Complete Guide to Hike Machu Picchu Mountain

Stairs from Machu Picchu

 All you need to know about Machu Picchu Mountain!

Machu Picchu Mountain (Know as Montaña Machu Picchu) is the highest mountain in the area at 3082 meters (10111 ft.), located in the Machu Picchu District Urubamba Province, Cusco Region. This mountain rises in the southern area of Machu Picchu Citadel. The name Machu Picchu comes from the Quechua: Machu (old or great), and Picchu (Mountain) from this¿, Machu Picchu means the great mountain. Many People will confuse Machu Picchu Mountain with Machu Picchu Citadel; they are not the same.

Top of Montaña
The Top of Montaña, after 1.5 hours climb.

Machu Picchu, the citadel, is located at 2430 meters ASL (7972ft); when you book a tour or buy the Machu Picchu entrance tickets, you book the entrance to visit the citadel. You will need to hire a tour guide or book with an official tour company like TreXperience for your tour to Machu Picchu.

Machu Picchu Mountain or Montaña is the highest mountain in the Machu Picchu area, there is an entrance fee to pay, and you must book in advance. Visiting Machu Picchu doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to hike to this mountain; it’s optional. You can only hike if you have permits that are different from Machu Picchu citadel.

Ticket Times for Machu Picchu Mountain?

To enter Machu Picchu Mountain (Montaña Machu Picchu), you must book the entrance ticket in advance since they tend to run out fast, depending on the season. You can choose two different shifts to hike this mountain. However, you must consider first the type of tour you will be participating in before booking the Montaña entrance.

View from Montaña
View from the top of Machu Picchu Mountain

The first shift is from 7:00 am to 8:00 am, where 200 people are allowed to enter per day; this shift is perfect for people who stayed the night before at the city of Aguas Calientes. You must first take the early buses to Machu Picchu and climb this mountain when the sun is still hiding. You can see from the top of Montaña how slowly Machu Picchu gets crowded. When you choose this option, Machu Picchu Mountain and Machu Picchu citadel’s whole cost will be 75.USD, however, there is a downside as you will finish tired after the 3-hour total climb to this mountain (roundtrip) and then continue your tour around Machu Picchu with a tour guide (approximately around 2 to 3 hours).

The second shift is from 9:00 am to 10:00 am, where 200 people are allowed to enter; this shift is perfect for people arriving at Machu Picchu from different hikes like the Short Inca Trail, Salkantay Trek, Lares Trek, Inca Jungle, or Tour by train. This is because you need to explore the citadel of Machu Picchu first, and after, you can climb the Machu Picchu mountain. To reach the top of the mountain will take about 1.5 hours and come down another similar time. Total climbing at a regular pace will be around 3 hours.

It’s important to note that you need to reach the top before noon, when is the curfew, then everybody needs to come down; there is a ranger on top that will not allow you to continue if you arrive later than 12:00 pm.

View of Machu Picchu Mountain
View of Machu Picchu Mountain from Huayna Picchu entrance

How hard is it to climb Montaña?

The trail to Machu Picchu Mountain is more demanding and challenging than Huayna Picchu Mountain since it is longer and higher. Many people think that Huayna Picchu is a must, and it will be sold out faster. In my personal appreciation, Machu Picchu Montaña is one of the most beautiful mountains to climb because of its location. It’s the highest one, so you will have a fantastic view of 360° of all Machu Picchu area once you are on top.

The climbing is steep with a gradual inclination initially and gets more challenging in the final part. Upon reaching the top, you will be rewarded with an incredible view of all the mountains around and far below, the great Citadel of Machu Picchu is located. Remember to be very careful to avoid accidents.

Any person can finish this mountain in moderate physical conditions, the 1.5 hours to the top is a slow pace, and you can take as many breaks as you want.

How much is the cost of the entrance ticket?

You can not buy Machu Picchu Mountain Tickets separately, you must always buy including Machu Picchu Citadel, and the cost is 75.USD per person. When you participate in a tour, it’s important to consider your guided tour time before booking any shift. If your tour is with a Tour Company, it is better to contact them and request them to guide you through booking the best shift that fits your schedule. Below is the recommended schedule depending on the tour you are booking.

1: The Classic Inca Trail 4 days 3 nights

The Classic Inca Trail + Machu Picchu Mountain (Montaña) is not recommended; there is no enough time to arrive from the Inca Trail, visit Machu Picchu citadel, and hike Machu Picchu Mountain. It’s possible, and we had guests in the past who completed both Machu Picchu citadel and the Mountain; however, you might have to skip part of the guided tour in Machu Picchu citadel. We recommend booking Machu Picchu Mountain only if you want to stay an extra day in Aguas Calientes; then you can go back the next day to Machu Picchu and climb the mountain.

