Huchuy Picchu, the third mountain of Machu Picchu

The Huchuy Picchu mountain went from being perceived for a long time. The knowledge of this mountain was only had by the people who achieved access to Huayna Picchu because it is on the way to it. In addition, the entrance to Huayna Picchu, before, included the entrance to this small mountain. Currently, it has its ticket or entrance, this allowed a greater number of people to be interested and be taken into account. A better tour was also achieved for all the tourists who arrive daily. Let’s learn more about this particular mountain that is still a mystery to anthropologists.

Ascent to Huchuy Picchu

Huchuy Picchu, the third mountain

Huchuy Picchu is one of the closest mountains to the archaeological site of Machu Picchu. It is even likely that they have been connected in the past. Both on the way to Huayna Picchu and this mountain it is possible to find cobbled paths and the classic steps of Inca architecture. In addition, in both mountains, you can find the remains of stones typical of the most important temples of Tawantinsuyo, that is, large stones and sculpted padding.

In this way, it can be mentioned how it is understood by some of the archaeologists that these three mountains have corresponded to the same city or llaqta in Quechua. In this way, the three mountains together would form a trinity, something strange in Andean culture but which could be the reason for the name of these three mountains. The trinity that is formed would be Machu – Huayna – Huchuy Picchu, which can be translated as Elder or grandfather – Vigorous young – small offspring. Next to the ending “Picchu” as “Mountain “. Then this trinity would refer to the 3 stages of life of the human being. Although this is only a hypothesis at the moment it is quite acceptable.

Huchuy Picchu as a temple of coca?

Huchuy Picchu is also considered the protector of the entire citadel that can be visited and that we know as Machu Picchu. Due to its location, it is understood as the mountain that guards the entire enclosure and probably had a significant temple or shrine on top. Although for some it would refer to the coca leaf. The coca leaf was considered one of the most valuable plants for its ability to suppress the feeling of hunger and provide energy to those who consumed it. In addition to that, it has other qualities that currently continue to play a fundamental role in society and in the people who come to Cusco and suffer from altitude sickness. In the face of any discomfort, it is recommended to drink the leaves resting in hot water or chew them directly. The idea that the temple of coca is a really interesting hypothesis, this hypothesis is handled because according to some studies, coca leaves were planted on the platforms of Machu Picchu, since they would h ave an ideal climate.

Road to Huchuy Picchu

The path to Huchuy Picchu is quite simple. Before reaching the hiking route, you can cross the citadel of Machu Picchu and see some of the most important temples such as the Temple of the Sun, the Royal House, or the House of the Inca, take a tour of the open areas of Machu Picchu from where You can appreciate the geographical variation that forms a small pyramidal elevation where the Intihuatana stone was carved. The walk continues until reaching the area of the Sacred Rock, in this place, it is possible to appreciate a large carved stone, which refers to the mountain that is just behind it. If viewed from a proper perspective, they can fit perfectly. Something similar can happen with the mountains behind lntihuatana.

After the tour of Machu Picchu, you have to register the name and time of entry. It will also be necessary to show the entrance ticket again to enter the hiking area of Huayna Picchu and Huchuy Picchu. This is a measure to generate the order of the visitors. Once all this brief paperwork has been completed, you can continue with the hike until you reach Huchuy Picchu mountain.

This is the ascent to Huchuy Picchu

The route is not long, as we mentioned above. When starting the walk we will coincide with those people who managed to have an entrance ticket to Huayna Picchu. In the detour of these two roads, we will have to take the one that will take us to our destination. The path is ascending and in some cases, we will find some railings made of ropes and metal that will help us maintain our balance. The ascent lasts approximately one hour. The time of one hour is considering the breaks to avoid physical overdemand. Do not forget to take proper rest, in this way, you will better appreciate all the landscape that surrounds this path, where it will be possible to find some insects such as butterflies, some ants, and also a great variety of plants. Next, we explain more about the view you have.

The view you have

Vista de Machu Picchu desde Huchuy Picchu
View to Machu Picchu from Huchuy Picchu

Once at the top of Huchuy Picchu mountain, which would have nothing when it was small, we will have a spectacular view of the entire region that surrounds Machu Picchu. We will see how the Vilcanota or Urubamba River meanders through the mountains that surround these three mountains. Machu Picchu is located in a geographical area known as the high jungle. Hence the presence of mountains with abundant foliage has such an important presence.

But that is not all, we will be able to appreciate an important relationship between this mountain and the Intihuatana, precisely with the pyramidal zone that we mentioned above. The Intihuatana was an important center whose functionality cannot be explained for sure to date. However, the theory is handled that the carvings managed to generate a kind of shadow that could help interpret the movement of the sun. In this way, it could be considered as a solar calendar that at the same time would serve as an ideal oracle to start the sowing season.

These two elevations, as we mentioned, seem to have a strong relationship, because from the top of both a certain connection can be established. They have probably also served as a center of long-distance communication. Whatever the case, the views from this mountain are incredible and it is worth the effort to get there. It is an important alternative for those who wish to have a little more adventure. We reiterate in mentioning that the walk is not complicated and can be done even by older adults with the corresponding breaks and care.

What you need to know to avoid being penalized

Machu Picchu is not only an important archaeological site but also receives the category of sanctuary. In this sense, different measures are taken so that the environment, the walls, and the flora and fauna that inhabits this place do not suffer any type of disturbance. Given this, you can find several security measures. The ones that stand out the most are:

  • You cannot enter with large backpacks.
  • You can enter with food and drinks of small size and take care not to leave garbage.
  • You cannot make noises or listen to loud music.
  • Recording with professional or large equipment is not allowed.
  • It is prohibited to use or record with drones.

Tips and travel details

On your visit to Machu Picchu, you will need to take into account that the climate is semi-tropical. That is why it can rain out of nowhere and for only an instant. It will also be possible to find a large number of insects or mosquitoes. Once you are on the way to Machu Picchu, you cannot forget to bring a waterproof poncho and mosquito repellent. These two things will be essential to have a good experience during the Machu Picchu tour.


By Imachupicchu – Last updated, February 23, 2024

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