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Machu Picchu with pets
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Machu Picchu with pets: an easy guide

Machu Picchu is one of the best tourist destinations to be visited as a family. However, pets, part of families around the world, are not allowed to enter the archaeological site. Neither can any wild or non-wild animal. Only the llamas that live in the Inca city can walk freely through the archaeological park. People cannot feed them because the site authorities are in charge of that. Only visitors with disabilities can enter with a guide dog. Learn more!



Machu Picchu in the morning
Machu Picchu in the morning

The natural fauna in Machu Picchu
The Inca city of Machu Picchu is located on the eastern Amazonian side of the Andes Mountains of Peru. This tropical Andean geography of 2,430 meters above sea level is perfect habitat for some of the most beautiful species of mammals, birds, plants, flowers and trees. Regarding the natural fauna of Machu Picchu, the most famous species are the spectacled bear, the Andean deer, the viscacha, the cock of the rock, the Andean puma, the torrent duck, the river wolf, the royal churrete, the giant hummingbird, the Andean frog and many species of butterflies and birds. Of course, inside the Inca archaeological site you can see llamas, one of the Peruvian auquénidos. The other three, which are not seen in Machupicchu, are the vicuña, the guanaco and the alpaca. This last species is domestic and can be seen in the city of Cusco or in the Sacred Valley of the Incas.


Machu Picchu, the sacred city of the Incas

Machu Picchu is one of the best tourist destinations in the world. Every year it leads the awards for the best tourist experiences, according to travelers’ own testimonies. It is located in the Andean region of Cusco in Peru. This city was the capital of the Inca empire, so it offers a lot of history and culture. It is known as the ‘Archaeological Capital of America’.

The archaeological site of Machu Picchu is a little more than a hundred kilometers from Cusco. It is part of the eyebrow or high jungle of Cusco, with an altitude of 2,430 meters above sea level. There the climate is tropical with maximum temperatures of up to 23ºC. and minimum night temperatures of 8ºC.

Machu Picchu was a citadel that housed about a thousand people in the fifteenth century. It was built by orders of the great emperor Pachacutec, who sought to create an important administrative center in the eastern limits of the empire where the coca leaf and other products were traded.

The location of Machu Picchu was not by chance because there was found a rock bank, which were carved creating solid stone buildings. In addition, the soil was worked with great care, creating terraces and agricultural terraces with water channels that, to this day, prevent the citadel from sinking.

In 1911 the American explorer Hiram Bingham made known to the world the historical importance of Machu Picchu. After this, the excavation works unveiled a formidable architecture surrounded by a special natural landscape. In total there are more than 150 stone buildings, among which are: the Temple of the Sun, the Intihuatana (Solar clock), the Intipunku (Sun Gate), the Temple of the 3 Windows, the Main Temple, the Sacred Rock, the Temple of the Condor (considered a sacred bird), the Temple of the Moon and more.

Today Machu Picchu is considered a sacred city because there are temples of great architecture and fine design. It is estimated that the Inca city is visited every year by about 1.5 million people. Everyone is amazed by the great architectural and scenic beauty and the immense history behind each building. In 2007, the Inca city was declared one of the 7 wonders of the modern world. Today it remains one of the best tourist destinations on the planet.

Classic photo of Machu Picchu with a llama
Classic photo of Machu Picchu with a llama

Traveling to Machu Picchu with pets

Machu Picchu is considered a sacred place. Because of this there are some restrictions, such as, for example, making annoying noises, climbing on the stone walls, making recordings with advertising material, using drones and more. In general terms, it is forbidden to disturb the sacred character of the Inca city.

It is also forbidden to enter Machu Picchu with pets or non-domestic animals, whether dogs, cats, hamsters, snakes, spiders, etc. This is because it disturbs the sacred character of the Inca city.

Only guide dogs, who accompany visitors with special abilities such as the blind, are allowed access. These dogs must be on leashes and properly restrained by their owners. These animals must have their vaccination card or certificate of good health.

The owners of the guide dogs are responsible for cleaning up any waste or fecal waste that the animals may make in the archaeological site of Machu Picchu. Likewise, they are responsible for any damage to the historical heritage of the Inca city or damage they may cause to other visitors. Guide dogs must be properly trained to guide a person.

Pet in Machu Picchu
Pet in Machu Picchu

Pets in Cusco and Machu Picchu visit

During the visit to Machu Picchu, the tourist will find different domestic and wild animals. The most famous, without a doubt, are the llamas. In the Inca city there are about twenty llamas, all of them properly numbered.

Llamas are domestic animals that like to graze in the sectors of the Guardian’s House, the agricultural terraces and even inside stone temples, such as the Temple of the Condor or the Sacred Rock. The llamas are fed by the archaeological site staff, so it is not allowed to feed them. The visitor can take pictures with llamas at a safe distance without disturbing them, since these animals can defend themselves by spitting at the visitor.

In addition to llamas, visitors can also see the Andean viscacha or chinchilla. This rodent of profuse fur and long ears (its body measures between 60 and 80 centimeters) is not domestic, but likes to visit Machu Picchu especially in the mornings, getting confused among the rocks or in the stone constructions. Vizcachas feed mainly on icchu or high altitude grassland. However, in the Inca city, they like to sunbathe at a distance from visitors, who can spot them from a safe distance. Vizcachas flee in fear at the slightest movement or gesture of approach by tourists. To photograph them, it is recommended to have a good camera lens.

Although it may sound strange, in Machu Picchu you can also see domestic dogs without owners, who enter the Inca city at the slightest carelessness of the security guards. Occasionally one or two dogs walk freely through the Inca constructions to the amazement of tourists. They like to photograph them with the beautiful scenery of Machu Picchu in the background. The dogs leave the Inca city in the same way as they entered, that is, freely. At the exit door they like to accompany visitors on their way back to the town of Aguas Calientes, always in exchange for food or a little affection.

