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Putucusi Mountain Trek

Created with Sketch. Machu Picchu, Cusco, Peru
Ranking
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Duration

1 Day

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Tour Type

Daily Tour

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Group Size

10 people

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Languages

Español, Ingles

Overview

A tough trekking challenge that takes you to the top of Putucusi Mountain and offers views over Machu Picchu and the surrounding mountains. A free trail that starts from Aguas Calientes (Machu Picchu Pueblo), not from within the grounds of Machu Picchu citadel. Beware though; the trail includes 7 sets of near vertical wooden ladders, one of which is about 4 stories high!

Finding the Trail Head

From Aguas Calientes follow the train tracks out of town in a roughly northerly direction towards Machu Picchu and the hydroelectric plant. Follow the train track not the road to Machu Picchu. Directly behind the Sumaq Hotel on the right hand side of the railway line, a small and poorly marked trail starts to descend the mountainside. After about 10 minutes you will arrive at the deserted warden’s hut where the trail proper starts. See the trail head map below.

The Trail

From the derelict warden’s hut you pass through a metal gate where you are faced with your first climbing challenge – a 4 story high wooden ladder. The ladder is well constructed and in good condition and a thick wire guard rail offers an additional point of support. This ladder is the most death-defying of the 7 ladders on the trail and is about 30 meters (98 feet) in height, clinging to the mountain at an angle of about 70 degrees. Take extra care through this section as a slip or fall would result in certain injury, if not death (seriously). Continuing up the trail you will climb another 6 wooden ladders which are much shorter and of a lesser angle (45 – 60 degrees). After about 45 minutes of trekking you pass across a short ridge that connects to the base of Putucusi Mountain. Here impressive views to the rear of Putucusi and the untouched dense jungle cloud forest are unveiled. Looking back the way you came you will also be afforded views of Machu Picchu Pueblo (Aguas Calientes) and can appreciate its limitations as a town and its remote location. From here the relentless stone stepped trail continues to the summit; about another 45 minutes in total. At the top there is a summit made of large jutting rocks, the view across the valley opens up and you get impressive views across to the citadel of Machu Picchu. The peak of Putucusi Mountain is about the same altitude as Machu Picchu so you won’t get aerial views of the citadel (like from Huayna Picchu or Machu Picchu Mountain), but views from the side.

Note that the wooden ladders can be slippery when wet and the underside the rungs are often mouldy or have insects on them. Take wet wipes and hand sanitizer for the top.

Difficulty

An intense trek that involves navigating tall wooden ladders, rocky slopes and relentless 45 degrees trails. Ideal for trekkers in good physical condition and those that are not afraid of heights.

Full Trail Difficulty: challenging
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HIGHLIGHTS

    Activities: Challenge, Adventure
    Difficulty Levels: 4 of 5
    Hiking distance: 4 km / 1.2 miles
    Hiking time: 3 to 3½ hour approximately.
    Maximum Altitude: 2500 masl. / 8202 ft.
    Departures Day: Daily Departures.
    Height to climb from Aguas Calientes: 460 meters (1,509 feet).
    Terrain: Near vertical wooden ladders, Inca Trail stone path steps and grassy areas.
    Recommended footwear: Training shoes, light weight walking boots.
    Entrance time: Not applicable, not recommended to start the trek after 2pm.
    Trail head: Aguas Calientes (behind the Sumaq Hotel).
    Tickets: Ticket not required; this trail is un-governed (at the moment).
    Starts: Pick up at your accommodation in Aguas Calientes 8:00 PM
    Ends: Drop-off at Aguas Calients around 11:30 PM

Itinerary

Itenirary
Machu Picchu full day Tour
Best Time to Trek
Putucusi Mountain Trek is accessible all year round. During the wet season (November – April) there is a higher chance of heavy rainfall and the trail and ladders may become slippery and more challenging to traverse. The region has a sub-tropical feel throughout the year with average daily temperatures of 18 °C (64 °F). During the dry season the humidity is around 40 – 45%, rising to 60 – 65% during the wet season. Early morning trekking offers cooler temperatures and better shade from the sun. Make sure that you aren’t trekking when the sun goes down (around 6pm) as it is very dangerous.

