Tag Archives: Huaynapicchu

Huaynapicchu CLOSED April 2016

12 Aug

steffiqueenSome of you might have read that the two mountains that surround Machu Picchu, Huaynapicchu and Machu Picchu mountain, will be closed in April 2016. They actually will not be closed at the same time – the first half of the month will be when they do maintenance on Huaynapicchu and the government will open Huaynapicchu before they close Machu Picchu mountain. And the Sun Gate is always free to walk to – so please have no fear – you will definitely get your postcard photo of Machu Picchu from above.Huaynapicchu

And Machu Picchu complex will be open the entire time. If April 2016 is when you plan to visit, we promise you will still have the full Inca Experience.

For more information on the closings, read Peru This Week.

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Huaynapicchu

29 Jan

First of all, Happy New Year to everyone.  Sorry we have been neglectful of our blog, but we were busy securing all our permits for 2014 and doing a little travelling ourselves.  As man you are booking your treks and visits to Machu Picchu now, many people wonder about hiking Huaynapicchu and why there are two prices for this trek.

Huaynapicchu
I will begin with, can you hike Huaynpicchu…OF COURSE YES!!!  While Huaynapicchu is limited to 400 hikers a day, if you plan early and book this extra hike at least 2 months in advance, we will definitely purchase your permit for the hike.

The permits are given for a window of time, either from 7-8AM or 10-11AM.  This is when you need to start the hike.  It takes approximately 45 minutes to the top, snap some photos, and then another 45 minutes down.

We purchase the second time slot for all our travelers, the 10-11AM time slot, so that you can enjoy your tour of Machu Picchu with your guide first.  Once your tour of the ruins are over, your guide will show you where you begin this hike.  This is usually done on your own, but if you need your guide to join you, please let the office know and we will arrange beforehand.

just let us know if you want the permit for Huaynapicchu.  The permit is $25 per person to hike UNLESS you are doing one of our Inca Trail treks.  Unfortunately if you are trekking the Inca Trail, no matter how long of a trek you chose, it will be $65 per person to climb Huaynapicchu.  Why so much more for Inca Trail trekkers?

So when we purchase your permit for the Inca Trail, the permit includes entry to Machu Picchu.  You don’t need a physical ticket into the Lost City of the Incas.  But when you climb Huaynapicchu you need a permit for the hike, plus a physical entrance ticket to Machu Picchu.  This is something required by the Park office and not something done by Alpaca.

When choosing to purchase this extra hike please remember that it is challenging, quite steep.  While the views are extraordinary, they are similar to the Sun Gate which is free to access and it does get crowded.  But if you choose to do this hike, you will have your facebook profile photo for life – the views are incredible.

Please let us know if you have any further questions about Huaynapicchu, Machu Picchu mountain or the Sun Gate.

 

 

 

 

 

Hiking Huaynapicchu: Logistics

10 May

HuaynapicchuAs amazing as visiting Machu Picchu is, the beauty of the ruins is best appreciated from above.  While all you Inca Trail hikers will get to see this before you even get to “Lost City of the Incas” from the Sun Gate, all other travellers will need to do a little walking, or hiking, to get this perspective.  And while the views from the Sun Gate are amazing, there is nothing that beats the view from Huaynapicchu.

Because of Huaynapicchu’s popularity, and because the climb up is a bit challenging and narrow, the government has decided to limit the amount of hikers each day to 400 people.  These 400 tickets are split into two windows of time to visit – and you must begin your hike within your allotted window: either between 7-8AM or 10-11AM.  During the busiest time of year, tickets for this hike sell out about a month in advance, so book early.

The hike begins from within the Machu Picchu citadel.  You typically hike this on your own, but an Alpaca guide (or anyone within the complex) will direct you to where to begin this hike.

So here is my advice for those who want to hike Huaynapicchu:

** I will say this often, but book this hike early.  You must also have an entrance ticket to Machu Picchu to hike Huaynapicchu so it makes the hike a bit expensive for Inca Trail hikers, who access Machu Picchu through the Sun Gate rather than the entrance gate and do not need an actual Mapi ticket.  To climb Huaynapicchu is $65 for all Inca Trail hikers and $15 for all other travellers who already are visiting Machu Picchu (this includes all alternative trek hikers).

** Most of our guests book the 10-11AM time slot for this hike since they will be on their tour of Machu Picchu until then, if you prefer the earlier slot, please let us know.

** The hike is challenging.  Even if you have completed a long trek, Huaynapicchu will not be a breeze, be patient with yourself and with your fellow hikers.

** Bring your camera.  The views from Huaynapicchu are absolutely incredible, so please make sure you have battery life and a good camere – you will want these photos forever.

** Most importantly – have fun.  How often do you get to be in the Andes staring at one of the 7 Wonders of the World.  It’s amazing.

5 Things To Do In Cusco (other than Machu Picchu)

24 Oct

Mysterious and visually stunning, seeing the well-preserved Inca city of Machu Picchu is a trip of a lifetime.  But a trip to this beautiful part of Peru shouldn’t only be about seeing Machu Picchu. Here are five things to include on your itinerary when visiting Peru.

