Print this trip dossier

Journey Latin America asks you to accept cookies for performance and social media purposes. We use cookies on our website to personalise content, evaluate website traffic and enhance performance. You can delete or restrict cookies via your web browser. To get more information about these cookies and the processing of your personal data see our Cookie Policy. Do you accept these cookies and the processing of personal data involved? Find out more

August 12th, 2016

Climbing Machu Picchu Mountain


By Lina Fuller
Travel Consultants

Travel Consultant Lina Fuller shares her experience of climbing Machu Picchu Mountain and gives you some top tips to make the most out of your experience.

I was so excited that I woke up at 5am to start my visit to Machu Picchu. The disappointment came when I went to catch the bus: I arrived and found that I was not to be the first in line, but instead what greeted me was a very long queue of people all there for the same purpose. It took over 40 minutes to get on a bus that took me up to Machu Picchu.

When I arrived at the ruins, just before 7am, the sun was just starting to touch the mountains and the ruins were just waking up. I found a quiet spot where I could admire the view away from the groups that started moving around the most important spots. I have been here many times before and thankfully the magic is still there; the location of the ruins surrounded by the snowy peaks is just stunning and as I sat there admiring the site, I imagined how it must have been during Inca times.

Sadly time went too quickly and before I knew it I had to dash to see the citadel from a different perspective: from the top of Machu Picchu Mountain. I started following the signs to the warden’s hut, a wooden kiosk where you have to present your ticket, passport and sign a check-in book. It is just a formality - they are making sure that everybody who enters will leave.

Machu Picchu Mountain

I started walking up the mountain; the trail is wide at the beginning and follows a unique path of Inca stone stairs. There is no way to get lost, there are no diversions, no side trails, just one way up and one way down. As you walk along the trail, there are a couple of viewpoints where you can take yet more photos of Machu Picchu, but in reality it’s an excuse to catch your breath as you feel the lack of oxygen. The more I walked, the narrower the path became: the steps become steeper and the walk becomes more challenging. Some parts closer to the summit have very big drops down the side and the steps become quite narrow - it is definitely not for the faint-hearted or for those who suffer from vertigo.

Machu Picchu Mountain

It is a tiring and challenging walk especially for those who are not trained for walking at high altitude. I was very proud of myself when I made it to the top. It wasn’t easy but every step was worth it as the views from the top are breathtaking, the mountains around are stunning and the view down to Machu Picchu is just magical. Huayna Picchu in the background looks tiny and the view gives a unique perspective of this amazing archaeological site – you can’t help but admire those who built it. Such a perfect city!

View of Machu Picchu from Machu Picchu Mountain

A couple of tips before climbing Machu Picchu Mountain:

There are two time slots to enter Machu Picchu Mountain: from 7am to 9am and from 9am to 11am. Some people prefer the earlier slot to avoid crowds, but personally, I prefer the second one because I don’t like to have people walking up when I am heading down. The walk down is normally more challenging and you have to pay close attention to every step, especially when you are walking on the top and narrower parts of the trail.

Make use of the toilets before you start heading to the entrance of the trail as there are no toilet facilities inside the ruins. Leave any unwanted items at the storage room by the entrance of the ruins; the lighter you travel, the better.

Bring plenty of water, a hat, sun cream, shades and bring some snacks - a banana or a couple of chocolate bars will give you energy. Remember to take your rubbish away with you. Plus make sure that your camera and phones are fully charged; you don’t want to run out of memory space or battery when you are on the top.

And finally take it easy: breathe deeply and slow down, take your time but most importantly, enjoy every moment. It is an experience that’s worth every step!

Take a look at our range of Peru holidays that visit Machu Picchu.

Post a comment

Other holidays you may be interested in

Seals in Antarctic

Antarctic Peninsula: Fly and cruise

Private journey

14 days from £14,564pp

Active Brazil

Active Brazil: Remote Bahia and Fernando de Noronha

Private journey

15 days from £3,296pp

Ecuadorian Andes

Active Ecuador: Andean hikes and Cotopaxi volcano

Private journey

9 days from £3,348pp

belize beach

Signature Belize: Rainforest, reef and ruins

Private journey

12 days from £2,965pp

Other articles you may like

Browse our inspiration area of the site. It's packed with insider travel tips, Top5s, competitions, events, recipes and holiday ideas for Central and South America sure to whet your travel appetite.

Sign up to our newsletter

Sign up to our twice monthly newsletter and be the first to know about our latest news, offer and competitions.

Sign up with...

Your email


Using a social account is fast and means you don't need to remember a password.

We never share your data either - see our terms & conditions

Facebook Connect

Remember, you can unsubscribe at any time.

To see how we take care of your data please review our Privacy Policy

Thanks for subscribing – we’ll be in touch!

You are not subscribed. Some error happened.

Share this Page

Social share page will open in new window

Send a friend


Page Full Path: /sitecore/content/JLA/Home/travel-inspiration/travel/climbing-machu-picchu-mountain

Page ID: {32A239EB-B7B4-4294-AA99-DB31FCD9ED36}

Page Name: climbing-machu-picchu-mountain

Page Display Name: Climbing Machu Picchu Mountain

Page Template Name: T031-PapagaioBlogPost

Page Template ID: {ECC6A232-9784-4CC7-BA26-18421546B8F5}

Parent ID: {DC65CFB2-D81C-4A04-A7F8-0A1B3D88E7EB}

Parent Name: travel

Parent Display Name: Travel

Parent Template Name: T029-PapagaioCategoryListing

Parent Template ID: {4D163066-ED7E-48E6-AF31-34B6C47536CD}