Inca Trail 125 results
Routes 30 results
Putucusi Mountain
Click to rate article
Putucusi mountain view

If the adventure of the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu was short for you, one of the options that can follow is to have the ascent to Putucusi mountain. This mountain is one of the most emblematic of Machu Picchu Town. However, few know that it can be ascended by making a demanding route. In this sense, if you want to do this route it is important to take into account some details to avoid making some mistakes. We also want to report on the route that is followed and leave some recommendations. Next, let’s learn more about this mountain and the beautiful views that can be had from this place.

Where is Putucusi Mountain located?

This mountain is only 2 kilometers from Machu Picchu Town or Aguas Calientes. However, to climb up to this place it takes quite a long time because it follows a complicated route. In this blog, we will learn more about this option so that adventure lovers and those who want to have more experiences, dare to make this journey. Putucusi Mountain is one of the mountains that are very close to the archaeological site of Machu Picchu. Moreover, from there, you can appreciate in all its splendor the very particular conical shape and height of this mountain.

To start the hike to this mountain, you have to follow the train tracks on the way to Hidroeléctrica. There you can find a small detour that connects directly to the mountain. From that place is where the ascent begins. Before that, you will travel practically two kilometers. The summit of Putucusi Mountain reaches 2,560 meters above sea level. Being one of the smallest mountains in the whole place. Being close to Machu Picchu, it is located in the Central Cordillera of the Peruvian Andes. The mountains that directly surround Machu Picchu are also in the Cordillera Central.

Climbing this mountain is relatively complicated. As we will see later, it is recommended for people who really like hiking routes and especially climbing. Ascending this place has a section in which you can rappel. It is important to know and be clear that this is a route for those who have some hiking experience. This is because, although the route was becoming popular, even maintenance was neglected. This unfortunately allowed the route to have some dangerous areas.

It will also be important that this route is done with the presence of a guide or at least someone who has already made the ascent. All this we will see in detail below. Before that, it is important to mention that the entrance to the route is completely free. It does not require any kind of reservation or availability. Few people do it because it is a difficult route. Children and older adults are prohibited from making this ascent. Precisely to guarantee their safety.

Putucusi view from Machu Picchu
Putucusi mountain view from Machu Picchu

The challenges of the route

The time of the hike or ascent to Putucusi Mountain is two hours and 30 minutes. This is the average and standard time that the ascent takes. Some people will be able to do it much faster while others may take a few minutes longer. The challenges of this route begin with the difficulty of the route. Unlike other ascent routes in Machu Picchu, the route to Putucusi is not well maintained or well maintained. This makes the hike considerably more difficult. To avoid accidents, it is important to be careful when walking and try to maintain an adequate pace without rushing.

Another challenge that can be encountered is that a section can be done by rappel. For this, it will be important that the people who do it have the necessary equipment such as stakes, pulleys, ropes or ropes, gloves, and helmets. It is also important that the first climb is done by an experienced person. It is at this point where the guide’s presence comes into play. The guides offer their services including the necessary equipment for this activity. Although the activity is done for a small stretch, it is important to do it with the necessary care and responsibility.

On the other hand, but of great importance, is that the ascent is done with few belongings. Bringing some snacks and drinks will also be important because the route is exhausting and requires a good replenishment of energy. However, some people reach the summit to camp. They usually have enough knowledge and also make the ascent without rushing and having a controlled pace. When carrying weight on trekking routes it is important to maintain a pace and not to overdo it.

The descent is also quite complicated because you have to be more careful since the perspective is completely different. At the moment of rappelling, you also have to be careful. The time in this activity may take a little longer, but it will be compensated with the rest of the route. In this sense, the total time of this activity can extend from 5 to 6 hours of quiet physical activity.

Putucusi View from Huayna Picchu
View of Putucusi mountain from the road to Huayna Picchu

It is really recommended to do it

This route is for people who really like hiking. It is not recommended for everyone and should not be forced on anyone. The route has its challenges as we saw above. We recommend that you make the ascent with great care and taking into account that the route may have some imperfections. Also do not rely on some railings, ropes or ladders that may be found on the route. Unfortunately there is no adequate maintenance of the route and few people try to fix some flaws in the route.

People who do it, openly recommend it. One of the main factors is that you can do or practice rappelling safely. Also for the views of Machu Picchu. If you are a person looking to learn or have enough sympathy for the mentioned activities, you can not miss this activity. Besides, the whole region of the place offers beautiful landscapes and pleasant walks. So you will enjoy it very much, especially because it is a completely free activity or well you will only have to spend on the guide who will enable you all the necessary equipment for rappelling.

After doing the Inca Trail, it can be an option if you consider that the 4-day trekking route was too short. As we mentioned it is an alternative route and free admission. In the end, it will depend on the people who wish to do it. It is for this reason that there are not many tourist packages with this destination. We believe that doing this ascent after a trekking route is an opportunity to do new activities and to have a new and interesting perspective of Machu Picchu.

Road to Putucusi Mountain
Part of the Putucusi Mountain Trail – Extreme Adventure

All that can be seen from the top of the mountain

From the top of the mountain you can find one of the most amazing views of Machu Picchu. The Putucusi mountain is located precisely in front of the citadel or Inca llacta. In this sense you have a panoramic view of Machu Picchu, but from an angle little seen and known. That is why you can appreciate how the terraces were traced and also the layout of the place concerning some sacred temples and the importance of the same, as they will stand out from the rest of the constructions.

Having this new perspective of Machu Picchu is interesting because normally you can appreciate the Inca archaeological sites from higher places or the entrance. The urban organization, we believe, continues to surprise archaeologists and architects. There are no firm or categorical precisions on this subject. However, having a new perspective on the site will allow us to know and appreciate all the Inca constructions differently.

On the other hand, the experience of the ascent can also be one of the attractions of this route. Being a little crowded route you can find with a lot of luck the presence of birds typical of the geographical region of Machu Picchu. Along the route, you can also find some mammals in the area and why not small rodents. Similarly, it is possible to find the growth of the famous orchids and other flowers typical of the area. It is important that when you find some of these plants or animals, do not harm them.

Top of Putucusi Mountain
Top of Putucusi Mountain (in the background of Machu Picchu)

What care should I take?

People interested in doing this route must take into account various factors that we mentioned throughout the blog and also other care typical of any other outdoor activity. Below, we leave a brief list of the general care that should be taken when making the ascent to the Putucusi mountain.

  • Contact a guide or have someone trained in rappelling on the team.
  • Have all safety equipment for the rappel activity.
  • Wear hiking shoes or footwear, preferably a high top.
  • Bring food such as snacks, fruit, dried fruits, and drinks.
  • It is important to have experience in hiking routes.
  • Be careful on the road, the rain can generate mold on the stones and this can cause slipping when stepping on them.
  • The humidity of the place can also cause landslides.
  • Bringing binoculars is an excellent idea.
  • It is recommended to walk carefully.
  • People must carry their identity documents.
  • Although the place does not have control as such, those who ascend sporadically, try to promote a culture of recycling.
  • In case you generate some waste, do not leave it on the road or at the top of the mountain.
  • The best option is to take them to the appropriate place.
  • Finally, it is advisable to do the hike with a group of companions to have more security during the activity.


By Inca Trail Machu Picchu - Last updated, 02-04-2024

Interested in the Inca Trail? Know more about Routes!