Huayna-Picchu-over-Machu-PicchuHuayna Picchu is the mountain that rises above Machu Picchu and appears in the background of many photos of the ruins. It is about 1,200 feet higher than Machu Picchu and the Incas built a trail up the hill and temples on the summit.

Huayna Picchu is a very popular hike for some visitors to Machu Picchu. So popular, in fact, that the Peruvian government has recently instituted a fee-based reservation system for hikers. The hike is limited to 400 tourists per day and you must purchase a ticket in advance, which can easily be done via local tour operators or online on the Machu Picchu official website.

You must first, however, determine if this is something you wish to do. The hike is not super difficult in terms of elevation gain. However, there are sections that are seriously exposed on cliffs and others that have very narrow steps you must negotiate. The hike is not recommended for those with a fear of heights or balance issues.

In addition, most people have limited time at Machu Picchu and any time spent climbing Huayna Picchu takes away from time you will spend visiting the ruins.

Our advice? If you are one of those people who always wants to climb the nearby mountain or take the adventurous route, this is for you. If you are more interested in the Incan history and Machu Picchu ruins, you will be very content to enjoy one of the greatest ruins on earth instead.