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Machu Picchu Mountain

South America, Peru, Machu Picchu, Horizontal November 2006. "Dragoman" are an overland adventure holiday company that offer trips to most parts of the world with holidays varying from 2 weeks to 6 months.  In Peru part of the trip includes the Inca Trail - this is a trekking "holiday" that will generally be anything from 1 to 7 days where the route and difficulty will vary and end at Machu Picchu.  This picture was taken from a high view point at the sun gate to give a better overview.  Machu Picchu - sometimes called the "Lost City of the Incas" is a well-preserved pre-Columbian Inca ruin located at 2,430 m (7,970 ft) on a mountain ridge. Machu Picchu is located above the Urubamba Valley in Peru, about 70 km (44 mi) northwest of Cuzco. Forgotten for centuries by the outside world, although not by locals, it was brought back to international attention by Yale archaeologist Hiram Bingham who rediscovered it in 1911, and wrote a best-selling work about it. Peru is pursuing legal efforts to retrieve thousands of artifacts that Bingham removed from the site.  Machu Picchu is probably the most familiar symbol of the Inca Empire and since 1983 the site has been designated as a United Nations Educational World Heritage Site and has been the subject of concern about damage caused by tourism.It is thought that the city was built by the Sapa Inca Pachacuti, starting in about 1440, and was inhabited until the Spanish conquest of Peru in 1532. Archaeological evidence shows that Machu Picchu was not a conventional city, but a country retreat town for Inca nobility (similar to the Roman villas). The site has a large palace and temples dedicated to Inca deities around a courtyard, with other buildings for support staff. It is estimated that a maximum of only about 750 people resided in Machu Picchu at any one time, and probably only a small fraction of that number lived in the town during the rainy season and when none of the nobility were visiting.It is thought that the siteMachu Picchu citadel sits between two mountains: the Young Peak – Huayna Picchu and the less famous Old Peak – Machu Picchu Mountain or Cerro Machu Picchu. This mountain located opposite to Huayna Picchu on the other side of Machu Picchu between the city itself and Inti Punku – Sun Gate, which is the entrance point to Machu Picchu Citadel from the Classic Inca Trail trekking route. The location of Machu Picchu Mountain offers a spectacular panoramic view of the Inca Citadel, Huayna Picchu, Putucusi Mountain, the River Urubamba, and the surrounding landscape with the snowy Andean peaks in the background.

Cerro Machu Picchu towers 3,082m or 10,111ft above sea level. There is 652m or 2,139ft elevation gain from the start of the trail to the top of the Mountain, which is about twice as much compared to the Huayna Picchu climb. The route to the summit is marked well and the path is mostly wider than the one to the top of Huayna Picchu. It is also less steep almost all the way; nevertheless the hike up is rated moderate to challenging. A decent level of fitness is needed. During the rainy season the stone paved Inca Trail can be slippery, so hiking boots are a must and hiking poles (only those with rubber tips are allowed in) are recommended for more stability.

Machu Picchu Mountain

By Google Street View

It takes about half an hour to walk from the entrance to Machu Picchu archeological site to the entrance checkpoint of Machu Picchu Mountain. Follow the small wooden signs that will lead you following the same path as to the Sun Gate, turn right a few minutes after leaving the Guard House behind your back, and continue upward between the Inca agricultural terraces. The way is also clearly marked in yellow on the Machu Picchu City map that you can take right after passing the ticket control to enter Machu Picchu. At the Mountain control point just like at the first entrance to Machu Picchu Site you will be asked to show your passport and your entrance ticket (together with the immigration card that you will have filled in at the border entering Peru), and to sign the visitors book. Count with a couple extra minutes for this procedure. You will be asked to sign it again on the way out. The hike up from this point will take about 1 hour 30 minutes. The way back down takes about 1 hour. This gives you about 30 minutes to enjoy at the summit.

Newly there are two entrance turns: 7:00 – 8:00am and 9:00 – 10:00am with 400 tickets available for each; total 800 people are allowed to visit the top of Cerro Machu Picchu every day. If your entrance time is at 7:00am you should be back at the entry point at about 10:00am. Machu Picchu Mountain ticket as well as Huayna Picchu ticket is not sold separately. Both can be bought only as a part of the 2-in-1 ticket: one of the mountains plus Machu Picchu archeological site entrance. Due to the limits on the number of visitors it is best to purchase the tickets with several month of anticipation especially if you plan to visit during the high touristic season – April to September.

Visit Machu Picchu twice if you can, as the distances between the different sites are quite long. There is a lot to see inside: Inti Punku, Inca Bridge, Huayna Picchu, Machu Picchu Mountain, all the temples and observatories, stone work and hydraulic siphon, as well as fauna (llamas, butterflies, tarantulas, lizzards, vizcachas, even the spectacled bear) and flora (orchids, bromeliads, bomarea, begonias, ferns, trees, mosses, and grasses). We recommend visiting twice especially if you are coming to Machu Picchu via the Classic Inca Trail route. Many trekkers once they come to Machu Picchu feel too tired to do the additional hike to Machu Picchu Mountain, and end up losing their ticket. Same often happens with the Huayna Picchu tickets.

Amazing video by AirPano.

Add Machu Picchu Mountain to one of these treks or these or these soft adventures to Machu Picchu.

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