Located north of the citadel of Machu Picchu, Huayna Picchu is none other than the huge mountain that appears behind the citadel and can usually be seen in the traditional panoramic photos of the Inca ruins. Huayna Picchu, which in Spanish means “Young Mountain”, has a maximum height of 2700 meters, from where you can get breathtaking views of the archaeological complex. Beyond its natural beauty, Huayna Picchu keeps inside if spectacular Inca ruins of incalculable historical value.
Reaching the top of Huayna Picchu is a challenge. The journey to the top of the mountain is dangerous and exhausting, and takes about an hour. But once being above, the tourist will not regret. At the summit, travelers will find a series of terraces built by the Incas and some buildings. They believe that these areas have served as astronomical observatories. Another hypothesis states that its construction was due more to a security issue, since that from that point it is possible to glimpse the whole citadel, including the roads leading to it.
It is important that visitors are aware that, on the orders of local authorities, only 200 people rise up in the morning and afternoon 200 people allowed.
In the back of Huayna Picchu we can find the famous Temple of the Moon, one of the most beautiful Inca constructions inside a cave. This has magnificent dome structures in ways that confirm the refined architectural technique of the Incas. In front of the cave, we can find a carved stone shaped altar, which is believed, it could have been used for sacrifices.
Although some studies argue that the Temple of the Moon would have been used for funerary purposes, the specific function of this has not yet been determined. However, experts agree that would be an elite group of buildings, due to apparent effort demanded its construction. The name “Temple of the Moon”, although popular among tourists and archaeologists, it lacks some kind of archaeological basis.