The Inca city of the 15th century is one of the most incredible destinations. It is difficult to describe the incredible beauty of Machu Picchu. It was discovered in 1911, since then, its indecipherable structures, its legendary history, its amazing surroundings and its amazing energy, have made the world not lose sight of it, and that it is considered one of the best destinations in the world, named heritage world and one of the 7 wonders of the world today. But within all this popularity, few people have heard of the "Putucusi Mountain", the secret jewel of Machu Picchu. Thousands of people from all over the world arrive every day to the town of Aguas Calientes (Machu Picchu town) to enjoy the incredible wonders that Machu Picchu offers and the fabulous surroundings where it was built. The mountain of Putucusi is one of the jewels of Machu Picchu, let's say the unknown jewel then, other gems like the mountain Huayna Picchu are already well known. And if you did not know, the Putucusi mountain is as impressive as everything that can be found in Machu Picchu; In addition, it offers one side of Machu Picchu that only those who dare to climb the Putucusi know. The Putucusi mountain offers views of Machu Picchu that not many people have been able to capture and completely different from what is obtained from the tops of the Machu Picchu and Huayna Picchu mountains; It is the only mountain that offers a horizontal view of the Inca city. Putucusi means "happy mountain", it has a round shape and is on the opposite (northeast) side of the Urubamba River (Vilcanota), in front of Machu Picchu; in the department of Cusco in Peru. Its highest point reaches 2,560 m. (8,500 ft) above sea level. This mountain offers epic views of Machu Picchu and the valley of the Urubamba River that surrounds the mountains where Machu Picchu is located. Like Machu Picchu (old mountain) and Huayna Picchu (young mountain), Putucusi (happy mountain) was considered an apu (sacred mountain) by the Andean culture.
Day 01: Hike to Mandor Waterfall and to Putucusi mountain
Day 02: Climb to Machu Picchu and Huayna Picchu
To start our adventure, we will pick you up at your hotel in Cusco in the morning to take you on our private transport to Ollantaytambo train station (1 hour and 40 minutes away from Cusco) which is located in the Sacred Valley of the Incas. There, we will board a train to Aguas Calientes, a small town just below Machu Picchu. Your tour guide welcomes you at the city train station, will take you to your hostel for check-in and leave your luggage, After, start today's walk surrounded by breathtaking scenery! First, you follow the Vilcanota River (upper part of the Urubamba River) walking along a railroad track to Hydroelectric power station. You can see abrupt cliffs that stick out everywhere. You leave the railway after an hour's walk to turn towards the Mandor waterfall. On the way, you will pass through a fertile land with banana, avocado and coffee plantations, fruit trees and later a cloud forest, where you will find the impressive Mandor Waterfall! There, you can also find a small pool that offers you a nice refreshment! Then enjoy a lunch before heading to the next point of interest "Putucusi Mountain". You follow a recently discovered Inca trail that leads you through the cloud forest including pristine areas where bromeliads and more than 90 types of orchids grow! If you are lucky, you can spot a spectacled bear, as well as hundreds of birds - and species - many of them are endemic! The hike includes many rocky steps and several vertical wooden stairs (up to 30 meters) so you must be in a very good shape and not suffer from vertigo or fear of heigth to be able to undertake it! At the end, you will reach the Putucusi Mountain (2560 masl / 8400 masl), a high mountain with a round shape. There, surrounded by clouds, you get a feeling of appearing in a dream place with its overwhelming views of Machu Picchu !!
After an early and delicious breakfast at morning, we will walk for around 2 hours to the mysterious city of Machu Picchu that we will enter in the early morning to take advance of the best opportunities of photos! Then our guide shows us around the Inca city and tells us about its history and purposes. After the guided tour, you climb by yourself for about 45 minutes to Huayna Picchu, a peak above Machu Picchu that serves to take some panoramic pictures of the Inca city. Then, we are given free time to spend and explore Machu Picchu on our own. In the afternoon, we return by train to Ollantaytambo, from where we are taken by van back to Cusco.
The best time to go to Putucusi Mountain Trek is in the dry season. Like the other hiking trails in Machu Picchu, it is more complicated in the rainy season (November - April), as the path like the stairs, they become slippery and difficult to overcome. The region has a sub-tropical climate throughout the year, with average temperatures bordering 18ºC (64ºF). Humidity during the dry season, ranges between 40% and 45%, reaching 60% or 65% during the rainy season. It is recommended to hike early in the morning, since the temperatures are cooler, and the intensity of the sun is lower. Make sure you are not traveling this route, after 6 pm (it could be very dangerous).
Take with you clothes for both rain and sun, since the weather throughout the southern region of Peru, is quite unpredictable at any time of the year, the path is mainly stone stairs and wooden stairs (vertical), so It is recommended to prepare with light, comfortable and used hiking shoes (never new). Also bring with you, a rain poncho, sun protection and some snacks. We also recommend that you bring wet towels and hand sanitizer.