Huayna Picchu, otherwise known as Waynapicchu, is a mountain in Peru rising over of the infamous lost city of the Incas, Machu Picchu.
The Huayna Picchu hike itself leads you up to a beautiful viewpoint overlooking Machu Picchu. The peak of the trail and the highest elevation point of the mountain is 2,693m (8,835ft). It sits an estimated 260m taller than Machu Picchu. The locals say that the importance of this mountain was spiritual. Back in Inca times, high priests would trek up the mountain to find true spiritual wholeness. So why not trek up this mountain and find wholeness yourself?
Here’s the 411 on this hike: it’s steep, it’s slippery, it’s moderately challenging and it’s got a beautiful viewpoint from the top.
So, should you hike Huayna Picchu?
– If you have a fear of heights in any way, shape or form, this hike is NOT for you. I have a deep, irrational fear of heights and I choked once I got to the top. The exposed pathway, strong winds, AND tiny walking spaceS was all enough to put me over the edge. I started crying and had an emotional breakdown which is why we didn’t get many pictures and none of which are of my face. However, my husband is incredible and was able to calm me down enough to get me back down the mountain. Thank goodness!
– If you have just hiked the 26-mile Inca Trail leading to Machu Picchu for the last 4 days, this hike MAY be for you. Our legs and bodies were so exhausted after our 4-day trek that we felt we could’ve skipped out on this 2-hour hike altogether because we were completely wiped out. We felt that coming into the Sun Gate (read my blog on Hiking the Inca Trail to find out more about the Sun Gate) at sunrise was equally as beautiful as the viewpoint from the top of Huayna Picchu.
– If you are coming for a one day visit to Machu Picchu and are in good physical shape, this is a hike that is definitely worth your while. It is a one hour ascent up a slippery, steep slope. There are points where you need to stand over on the edge while others are coming back down the mountain and also points where you’ll need to hang onto some cables as you make the climb up. Don’t be deceived by the word hike, the way up is a complete climb – I was literally on my hands and knees in some parts. This hike is for those of you who are avid hikers, adventure-junkies and all around nature lovers. The view from the top is breathtaking and you could sit up there for an hour just taking in the views.
Huayna Picchu is a picturesque mountain and if you are in seriously good physical shape and have zero fear of heights, the trek up is totally worth it!
The choice is yours!