Machu Picchu Mountain

The Machu Picchu mountain is the highest peak in the Inca city. It was this mountain that was initially named 'Machupicchu' (old mountain). Later, the Inca city and the archaeological site took that name, with which it is known today. The Incas built hundreds of stone steps up to the top, where they worshiped their gods: the sun, the moon, the stars. Currently climbing these roads is considered a hiking route within the wonder of the world. The other is the Huayna Picchu mountain. To visit them you must purchase a tour or buy directly the entrance ticket to these sites.

What is the Machu Picchu mountain?

The Machupicchu Mountain is the name by which the highest peak that the Inca city guards is known, the famous archaeological site visited by thousands of tourists. On this summit the Incas built hundreds of stone stairs to the top where they worshiped their gods such as the sun, the moon, and the stars. Today, climbing these stairs is one of the adventures offered by visiting the wonder of the world. Every day a maximum of 800 tourists enter and walk its roads. Along with the Huayna Picchu mountain, they are the two most famous hiking and adventure routes within Machupicchu.

Where is?

The Machu Picchu Mountain is to the north and at the top of the Inca city. The entrance gate is inside the Inca city. To get there you have to walk about 2 kilometers uphill. This mountain is an Andean foothills of the Salkantay massif, in the Andes Mountains of Cusco - Peru.

What does your name mean?

The word 'Machu Picchu' comes from a Quechua word that means 'Old Mountain'. This name was taken by the Inca city, which, however, is believed to have been called 'Patallacta'.


The top of Machu Picchu Mountain is 3,082 meters above sea level (10,111 feet).

Map of the trek to Machu Picchu Mountain


The history of the Machu Picchu mountain is closely linked to the history of the Inca city of Machupicchu. It is believed that this summit was worshiped by the families that inhabited these territories before the arrival of the Incas and the subsequent construction of the Inca city in 1450 AD It was the Inca Pachacutec who ordered the construction of the temples, stairways, platforms and enclosures from the Inca city to be his personal residence, checkpoint and religious site. The work is believed to have been continued by his son and successor Túpac Yupanqui. In the Machu Picchu mountain there is evidence of enclosures and platforms that were left unfinished.

The Machupicchu mountain also served as a lookout post against the threat of an invasion. Due to its high altitude, there would have been religious ceremonies to gods such as the sun, the moon, the stars. They also had to carry out payment ceremonies to the land 'la Pachamama'. With the arrival of the Spanish to Cusco in 1535, the mountain and the Inca city were gradually abandoned. The thick vegetation covered most of its constructions.

In 1911, with the arrival of the North American explorer Hiram Bingham, Machu Picchu and the mountain were made known to the world. Since then, the excavation process began. Because the surrounding settlers knew the mountain as 'Machupicchu', the ancient Inca city and archaeological site were named that way. Today, both sites are called in the same way. To visit them, you must purchase the entrance ticket 'Machu Picchu with Mountain', which includes both sites. It is one of the preferred adventures for visitors along with Huayna Picchu.

What to do?

Hiking route – The trekking route to the top of Machu Picchu mountain is uphill by approximately two thousand stone steps. The route begins at the entrance gate of the Inca city from where you must walk 15 minutes uphill until you arrive at the entrance gate of the mountain. All tourists must register at the control booth and start the walk of approximately 2 kilometers. This section is difficult since it is always uphill. It can take between 1 to 2 hours, depending on the physical condition of the visitor. At the top you have the highest view of the Inca city, with its mountains, platforms and rivers. The return path follows the same path as the outward section, only descending. It is less demanding. At the door, tourists must register their departure again.

Flora and fauna – Machupicchu mountain has many species of flowers. The most representative is, without a doubt, the orchid (orchidaceae). It is estimated that the wonder of the world is home to more than 400 species of this flower. It is also common to see the Andean lizard, the vizcachas, the sword-billed hummingbird, the millipede and even the famous spectacled bear. If you are lucky enough to see one, it is only recommended to take photos from a safe distance. These animals are harmless if they are not disturbed.

Beautiful landscapes – The top of Machupicchu mountain offers some of the most beautiful landscapes that can be seen in the Inca city. From the top you can see the entire archaeological site, the Vilcanota river, the town of Aguas Calientes, the Putucusi mountain, the Huayna Picchu, the mountains and much more. To appreciate these landscapes, it is not necessary to reach the top since there are viewpoints along the mountain from where you can already see these landscapes.

When is the best time to go?

According to travelers who have already visited the Machu Picchu mountain, the best time of the year to go is during the months of May, June, July, August and September. During those days, the possibility of rain is minimal, so it is easy to do the walk without the risk of slipping or tripping. But, above all, it is recommended because during those days there are no fogs that prevent you from seeing the beautiful landscapes of Machupicchu once at the top of the mountain. January, February and March are the rainiest months. However, during those days fewer visitors come to the mountain. Thus, one can enjoy everything with less crowd around.

