Huayna Picchu Trek: The Death Stairs at Machu Picchu

Huayna Picchu

Huayna Picchu: What Does It Mean?

Huayna Picchu  The Quechua word “Wayna Picchu” means “young mountain” (wayna means young and picchu means mountain). The variant spelling of the same name, ”


Huayna Picchu


Huayna Picchu: Where Is It?

The iconic Machu Picchu citadel in Cusco, Peru, which was inhabited by the Incas in the fifteenth century, is backed by the mountain known as Huayna Picchu.

Huayna is the famous mountain that you see right behind the ruins when you first enter Machu Picchu and stand at the well-known viewpoint. It is commonly mistaken for Montana Machu Picchu, which is another neighboring peak that you may ascend.


Huayna Picchu


Since the trail begins on the north side of the park, you must first travel through the ruins of Machu Picchu to get to Huayna Picchu and begin the journey.
Huayna Picchu Trekking: What to Anticipate
The Huayna Picchu Trek is a beautiful path that ascends a mountaintop covered in rainforest via stone steps constructed by the Inca Empire during the Middle Ages.

Though somewhat difficult, the hike is completely non-technical, and athletic hikers can complete it in an hour or less. Near the summit, at the end of the trip, are the steepest steps.

Despite being challenging, this trail is quite popular, with only 400 hikers allowed each day. To secure a space, you frequently need to book several months in advance.

The information that follows will outline the specifics of the Huayna Picchu walk and provide expectations. It’s a truly remarkable encounter!

• Trail Commencement
The Huayna Picchu walk almost immediately begins with beautiful scenery.

You can immediately see the Urubamba River and Putucusi Mountain, as well as a series of strikingly green peaks in the distance.

Huayna Picchu


You really can’t get lost from this point on because there is only one path that leads to the summit of Huayna Picchu, and many other hikers from across the world are traveling in the same direction.

Although several of the switchbacks have adequate plant cover to provide some shade from the sun, the remainder of the trip is an arduous ascent on Inca stone stairways.

Even if these stone steps aren’t in the best of shape, they nevertheless help to moderate the trek compared to stairless walks where you have to walk on dirt.

• Inca Constructions
You’ll receive your first glimpses of the Machu Picchu citadel in the distance after 20 to 30 minutes of hiking, which will serve as a reminder of how high you have already gotten!


Huayna Picchu


This is where the stairway gets narrow and steep, so you can grab onto the steel cable for added stability. The stone steps are a little problematic because of their modest size, but they are still rather secure.

This is also the location of your initial contact with Inca structures and terraces along the trail up to the top of Huayna Picchu mountain.

The people who lived there claimed that the priests of Machu Picchu lived in these buildings.

• The Stairs of Death at Machu Picchu
The “Stairs of Death” of Machu Picchu are about to begin! The last obstacle you must overcome to reach the top of Huayna Picchu Mountain is this magnificent stone staircase.


Huayna Picchu


Despite the ominous moniker, this is not a dangerous place to be, and the route is quite broad. But don’t get me wrong—the sights are breathtaking!

Although they appear to be close, the steep drop-offs are farther apart. There would be plenty of space on one of the grassy terraces should you manage to fall from the stairway.

The exact number of steps is unknown, but many of them are stubby and unevenly shaped, making it difficult to fit your entire foot on them.

• Summit of Huayna Picchu
You will arrive at the top of Huayna Picchu Mountain after passing the


Huayna Picchu


At 2,693 meters (8,835 feet) above sea level, Huayna Picchu offers breathtaking views of Machu Picchu and the bus road’s zigzag switchbacks that lead to the citadel.

The Andes mountains encircle you on all sides. Even the little Huchuy Picchu mountain and the jagged summit of Montana Machu Picchu are visible.

It’s one of the greatest views in Peru, in my opinion; however, if you get to the top during a popular time, there can be a line to take pictures.

At Huayna Picchu’s summit, exercise caution since there are once again some very steep drop-offs.

• Moon Temple
Pay attention to an offshoot trail that circles the backside of Huayna Picchu mountain shortly after reaching the summit.


Huayna Picchu


The Temple of the Moon (Huaca de la Luna), located inside a cave that may have once housed mummies, is an ancient ceremonial temple.

It’s not always possible for hikers to access this intriguing cave temple, which is an optional side trip from the main Huayna Picchu mountain trail, but it’s worth visiting if you have the chance.

Allow an additional two hours for your entire hiking experience at Wayna Picchu if you choose to visit this side trail.


• The Tunnel
To return to the main trail, you must cross a brief, tight tunnel on the descent from the summit of Huayna Picchu mountain.

You may need to crawl through the narrow path at the entrance to get past your backpack. We found this to be yet another interesting, tiny aspect of the hike that was rather cool.


Huayna Picchu


The trail circles back to the original trail after passing this tunnel, allowing

The steep stairs and altitude, which make it more difficult to breathe, are the main challenges at Huayna Picchu. The altitude shouldn’t be a major concern, though, if you’ve already spent a few days getting used to the altitude in Peru.

Climb as many stairs as you can to prepare for this hike!


Huayna Picchu: Is It Safe?
If you trek carefully, Huayna Picchu is a fairly safe hike, but I wouldn’t suggest it for small children, elderly people who aren’t in good shape, or anyone who isn’t sure of themselves or uncomfortable at heights.


Huayna Picchu


Regardless, hundreds of hikers ascend the “death stairs” of Huayna Picchu each day without incident. All you need is a decent level of fitness; no technical expertise is required.


How to Hike Huayna Picchu Safely

What are some strategies for reducing your risks and staying safe at Huayna Picchu?

As the aforementioned anecdotes demonstrate, you ought to make an effort to show the mountain some healthy deference. If anything, frolicking around or attempting to snap selfies near a precipice can be deadly in Huayna Picchu.

You can also choose to hire a private tour guide for the hike if you’re still concerned about Huayna Picchu. This way, you’ll have someone knowledgeable to explain everything to you.
How to Obtain Tickets for Huayna Picchu
You can only purchase these online.


How to Reach Pichu Mountain in Huayna

Behind a security gate that you must also pass to access the Huchuy Picchu climb, the Huayna Picchu hiking trail is situated on the northern side of the Machu Picchu citadel.


Huayna Picchu


The route map is shown above to give you a broad sense of where to go, but if you’re in a hurry, even with a map, it can be a little difficult to find, so be ready to ask the staff for instructions.

Because there may be lines at the citadel’s entrance and because it can take 15 to 30 minutes to walk from there, make sure you arrive at the main Machu Picchu entrance gate at least one hour before the admission time listed on your trekking ticket.

Would you invest in Wayna Picchu?
Yes, it’s well worth the walk to Wayna Picchu!

It’s a fantastic blend of adventure, excitement, history, and landscape. This hike was fantastic, and I hope to go again soon. It is like something from an Indiana Jones movie.

Best Time To Hike Mount Everest
Generally speaking, May through October—Peru’s dry season—is the ideal time of year to hike Machu Picchu. There is significantly less rain during this time of year, and the days are brighter.

Having said that, I wouldn’t exclude the wet season entirely. In January, we went on multiple hikes during beautiful weather. Usually, the rain falls in the afternoons or evenings, so you should pack a poncho just in case.

I think that late morning is the ideal time of day to climb Huayna Picchu. This is typically when the morning mist lifts, allowing you to see the Andes mountains more clearly.

Top Tours to Machu Picchu

GetYourGuide offers both private and group full-day excursions to Machu Picchu that depart from Cusco.

They are an excellent firm that we utilized for several excursions and activities in Peru. Strongly advised!

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