Everything you need to know about Huchuy Picchu Mountain
Machu Picchu is surrounded by 3 sacred mountains: Huayna Picchu, Machu Picchu montaña, and Huchuy Picchu. Each of these mountains has trails, and visitors can hike them.
The three sacred mountains are closely connected to Machu Picchu itself. They represent different aspects of Inca cosmology and religion and continue to hold great importance for modern-day Peruvians.
What is the Huchuy Picchu?
Huchuy Picchu Mountain is a small mountain located in Machu Picchu. It is about 2,497 m (8192 ft) above sea level. This mountain is becoming a popular extra hike in the citadel due to its scenic views and archaeological importance. The Machu Picchu authorities recently incorporated it as one of the newest circuits called Machu Picchu circuit 4 + Huchuy Picchu.
What does Huchuy Picchu Mountain mean?
Huchuy Picchu Mountain comes from the compound Quechua words; Huchuy (small) and Picchu (Mountain). Huchuy Picchu means "Small Mountain." Probably, this is not the original name of this mountain. The original name of Machu Picchu and the mountains are lost since the Incas didn't have a written language.
Huchuy Picchu mountain is becoming a very popular hiking trail in Machu Picchu. Hundreds of people hike this mountain daily to experience its beauty, history, and unique view of Machu Picchu.
Here are some stats:
- Location: North of Machu Picchu
- Maximum Altitude: 2,497 m (8192 ft)
- Hiking distance: 1km (0.6 miles)
- Duration: approximately 1-hour round trip
- Difficulty: Easy to Moderate
- Season: All year round
Where is it located?
This mountain is located in the northern area of Machu Picchu, next to Huayna Picchu Mountain. From the starting point, the elevation gain is about 70 meters.
How to get there?
To get to the entrance of Huchuy Picchu Mountain, you need to hike about 25 meters from the Mian entrance of Machu Picchu using the lower entrance called Circuit 3 or 4. If you participate in a guided tour, reaching the entrance might take around 2 hours.
The entrance of Huchuy Picchu and Huayna Picchu is the same; just a few meters after the checkpoint, there is a fork, and you need to head to the left side to arrive at Huchuy Picchu.
The first part of the hike is mostly a flat dirt route, but as you approach the summit, the trail gets steep until you see a SingPost indicating that you have reached the top. Since Huchuy Picchu is small and located on the north side of Machu Picchu, the view from Huchuy Picchu is unique.
Entry times for Huchuy Picchu
The tickets to Huchuy Picchu allow you to enter Machu Picchu and explore through circuit 4. Below are the entry times:
- First Shift: enter Machu Picchu between 7 - 8 am. / enter Huchuy Picchu between 8 and 9 in the morning.
- Second Shift: enter Machu Picchu between 8 - 9 am. / enter Huchuy Picchu between 9 and 10 in the morning.
- Third Shift: enter Machu Picchu between 9 - 10 am. / enter Huchuy Picchu between 10 and 11 in the morning.
- Fourth Shift: enter Machu Picchu between 10 - 11 am. / enter Huchuy Picchu between 11 and 12 in the afternoon.
- Fifth Shift: enter Machu Picchu between 11 - 12 pm. / enter Huchuy Picchu between 12 and 1 in the afternoon.
- Sixth Shift: enter Machu Picchu between 12 - 1 pm. / enter Huchuy Picchu between 1 and 2 in the afternoon.
- Seventh Shift: enter Machu Picchu between 1 - 2 pm. / enter Huchuy Picchu between 2 and 3 in the afternoon.
- Eighth Shift: enter Machu Picchu between 2 - 3 pm. / enter Huchuy Picchu between 3 and 4 in the afternoon.
Best time of the year to hike Huchuy Picchu
The best time of the year to hike Huchuy Picchu mountain is April to October. This time of the year is the dry season in the Andes, and we have fewer chances of rain. However, Machu Picchu and Huchuy Picchu are open all year round, and you can hike at any time; if you are hiking during the rainy season, it is possible to have good weather; always travel and prepare for rain and sun.
