Machu Picchu is located in the eastern part of the Peruvian Andes Mountains, a geography full of spectacular mountains. The highest part, the top of the Machupicchu mountain, reaches 3,082 meters above sea level. The lowest part, the archaeological site is 2,430 meters above sea level.
How high is Machu Picchu?
The Inca city of Machu Picchu is 2,430 meters above sea level (7,972 feet of altitude).
At that same altitude are the Inca constructions of the archaeological site: the House of the Guardian, the Main Temple, the Intihuatana, the Temple of the Sun, the Royal Tomb, the Temple of the 3 Windows, the Sacred Rock, the Temple of the Condor and more.
The Intipunku (The Gate of the Sun) was the main access route to Machu Picchu in the time of the Incas. It is located at the top of the Inca city, 2,745 meters above sea level.
How high are the mountains of Machu Picchu?
Machu Picchu is surrounded by three mountains: Putucusi, Huayna Picchu and Machupicchu Mountain. These last two mountains offer a hiking route to the top, from where you have a spectacular view of the entire place.
The top of the Huayna Picchu mountain is 2,720 meters above sea level (8,923 feet in altitude).
The top of Machu Picchu Mountain is located 3,082 meters above sea level (10,111 feet of altitude).
Tourist attractions of Cusco and their altitudes
In addition to Machu Picchu there are other tourist attractions in Cusco. Find out how high the most visited places are:
- Aguas Calientes – 2,040 m.s.n.m. (6,692 ft).
- Ciudad del Cusco – 3,399 m.s.n.m. (11,151 ft).
- Pisac – 2,972 m.s.n.m. (9,750 ft).
- Urubamba – 2,871 m.s.n.m. (9,419 ft).
- Ollantaytambo – 2,792 m.s.n.m. (9,160 ft).
- Chinchero – 3,762 m.s.n.m. (12,342 ft).
- Laguna Humantay – 4,200 m.s.n.m. (13,779).
- Mountain of the 7 colors – 5,200 masl (17,969 ft).
Can the altitude of Machu Picchu affect me?
Anyone who moves from a flat geography to a region that exceeds 2,400 meters above sea level; You may suffer from the symptoms of altitude sickness, also called ‘soroche’.
The symptoms of altitude sickness are: nausea, fatigue, headache and shortness of breath with physical exertion. It is worth mentioning that the symptoms usually disappear gradually (1 or 3 days) as the visitor acclimates to the mountainous geography.
Machu Picchu is located at an altitude of 2,430 meters above sea level. Therefore, it is possible to feel some mild symptoms of altitude sickness. However, by then most tourists have already acclimated to the geography of Cusco. Therefore, the most recurrent symptom is shortness of breath during physical exertion.
To better adapt to the height of Cusco and Machu Picchu we recommend:
- Drink plenty of water, especially mate de coca (coca leaf infusion). This natural plant has therapeutic properties to better resist nausea and headaches.
- Avoid alcoholic beverages as they alter the body. A ‘hangover’ added to altitude sickness is more egregious.
- Avoid fatty foods.
- If you have a lot of difficulty breathing during the walks, you can use bottled oxygen (the famous ‘oxishot’, sold in any pharmacy in Cusco).
- Before visiting Machu Picchu, spend 1 or more days in the city of Cusco or the Sacred Valley of the Incas. This way you will better adapt to the Andean geography and will be able to better resist altitude sickness on the trip to Machupicchu.