In the mountains or on the outskirts of the Inca city, in the so-called ‘Historic Sanctuary of Machu Picchu’, you can also spot wild species of great fame, such as the Andean deer or the spectacled bear. The latter species, native to South America, of great beauty and little aggressiveness, even access to the archaeological site on very rare occasions. For example, during the pandemic, the spectacled bear was seen more frequently in Machu Picchu. The Inca citadel was their natural habitat, even before the arrival of the Incas.

Llamas at the Inca citadel
Llamas at the Inca citadel – Machu Picchu

Pet-friendly hotel services in Cusco

Although the entrance to Machu Picchu accompanied by pets is not allowed; in the city of Cusco it is possible to find pet friendly lodgings and hotels. These are some of the most recommended services:

  • Supertramp Hostel Cusco.
  • Casa Matara Boutique.
  • Magar Hostel Bar Cusco.
  • Ayenda El Labrador Cusco.
  • Yawarmaki Hostel.
  • Selina Cusco Saphi.
  • Hotel Oblitas Plaza de Armas Cusco.
  • Hotel Casa Cavassa.
  • Hotel Casa de la Gringa.
  • Nao Victoria Hostel Cusco.

Entrance to Machu Picchu for visiting with pets

Machu Picchu cannot be visited with pets. However, visitors can walk the historic streets of Cusco and even visit some tourist attractions with pets, for example: the 7 colors mountain or the Humantay lagoon.

If you visit Machu Picchu you must choose between the five types of tickets. These are their prices and special discounts:

Entrance Machupicchu Only
Entrance to Machu PicchuForeignersPeru, Colombia, Ecuador or Bolivia
Adults in general152 Peruvian soles64 Peruvian soles
University students77 Peruvian soles32 Peruvian soles
Under 18 years of age70 Peruvian soles32 Peruvian soles
Entrance Machu Picchu with Huayna Picchu
Entrance to Machu PicchuForeignersPeru, Colombia, Ecuador or Bolivia
Adults in general200 Peruvian soles112 Peruvian soles
University students125 Peruvian soles80 Peruvian soles
Under 18 years of age118 Peruvian soles80 Peruvian soles
Entrance Machu Picchu with Mountain
Entrance to Machu PicchuForeignersPeru, Colombia, Ecuador or Bolivia
Adults in general200 Peruvian soles112 Peruvian soles
University students125 Peruvian soles80 Peruvian soles
Under 18 years of age118 Peruvian soles80 Peruvian soles
Entrance Machu Picchu with Huchuy Picchu
Entrance to Machu PicchuForeignersPeru, Colombia, Ecuador or Bolivia
Adults in general200 Peruvian soles112 Peruvian soles
University students125 Peruvian soles80 Peruvian soles
Under 18 years of age118 Peruvian soles80 Peruvian soles
Entrance Machu Picchu with Inca Bridge
Entrance to Machu PicchuForeignersPeru, Colombia, Ecuador or Bolivia
Adults in general152 Peruvian soles64 Peruvian soles
University students77 Peruvian soles32 Peruvian soles
Under 18 years of age70 Peruvian soles32 Peruvian soles


Questions and answers about traveling to Machu Picchu with pets

  • 1) Can I visit Machu Picchu with pets?

    Pets are not allowed in Machu Picchu. Access is only allowed with guide dogs specially trained to accompany people with disabilities.

  • 2) How much is the entrance fee to Machu Picchu for pets?

    There is no ticket for pets in Machu Picchu. The regular prices for adults for the ‘Machupicchu Solo’ ticket are: 152 soles. University students pay 77 soles. Visitors under 18 years old pay 70 soles. In addition, there are discounts for visitors from CAN (Andean Community of Nations): Peruvians, Bolivians, Colombians and Ecuadorians.

  • 3) Can I enter Machu Picchu with guide dogs?

    Yes, the entrance to Machu Picchu with guide dogs is allowed, only for people with some kind of disabilities that need these trained dogs.

  • 4) Can I see llamas in Machu Picchu?

    Yes, llamas can be seen in different sectors of Machu Picchu. There are approximately 20 llamas in the archaeological site.

  • 5) Can I see viscachas in Machu Picchu?

    Yes, these undomesticated rodents like to sunbathe on the rocks of Machu Picchu. They can also be seen hanging around some temples such as the Temple of the Condor, the Temple of the Sun, the Main Temple, etc.

  • 6) Are there any unowned dogs walking around Machu Picchu?

    Yes, some unowned dogs evade the guards and can enter Machu Picchu. However, these are harmless and usually leave on their own after walking around the archeological site.

  • 7) Can I see spectacled bears in Machu Picchu?

    Yes, on rare occasions, especially when there are no visitors, spectacled bears come to the Inca city of Machu Picchu. They can also be seen in the mountains surrounding Machu Picchu.

  • 8) Are there pet friendly hotels in Cusco?

    Yes, in the city of Cusco there are several options of pet friendly hotels to be visited with pets.

  • 9) What documents must a dog have to travel to Cusco and Machu Picchu?

    It is recommended that the dog has its vaccination card or certificate of good health.

  • 10) Can I enter Machu Picchu with cats?

    No, no pets can enter Machu Picchu.

Advice from people who have been there

Machu Picchu

Yuliana P.By: Yuliana P.

“Experience in Cusco and Machu Picchu“

“I finally got to know Cusco and Machu Picchu on a trip with my whole family. We will never forget how beautiful Cusco is and not to mention Machu Picchu, a place that all Peruvians must know yes or yes.“

 

By Ticket Machu Picchu – Last updated, May 23, 2024