Hike up to Machu Picchu Mountain
The great Machu Picchu Mountain rises more than 652m/2,139ft above the Inca city of Machu Picchu and is located 3,082 meters above sea level. It offers some breathtaking views of Machu Picchu, a unique perspective like no other place in the world. The trailhead is located at the base of the Inca City of Machu Picchu.
Thousands are drawn everyday by the energy emanating from the earth at Machu Picchu, which is considered sacred to the Inca civilization. Machu Picchu Mountain’s summit was used by Inca priests to perform rituals on special dates.
****This is an optional extra trek within the Machu Picchu complex that does not include a guide. The climb is usually done on your own. It is no longer possible to do the climb on the day of your Machu Picchu tour due to the new entrance hours of 7am to 8am conflict with the Machu Picchu Tours. It must be done on a second day to Machu Picchu. The charge is $75 for the second day, If you require a guide, please request in advance, Orange Nation Peru can organize it for you. There is an extra charge for this extra service.
***You must always respect the scheduled entrance times between 7am to 8am. If you arrive 5 minutes late you will not be allowed to enter!
HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE?
The amount of time to climb Machu Picchu mountain depends on how fast you hike and how often you stop for photos. It can take from 1 to 1.5 hours to climb up, which makes it 2 to 3 hours round trip. From the top you have incredible views of Machu Picchu and the last part of the Classic Inca Trail.
You can also admire the amazing canyon formed by the slope of the Vilcanota river with green mountains on one side and on the other side the mountains of the Cordillera Vilcabamba, and the snowy summit of Salkantay (6,271 m) and more.
The climb to Machu Picchu Mountain is considered moderate to difficult, but not challenging. During the rainy season, the trail can be slippery, making the ascent more difficult.
Schedules For Hiking Up To Machu Picchu MT:
- First schedule: 7am to 8am
- Second schedule: 8am to 9 am
First shift to Montaña (7:00 am–8:00 am)
The first shift is ideal for those who stayed in Aguas Calientes the previous night. You must board early morning buses to Machu Picchu and ascend this peak before sunrise. From the summit of Montaña, one can see how slowly Machu Picchu becomes crowded. If you choose this option, the total cost of Machu Picchu Mountain and Machu Picchu Citadel will be USD 75. But there is a downside: after a 3-hour round-trip hike up this peak, you will be too tired to continue your 2- to 3-hour guided tour of Machu Picchu.
***When you purchase this option, you must enter the Machu Picchu citadel between 6:00 a.m. and 7:00 a.m. It takes 25 minutes to hike from the main gate to the control point of this mountain. Once you finish the hike, you can reenter Machu Picchu through the lower part (Circuit 3)
Second Shift to Montaña (8:00 am to 9:00 am)
The second shift, from 8:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m., allows 200 people to enter; this is ideal for people arriving at Machu Picchu after hiking the Short Inca Trail, Salkantay Trek, Lares Trek, Inca Jungle, or Tours by train. It would be best to first explore the Citadel of Machu Picchu before ascending the mountain. It will take around 1.5 hours to reach the mountain’s summit and a similar time to return.
Unless you take a private trip, we don’t suggest this mountain if you’re trekking the Classic 4 day Inca Trail to Machu Picchu. Then, you hike this mountain first and then visit Machu Picchu. If you stay an additional day in Aguas Calientes after the Inca Trail, you may hike this mountain and return to Cusco the following day. Machu Picchu Mountain tickets allow you to reenter Machu Picchu but only through the shortest circuit called “CIRCUIT 3 OR LOWER ENTRANCE.”
***This is the time you start the hike. It takes approximately 1-1.5 hours to reach the top, take some photos and another 1-1.5 hours to return.
The price for Machu Picchu Mountain is an additional $75USD.
FAQs about Machu Picchu Mountain or Montaña
Which is the best time of the day to hike?
Whether you are on a group tour or have a private tour guide, these options are recommended.
Private Tours to Machu Picchu.
You can hike up to Machu Picchu Montaña first and then meet your tour guide at a specific point and explore the citadel. You can also request your tour guide to go up to the mountain. However, this is an extra charge as the 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 to Machu Picchu
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 can climb Machu Picchu Mountain by yourself. You need 2 tickets; 1 for Machu Picchu early entry (55. USD) and one for Machu Picchu + Montaña (75. USD). A tour guide for Machu Picchu Mountain is not necessary.
Which time of the year is best to hike Machu Picchu Montaña?
Machu Picchu is located in the tropical cloud forest in the warm and humid upper Amazon. Like in the movie of lost cities, Machu Picchu is situated on a high mountain top with difficult access and cannot be seen from the lower part. Also, the area gets covered by mist and clouds for most of the year. Travelers will visit Machu Picchu all year round, even with intense sun, clouds, or rain; the city will still amaze you.
Below are some recommendations to consider when visiting Machu Picchu. The dry season is from May to October and is expected to have little rain. However, you must always have rain gear as the weather can change in minutes. This season is also busy, especially from June to September, when there will be long lines for the buses, Machu Picchu, and trains. The wet season is from November to April; rain is expected early in the morning, and the sun will come out around 9 to 10 a.m. However, in the cloud forest, the weather is unpredictable. Preparing for the sun, rain, and cold weather is better.
**The best time to visit Machu Picchu and hike Machu Picchu mountain are the shoulder seasons: April, May, September, October, and November.
How high is the mountain?
Montaña Machu Picchu is the highest mountain in the area at 3082 meters (10111 ft.). The hike begins at Machu Picchu citadel, located at 2430 meters (7972 feet). 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 do you get there?
Machu Picchu Mountain is located southwest of the citadel, and the entrance is in the upper part of Machu Picchu near the Guardhouse. After passing the checkpoint, you hike up toward the Guardhouse three times on 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 turn to the right. You will see a set of long stairs going upwards 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.
Is Machu Picchu Montaña 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 challenging. The sun is intense, and you might wander in the middle of the trail wondering, “why am I doing this?”. You will find the answer once you reach the mountaintop and have a fantastic view of Machu Picchu, the Inca Trail, and the surrounding mountains.
What are the entry times to Montaña Machu Picchu?
- First Shift: You can enter Machu Picchu at 6 a.m. and Montaña from 7 a.m. to 8 a.m.
- Second Shift: You can enter Machu Picchu at 7 a.m. and Montaña from 8 a.m. to 9 a.m.
Tips for Hiking Machu Picchu Mountain
- Start your hike early in the morning to avoid the heat and crowds.
- Bring plenty of water and snacks to keep you fueled during your hike.
- Take breaks often to catch your breath and enjoy the views.
- Be prepared for some steep sections, but know the rewards are worth it!
- Stay on the trail at all times to help protect this fragile ecosystem.
- When you reach the summit, take a moment to soak in the incredible views of Machu Picchu.
What to Pack for hiking the Montaña
When packing for the hike to Machu Picchu Mountain, bring plenty of water, snacks, comfortable walking shoes, clothes for warm weather, sunscreen, insect repellent, and rain gear. Also, be sure to pack a camera to capture the stunning views!
The temperature during the day
The average temperature in Machu Picchu is 68 degrees Fahrenheit (20ºC). However, the temperature can range from 50 to 86 degrees Fahrenheit. Packaging clothing for all weather conditions is essential when hiking Machu Picchu Mountain.
Machu Picchu Mountain is one of the most popular hiking destinations in the world, and for a good reason. The views from the top are breathtaking, and the sense of accomplishment you feel after completing the hike is unbeatable. If you’re considering tackling Machu Picchu Mountain, follow our complete guide to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience.