Fodor's Expert Review Hikes from Machu Picchu

Machu Picchu and the Inca Trail Ruins

If you didn't hike the Inca Trail, you can take a 45-minute walk on a gentle arc leading uphill to the southeast of the main complex. Intipunku, the Sun Gate, is a small structure in a nearby pass. This ancient checkpoint is where you'll find that classic view that Inca Trail hikers emerge upon. The walk along the way yields some interesting and slightly different angles as well. Some minor ancient outbuildings along the path occasionally host grazing llamas.

Built rock by rock up a hair-raising stone escarpment, the Inca Bridge is yet another example of Inca engineering ingenuity. From the cemetery at Machu Picchu, it's a 30-minute walk along a narrow path. Note that you may need to buy two entrance tickets, one for the morning and one for the afternoon, in order to have your guided tour and do the Intipunku hike.

The Huayna Picchu trail, which follows an ancient Inca path, leads up the famous sugarloaf hill in front of Machu Picchu for an exhilarating... READ MORE

If you didn't hike the Inca Trail, you can take a 45-minute walk on a gentle arc leading uphill to the southeast of the main complex. Intipunku, the Sun Gate, is a small structure in a nearby pass. This ancient checkpoint is where you'll find that classic view that Inca Trail hikers emerge upon. The walk along the way yields some interesting and slightly different angles as well. Some minor ancient outbuildings along the path occasionally host grazing llamas.

Built rock by rock up a hair-raising stone escarpment, the Inca Bridge is yet another example of Inca engineering ingenuity. From the cemetery at Machu Picchu, it's a 30-minute walk along a narrow path. Note that you may need to buy two entrance tickets, one for the morning and one for the afternoon, in order to have your guided tour and do the Intipunku hike.

The Huayna Picchu trail, which follows an ancient Inca path, leads up the famous sugarloaf hill in front of Machu Picchu for an exhilarating trek. Limited to 400 visitors daily at two entrance times (7–8 am and 10–11 am), tickets must be purchased at the same time as your entrance tickets for Machu Picchu (combined price S/200, S/152 for Machu Picchu plus the S/48 for Huayna Picchu). The arduous, vertiginous hike up a steep, narrow set of Inca-carved steps to the summit and back takes between two and three hours round-trip, and there are some Inca structures at the top. Bring insect repellent; the gnats can be ferocious. An alternate route down from Huayna Picchu (at least 1½ to 2 hours down and back over to Machu Picchu) takes you to the Temple of the Moon/Great Cave (Templo de la Luna/Gran Caverna). It's not an easy venture, but it's well worth the opportunity to be in nature without the crowds. Give yourself five hours for the whole route with time to stop.

Hiking up Machu Picchu Mountain is another possibility. Tickets for this must also be purchased at the same time as the entrance to the site itself (combined price S/200). Entrance is allowed at two times: between 7 and 8 am and between 9 and 10 am. This hike is longer than that to the top of Huayna Picchu but somewhat less steep and harrowing. There are no structures on this mountain, and the bird's-eye views of the Machu Picchu site are from farther away.

Only with entrances to one of the two mountains are you allowed to stay in the site for more than four hours: with these permits, you may stay for a total of six hours.

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Ruins Flight Centre Historic District/Site Trail Mountain Historical Views

Quick Facts

Machu Picchu
Aguas Calientes, Cusco  Peru

www.machupicchu.gob.pe

Sight Details:
Rate Includes: S/200 combined entrance to Machu Picchu with either Huayna Picchu or Machu Picchu Mountain

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