Huayna Picchu: Best View of Machu Picchu

Sep 10, 2019


Machu Picchu, Peru

Machu Picchu. The great one that everyone seems to want to go to. One of the major reasons for the South America trip, and one of the reasons why my friend Kat was crazy enough to go on leave for a month to join me too. The reason why as early as December we were already researching how and when we can reserve our tickets, since the Peruvian government limits the number of visitors to the park. Aside from Machu Picchu, we also booked tickets for Huayna Picchu, or a higher mountain to climb to have a view of Machu Picchu.



Machu Picchu, Peru

After spending almost a week eating my way through Lima, a reward I gave myself after trekking and staying in Huaraz for almost a month. We flew to Cusco, the base for everyone going to Machu Picchu, Rainbow Mountain, Ausangate, and other treks and activities in the region. It’s a beautiful old and charming city with beautiful churches, small alleyways and shops, and good food too. We spent almost two weeks in the city making it our base and for Kat to adjust to high altitude, walking around its cobbled streets or sitting at Plaza de Armas (my favorite) .

Machu Picchu, Peru

One can either do one of the treks going to Machu Picchu, or take the train/bus to the tiny town of Aguas Calientes which is the take-off point for the trek. We did the latter and may actually be the ‘fanciest’ thing I’ve ever done the whole trip. The train ride was nice passing by a river and gorges of the Andes. Aguas Calientes had nothing much to offer but great food. We spent one night there and woke up early the next day to line up for the bus (buy your tickets the day before to be safe). Our ticket allowed us to get in at 6am and stay up to 10am, including our 7am-8am schedule to hike Huayna Picchu.

Machu Picchu, Peru
Machu Picchu, Peru
Machu Picchu, Peru
Machu Picchu, Peru
Machu Picchu, Peru

It was a cold and foggy morning then, with most of the old citadel still covered in fog. We went straight to the start of Huayna Picchu to line up again. Kat told me that I could go ahead, and I promised her that I will wait for her on the top of the peak and reserve a spot for her. It was a very steep climb to the top for a good 20-30 minutes. It felt great again to be walking and climbing something.

Machu Picchu, Peru
Machu Picchu, Peru
Machu Picchu, Peru
Machu Picchu, Peru

It remained foggy the whole climb but the sun was starting to show itself. The last part of the climb was almost crawling up big stones, really asking one how much one wants to get a good vantage point of the old citadel.

Machu Picchu, Peru
Machu Picchu, Peru
Machu Picchu, Peru
Machu Picchu, Peru
Machu Picchu, Peru
Machu Picchu, Peru
Machu Picchu, Peru
Machu Picchu, Peru

A couple and another guy were ahead of me for a few minutes. As soon as I was near the top, I heard one ask if that was it. I panicked thinking that maybe it was still very foggy. And it was, but after a few minutes, it started to clear up.

Machu Picchu, Peru

And the view of Machu Picchu was breathtaking. I think I appreciated it more from up there rather than walking around the park. The slow clearing of clouds also made the whole experience even more amazing. We took photos of it and with it before the clouds rolled in again.

Machu Picchu, Peru
Machu Picchu, Peru
Machu Picchu, Peru

Slowly more people were coming up, squeezing in the three or four big boulders to sit on and wait for the clearing. Eventually Kat made it up, and I was so so proud of her! We waited a bit more until finally it started to clear up again.

Machu Picchu, Peru
Machu Picchu, Peru
Machu Picchu, Peru
Machu Picchu, Peru
Machu Picchu, Peru
Machu Picchu, Peru

We had less than 2 hours left in the park, so we decided to go down then. But of course we took our time going down again, because of the steep stairs and because of the different vantage points to take more photos.

Machu Picchu, Peru
Machu Picchu, Peru
Machu Picchu, Peru

We weren’t able to roam much around after that, we didn’t even reach the top part as officials were starting to restrict certain parts of the park. Which I honestly didn’t mind, my friend Kat did of course since she was really looking forward to Machu Picchu. But for me, seeing it from the top of Huayna Picchu was already amazing, and made me appreciate the ancient citadel more. How it was carved out of a mountain top, how it was possible for the Incas to build it, its architecture, and how it was hidden from the Spanish conquistadors for so long.

Machu Picchu, Peru
Machu Picchu, Peru
Machu Picchu, Peru
Machu Picchu, Peru
Machu Picchu, Peru Machu Picchu, Peru
Machu Picchu, Peru

TIP: If anyone wants to visit the park, I would highly recommend doing the Huayna Picchu hike, at the same time hire a guide to explain the history of Machu Picchu. I’ve heard of the incredible way the stones used were carved out in a precise manner resulting to a certain kind of architecture and engineering that made it ‘dance’ whenever there is an earthquake. It is also considered sacred for the Incas that I’m sure a guide can explain better.


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