The activities you can enjoy after your visit to Machu Picchu!

Are you going to visit the extraordinary citadel of Machu Picchu and you still have time for other activities? Then you could opt to climb Huayna Picchu Mountain, and experience the fabulous view of Machu Picchu. Or if you prefer, you could spend time relaxing in the thermal baths at Aguas Calientes. And there are more places to visit and activities to enjoy. Below we offer you a brief list:

Huayna Picchu (“Young Mountain”, in Quechua):

  • Altitude: 2667 meters (8747 feet)
  • Level of difficulty: Moderate to Difficult
  • Visiting Hours: Tourists may enter the ruins at two times of day: between 7:00 am and 8:00 am, and between 10:00 am and 11:00 am.
  • Maximum number of daily visitors: 400 tourists
  • The cost of entry to Machu Picchu and Huayna Picchu is 150 Peruvian soles for an adult foreign national.

The classic view of Machu Picchu, reproduced in magazines and newspapers all over the world, shows a steep peak directly behind the ruins of the city built in the tropical forest five centuries ago by the Incas. That peak is known by the Quechua name Huayna Picchu (“Young Mountain”). The name “Machu Picchu” is translated as “Old Mountain”. The summit of Huayna Picchu stands 207 meters (679 feet) above the Inca city, and from there the views of Machu Picchu (at 2460 meters, or 8069 feet) and the surrounding forests and mountains is simply spectacular. Of course, many travelers are drawn to the challenge of climbing to the top of this mountain for the thrilling views on offer. It is a strenuous ascent to the top, and you should expect to have to scramble at times and at one stage even haul yourself along using the ropes installed to help you on your way.

Sun Gate (“Inti Punku”):

  • Altitude: 2689 meters (8820 feet)
  • Level of difficulty: Moderate
  • Visiting Hours: You can consider visiting this place from 6:00 am to 2:00 pm (It is not an exact time)
  • Maximum number of daily visitors: Currently there is no limit
  • There is no cost.

Those arriving at Machu Picchu will get their first view of the Inca city from Inti Punku (the “Sun Gate”), which once served as a guard station, controlling access to the settlement. Those who have traveled to Machu Picchu by train can choose to hike up from the ruins to Inti Punku, from where the view of Machu Picchu and the surrounding valleys and mountains makes the effort well worthwhile. The walk will take most people about an hour each way. If you take the first bus up to the ruins from Aguas Calientes in the morning, and hike straight up to Inti Punku, the view of the ruins as the sun climbs up into the sky will make you glad you got up early that day.

The Trail to the Temple of the Moon

  • Level of difficulty: Difficult
  • Maximum number of daily visitors: Entrance to the trail is subject to availability of access to Huayna Picchu Mountain, for which visitor numbers are limited to 400 tourists a day.
  • There is no cost

The trail to this Inca temple skirts around the base of Huayna Picchu. Allow for about two hours to complete this trip. It is a demanding hike to the temple, along an Inca path with steep steps. You will need to be fit enough to climb the ladders into the great cave, and some visitors who may be nervous about heights could find the series of narrow cliff side steps difficult. Those travelers not particularly interested in Inca archaeology might find the Temple of the Moon less than rewarding. However, the hike to get there is fascinating and offers the chance to spot some of the extraordinary species that inhabit the 80,535 acres Machu Picchu Historical Sanctuary. Sightings of the spectacled bear (South America’s only species of bear) have been reported on this section of forest trail. Be sure to take along plenty of water for this demanding excursion.

Temple of the moon Machu Picchu (“Old Mountain”):

  • Altitude: 3015 meters (9889 feet)
  • Level of difficulty: Moderate
  • Visiting Hours: Tourists may enter at 7:00 am and 11:00 am.
  • Maximum number of daily visitors: 400 tourists
  • Cost: 140 Peruvian soles.

“Machu Picchu” is also the name of the geographic feature located to the south of the Inca city, to the right of the trail for those walking from the city to Inti Punku. This walk begins at an altitude of 2437 meters (7993 feet). The relatively gentle ascent takes most walkers between two and a half and three hours to complete. From the summit of Machu Picchu Mountain there are truly amazing views of the mountainous, forested landscape of this part of Peru.

View from Machu Picchu mountain Putucusi (“Joyful Peak”):

  • Altitude: 2329 meters (7639 feet)
  • Level of difficulty: Difficult to Hard
  • Visiting Hours:
  • Maximum number of daily visitors: Currently there is no limit
  • There is no cost

This is the conical peak which can be seen directly opposite the Inca city of Machu Picchu by those looking out across the river valley. The ascent of Putucusi begins at 2020 meters (6626 feet). A good level of physical fitness is required for this ascent, which most visitors complete in around two and a half hours. The steepest sections of the ascent require visitors to climb steep stone steps and, in some parts, long wooden ladders. From Putucusi, the views across the valley of Machu Picchu and the surrounding mountains are magnificent, and those who make it to the top will certainly feel that all their effort was worthwhile.

The Thermal Baths at Aguas Calientes

As suggested by its Spanish name, the small town of Aguas Calientes (“hot waters”) is built on the site of natural thermal springs. The public baths are located just 15 minutes on foot from the main square. These natural hot sulfur springs emerge from the earth to create natural rocky pools of varying temperatures that are well-known and popular among local people for their medicinal properties. Today, specially built stone-lined pools make bathing a pleasant experience, in water temperatures that average 38ºC, or 100 ºF. The thermal baths are open to the public all day, from 5:00 am to 9:00 pm, and the facilities available to visitors include changing rooms, toilets and a small snack bar. As you can see, there are excellent places to visit after Machu Picchu! If you would like to climb some mountain with our assistant or just want to get more information about the fascinating mountains, just contact us!

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