Putucusi is one of several spectacular rock formations near Machu Picchu. While Yosemite owes its dramatic rock walls to the action of glaciers, here the Urubamba River was the artist, carving deep fluted canyons through resistant granite.
Remarkably, there is a "trail" from near Aquas Calientes to the summit of Putucusi. More difficult than the trail and steep stairs that ascend Huayna Picchu, the route up Putucusi includes a section of steep wooden ladders, where many people turn back.
(The climbs of Huayna Picchu and Putucusi are not part of our standard itinerary.)
Photograph by Gary Valle', PhotographyontheRun.com.