1. Take A Train Ride

Travelling by train is an amazing way to see Peru. The most convenient way to get to Aguas Calientes, the community at the foot of the mountain upon which Machu Picchu is perched, is to hop on a train. It’s an unforgettable experience—picture the fast-flowing Urubamba River with its green embankments, craggy peaks of the Andes mountains high above, and Inca ruins spotting the countryside. Opt for a late afternoon itinerary to catch the sunset and get an early start at Machu Picchu the next morning.  Most trains leave/arrive at Ollantaytambo which is well worth a visit.  Ollantaytambo is the starting point for the Inca Trail and has Inca ruins of its own. Insider Tip: Land a seat on the left hand side of the train to Aguas Calientes and on the right on the way back; you’ll get the best views from the train’s panoramic windows. And be sure to buy your ticket to Machu Picchu before you book your train trip as tickets to Machu Picchu are limited and can sell out.

2. Huaynapicchu

Being let off a bus at the entrance can make you feel like you missed out on the adventure of hiking the Inca Trail. If you want to earn your visit to the Inca city but don’t have three days to spend on the trail, opt to hike Huaynapicchu, sometimes called Wayna Picchu, the sugarloaf mountain that towers above Machu Picchu. This arduous, vertiginous hike up a steep, narrow set of Inca-carved stairs takes between 2 and 3 hours roundtrip. Only 400 people are allowed up Huayna Picchu per day at two entrance times (7-8 am and 10-11 am) and admission must be purchased at the same time as your entrance ticket to Machu Picchu. Note: you must buy your Machu Picchu plus Huayna Picchu ticket at the same time, you cannot add on Huaynapicchu later. If you plan to hike Huaynapicchu, book tickets ahead of time. Aside from the impressive quad burn that says you’ve been there, done that, you’ll get an amazing new perspective on Machu Picchu from the various mirados (landings) along the trail.

Insider Tip: Treat Huayna Picchu like any other day hike and bring water and snacks but don’t overburden your pack. Take it slow due to the altitude. Wear hiking boots, sunscreen, and a hat and dress in layers as mornings can be chilly but the afternoon sun is unrelenting and there is very little shade. Most importantly, don’t forget your camera.

Bonus: Bring your passport with you to Machu Picchu—they’ll stamp your passport once you descend Huayna Picchu and one when you leave Machu Picchu.

3. Visit an Indigenous Community

Under an hour from Cusco, there are indigenous communities that preserve an ancient way of life few visitors are granted access to. Alpaca Expeditions actually visits one of these villages during the Lares tour and spends a lot of time with the children, helping them with providing school supplies and other treats.  The additional income these communities receive via limited tourism allows them to continue to live in a traditional manner.  Visiting them gives a lasting impression of a quickly disappearing way of life and really adds depth to any trip.

Insider Tip: Be sure to bring cash in small denominations of nuevo soles to purchase hand-woven dolls, textiles, bracelets, bags, and belts from the community of weavers.

4. Eat

Sample Local Food and Visit a Market For a slice of Peruvian life, head to any produce mercado (market)—there’s one in virtually every town. You’ll find only-in-Peru fruits, like aguaymanto (gooseberry), cherimoya (custard apple), and lucuma (eggfruit) to name a few. Quinoa, a grain that has made its way to North American shores and is touted as a super food, comes in a variety of colors and is widely available here. Some local specialties to try: Ceviche, typically made with raw river trout bathed in lime juice, which “cooks” the fish, hot pepper, red onions, cilantro, and topped with choclo (corn) and sweet potato cubes. Pachamanca, a traditional dish of marinated meat and potatoes cooked in a hole in the ground lined with hot rocks. The meat is first marinated in Andean herbs such as chincho, hierba buena, and paico and is wrapped in banana leaves. You can’t leave Peru without trying a pisco sour, the national drink made with pisco brandy. There are many opportunities to learn how to make it (2 or 3 shots pisco, 1 shot lime juice, 1 shot simple syrup, 1 shot egg white, shaken with ice, dash of bitters) and discover pisco macerations, which include everything from local fruits like aguaymanto to coca leaves. Locals drink coca tea and chew coca leaves to cure soroche (altitude sickness) but the coca leaf is also held sacred and used in spiritual rites.

5. Fiesta

Attend a festival with colorful costumes, marching bands, religious processions, and fireworks—when Peru celebrates it’s a sight to see. Cusco’s Corpus Christi festival in June is a deeply religious affair with mass in the Plaza de Armas surrounded by fifteen statues of virgins and saints. The statues are brought from churches in nearby districts, which come to Cusco to be blessed. In the early afternoon, the beaded, brocaded, 15-foot statues are hoisted onto the shoulders of teams of men and promenaded around the plaza, genuflecting at various altars and ending at the Cathedral. It’s a day-long party where the whole city crams into the Plaza de Armas to watch the parade, eat, drink, and make merry. Other spectacular local festivals include Cusco’s Inti Raymi festival on June 24, which marks the winter solstice, the Fiestas Patrias, Peru’s Independence Day on July 28-29, and Ayacucho’s Semana Santa (Holy Week) Easter celebrations.

Insider Tip: Cusco’s Plaza de Armas has many restaurants and bars with a view of the action if you want to stay above the fray. Go early for the best views.

When to Go: High season is June through September.  January is the height of rainy season and the Inca Trail is closed in February. For near-ideal weather and manageable crowds, consider a spring or fall trip.