Huayna Picchu, also commonly written as “Wayna Picchu” is a mountain located in Salcantay and it is mostly famous for being the background of every iconic Machu Picchu picture. Huayna Picchu means “young mountain” in quechua language. It has an altitude of 2700 meters above sea level and 1000 meters above the Urubamba River. Due to its steepness, getting to the summit is quite a challenge and the hike up can last anywhere from 45 minutes to two hours depending on your fitness levels. The view from the top will absolutely take your breath away and so will the views on the way up. Scarily, it was named one of the most dangerous hikes by Outside Online blog.
From the summit, there is an optional trail to Gran Caverna (Great Cavern) and Templo de la Luna (Temple of the Moon), two natural caves where you can go and explore before returning to the lost city of the incas.
IMPORTANT: The number of people allowed per day is limited to 400. So book your ticket online way in advance as there is no chance you will get to do it once there, even during low season.
If you are unable to find tickets for your desired date, then perhaps you can opt to hike Machu Mountain – the spot where all panoramic pictures of Machu Picchu are taken. Even though Machu Mountain is taller than Huayna Picchu and the hike up takes approximately three hours, it is said to be easier.