Phutuq K'usi (center-left) behind the ruins of Machu Pikchu
|Elevation||2,560 m (8,399 ft)|
|Location||Peru, Cusco Region|
Phutuq K'usi or Phutuqk'usi (Quechua phutu bud, -q a suffix, k'usi a cucurbita species, a small zucchini or cucurbita pepo, "budding zucchini (or cucurbita pepo)", hispanicized spelling Putucusi) is a round-shaped mountain located on the opposite side (northeast) of the Urubamba River to Machu Pikchu in the Cusco Region of Peru. Reaching approximately 2,560 metres (8,400 ft) above sea level at its peak, the mountain offers epic views of Machu Pikchu and the surrounding Urubamba River valley.
The view of Machu Pikchu from the summit is breathtaking, and requires a challenging 1.5-hour trek up the mountain, with approximately 1700 wood and rock steps. A recently discovered Inca Trail, the path lies just 10 minutes west of Aguas Calientes following the train tracks along the Urubamba River. The entrance is free.
The first half of the journey is jungle trail, and involves several vertical wooden ladders, the largest of which scales over 100 feet (30 m). The second half presents views of Aguas Calientes and the Urubamba River valley, as the trail ascends the eastern face of Phutuq K'usi in switchback fashion. The train passes through native flora including pisonayes, q'eofias, alisos, puya palm trees, ferns and more than 90 species of orchids.
As of April 17, 2011, floods have wiped out the 100 feet (30 m) vertical ladder section of the climb, making an ascent impossible without professional climbing gear. As of at least August 2012, all the ladders have been replaced, and you can hike up to the summit again without climbing gear.
- Diccionario Quechua - Español - Quechua, Academía Mayor de la Lengua Quechua, Gobierno Regional Cusco, Cusco 2005: phutu - s. Ramillete de flores. k'usi - s. Bot. (Cucúrbita sp.) Calabacín pequeño. Planta de la familia de las cucurbitáceas, utilizada en la alimentación, andina.