Just Follow the Signs.

Just in case you feel like you haven’t climbed enough stairs on the Inca trail, you can add on a climb up Huayna Picchu mountain where you’ll discover a beautiful view of Machu Picchu from the top! JR was quite worried about us on this hike because he couldn’t come with and he had a good grasp on our abilities at this point. If that’s not a testament to how wonderful our guide and Inca Trail team was I don’t know what is.

Map of Huayna Picchu.

Huayna Picchu is the mountain that you typically spot in the backdrop of most pictures of Machu Picchu. It sits about 260 meters higher than Machu Picchu, and houses the temple of the moon and the great cavern. It is all stairs and Inca stairs at that all the way to the top.

Great views of Machu Picchu from the top!

Keep Following the Signs.

The stairs of Huayna Picchu are listed as some of the most terrifying stairs in the world and are oftentimes referred to as the stairs of death (although no one has died). Hearing about this alone intrigued us and we decided to add this onto our tour. We agreed to all go together or not go at all and that we would reassess the day of. We decided to give it a go.

Inca Stairs.

There are only 400 tickets per day, 200 at 8 am and 200 at 10 am. We chose the 10 am climb so that we would still have time to explore Machu Picchu after entering the sun gate on our trek. Most blogs that we read before coming to Peru mentioned that you were only given two hours to complete the trek. We found this to be untrue as this was not really enforced. We did, however, have to sign in and out at a control point at the bottom of the mountain.

One Step at a Time.

Once we signed in, we were off. The trail is deceiving as it starts out going down and around a smaller mountain before revealing the stairs at the bottom of Huayna Picchu. This is where you really channel the Inca way, one step at a time. The good news is there’s lots of little spaces to take a “picture” break and everyone is struggling a little bit up this.

“Picture” Break for Elise and Ash.

Our Trip to One of the New 7 Wonders of the World – Machu Picchu, You can read all about that here.

Will Never Forget This Place.

Every time we made it up one little staircase and turned the corner, there was another staircase waiting for us. Heck, some of the corners were even staircases. Working on those Inca butts nonstop.

We knew when we reached the stairs of death as they were straight up, very narrow, and we had to climb under or over a wooden barrier to get to them. This was the last set of stairs before finally reaching the peak.

Stairs of Death. Be Careful on These Ones.

Very Narrow. We Climbed on All Fours.

Ash and Jess Sneaking Away From the Crowds to Have a Break.

At the top, there are 360º spectacular views. There is also quite a crowd and bottleneck at the very top with everyone getting pictures above Machu Picchu. We only spent a few minutes here before climbing down a bit to a quieter spot we had to ourselves. Having a bit of a rest and soaking it all in was well deserved. 

Jess Showing That We Made It!

This was a great way to end our time at Machu Picchu, looking down at such an amazing creation.

What A View!

Feeling Very Accomplished.

Inca Butt and a View!

Our advice, take your time going down. There were still people climbing up and a few times we had to navigate to spots where they could pass. We stood aside and allowed the going uppers to have the right away and were sure to offer some encouragement, just a small while ago it was us going up so we understood their pain. Going down is when we hit our wall, we had been up since 3:30 am and moving around non stop for 4 days, we were tired. The stairs down felt never ended. Once we reached the control booth to sign out we knew it was time to celebrate. We did great!

Climb Down Through a Cave!

There She Is!

One Last Peek on the Way Down.

  • Hire Crossing Andes and they can work out your entire Inca Trail adventure and team.

More Peruvian Fun Below:

Peru Country Guide

Peru in 24 Frames

Beginning Altitude Acclimation at Saqsaywaman

Exploring the Colors and Cultures of Cusco

Feeding Alpacas near Cusco at Awana Kancha

Reverse Hike in Pisac

Mountain Biking Through the Peruvian Countryside

Micro Climates of Moray

Salt Mines of the Sacred Valley

So you want to hike for 4 days straight? Inca trail Days 1 and 2 baby!

Keep Hiking On! Inca Trail Days 3 and 4!

Visiting One of the New Wonders of the World – Machu Picchu!

A Night Under the Stars at the Skylodge

The Gateway to the Inca Trail – Ollantaytambo

Rainbow Mountains, a Colorful Day Trip!

A Child’s Dream, a Trip to Monkey Island – Peruvian Amazon

Peruvian Amazon, a “Relaxing” End to a Great Trip

Land and Water, Tambopata and Lago Sandoval – Peruvian Amazon


post a comment