Hike Huayna Pichu

Jun 21st, 2008, 01:25 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 41
Hike Huayna Pichu

Author: vacdrmr
Date: 06/21/2008, 02:46 pm
We will be in Machu Picchu early next month. We range from 24-54 yr olds and have not hiked much at all. We all want to take on the challenge of hiking up Huayna Picchu but reading the reviews it seems a pretty tough hike.Is this something we should attempt? We have about four hours to spend on the hike.If we take it slow is that enough time? We plan on being there by 6:00am. How wide & high are the steps? Does anyone have any pictures of the trail up there?

vacdrmr is offline  
Jun 21st, 2008, 05:40 PM
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 3,876
First bus up the mountain is 6:30. You'd be going through the gates about 6:50. Then it's a another 15-20 minutes to walk to the entrance of the Huayna Picchu sector. By the time you sign in (obligatory), it could be 7:15 before you start out.

In theory, if you move right along, it's 30 minutes up and 30 minutes down, but I've never done it that quickly. It takes many people about an hour each way. You'd want to spend some time at the top too to survey the view.

Steps? What steps? No, much of it is steps, but parts of the trail have no steps at all. There's a section near the top where you squeeze through a rather narrow opening on your hands and knees. There's another section coming down where you have to scoot down an incline on your butt.

I would never consider this if I had to catch the train back that same day. I take it when you say you have four hours, it's because you need to board the train. It's a very tiring hike and you'll be pretty stiff at the conclusion. All I wanted to do was go back to my hotel in town and rest.
Jeff_Costa_Rica is offline  
Jun 22nd, 2008, 09:47 AM
Join Date: Feb 2004
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If you go to SmugMug.com and search using Huayna Picchu you'll find some photos people have taken on the trail. Similarly, an image search on your Internet browser might reveal some photos for you to check out. Looks pretty scary, but the images from the top look like they're worth the effort. We're hoping to do the hike next April.
eenusa is offline  
Jun 23rd, 2008, 09:16 AM
Join Date: Jun 2003
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vacdrmr, you should try it! With 4 hours allotted for the hike, it's certainly do-able. Take it slow, and yes, portions of it are steep. Harder going down, but not too bad.

It took us 1 hour to go up, and we were taking our time looking at the wild flowers and scenery.

Jut try to train yourselves before the trip. Take stairs, vigorous walking, hiking.

The scenery up there is spectacular. It makes me appreciate MP much more by seeing things up high and globally. The amazing thing about MP is the setting, not so much the ruins, as you see much better Inca stonework in Cusco (the capital vs this "vacation resort" for the royalty).

About the bus up MP, I remember the first bus up is 5:30 a.m. although it's not listed on the board, as the ticket guy told us. But we heard from others, that you won't see the sunrise until 7 a.m. because the high peaks block the sun for some time.
JC98 is offline  
Jun 23rd, 2008, 11:58 AM
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Posts: 41
Thank you all for all your messages as well as the link to the pictures. They are all great.
We have decided to go for it. Thanks for your tips on training for it. Need to get boots with good treads.
We will be there on the 4th & 5th of next month and are so looking forward to it.

vacdrmr is offline  
Jun 23rd, 2008, 01:40 PM
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 95
Buy your bus ticket in AC town the night before and your park entrance ticket as well. I believe the first bus goes up at 5:30 am, we were there in September and by the time we entered MP we got some great pictures before the crowds arrived. I think they restricted entrance to the hike up the Huayna Picchu mountain until 7am, Special place.
Hoyas is offline  
Jun 25th, 2008, 08:23 AM
Join Date: Feb 2004
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I am in Peru as we speak and yesterday I visited MP. A few people in our group did this climb but I opted out. They reported itīs really steep and scary coming down, however the age range of people who did it is 23-50. They said in some parts they were climbing with their hands and feet so it is quite challenging. They did enjoy the views from the top, but if you do this, please be careful on the steep parts.
P_M is offline  
Jul 1st, 2008, 04:52 AM
Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 337
The highlight of our day at Machu Picchu was the hike up Huayna Picchu!
This was AMAZING and I can't recommend it highly enough! The view from up here is breathtaking! Of course, after you've hiked up that steep climb (it took us 1 hour to go up), you are huffing and puffing

It is very easy as far as the scary factor. It's not death-defying by any means, just steep and hard on your knees, but in some places there are ropes to help pull yourself along. There are never places where you think you will fall off the edge, though.
Once at the top, you will not want to come back down! It's such a great feeling up there! We stayed for about 30 minutes, had a snack, and it took about 40 minutes to come down.

As long as everyone in your group is in good health and relatively fit with no knee problems, you should be able to to do this hike.

I say DEFINITELY go for it! You won't be disappointed!!
It is exhilarating and gives you the most unique perspective of the entire place!

I have some pictures of this hike on my website:
Just go to the Peru link and you'll find them.

Good luck and
Happy, safe travels!


luv2globetrot is offline  
Jul 1st, 2008, 05:37 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 4,229
We too did the hike, and it was on a day where it had rained all night and into the early morning. This made for pretty treacherous conditions on an extremely steep trail. We just hit 60 and were definitely about the oldest people on the trail. We are in decent shape, but we were pretty wiped out for the rest of the day after doing this--age definitely has started to take its toll. We did it slowly and let people pass us all the time. I wouldn't say this was a scary trek as in "Oh my God I'm worried I'll fall off the side and plummet straight down to my death". But, when wet it can be quite dangerous. I slipped on a wet rock on the way down, fell on my rear and it might have been all over for me if I hadn't had a firm grasp on the cable that is there as a handrail in some particularly dangerous places. As it was I was lucky and emerged with nothing more than an ugly 6" by 8" bruise on my arm for a week.
julies is offline  
Jul 1st, 2008, 06:29 AM
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 226
I just got back and hiked WP last week. I think anyone can do this as long as they take it slowly...You can totally move over and let people pass you, but it is well worth it. I went up in an hour and 15 min and down in 45 or so. IF you have 4 hours total, you will totally make it!
shothyme77 is offline  
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