Machu Picchu Travel Tours

What Elevation is Machu Picchu?

What Elevation is Machu Picchu?

Welcome to our comprehensive guide on Machu Picchu, one of the most fascinating historical sites in the world. In this article, we will delve into the enigmatic elevation of Machu Picchu and explore its significance, geographic location, and the impact of high elevation on visitors. We will also unveil the mystery surrounding its exact elevation and discuss the effects of high altitude on the human body. Finally, we will provide tips on how to prepare for your Machu Picchu adventure.

The Historical Significance of Machu Picchu

Machu Picchu, a UNESCO World Heritage site, is an ancient Inca citadel located in the Peruvian Andes. Built in the 15th century, it served as a sacred site and was later abandoned. Machu Picchu remained hidden from the world until its rediscovery in 1911 by Hiram Bingham, an American explorer. Today, it attracts millions of visitors each year who come to admire its impressive architecture and learn about the Inca civilization.

The Geographic Location and Elevation of Machu Picchu

Situated in the Cusco Region of Peru, Machu Picchu is nestled high in the Andes Mountains. Its geographic coordinates are 13.1631° S latitude and 72.5450° W longitude. As for its elevation, Machu Picchu sits at approximately 2,430 meters (7,970 feet) above sea level, making it a truly breathtaking destination both figuratively and literally.

Exploring the Impact of High Elevation on Visitors

Visiting Machu Picchu involves ascending to a high altitude, which can have various effects on the human body. Some visitors may experience symptoms of altitude sickness, such as headaches, nausea, and shortness of breath. It is crucial to be aware of these potential effects and take necessary precautions to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience.

Unveiling the Mystery: What is the Exact Elevation of Machu Picchu?

The exact elevation of Machu Picchu has been a subject of debate among experts. While the commonly accepted elevation is around 2,430 meters (7,970 feet), recent studies using advanced technology suggest that the actual elevation might be slightly different. Nevertheless, whether it is precisely 2,430 meters or a few meters higher or lower, the awe-inspiring beauty and historical significance of Machu Picchu remain unchanged.

Understanding the Effects of High Altitude on the Human Body

High altitude can affect the body in various ways due to lower oxygen levels and reduced air pressure. It is essential to understand the potential risks associated with high altitude, such as acute mountain sickness (AMS), and be aware of the symptoms and proper acclimatization techniques to minimize any health issues during your visit to Machu Picchu.

Preparing for Your Machu Picchu Adventure

Before embarking on your Machu Picchu adventure, it is crucial to prepare physically and mentally. Some tips to consider include gradual acclimatization to high altitude, staying hydrated, avoiding alcohol and caffeine, and consulting with a healthcare professional if you have any pre-existing medical conditions.


Machu Picchu’s elevation adds to its allure and mystique, making it a destination that captivates the hearts and minds of visitors from around the world. Its historical significance, geographic location, and the effects of high altitude on the human body make it a truly remarkable place to explore. By understanding the challenges associated with high elevation and adequately preparing for your journey, you can fully embrace the wonders of Machu Picchu and create lasting memories.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Why is Machu Picchu located at such a high elevation?

Machu Picchu’s high elevation was strategically chosen by the Incas due to its defensive advantages and its connection to the spiritual beliefs of the Inca civilization.

2. What is the precise elevation of Machu Picchu?

While the commonly accepted elevation is around 2,430 meters (7,970 feet), recent studies suggest that the actual elevation might differ slightly.

3. Are there any health risks associated with visiting Machu Picchu’s high elevation?

Visiting high altitude destinations like Machu Picchu can pose health risks, such as altitude sickness. It is essential to be aware of the symptoms and take necessary precautions to ensure a safe visit.

4. How can I acclimatize to the high altitude before visiting Machu Picchu?

Gradual acclimatization is key to adapting to high altitude. It is recommended to spend a few days in Cusco or other high-altitude locations before visiting Machu Picchu to allow your body to adjust to the change in elevation.
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