Machu Picchu the Stairs of Death

There are places in the world that impact us because of their beauty, such as Machu Picchu; but many of the people who travel to the Inca city do not always remember the amazing Temple of the Sun or the Intihuatana. If you are lucky and you can get one of the 400 tickets available to climb the Huayna Picchu Mountain, you will enjoy the unique “stairs of death“, and although no one has died on these stairs, we are sure you will remember its majesty, views and intimidating that they can become.

Many people have a special interest in the Huayna Picchu Mountain, not only because of the adrenaline of ascending the steps, but because of what they find at the end of them. The Temple of the Moon is one of the most amazing constructions of Machu Picchu; but in reality there is nothing compared to reaching the top of the mountain; There are people who have experienced a radical change in their lives, after reaching the summit of Huayna Picchu.

Now talk about the famous “Stairs of Death Machu Picchu“. These are stone steps carved by the Incas more than 500 years ago. They appear during the ascent, that although it is of 400 meters until the top where as I said before the famous Temple of the Moon is located, it seems a longer journey due to its difficulty. However, the adrenaline generated by this road and the incredible views it offers of the place (it is from there that you can appreciate better the inca ruins at Machu Picchu) make it worth the effort.

So, to climb to Huayna Picchu it is necessary to have adventurer conditions and, most importantly, not to fear the heights, since the trails are steep and, by stretches, extremely narrow. As if this were not enough, many times the clouds cover the place, decreasing the visibility.


The journey through Machu Picchu the stairs of death:

Look where you step when you climb these stairs; in fact, everything will be fine, until you remember that the stairs that took you to the top are your only way down. To get to the Temple of the Moon at the top of the Huayna Picchu mountain, you will face 183 meters of rock steps; They were sculpted more than 500 years ago on the side of the mountain and are covered by clouds. Hold on, because on one side of the stairs you will find a steep and humid wall and on the other, a fall of hundreds of meters direct to the Urubamba river. But do not let these stairs prevent you from reaching the top of Huayna Picchu; there is only something more spectacular than seeing Machu Picchu in front, and it is seeing it from above; also enjoy the feeling of achievement, after reaching the last step.

The descent through Machu Picchu the stairs of death:

Everything that goes up has to come down, it’s simple logic. If there is something worse than climbing the stairs of death, that is going down them. The way to the end, will take it by a kind of loop, this will make it possible to avoid the travelers who ascend at that moment; However, in one way or another, you will have to descend through the same place, and you may notice here the verticality of the stairs (60º inclination).


The feeling on the stairs of death:

You will need your maximum concentration on the stairs and only on the stairs. You will feel that a false step and “poof” goodbye. It’s fine, it’s not instantly, it will fall about 300 m. before “arriving” to the Urubamba river. But as we told you before, nobody has died falling from this ladder; What’s more, to get to the top, you just need to want to be there and have a healthy respect for the mountains and the extreme heights.

How many people have died on the death stairs in Huayna Picchu?

The staircase is surrounded by myths (like everything in Machu Picchu). Among the things that are said, it is said that it is possible to spot UFOs from the Huayna Picchu mountain; but, no dead. These stairs are a wonder in themselves; There are so many people who want this experience in Machu Picchu that the Huayna Picchu Tickets must be reserved 6 months in advance.


  • Any experienced climber is aware that any mountain must be treated with respect. You should take precautions and not risk your life unnecessarily.
  • If you suffer from vertigo or fear of heights, I recommend you ignore the Huaynapicchu. You can get wonderful aerial views of the Inca Citadel from the top of the Sun Gate or the Machu Picchu mountain.
  • If you wish to choose the dates on which you wish to ascend to the Huayna Picchu Mountain, you must book the tickets with up to 3 months in advance.
  • It is only allowed to carry a backpack no bigger than 5 kilos. It is advisable to bring only what is necessary: water, hat, sunscreen, mosquito repellent, poncho in case of rain, snacks and a camera.
  • Climbing to the top of Huaynapicchu is a challenge. You just have to do it at your own pace. Many older adults also dare to reach the top.