One question a lot of Machu Picchu visitors have to consider is whether they want to visit Huaynapicchu. This is the steep, triangular mountain in the background of most Machu Picchu photos. There are a few ruins at the top and incredible views of the main citadel below. This is a specific entrance permit that must be purchased well in advance, as it too sells out many months in advance. But is it for you?
The hike up is steep, with large steps and tight corners. The trail hugs the side of the mountain, leaving very little room for error in where you place your feet. It's no more than a sidewalk's width, with the world just dropping away at the side of the trail – not at all for the faint of heart, or those with any sort of fear of heights.
Is it worth it? Yes! Most definitely, yes. The views are stunning – both down toward the citadel and across toward those same snow-covered peaks you may have been lucky enough to see from Phuyupatamarca a couple days ago.
There are traditionally only a handful of departure times allowed by the Peruvian government. We recommend the first departure, in order to take advantage of the one-way traffic going up and enjoy cooler temperatures during the steep climb. As you'll notice on the way down, later up-bound travelers have a constant barrage of downhill traffic and much warmer temperatures to deal with.