The essence of Machu Picchu hikes
It’s time to put on your hiking boots, grab your camera and hit the trails around Machu Picchu. The hikes below have varying degrees of exposure and physical challenge. However, you are guaranteed scenic-rich surrounds. It is prudent to purchase tickets for your chosen trek in advance.
Huayna Picchu – Level: Very Challenging
This is one of the most popular hikes, and access is limited to 400 permits per day. It will take you to the crest of the sugar-loaf mountain that you see in the immediate background of most pictures of Machu Picchu. If you have a fear of heights, you will need to give this option careful consideration as there are exposed sections with some big drop-offs. The summit of this peak is 2 720m (8 924ft).
Machu Picchu Mountain – Level: Challenging
No permits are required for this hike which will take you to the high point of the mountain immediately opposite Huayna Picchu, and overlooking the site ruins. While there is still an element of exposure, it is not as challenging as Huayna Picchu. The summit of this peak is 3 051m (10 010ft).
Hiking to Inti Punku (Sun Gate) – Level: Moderate
This hike will take you an easy hour, which will give you plenty of time to stop and take pictures en-route. From the Sun Gate, you will be treated to panoramic views of Machu Picchu.
Inca Bridge – Level: Easy
You will follow a narrow path through the forest down to the Inca Bridge. The scenery is simply beautiful, however, there is a degree of exposure. The bridge itself is several logs placed across a wide gap in the path, and access to it is prohibited. Historically, this path and bridge were an escape route for the Inca. In dire situations, the logs could be pulled off leaving enemies stranded.