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South America

The Little Mountain in South America

Huchuy Picchu, often referred to as “the Little Mountain,” is a lesser-known but increasingly popular hike near Machu Picchu in Peru. It’s an excellent option for those seeking a unique perspective of the famed Inca site without the crowds found on the more famous Huayna Picchu hike. Here are some detailed tips and information for hiking Huchuy Picchu:


  • Elevation: Huchuy Picchu stands at approximately 2,497 meters (8,192 feet) above sea level.
  • Duration: The hike typically takes about 1-1.5 hours round trip, making it a relatively short and accessible trek.
  • Difficulty: The hike is considered moderate, suitable for most visitors in reasonably good physical condition.


  1. Tickets and Permits: Entry to Huchuy Picchu requires a separate ticket in addition to your Machu Picchu entrance ticket. These should be booked well in advance, especially during peak tourist seasons.
  2. Acclimatization: Spend a few days in Cusco or the Sacred Valley to acclimatize to the altitude before attempting the hike.
  3. What to Bring:
  • Water: Carry at least 1-2 liters of water.
  • Snacks: Light snacks such as energy bars or fruits.
  • Sun Protection: Hat, sunglasses, and sunscreen.
  • Rain Gear: A poncho or waterproof jacket, as weather can be unpredictable.
  • Comfortable Footwear: Sturdy hiking boots or shoes with good grip.

The Hike

  1. Starting Point: The trailhead for Huchuy Picchu is located within the Machu Picchu site. Follow the signs from the main entrance, and check in at the control point where your ticket will be verified.
  2. Trail Description: The path is well-marked and includes stone steps and dirt paths. The ascent involves some steep sections, but it is generally less challenging than Huayna Picchu.
  3. Pace Yourself: Take your time to enjoy the hike and take breaks as needed. The altitude can make the hike more strenuous, so go at a comfortable pace.


  1. Scenic Views: Huchuy Picchu offers stunning views of Machu Picchu and the surrounding mountains. The perspective is different from the usual views, providing a unique angle for photography.
  2. Less Crowded: Compared to Huayna Picchu, Huchuy Picchu sees fewer hikers, allowing for a more serene experience.
  3. Flora and Fauna: Along the way, you can enjoy the diverse flora and fauna, including orchids and various bird species.

Practical Tips

  1. Weather: The best time to hike is during the dry season, from May to October. However, even during the dry season, the weather can change rapidly, so be prepared for rain.
  2. Guides: Hiring a local guide can enhance your experience by providing historical and cultural context. Though not mandatory, it can be very informative.
  3. Respect the Site: As with all Inca sites, respect the natural and historical significance of the area. Stay on marked trails and do not disturb the wildlife.

Combining with Other Activities

  1. Machu Picchu Tour: Plan your Huchuy Picchu hike either before or after touring Machu Picchu to make the most of your visit.
  2. Other Hikes: If you have time, consider other nearby hikes, such as the Intipunku (Sun Gate) or the Inca Bridge, each offering different perspectives and experiences.

Hiking Huchuy Picchu provides a unique opportunity to experience the majesty of the Machu Picchu area from a different vantage point, with the added benefit of fewer crowds and a shorter, less strenuous trek. Enjoy your adventure!



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