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Warmiwañusca Mountain Pass
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warmiwañuska Inca trail

The Warmiwañusca mountain pass is the highest point of the famous trek ‘Inca Trail 4 days to Machu Picchu’. You get there on the second day, after an intense walk of approximately 21 kilometers. From there you have an incredible view of the Andean mountain range. It is one of the most photographed sites on the route. From there, an 18-kilometer hike begins (mainly downhill) until reaching Machupicchu.

What is the Abra Warmiwañusca?

Warmiwañusca in an open (low vegetation mount located between two mountains), the highest within the 4-day Inca Trail route.

Her name is a Quechua compound word that means ‘Dead woman’ because warmi means woman and wañusca, dead.

It is a high Andean area that is accessed after a long walk, of 4 or 5 hours, up a steep section of hundreds of stone stairs. This section is part of the famous 4-day Inca Trail route to Machu Picchu.

The landscape is covered with ichu or straw. It is a geography of mountains with abundant flora on one side and snow-covered peaks, which are shown as a backdrop to the landscape.

The Warmiwañusca pass is the second most photographed point by tourists who make the Inca Trail (the first is Machu Picchu). The walk there is considered the most difficult of the entire route.

Where is? How high is it?

The Warmiwañusca pass is located in the Vilcabamba mountain range, in the Historic Sanctuary of Machu Picchu.

Its altitude reaches 4,215 meters above sea level (13,828 ft).

How to get there?

If you take into account the difficulty of the route, the mountainous roads that it travels and the duration of it; We recommend luggage that does not exceed 5 kilos in weight.

  • On the first day of the route, from the beginning at kilometer 82 of the railway to Aguas Calientes, you must ascend 12 kilometers to the first camp in Wayllabamba.
  • On the second day of the route, you must ascend approximately 9 kilometers (4 or 5 hours ascent) until you reach the Warmiwañusca pass.

After visiting the pass, visitors rest and continue descending until they reach the Pacaymayo camp. After Warmiwañusca there are only 18 kilometers on foot to reach Machu Picchu.

It is dangerous?

The route to Warmiwañusca is not dangerous. However, the climatic conditions and the physical capacity of the visitor must be taken into account.

The open is a point where the air is a bit dense and cold. The temperature varies between 5º C to 7º C. It is a journey that leaves most walkers out of breath.

Therefore, it is recommended to be physically well (especially of the heart). For a better adaptation to the high altitude it is preferable to spend one or two nights in the city of Cusco before making the route.

What to bring?

During your visit to the Warmiwañusca pass, do not forget to take with you:

  • Windbreaker jacket.
  • Trekking shoes.
  • Poncho in case of rain.
  • Sunscreen.
  • Comfortable pants (preferably waterproof).
  • Photographic camera.

More information and tips for your visit

From the Warmiwañuska pass you have a beautiful view. The panorama is impressive because you can see the snow-capped mountains as well as the jungle plain.

In the rainy season the snow can cover part of the open. In the mornings the mists almost completely cover the entire landscape of the place.

The weather there is cold, especially at night. Tourists pass through the open at approximately noon. At that time the temperature varies between 5 or 7 degrees Celsius. It is recommended to wear a windbreaker jacket and a sweater or jacket on top. Thus the visitor can better protect themselves from the cold.

To do the Inca Trail (and visit the Warmiwañusca pass) it is necessary to buy the 4-day Inca Trail tour. This service must be purchased yes or yes online 6 or 7 months in advance. Otherwise you will not find availability.


By Inca Trail Machu Picchu - Last updated, 25-11-2021

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