As mentioned above, it’s possible to do both but not recommended; if you have only one day and you must do Machu Picchu Mountain as well, please make sure you book the last shift and keep in mind that you might have to skip part of the tour. You must always inform and coordinate with your tour guide.

The cost of the entrance ticket to Machu Picchu Mountain is 75.USD. The Inca Trail permits will allow you to enter Machu Picchu; however, we will need to book a new entrance again to climb Machu Picchu Mountain.

1: The Short Inca Trail 2 days 1 night

The Short Inca Trail + Machu Picchu Mountain (Montaña) is perfect and recommended. You need to participate first in the guided tour of the Citadel as part of your regular tour; then, you will exit Machu Picchu and re-enter again; this time, you will head straight for 25 minutes to the entrance of Machu Picchu Mountain. Once you complete the 2 or 3 hours exploring Machu Picchu with your tour guide, you will need to find the Machu Picchu Mountain entrance and enter the second shift from 9.00 am to 10 am.

The cost of the entrance ticket to Machu Picchu Mountain is 75.USD. The Short Inca Trail permits will allow you to enter Machu Picchu; however, we will need to book a new entrance again to climb Machu Picchu Mountain.

2: Alternative Treks to Machu Picchu

This group includes the Salkantay Trek, Lares Trek, Inca Jungle Trek, Alternative Inca Trail, Huchuy Qosqo Trek, Quarry Trek, and any other trek that includes spending the night before in Aguas Calientes (Machu Picchu Pueblo).

After spending the night at Aguas Calientes, you will take the early buses up to the citadel the next day and enter Machu Picchu through the main checkpoint. You must explore the citadel first, especially if you are part of a group-guided tour. Once you complete the 2 or 3 hours exploring Machu Picchu with your tour guide, you will need to find the Machu Picchu Mountain entrance and enter the second shift from 9.00 am to 10 am.

Once you enter the trail to Montaña Machu Picchu, you will have until 12 pm to reach the top (2 hours), come down, exit back to Machu Picchu citadel, explore some more of the citadel and take the bus down to Aguas Calientes and return to your hotel or train station.

To complete the schedule described above, you must first book the earliest Machu Picchu entrance (6 am or 7 am without extra hikes – 50. USD). Then, you must purchase a second ticket to Machu Picchu in the 8. am shift that will allow you to enter Machu Picchu Mountain from 9 am to 10 am. Please note that you have to make sure you enter the mountain at the designated time.

It’s possible to get only one ticket, but you will need to climb and finish Machu Picchu mountain first and then continue the 2 to 3 hours tour to explore Machu Picchu. This option is not recommended as you will finish the mountain hike very tired, and the whole experience exploring the citadel might be compromised. In other words, you might not enjoy the citadel to its fullest. If you buy only one ticket, you need to add 35.USD to your tour to get the Machu Picchu Mountain tickets.

3.- Tours by train 

Traveling by train is also an amazing experience since you will enjoy the amazing views of the Andes. There are 2 ways to visit Machu Picchu by Train.

Full-day Tours from Cusco: You will travel from Cusco or Ollantaytambo very early (from 4 am to 8 am) by train, arrive at Aguas Calientes, board the bus up to Machu Picchu, and explore Machu Picchu Citadel. If you want to climb Machu Picchu Mountain, you must always book the last shift from 9: am to 8 am and climb the mountain before the guided tour.

Overnight Tours: If you plan to spend the night in Aguas Calientes and visit Machu Picchu the next day, the recommendation is to have a guided tour of the citadel and then hike the Mountain. For this, you will need the double ticket option.

Top of Montaña
Tour Guide Coronel at the top of Montaña

FAQs about Machu Picchu Mountain

Which is the best time of the day to hike?

These are the recommended options whether you are on a group tour or have a private tour guide.

Private Tours: You can hike up to Machu Picchu Mountain first and then meet with your tour guide at a specific point and explore the citadel. You can also request your tour guide to go with you up to the mountain; however, this is an extra charge as Machu Picchu guided tour only includes the citadel. If this is your plan, you will only need one ticket, and the cost is 75:USD in total.

Group Tours: If you are part of a group tour, the one-ticket option is not for you. The group guided tours are always in the morning when Machu Picchu is not very crowded. After exploring Machu Picchu, you will be able to climb Machu Picchu Mountain by yourself. You need 2 tickets; 1 for Machu Picchu early entry (50.USD) and one for Machu Picchu + Montaña (75.USD), tour guide for Machu Picchu Mountain is not necesary.

