The Huchuy Picchu hike is a nice option for people wanting a short, easy hike in Peru that gives you great views of the famous Machu Picchu ruins from above.
It’s a new trail that was just opened in 2021, and it takes you along a 15th century Inca stone staircase to the top of Huchuy Picchu (which means ‘little mountain’ in the Quechua language).
This hike may not be as esteemed as the one at Huayna Picchu mountain, but it’s quite a bit easier, and the views from this mountain summit are similarly wonderful.
This travel guide will explain how to get there, and everything you need to know before you go!
Tierra Viva Hotel
Vilas Insight Hotel
The climb to the top of Huchuy Picchu mountain is short and straightforward.
There are some parts with steep drop-offs, but the path is fairly wide and you always have something to hold, so it’s not too scary or dangerous.
I still wouldn’t recommend this one for people with limited mobility, though, because the path is a bit rough and a fall could be nasty, as you can see in the trail pictures below!
A narrow staircase on the Huchuy Picchu Hike
Wonderful views from the trail
With a moderate pace it took us about 15 minutes or less to reach the summit of Huchuy Picchu, and only 10 minutes to go back down.
The path has an incline all the way to the top, but you reach the end of the hike before it ever starts to feel too strenuous.
The views are amazing on the way up, and since the trail is less busy than others, you can stop to really soak up the views in peace.
Right away, the jungle opens up and you get a view of Putucusi mountain and the Urubamba river on your right side, which only gets better as you climb higher up the stairs.
Putucusi mountain and the Urubamba river
Stone steps near the end of the Huchuy Picchu hike
Before you know it, you’ll reach the summit of Huchuy Picchu mountain, which sits at a respectable altitude of 2,497 meters (8,192 feet).
The views here are fantastic and very similar to what you see from the top of Wayna Picchu, although slightly different.
At either summit, you’re looking down at the Machu Picchu ruins from the north side, although this summit view is lower than Wayna and therefore a bit less spectacular.
The main difference at this summit is that you can also get a closer look at the Wayna Picchu mountain from here, with occasional glimpses of tiny hikers heading up the mountainside.
Summit views at Huchuy Picchu mountain
Ruins of Machu Picchu as seen from above>/p<
You can buy tickets for the Huchuy Picchu hike at https://machupicchu.gob.pe. This is the official website for Machu Picchu tickets, and you shouldn’t buy them anywhere else.
Keep in mind it’s not possible to buy tickets on the spot at Machu Picchu, so you’ll need to grab these in advance by reserving them online.
Even though the Huchuy Picchu trail isn’t quite as popular as Huayna Picchu, you’ll still want a reservation beforehand, especially if there’s a specific date and time you want.
A tour guide is not really required for this hike, although you can always hire one at the entrance of Machu Picchu if you’d like.
The whole Machu Picchu area is open 6:00 AM – 5:30 PM daily.
Stays are supposedly limited to a few hours, but the staff doesn’t enforce this, and as long as you aren’t causing a problem you can pretty much stay as long as you like.
For the Huchuy Picchu hike, tickets are split up into different entry times in order to reduce congestion on the trail. For each of these time slots, 25 tickets are available (200 total per day).
Choose a time slot that suits you, and keep in mind it only affects when you’re required to enter. Once you’re inside the control gate for Huchuy Picchu, you can stay as long as you like!
The current adult ticket price for Huchuy Picchu is 152 soles (~$40 USD) as of 2022, and that gives you entrance to the mountain and also Circuit 4 of the Machu Picchu ruins. Students and minors (ages 3-17) get a 50 percent discount.
Huchuy Picchu (‘little mountain’) as seen from the citadel grounds>/p<
This route map shows how to get to Huchuy Picchu from the main entrance of the Machu Picchu citadel. You can click on the picture to enlarge.
The hiking trail for Huchuy Picchu is located on the north side of the Machu Picchu citadel, behind the same control gate you pass to reach the Huayna Picchu hike.
You can see the route map above for a general idea of where to go, but be prepared to ask the staff for directions, because even with a map it can be a bit tricky to find if you’re in a hurry.
Remember to be at the main Machu Picchu entrance gate at least 1 hour before the entry time that’s printed on your hiking ticket, because there may be lines at the entrance of the citadel, and it can also take 15-30 minutes to walk from the start of the citadel to the Huchuy Picchu control gate.
This is important, because you risk losing your tickets if you’re late. The staff is very unforgiving and they won’t let you enter the control gate at Huchuy Picchu if you’re even one minute later than the entry time printed on your hiking ticket (it’s a hassle, I know).
Once you reach the control gate, the trail is well marked with a sign indicating which way to go for Huchuy Picchu, which quickly splits off from the path to Wayna Picchu. At this point, everything becomes straightforward.
Entrance gate for Huchuy Picchu and Huayna Picchu
Wooden sign at the trail fork
Generally the best time to do hikes at Machu Picchu is during Peru’s dry season, which runs from May to October. The days are more sunny during this time, and there’s a lot less rain.
With that said, I wouldn’t write off the rainy season completely. We did this hike and several others in January, and had fine weather. The rain usually comes in the afternoons or evenings, but bring a poncho just in case.
In my opinion, the best time of day to climb Huchuy Picchu is in the late morning. This is usually when the morning mist clears, giving you better views of the Andes mountains.
We enjoyed Huchuy Picchu, but whether or not it’s ‘worth it’ will depend on your situation and what you’re looking for.
If you only have time to do one hike at Machu Picchu, you should definitely do the Huayna Picchu hike instead of this one. It’s a much better experience.
However, Huayna is often booked out months in advance, so Huchuy could still be a good alternative in that situation. Huchuy is also an easier hike, so it may be better for people wanting a quick hike to do that still gives you a unique view of Machu Picchu.
Our main complaint about the Huchuy Picchu hike was just the ticket price. It’s too much for such a short hike. This trail is still new as of 2022, so hopefully they’ll make some changes.
Huchuy Picchu Hike
If you want a prearranged tour for your visit to Machu Picchu, there are plenty of good online options.
MachuPicchu Center has full day tours of Machu Picchu starting from Cusco (private or with a group), as well as spectacular mountain hikes like Huayna Picchu, which requires an advance booking anyway since it's so popular.
We used this company for lots of tours and activities in Peru, and they're great. Highly recommended!
This hike is one of many at the Machu Picchu citadel in Peru.
Thanks for looking! I hope you enjoyed this travel guide for the Huchuy Picchu mountain hike.
Don’t forget to check out my complete list of the top 10 best things to do in Machu Picchu Peru!