It is safe?

The roads of the Machupicchu mountain are wide and safe. There are few sections near cliffs. And in those cases, there is always room to walk around without problems. That is why the entrance to the mountain is allowed to people of all ages. Of course, if you are traveling with older adults, it is best to monitor them closely. Older adults should consult their doctor as walking requires considerable physical effort. Even so, there are many older adults who dare to undertake this adventure. It is not necessary to reach the top to appreciate the beautiful landscapes.

How much does a tour cost?

Machu Picchu mountain is a destination that can be done with a tour. However, it is not possible to do a tour of only 1 day since the entry times to the mountain do not allow it. For this destination you need a tour package of at least 2 days. The price of the 2-day service can cost 400 US dollars and includes: complete transportation (by bus and train), entrance to 'Machu Picchu with Mountain', tour guide service, food and lodging in the town of Aguas Calientes.

How much does the entrance ticket cost?

Tourists who wish to visit Machu Picchu mountain without a tour, that is, on their own; They must buy their entrance ticket 'Machu Picchu with Mountain'. This ticket allows you to enter both tourist attractions: Machupicchu and the Mountain. Tickets can be purchased on the official website of the Ministry of Culture of Peru ( Also in a tourism agency, which include a commission for services.

National (Peru, Colombia, Bolivia, Ecuador)
Adult200 S/Adult112 S/
Student118 S/Student80 S/
Child (8 to 17 years old)118 S/Child (8 to 17 years old)80 S/


When buying your ticket 'Machu Picchu with Mountain' you must choose one of these 3 schedules that divide the 800 tourists who can enter the mountain each day:

  • Group 1 – Entrance to Machupicchu from 6 in the morning. Entrance to the mountain between 7 and 8 in the morning.
  • Group 2 – Entrance to Machupicchu from 7 in the morning. Entrance to the mountain between 7 and 8 in the morning.
  • Group 3 – Entrance to Machupicchu from 8 in the morning. Entrance to the mountain between 9 and 10 in the morning.

Do i need a tour guide?

The tour guide service is optional on Machu Picchu mountain. If the tourist wants to get one, they can book it online through a tourism agency or do it at the entrance of the mountain. The services are necessarily private, that is, only for the tourist and his group of friends or family. Remember that the tour of the archaeological site of Machu Picchu must be done with a tour guide.

Some rules

  • The entrance to the Machu Picchu mountain is only allowed to people who have the entrance ticket 'Machu Picchu with Mountain'.
  • Entry is allowed to people of all ages.
  • When entering and leaving the mountain, for security reasons, tourists must register at the control booth.
  • The visit to the mountain with a tour guide is optional.
  • It is not allowed to enter with umbrellas (they can only use a rain poncho), shoes with heels, walking poles (only older adults can use rubber-tipped canes), baby carriages (only backpack-type chargers are allowed), drones , selfie sticks, weapons, banners, advertising elements and electronic devices that generate noise.
  • The visitor can stay at the top of the mountain until 2 pm at the latest.
  • Photographs in places near cliffs are prohibited. Nor can you follow unmarked routes that put the integrity of the tourist at risk.
  • It is totally forbidden to damage the Inca constructions of the mountain.

More information you should know

The Machu Picchu mountain is located at a height of 600 meters higher than the Inca city. It is also about 300 meters higher than Huayna Picchu. It is the highest point that any tourist can reach on their visit to the wonder of the world.

Unlike Huayna Picchu, in the Machu Picchu mountain there are no terrifying stretches to behold due to its proximity to precipices. However, the mountain does not have Inca temples and enclosures. The 'Huayna' does have this type of buildings, such as the famous Temple of the Sun or Great Cavern.

The entrance ticket 'Machu Picchu with Mountain' must be purchased with an estimated anticipation of 2 to 3 weeks. Availability is 800 tickets per day. It is recommended to buy them online to ensure a space.

Photos of Machu Picchu mountain

Vista de Machu Picchu desde la Montaña Huayna Picchu
Montaña Machu Picchu
Montaña Machu Picchu
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Images of the Machu Picchu Mountain


During your visit to the mountain, carry a backpack that is not very large or wide that allows you to carry only the essentials for the walk: poncho in case of rain, snacks, rehydrating water, fruit, a hat, sunscreen, camera, documents and what you believe convenient. This way you will have your hands free for the walk.

Because the mountain is at the highest point of Machu Picchu, it is normal for some tourists to feel the symptoms of altitude sickness (fatigue, nausea, headache). These usually disappear as the body adapts to the new mountainous geography (1 or 2 days after arriving in Cusco). To reduce your symptoms, drink plenty of water, avoid fatty foods, and avoid alcoholic beverages. During the walk, go slowly, without pushing yourself too hard.

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