Are you planning a visit to the magnificent Machu Picchu? Before you go, it’s important to be aware of the rules and regulations in place to protect this UNESCO World Heritage Site. Machu Picchu is not only a historical marvel but also a sacred place for the Inca civilization. To preserve its beauty and cultural significance, certain activities and items are strictly prohibited within its grounds. In this article, we will explore what is not allowed in Machu Picchu and why it is essential to respect these guidelines.

History of Machu Picchu

Named one of the New Seven Wonders of the World, Machu Picchu is an ancient Inca city located in the Andes Mountains of Peru. Built around the 15th century, this remarkable site remained hidden from the Spanish conquistadors and was only rediscovered in 1911 by American explorer Hiram Bingham. Today, Machu Picchu attracts millions of visitors each year, seeking to immerse themselves in its rich history and breathtaking architecture.

Why are certain activities and items prohibited?

The prohibition of specific activities and items in Machu Picchu is primarily driven by the need to protect and preserve this cultural treasure. The delicate ecosystem, fragile structures, and the sacredness of the site require visitors to exercise caution and respect. By adhering to these restrictions, we can ensure that future generations will have the opportunity to experience the wonder of Machu Picchu.

Prohibited Activities in Machu Picchu

To maintain the integrity of the site, several activities are strictly prohibited within the boundaries of Machu Picchu. These include:

  • Touching, climbing, or leaning on the walls or structures
  • Removing or damaging any artifacts or natural elements
  • Engaging in any form of vandalism, graffiti, or defacement
  • Bringing pets or animals into the site
  • Engaging in commercial activities without proper authorization

Prohibited Items in Machu Picchu

Additionally, certain items are not allowed in Machu Picchu to ensure the safety and preservation of the site. These items include:

  • Food and drinks (except for water in a reusable container)
  • Selfie sticks and tripods
  • Drones or any other flying devices
  • Smoking materials, including cigarettes and e-cigarettes

Respecting the Sacredness of Machu Picchu

Machu Picchu holds immense spiritual and cultural significance for the indigenous people of Peru. It is essential to approach the site with reverence and respect. Visitors are encouraged to maintain a solemn and contemplative demeanor, refraining from any disruptive behavior that may disturb the tranquility of the place. By doing so, we can honor the ancient traditions and beliefs associated with Machu Picchu.

Preservation Efforts and Environmental Impact

The preservation of Machu Picchu is an ongoing effort that requires collective responsibility. The high number of visitors poses environmental challenges, such as erosion and waste management. To mitigate these impacts, visitors are advised to follow designated paths, dispose of waste properly, and avoid disturbing the natural surroundings. By embracing sustainable practices, we can contribute to the long-term preservation of this remarkable site.

Visiting Machu Picchu Responsibly

When visiting Machu Picchu, it is crucial to be a responsible and conscientious traveler. This involves following the guidelines set forth by the authorities, respecting the natural and cultural heritage, and promoting sustainable tourism practices. By doing so, we can ensure that Machu Picchu remains a place of wonder and inspiration for generations to come.


Machu Picchu is a testament to the ingenuity and greatness of the Inca civilization. As visitors, it is our duty to protect and preserve this extraordinary site. By understanding and adhering to the prohibited activities and items, we can contribute to the conservation of Machu Picchu’s cultural and natural heritage. Let us embrace the opportunity to experience this awe-inspiring wonder while leaving only footprints behind.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Can I bring food and drinks into Machu Picchu?

No, food and drinks (except for water in a reusable container) are not allowed within the premises of Machu Picchu. This regulation aims to prevent littering and protect the site from potential damage.

2. Are selfie sticks allowed in Machu Picchu?

No, selfie sticks and tripods are not permitted in Machu Picchu. The use of these items can be disruptive to other visitors and pose a risk to the preservation of the site.

3. Can I fly a drone in Machu Picchu?

No, flying drones or any other flying devices is strictly prohibited in Machu Picchu. This rule is in place to safeguard the privacy, tranquility, and integrity of the site.

4. Is smoking allowed in Machu Picchu?

No, smoking, including cigarettes and e-cigarettes, is not allowed within the premises of Machu Picchu. This policy is in place to prevent fire hazards and minimize the impact of secondhand smoke on visitors and the environment.

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