Huayna Picchu mountain (at an altitude of 2,667 meters above sea level) is part of the eastern foothills of the massif of Salcantay, in Cusco, Peru. It is part of a formation known as orographic Vilcabamba Batholith in the Central Cordillera of the Peruvian Andes and is known mainly for being the backdrop of the most panoramic photographs of the Inca ruins of Machu Picchu. But she also has important archaeological remains related to the famous Inca complex.
In order to avoid confusion it is to be noted that Machu Picchu in Quechua means ancient mountain, while Huayna Picchu meaning young mountain so it is an analogy between the old man and the young. So the Huayna Picchu mountain smaller (in some photos posted on the Internet wrongly assigned this name to the highest mountain) and mountain larger is the Machu Picchu which gives its name to the valley and the Citadel .
Huayna Picchu, mountain has a steep and narrow path, which includes several sections with steps carved into the living rock staircases and cables. The rise varies between 45 to 60 minutes, depending on the physical condition of each person, at an altitude of 2700 m and the Inca citadel of Machu Picchu it is at a height of 2400 m it rises at 300 m. Meanwhile, in the mountains of Machu Picchu the road is less steep and has steps so that it is less dangerous, but this mountain is higher than the Huayna Picchu with a height of 3200 m, with its peak at 800 m on the Inca citadel of Machu Picchu.
Path to the top
A path of the north end of Machu Picchu crosses the narrow neck of land that connects the mountains Machu Picchu and Huayna. Then the road forks. The right branch ascends to the top. Its construction must have been difficult and extremely dangerous: It is a steep, narrow path, which includes several sections with carved himself living on the edge in the vertical rock wall rock steps. In the end, crowning the Huayna Picchu and there are some minor construction, including a cover and a large carved stone as a throne that is known as “Chair of the Inca”. But the most interesting thing here is the view we have of the archaeological remains of Machu Picchu and the Urubamba River at the bottom of the Canyon whose turbulent waters are heard still thunder in such a high place. The snowy Salcantay (sacred by the Incas) is visible from here as it is also the curious alignment between the Huayna Picchu, Machu Picchu summit and said that according to Johan Reinhard snow is one of the main reasons why Machu Picchu was important in times of Pachacutec (1438-1572).
As additional information for those wishing to reach the top, local authorities only allow the rise of a maximum of 400 people in two shifts 200.1 This reflects the fact that the path of ascent and the summit not physically host more visitors. The ascent takes for an average person between 45 to 60 minutes.
The Temple of the Moon
The other path goes to the back of the mountain and leads to one of the most remarkable complex of underground constructions in the region. It is several caves, some of which have been lined (at a larger scale than in the Mausoleum of Machu Picchu) with blocks of fine stonework that have been carved to fit accurately with the irregular contours of the great rocky outcrops that they They serve as a roof. The walls, of clearly ornamental character, include false covers and niches trapezoids of double and triple jamb. Although its specific function is unknown, it is clear that this is a set of elite constructions for the effort demanded them. It is believed to have funeral uses and that all tombs were looted at some point in the history of region.2
The name “Temple of the Moon” is arbitrary and does not have archaeological endorsement although it has become popular among archaeologists and tour guides. In any case it reveals the common interest as compared with other Inca buildings such as the “Temple of the Sun” of Machu Picchu.