Where Can I Hire a Private Tour Guide for Machu Picchu?

TreXperience has a premium staff of tour guides! They are all locals and come from the surrounding villages and speak Quechua (an ancient language of the Incas) as their first language, Spanish is their second language, and they are fluent in English. Our tour guides have constant training in first aid, updated knowledge of the history of Machu Picchu, animals, plants, and always ensure that their knowledge is up to date. You can also request tour guides in French, German, Italian, Portuguese for an extra charge.

By hiring a private tour guide, you will be able to explore Machu Picchu at your pace, talk about topics of your interest, and learn Peruvian history from our expert tour guides.

Book a Private tour guide service below; by default, you will be able to choose only 1 participant (The Lead Traveler); in case you request Machu Picchu Tickets, bus tickets, you will need to send the details of all participants (Full name, passport number, DOB, nationality, gender) to booking@trexperienceperu.com.

Which time of the year is best to hike Machu Picchu Mountain?

Machu Picchu is located in the tropical cloud forest, the warm and humid upper Amazon.

Like in the movies of lost cities, Machu Picchu is located on a high mountain top with difficult access and cannot be seen from the lower part. Also, the area is covered by mist and clouds for most of the year.

Travelers will visit Machu Picchu all year round, and even with strong sun, clouds, or rain, the city will still amaze you. Below are some recommendations to consider on when to visit Machu Picchu.

The Dry Season is from May to October, and is expected little rain; however, you must always have rain gear as the weather can change in minutes. This season is also the busy season, especially June to September, where there will be long lines for the buses, Machu Picchu, and trains.

The Wet Season is from November to April, and rain is expected early in the mornings, and around 9 to 10 am, the sun will come out; however, in the cloud forest, the weather is unpredictable. It would be best if you were prepared for the sun, rain, cold weather as well.

The best time to visit Machu Picchu and hike Machu Picchu mountain are the shoulder seasons like April, May, September, October, and November.

How high is the Mountain?

Montaña is the highest mountain in the area with 3082 meters (10111 ft.).  The hike starts and ends in Machu Picchu citadel, located at 2430 meters (7972ft). To reach the top of Machu Picchu Mountain, you need at least 1.5 hours and a similar time to come back the same way.

Where is it located, and how to get there?

Machu Picchu Mountain is located southwest of the citadel, and the entrance is located in the upper of Machu Picchu near the Guardhouse. After passing the checkpoint, you hike up in the direction to the Guardhouse, three times to the left side until you arrive at the main trail that leads to the Sun Gate (Intipunku), then continue hiking this trail for about 5 minutes until you see a sign that says Machu Picchu Mountain and turns to the right. You will see a set of long stairs up until you arrive at the checkpoint. The total time from the main entrance of Machu Picchu to the gate of Montaña is about 25 minutes walk.

Is Machu Picchu A Mountain?

Machu Picchu citadel and the Mountain, also know as Montaña, are not the same: Machu Picchu citadel is the archeological site. Simultaneously, Machu Picchu Mountain is an extra hike with Huayna Picchu Mountain, and both need to book the permits in advance.

Is Machu Picchu Mountain Dangerous?

The Trail is steep in some parts of the mountains with stairs and can be dangerous; you must always be careful and follow your tour guide’s signs and instructions.

Is the Montaña hike worth it?

The climb to Montaña Machu Picchu could be hard, the sun strong, and you might wander in the middle of the trail “why am I doing this?” the answer you will find once you reach the top of the mountain and have an amazing view of Machu Picchu, Inca Trail, and the surrounding mountains.

What are the entry times?

First Shift: Machu Picchu entry at 6 am / Montaña from 7 am – 8 am

First Shift: Machu Picchu entry at 7 am / Montaña from 7 am to 8 am

Second Shift: Machu Picchu entry at 8 am / Montaña from 9 am to 10 am

 Where can I book the Machu Picchu Tickets?

To book Machu Picchu tickets, we require your passport details; choose the entry shift, the number of travelers, and enter your details. Every booking needs to be confirmed manually. Please note that Machu Picchu is subject to availability; tickets are only guaranteed after confirmation within 24 hours of submitting the booking.

You can also add a Private Tour Guide for Machu Picchu, Bus tickets, and if you would like the train tickets quoted, please get in touch with us at info@trexperienecperu.com or +51957011937 (WhatsApp or Signal).

Map of Machu Picchu and Montaña

Map of Machu Picchu Mountain

 

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