated by visiting this modern wonder of the world.

However, for tours along the Inca Trail and its surroundings, it is necessary to adhere to an itinerary that allows you to visit the place with complete peace of mind. This includes booking your ticket in advance, as they tend to sell out quickly during peak season.

In this case, you can choose between two different schedules to visit the citadel and then hike to Machu Picchu mountain or vice versa.

‣ First schedule from 7:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m.: This schedule is most suitable for travelers coming from Aguas Calientes who want to ascend before dawn. After that, they can re-enter the citadel (if they have the ticket) for a guided tour.

Keep in mind that this will be an exhausting shift, as the hike to Machu Picchu mountain takes at least 1 hour and 30 minutes, and at least 45 minutes or more to return. Additionally, the guided tour can last between 2 to 3 hours.

‣ Second schedule from 8:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m.: This schedule is very convenient for those who come from trails such as the Inca Jungle, the Short Inca Trail, Quarry Trail, among others. First, take the guided tour of the citadel at 6:00 a.m., and then ascend to Machu Picchu mountain starting at 8:00 a.m.

The trek to Machu Picchu mountain

How much is the cost of the entrance ticket to Machu Picchu?

The ticket office costs vary according to certain guidelines issued by the Peruvian government. Therefore, tourists from countries outside the Andean Community (CAN) pay a higher amount than these.

In general, the entrance fee to Machu Picchu is approximately S/ 200.00 per adult, S/ 125.00 for students, and around S/ 118.00 for children. This includes the price to do the circuit around the Citadel of Machu Picchu and the cost of the permit to hike Machu Picchu Mountain.

How tall is the Machu Picchu mountain?

Its height ranges from about 3,080 meters asl (10,104 feet), with a walking distance of about 3.9 km / 2.42 miles.

How to buy tickets for the walk?

The ticket to hike Machu Picchu Mountain can be obtained in three ways; we always recommend doing it in advance.


Access the official portal www.machupicchu.gob.pe/ and through it, you can make a reservation according to your classification as a visitor (foreigner, local, or one of the member countries of the Andean Community).

Therefore, it is important to enter the requested data correctly (name, last name, and document number (passport, ID, or foreigner’s card) of each person, as the ticket is non-transferable.

In Cusco

In the city of Cusco, there are two offices to purchase tickets in person:

‣ The Regional Directorate of Culture, also known as La Casa Garcilaso, is located on Calle Garcilaso s/n, Cusco, in the historic center, just 2 blocks from Plaza de Armas.

‣ The Disconcerted Directorate of Culture of Cusco, at Calle Maruri 324, also located a short distance from the Main Square.

You only need to bring your identification documents such as passport, ID, or foreigner’s card within the opening hours, which are from Monday to Saturday from 07:00 a.m. to 07:00 p.m. Closed on Sundays and holidays.

Keep in mind that this option carries its risks of not getting tickets, mainly during the high season, due to high demand.

With your travel agency

Without a doubt, the most efficient and secure way to acquire your tickets for the Machu Picchu mountain hike and its surroundings is through an authorized travel operator like Inca Trail.

We will take the necessary steps so that you obtain the tickets you need on time. You just have to provide a copy of your identification document, such as your passport, foreigner’s card or ID, as well as the exact date on which you will make the visit.

How difficult is the trek to the Machu Picchu mountain?

The trek to the mountain of Machu Picchu has medium to moderate difficulty, since at the beginning it is steep, being also a longer and higher route than that of Huayna Picchu, so obviously you will feel some impact. Although everything will depend on the physical condition you have; in fact, it is very common to find yourself on the trail and on the Huayna Picchu Mountain with young people, children, and even older adults.

However, over time the ascent becomes easier, it is only necessary to find your own rhythm and take the breaks that are required; After that, you will be rewarded with a majestic 360° view from the summit, of the entire archaeological complex of Machu Picchu.

Recommendations for the trek to Machu Picchu mountain

  • As is known, the area where the Machu Picchu mountain is located is the high jungle, where a rainy, humid environment predominates, and with a strong presence of various types of animals and plants; therefore, we recommend that visitors be equipped with different implements to ensure that their travel experience is not marred by any inconvenience:
  • Boots or specialized shoes for trekking, with non-slip rubber soles. It must be with those specifications since it will be your main security implement that will guarantee that you do not slip and fall during the ascent; also guaranteeing comfort throughout the walk. Important: Avoid them being new, as they will surely cause you discomfort due to constant rubbing.
  • Insect repellent
  • Sunscreen with a high protection factor, to avoid burns on the face, shoulders, and back from being exposed to the sun for so many hours, radiation, and the altitude of the Sacred Valley in Peru.
  • Always have a bottle of drinking water on hand to maintain constant hydration while you hike. In addition, you must bring it with you from the beginning of the trip that day, since when entering the archaeological park there are no sales stalls.
  • A hat or cap with a wide brim that provides you with enough shade.
  • If you travel in rainy seasons, wear a raincoat.
  • A small backpack to carry the previous equipment that allows you to have your hands free.
  • Regarding your devices to take photos (camera, tablet, or mobile), try to have extra memory and a portable charger or reserve batteries.

In addition to the above, we recommend that you pay attention to the signs of both your guide and the road when you are climbing Machu Picchu mountain to avoid possible accidents. Last but not least, always carry your identification documents with you such as your passport, foreigner’s card, or ID.


As you can see the trek to the Machu Picchu mountain, it is one of the most spectacular trips you can find. The views that they give us are magnificent and the feeling of having reached the summit by your own means is simply unmatched. If you are planning to hike to Machu Picchu mountain or its surroundings, we invite you to discover our tours so that you can discover the plans that we design for you!

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