At what altitude is Machu Picchu located?

Camino Inca a Machu Picchu

When you go above a certain altitude, such as when venturing along the Inca Trail to the majestic citadel of Machu Picchu, oxygen begins to decrease noticeably, and many visitors who have not experienced this before often feel symptoms such as fatigue, shortness of breath and nausea. This generally occurs when exceeding 8,202 feet (2,500 meters above sea level) in Peru this condition is known as Soroche and more popularly as altitude sickness, you may experience this when visiting the city of Cusco located at 3,400 meters above sea level but there is nothing to fear, there is always a solution for every inconvenience.

Machu Picchu and its tourist attractions

Huayna Picchu
Huayna Picchu

Machu Picchu has several tourist attractions such as: Machu Picchu citadel itself, Machu Picchu and Huayna Picchu mountain and the site museum of the place. The Inca city as well as both mountains that can be climbed are located within the Historic Sanctuary and are protected by the Peruvian State.

Where is the citadel of Machu Picchu located?

The complex is located to the east of the Peruvian Andes surrounded by abundant vegetation typical of the Andean tropical forest, which is the strategic place where the citadel is located. It belongs to the department of Cusco, province of Urubamba and district of Aguas Calientes. It is located 80 km from the Imperial city of Cusco, the historical capital of Peru and the central point of the Inca Empire.

To the north of the ruins is located the famous Huayna Picchu mountain that is an additional trek if you want to visit it, to the east the Machu Picchu Mountain that can also be climbed.

Putucusi Mountain

Towards the front of the citadel of Machu Picchu, is the Putucusi mountain.

At what altitude is Machu Picchu located?

The historic citadel of Machu Picchu is located at an altitude of 7,972 feet or 2,430 meters above sea level. At this altitude it is not very common to suffer the discomfort generated by altitude.

At what altitude is Huayna Picchu mountain located?

This peak is located at 8,923 feet or 2,720 masl. At this altitude it is possible to experience negative symptoms of altitude sickness.

At what altitude is Machu Picchu mountain located?

This other peak climbs much higher at an altitude of 10,111 feet or 3,082 masl. At this altitude many visitors feel the symptoms of altitude sickness such as shortness of breath.

At what altitude is the Huchuy Picchu mountain located?

This is the peak that is located next to the Huayna Picchu mountain in the classic photos of the citadel, it ascends to 8,192 feet or 2,497 masl. Symptoms of altitude sickness at this altitude are not common.

At what altitude is the town of Aguas Calientes located?

This town is located at 6,692 feet or 2,040 masl. At this altitude there is no altitude sickness.

At what altitude is the city of Cusco located?

Cusco is located at 11,151 feet or 3,399 meters above sea level. At this altitude it is common for visitors to be affected by altitude sickness, and have symptoms such as fatigue, feeling sick, shortness of breath and nausea.

What is the altitude of other cities in Peru?

CityAltitude in feetAltitude in meters above sea level
Lima328 ft.100 msnm
Arequipa7,660 ft.2,335 msnm
Puno12,555 ft.3,827 msnm
Iquitos328 ft.100 msnm
Piura95 ft.29 msnm
Ica1,332 ft.406 msnm
Trujillo111 ft.34 msnm
Chiclayo88 ft.27 msnm
Cajamarca9,022 ft.2,750 m.a.s.l.
Pucallpa505 ft.154 m.a.s.l.
Ayacucho9,058 ft.2,761 m.a.s.l.
Tarapoto1,167 ft.356 m.a.s.l.

Recommendations to avoid altitude sickness at Machu Picchu

  • In Machu Picchu tourists can experience altitude sickness (soroche).
  • This discomfort is usually experienced when exceeding an altitude of 2,500 meters.
  • The peaks of the Machu Picchu and Huayna Picchu mountains are the only places where tourists are more likely to experience altitude sickness.
  • To avoid this discomfort, try to acclimatize a couple of days to the climate of the city before taking a long tour that demands your body.
  • To prevent this discomfort, it is good to be well hydrated at all times and drink coca leaf tea, a traditional Cusquenian drink that regenerates energy and increases the absorption of oxygen in the blood.
  • In general, few visitors to the Machu Picchu Historic Sanctuary suffer from this ailment.
  • Once you have acclimatized in Cusco or in the Sacred Valley of the Incas, you should have no problems with the altitude of Machu Picchu.
  • At Machu Picchu you may still feel out of breath on your tour of the site. However, the risk of altitude sickness is reduced at this altitude.

Questions and answers about altitude in Machu Picchu

Machu Picchu
  1. How high is Machu Picchu?
    • Machu Picchu is 2,430 meters above sea level.
  2. How high is Huayna Picchu Mountain?
    • Huayna Picchu mountain is located 2,693 meters above sea level.
  3. How high is Machu Picchu Mountain?
    • Machu Picchu mountain is located 3,082 meters above sea level.
  4. How high is Huchuy Picchu mountain?
    • Huchuy Picchu mountain is located 2,497 meters above sea level.
  5. How high is the town of Aguas Calientes?
    • The town of Aguas Calientes is 2,040 meters above sea level.
  6. How high is the city of Cusco?
    • The city of Cusco is 3,399 meters above sea level.
  7. At what altitude do symptoms of altitude sickness occur?
    • Altitude sickness or mountain sickness can occur in people who are located at altitudes above 2,500 meters above sea level.
  8. How high is the highest mountain in Cusco?
    • Ausangate is the highest mountain in Cusco. Its summit is 6,384 meters above sea level.
  9. How high is the mountain of the 7 colors?
    • The Vinicunca or mountain of the 7 colors is 5,200 meters above sea level.
  10. How high is Sacsayhuaman?
    • The archaeological site of Sacsayhuaman is located at 3,600 meters above sea level.

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