Map of Machu Picchu and Huchuy Picchu
How difficult is the hike?
The hike to Huchuy Picchu mountain is not difficult, especially if you are reasonably fit and have some hiking experience. It is a mostly uphill climb that takes about 30 minutes to reach the summit, with stunning views of Machu Picchu and the Urubamba Valley below. However, the last stretch before the summit can be quite steep and challenging, so take your time and enjoy the journey.
The landscapes, flora, and Fauna
The mountain is home to various ecosystems with unique plants and animals.
- Flora: You will find cedars, queuña, ferns, and endemic orchids.
- Fauna: There are many blizzards, reptiles, butterflies, and birds, such as the Peruvian national bird, the cock of the rocks, llamas, deer, and a spectacled bear.
Is Huchu Picchu worth it?
The answer to this question is a resounding yes! Huchuy Picchu is the smallest of the 3 mountains in Machu Picchu (Huayna Picchu, Montaña, Huchuy Picchu). If you are looking for a short adventure, nice views, some time alone, and good Machu Picchu pictures, then this mountain hike is for you.
However, if you are looking for a hiking experience and challenge, we recommend Huayna Picchu mountain or Machu Picchu mountain.
Other hikes in Machu Picchu
There several hikes you can take in Machu Picchu:
Huayna Picchu Mountain
The most famous mountain, Machu Picchu, is located next to Huchuy Picchu with an altitude of 2693 meters (8835 feet), which takes around 2 hours to finish.
Montaña Machu Picchu
The highest and longest hike. Montaña Machu is located in the southern area of Machu Picchu. You will need around 3 hours to complete this mountain, and it offers incredible views from the top. The top of the mountain is at the mountain at 3082 meters (10111 feet).
Sungate or Intipunku
The arrival from the Inca Trail. Take 1 hour to hike from Machu Picchu to the Sungate and a similar time to return. Due to the pandemic, this hike was closed and still unavailable for Machu Picchu Visitors. Only Inca trail hikers can access it now.
This amazing place can be accessed from the upper part of Machu Picchu; the hike takes around 45 minutes to get there, similar to return. The trail is narrow and steep, not recommended for people with vertigo.
What to pack for Huchuy Picchu?
To visit Machu Picchu, you must be prepared for all weather conditions. Here are some items to consider packing:
- Original passport, extra money in cash
- Printed ticket of Huchuy Picchu
- Comfortable backpack for hiking
- Hiking shoes, make sure you wear appropriate shoes for the mountain hike.
- Rain gear: Even if the forecast doesn't call for rain, pack a rain jacket or poncho
- Sunscreen and sunglasses: The sun can be intense at high altitudes
- Layers of clothing: The temperature can vary, pack layers that you can add or remove as needed
- Snacks, bring chocolates, power bars, candies, and bananas, and do not leave any trash
- Water: Be sure to bring plenty of water, around 2 liters
Tips and more information
There is a lot to see and do when visiting Machu Picchu and Huchuy Picchu, so it is important to plan your trip. Here are some tips and more information to help you make the most of your visit:
- When to go: The best time to visit Machu Picchu is from April to November. These months have the mildest weather and the least amount of rain.
- How to get there: The easiest way to get to Machu Picchu is by taking the train from Cusco. Several companies offer this service, and the journey takes about 4 hours. You can also hike the Inca Trail, which takes 2-4 days.
- What to bring: Make sure you pack plenty of sunscreen, hats, and insect repellent, as well as comfortable walking shoes. It is also a good idea to bring along a water bottle and snacks, as there are few places to buy food at Machu Picchu.
- What to see: There is so much to see at Machu Picchu that it can be overwhelming. Ensure you allow enough time to explore the different areas, such as the central plaza, the temples, and the residential areas.
- Explore with a professional guide: If you want to learn more about the site's history, several guided tours are available.
- Book in advance: Machu Pichcu and Huchuy Picchu tickets will sell out; book in advance the tickets.
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