Machu Picchu viewpoints? Options for panoramic views of Machu Picchu

The viewpoints of Machu Picchu do not exist as such. In this blog, we want to organize a series of options that will allow you to have a panoramic view of Machu Picchu. Some of these include the visit to the wonders of the world. At the same time, others may require other extra activities. These options will serve, also, as an option to learn more about the possibilities and options that can be done in Machu Picchu Pueblo or Aguas Calientes and even learn more about the entrance tickets to the wonder of the world since some of these allow you to see the entire Inca citadel from a unique perspective.

View to Machu Picchu from Intipunku

Panoramic view of Machu Picchu

Full view of Machu Picchu

The panoramic visit of Machu Picchu will not only be seen from the top of a small mountain. On the contrary, we will have to travel a few kilometers to have the dream view. When we talk about panoramic views, we are referring to having a frame of the whole of Machu Picchu. For this, we will have to, obligatorily, ascend to the mountains that surround the Inca citadel. It is well known that Machu Picchu is located on top of a high-altitude mountain. Reaching about 2430 meters above sea level, so will require an extra effort to enjoy all the possible views of the place. On the other hand, it is worth mentioning that, during these views, it is also possible to have a corresponding tour of the Inca citadel of Machu Picchu.

The importance of having a panoramic view of Machu Picchu is that it will allow us to appreciate the Inca architecture in its maximum splendor. We will appreciate in a better way, the terraces that touch the abysses product of the altitude of the mountain. Something that will stand out in its architecture is the harmony it has with its surroundings and especially with the geography of the place. It seems that the location of the citadel was premeditated and with a total concession of the Inca urban planners. They planned every detail such as the view that can be seen from the famous Inti Punku or from the main sector where the most important buildings are made of finely carved or polished stone.

However, from a higher view, you can see not only the Inca citadel but also the whole composition of the mountain along with the roads that connect it and the geography of the place. To better appreciate all this, it is important to follow and make the tour with a tour guide. He will be able to explain every detail that is printed in the panoramic views of Machu Picchu. It is also worth mentioning that if you make the ascent to another mountain, the perspective will be completely different. You will be able to appreciate in its entirety the mountains that surround the Inca archaeological site and also part of the river and the population that can be seen on the slopes of the mountain where Machu Picchu was erected. Whichever way you choose, during the tour you will have an incredible view of the archaeological site of Machu Picchu, totally guaranteed. Also, the entire mountain range that surrounds this incredible place is something characteristic of this part of the world.

The viewpoints of Machu Picchu

Machu Picchu with mist after a little rain

As we already mentioned, it is not possible to find specific viewpoints of Machu Picchu. But, we can find some options that allow us to have incredible views. Views that, at the same time, allow us to learn more about Machu Picchu and all the geography that surrounds it. It is well known that Machu Picchu is located in the high jungle, hence it has so much vegetation around it, but you can also see a lot of mountains. It is through these mountains that we can speak of Machu Picchu’s viewpoints. Although officially they do not have this name. The latter is because most of these mountains can be visited and even climbed through them using tickets to Machu Picchu.

Among the benefits of these entrances, you can distinguish precisely the spectacular views of the place. Now that you are here we will remind you of them while we will also show you some qualities of these viewpoints. Likewise, we will know an option that can offer a completely different view of Machu Picchu. Whichever option you choose, you will have to have a hike, because without sacrifice there is no reward. The hikes will be short uphill stretches, but nothing complicated. All of them are very safe, as long as you follow the recommendations of the guides or the people in charge of the tours. In case of any eventuality or problem, it is important to keep in mind that you will need drinks, snacks, and fruits to reach the viewpoints of Machu Picchu.

We will present 4 options in which you will be able to appreciate from different angles the entire Inca site. For example, our first option allows you to view Machu Picchu from the Huayna Picchu, before ascending to the top of this mountain we will have to walk around the entire enclosure and we will see part of the mountain that surrounds the entire Machu Picchu. While, from the mountain of Machu Picchu, our second recommendation, the tour allows a view similar to the postcard photo, but from much further away. The postcard photo, on the other hand, also allows a panoramic view of Machu Picchu and this can be seen in more detail during the short hike to the Inca Bridge, which we also place as an option. Our last alternative will be very different from the rest as it is the Putucusi mountain, which has another path and different options, let’s see each of them below.

Huayna Picchu

Seeing Machu Picchu from Huayna Picchu

The mountain of Huayna Picchu is the mountain that can be seen in all the postcard photos, the one with the highest peak of the mountains that appear immediately after the Inca constructions. And yes, getting there is possible. The route will guide us through some staircases and ascending stretches typical of the urbanism of the Tawantinsuyo. So it can be said that we travel the Inca Trail or Capac Ñam.