Be Prepared
The weather in this region of Peru can often be un-predictable any time of the year, so you must be prepared with clothing for rain and sun. The trail is mainly stone steps and wooden ladders so comfortable lightweight training or hiking shoes are recommended. A light weight rain coat or poncho and sun protection is advised. Take plenty of water with you and snacks for the top. Wet wipes and hand sanitizer are also recommended before snacking as you will definitely be using your hands as well as your feet to climb this trek.

Check list:
Minimum of 1.5 to 2 litres of water (3 – 4 personal bottles).
Sun hat, sun glasses & sun block.
Walking stick with rubber tip (if required).
Strong insect repellent.
Light weight rain coat or poncho.
Small snacks.
A change of t-shirt for the top.
Hand sanitizer and wet wipes.
Camera.

Warning
Hiking Putucusi Mountain alone is not recommended as the trail is very dangerous. Make sure you start and finish your trek in daylight hours (6am – 6pm). Traverse the trail with extreme caution as steep drop offs and high wooden ladders offer plenty of opportunities to fall. Not suitable for anyone with a fear of heights.
Itenirary
08:00 - 08:45
walk to the starting point
Itenirary
08:45 - 09:30
Ascent towards Putucusi Mountain.
Itenirary
09:30 - 10:30
Guided and free time for photos.
Itenirary
10:30 - 11:00
Putucusi mountain Descent
Itenirary
11:30 - 12.00
Return to Aguas Calientes
Itenirary
********NOTE IMPORTAT********
Due to the poor quality of the access ladders on this trail, this trail is currently out of use! We will inform you as soon as it is back up and running! July 04, 2019.

Included

  • Professional English speaking Tour Guide

Not Included

  • Meals
  • International or domestic flights
  • Tips or extra expenses

Tour's Location

Created with Sketch. Machu Picchu, Cusco, Peru

Tour Map Putucusi Mountain Trek

FAQs

Weather and Climate
Cusco has two seasons: the dry and wet season. The dry season begins in April and lasts until October. Days are generally sunny at this time of year, while the nights can be cold. The average daytime temperature is between 10 and 15 degrees Celsius (50 to 60 Fahrenheit), while nighttime temperatures can drop to below zero (below 32 Fahrenheit).

The wet season is warmer with higher average precipitation and runs from November to March. Daytime temperatures range from 15 to 20 degrees Celsius (60 to 68 Fahrenheit), while nighttime temperatures are a little higher compared to the dry season. While temperatures in Cusco are far from tropical, when the sun shines temperatures can easily exceed 20 degrees Celsius (68 Fahrenheit). Whatever season you arrive, do not forget sun block as there is little wind during most of the year and the sun is very strong at this level of altitude.
Currency
The currency in Peru is the Nuevo Sol. Although you can sometimes use U.S. Dollars in stores and restaurants in Cusco, it is not guaranteed. Therefore, it is advisable to always carry soles on you. You can exchange your money in many places including the airport, in banks, or in currency exchange companies. You can also use your credit/debit card at ATMs across the country (there is often a fee to use a foreign card at Peruvian banks to withdraw money).
Spanish Language
You do not need to be fluent in Spanish to come to Peru, but it is good to learn some basic words and phrases, such as how to ask for directions, how to order in a restaurant, or how to ask for something in a store.
Age Restrictions
To travel independently on our tours you must be at least 18 years of age. There are no upper age limits, however, all travelers are required to fill out a medical questionnaire and consider their health before participating. Our tours are also available to children over the age of 7 who are accompanied by an adult.
Guides
All of our guides are educated in the field of tourism, have received first aid assistance training and are fluent in English. We also have guides who offer tours in Spanish, German, French, Italian, and Portuguese. All guides have excellent knowledge about local flora and fauna as well as Peru's history, geography and culture.

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from $320,00

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