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Tips on Machu Picchu Warnings or Dangers – Stay Safe

Machu Picchu Warnings and Dangers

Machu Picchu is a citadel that was built by the Incas in the 15th Century on a mountain ridge in the Cusco Region in Peru. If you are going to make the trip to Machu Picchu, here are warnings and dangers you should be aware of as you prepare for your trip.

Altitude Sickness

Machu Picchu is almost 8,000 feet above sea level and there’s a good chance you will suffer from altitude sickness. Coca tea and chewing coca will help you adjust to altitude sickness. Chewing coca will usually make you a little giddy because the coca contains the psychoactive alkaloid that is used to make cocaine. Coca may also make your heart race so be careful if you are out on a strenuous hike while chewing or drinking coca.


Make sure you pack purifying pills for water. As you walk along the trails, you will find several rivers and falls. However, the water in the rivers is not safe to drink until it has been treated with purifying pills.

The water at the campsite is usually boiled to make it safe and it is then distributed by the porters each morning in the campsite. You should fill at least two plastic bottles every day as they are handy and very useful after several hours walking.


Some of the trails are narrow and are located along the edge of cliffs. Accident on the trails can happen quickly. The local people use horses and mules to transport goods up and down the mountains. You should look for a place where you can stand against the rock wall on the hillside so a horse or mule doesn’t accidentally push you over the edge. When faster walkers or porters pass, you should also keep next to the hillside, because most walkers and porters are carrying big packs on their backs and they are not always aware how wide their packs are and how much room they take up on the trail when passing you.

If you are going to climb one of the smaller peaks like Una Picchu or Vanyaya Pichu, make sure that the trail is dry. The trails can be very slippery when wet and you could slip off of the rocks very easily. If you start to fall, there are usually no railings or other things to grab onto and you will probably fall over the edge and drop down hundreds of feet to the ground. A fall like this is usually fatal.

Editor’s note: The information contained on this page was compiled using real traveler reviews about tips for warnings and dangers in Machu Picchu

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