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Destinations in Peru

Huayna Picchu

Huayna Picchu

Huayna Picchu, Cusco, Peru

Huayna Picchu (aka Wayna Picchu or Wayna Pikchu), which means ‘Young Peak’ in Quechua, is the large mountain that sits directly behind Machu Picchu, and can been seen in all it’s glory in the picture above. For many trekkers, climbing Huayna Picchu is one of the highlights of a visit to Machu Picchu. The views of the Citadel and surrounding landscape are extraordinary from the top and well worth the climbing effort. From a distance Huayna Picchu looks like a technical climbing endeavour, but is in fact just a steep hike with some sections that will require the use of both hands and feet to scramble upwards, but no technical skills or climbing tools. There are sections that include railings and cables for support. Anyone with a decent level of fitness and moderate constitution for heights can climb Huayna Picchu (if you are afraid of heights or susceptible to vertigo then this climb is probably not for you). There are areas that are exposed to steep drops, so caution should be taken throughout the climb, keeping a good distance between climbers in front and behind you. This is particularly true if the trail is wet. Children over the age of 12 can climb Huayna Picchu. The total ascent is just over 1,000 feet (360m) with the summit at a steep angle above the city. As Huayna Picchu is so close to the city complex it provides a fantastic birds-eye view, and the climb itself provides brilliant vistas of the city from various angles. This perspective is very difficult to appreciate whilst walking within the Citadel. From summit the scale and ingenuity of Machu Picchu and it’s various structures and terraces is fully revealed. The sheer magnitude and complexity of the site provides for a humbling view. There are also terraces and temple remnants that crown the mountain’s summit, and will leave you questioning how the Inca managed to build these structures.

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