The hike is not complicated, although the route is entirely uphill, you can get there in just 1 hour and 30 minutes of walking. Of course, you will probably sweat so you will need to hydrate yourself and ideally bring some snacks. You mustn’t throw your waste anywhere but in the right place. Machu Picchu is a destination that has a zero carbon emissions recognition.

To get to Huayna Picchu, you will need to book in advance. It is one of the most requested entrance tickets to Machu Picchu and availability can sell out even months in advance, especially during the high season. The months of April, May, June, July, and August are considered the months with the highest demand.

Once at the top, the panoramic view of Machu Picchu is quite particular because it is very different from the traditional or postcard photo that everyone sees. From Huayna Picchu, you can appreciate the extension of Machu Picchu and also understand the importance of the platforms that were and still are on many occasions a gravity challenge. In Huayna Picchu, one learns to lose the fear of heights.

Machu Picchu Mountain

The view from Machu Picchu Mountain

The Machu Picchu mountain is probably the least known. This is because it is located just after the postcard photo or the entire site. To get to this mountain you have to make a journey of 2 hours and 30 minutes approximately. The hike is not very tiring, because the time we dedicate is contemplating the necessary breaks to complete the ascent.

Regarding this admission ticket, it is not very complicated to access a reservation. But we always recommend that you do not rely on it, especially during the high season months. On the other hand, the ascent to this viewpoint, allows us to appreciate part of the fauna and flora of the place. Likewise, you can appreciate in greater detail the entire mountain range of the Andes and the green color of the mountains, typical of the high jungle.

As with Huayna Picchu, we are sure that hiking to this viewpoint of Machu Picchu will make you sweat or have some wear and tear. For this, it will be necessary to carry a small backpack or backpack where to put some drinks, fruits, and snacks. Do not forget to bring a camera or cell phone, the photos and panoramic views are unforgettable.

Once at the top, you can see the whole composition of the archaeological site and its relationship with the surrounding mountains. You will see the Inca enclosure, practically protected by the mountains and also on the peak of one of these. This view also allows you to appreciate the Vilcanota River that surrounds the mountains and the recent population that was erected on the slopes of the same.

Machu Picchu Inca Bridge

Walking to the Inca Bridge

The Inca bridge connects with what would be one of the exits or entrances, depending on how you want to see it, of Machu Picchu. However, it seems to offer an exit with direct direction to the depths of the high jungle. While the Inca Trail, which is traveled to reach Machu Picchu, has a close relationship with the Andes of Cusco and surely had a route to this place, connecting with Ollantaytambo.

Reaching the Inca Bridge of Machu Picchu does not require more than 30 minutes of walking. It is precisely during this walk that you can observe with greater amplitude the details of Machu Picchu. This is because it is viewed from a more distant and not central location, which would be the case of the Guardian’s House or the upper platforms, from where the classic postcard photo is shown.

You can choose whether or not to bring snacks or water, that will depend more on each person. The trip to the Inca Bridge does not require great effort and also only adds 30 minutes to the itinerary of the tour. What you should never forget is a good camera or cell phone to capture panoramic photos of Machu Picchu.

This ticket may run out of availability if some of them are sold out. This is because it is very similar to the Machu Picchu Solo ticket since both offer a tour of Circuit 2. This circuit allows you to see several constructions with greater amplitude but does not allow the ascent to any of the mountains. However, the panoramic view of Machu Picchu has a particular charm due to the presence of the wide terraces.

Putucusi Mountain

Descending after visiting Putucusi Mountain

It is perhaps the least known or imagined option. However, Putucusi Mountain offers a separate adventure. To get there will require a greater effort and also the opportunity to rappel, although it is a small slope. The ascent to Putucusi Mountain in Machu Picchu is rewarding and recommended for people who enjoy outdoor activities.

The hike can have a total duration of 5 hours. Unlike the other routes, there are no safe roads or permanent care. In this sense, it is recommended that the route is done carefully and with the help of a guide who knows the route. This service can be found in some travel agencies or by contacting directly with some guides who offer these services.

Unlike the other viewpoints, ascending to Putucusi Mountain does not require a ticket or a reservation in advance. This tour is completely free and you will only have to contact the guide and pay the required price. On the other hand, it is also recommended to bring some drinks, snacks, and other foods that do not have much weight, but that can make you recover your energy. This hike requires a lot of effort and care.

Already at the top of the mountain, the view of Machu Picchu will be panoramic and at the same time frontal. You can see details of the urbanization and understand the functioning of the platforms, which seem to be holding the Inca citadel. This view is beautiful, many of those who make the ascent decide to spend the night in this place to see the sunrise of Machu Picchu from the Putucusi. All the options we mentioned offer a panoramic view of Machu Picchu. It will be up to you to do one of these hikes to the viewpoints of Machu Picchu or why not, do them all.


By Imachupicchu – Last updated, March 5, 2024

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