Before you confirm your trip to Machu Picchu, consider whether or not you want to do one of the two permitted hikes that start in the Machu Picchu complex. These optional, challenging hikes are rewarding for fit travelers, but are definitely not suitable for everyone. If you’re going to Machu Picchu and want to challenge yourself, these hikes will be right up your alley.
One of the hikes is Huayna Picchu Mountain, which is the small sugar loaf mountain you see in the immediate background of most photos of Machu Picchu (like the one above). The other hike is called Machu Picchu Mountain (not to be confused Machu Picchu Ruins), which is a higher mountain located on the opposite side of the ruins from Huayna Picchu. Below is a chart of the differences between the two hikes.
It’s best to decide if you want to do one of these hikes before you confirm your Machu Picchu trip. The hiking permits must be purchased in conjunction with your entrance to Machu Picchu; they cannot be purchased separately. If you book your trip and your trip operator purchases your Machu Picchu entrance without a hiking permit, and you decide later that you want to do a hike, you would have to purchase a new Machu Picchu entrance in addition to the hiking permit. See pricing in the chart below.
If you’re trekking the Inca Trail, either the full multi-day trek or the one-day short trek, there is a slightly different set of rules for you. The cost of the Inca Trail permit includes your entrance to Machu Picchu. Trekkers do not have the opportunity to add on one of the hiking permits to this combined Inca Trail and Machu Picchu permit. Therefore, if you want to do one of the hikes, you must purchase another Machu Picchu entrance in addition to the hiking permit of your choice.
Here are the differences between the Huayana Picchu Mountain and Machu Picchu Mountain hikes:
Information provided by our partners at Amazonas Explorer