Vaccinations for Peru Machu Picchu

Vaccinations for Peru Machu Picchu

17 December 2018

Visiting Peru and the lost city of the Incas is one of the best experiences a traveler can experience. But Peru is more than just ruins. The impressive Amazonian jungles located to the east of the country and Lake Titicaca are also unmissable sites in a tour of this Andean country.

Machu Picchu is located precisely between the Amazon jungle and the Andes mountain range, this location gives it a very peculiar climate, which is characterized by the presence of mosquitoes, itching is quite annoying, it causes stinging and irritates the skin; so if you are coming to Machu, we recommend you bring or buy an insect repellent in Cusco or Aguas Calientes (Machu Picchu town), there are hundreds of shops where you can buy one. Do not forget, the insects in Machu Picchu can be very annoying, especially during the dry season. If you have a sensitive stomach, suffer from a disease or simply wish to prevent any, consider the following vaccinations for Peru Machu Picchu.


What vaccinations do I need for Peru?



If you plan to visit this country, you need to take certain measures to protect your health. The CDC recommend visiting a traveler's health clinic at least four weeks before leaving.

Vaccines vary depending on your itinerary. A Passport Health traveler health specialist will help you decide which ones are best for you. The CDC recommend travelers receive the following vaccines:

  • Yellow fever (this vaccine may be required depending on your itinerary)
  • Dengue
  • Typhoid
  • Hepatitis A
  • Hepatitis B
  • Rage
  • Routine vaccines

Is there malaria in Peru?




Malaria is a disease that is transmitted through mosquito bites and is common especially in South and Central America. With an estimated 64,000 cases of malaria each year, Peru is no exception. The department of Loreto, a popular destination for tourists, concentrates a large percentage of malaria cases in the Amazon.

If you plan to travel to the jungles of Peru, we recommend you take some kind of antimalarial medicine with you. This is especially important during the summer.


What other diseases should I take care of if I travel to Peru?



Peru is, in general, a safe place to visit. You must follow the same rules that you would follow in any developing country when it comes to food and other activities:

  • Street Food: Although it is usually amazing, this type of food can bring serious risks to your health. The CDC recommends avoiding it at all times.
  • Water: Peru does not have pure water sources. During your stay avoid running water and ice. Consider buying bottled water or some other drink available in the area. You can also carry a water filter.
  • Zika virus: Although it is not prevalent in Peru yet, its appearance there has been documented. Take extra precautions to avoid mosquitoes. This is especially important for pregnant women or women who seek to be pregnant.
  • Chikungunya: The CDC recommends taking precautions against mosquitoes to protect you from the disease.

Vaccinations for Peru Machu Picchu




Of all the recommended vaccinations for Peru Machu Picchu, few of them are the ones you really need if you only plan to visit Machu Picchu (Lima and Cusco) during your stay in Peru.

Below we will describe the vaccinations you probably need and those you can usually ignore on your trip to Cusco and Machu Picchu. But bear in mind that the information we provide is only a guide, but it does not replace the professional advice of a doctor. Consult your doctor before traveling to Peru.


These are the vaccinations for Peru Machu Picchu recommended

The following vaccines are recommended for all travelers to Machu Picchu. It is possible that you have already received some of these, but revaccination may be necessary in some cases:

  • Typhoid
  • Hepatitis A
  • Measles, mumps, rubella (MMR)
  • Diphtheria, whooping cough, tetanus (DPT)

Considerations of low or no risk for Machu Picchu




These are the vaccines that you can miss if you come exclusively to the Inca city of Machu Picchu (Lima / Cusco / Lima).

Avoid making effort or eating heavy meals during your first day in Cusco, this can contribute greatly to get sick of "altitude sickness".

  • Yellow fever: According to the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), travelers who are limiting trips to the cities of Lima, Cusco and Machu Picchu do not need this vaccination.
  • Rage: It is unlikely that any doctor will recommend the rabies vaccine for a short trip to Machu Picchu, unless you participate in specific activities.
  • Malaria: It will not require antimalarial drugs for a trip to Machu Picchu, unless your itinerary also includes the Peruvian Amazon. According to the CDC, there is no risk of malaria for visitors who visit only Lima, the coastal areas south of Lima, Cusco, Machu Picchu or Lake Titicaca in the highlands.
  • Dengue: There is no vaccine against dengue; Prevention is based on avoiding mosquito bites. Cusco and Machu Picchu are low risk areas.


Other health concerns for Cusco and Machu Picchu




Altitude sickness

Cusco is located at 3,399 m.s. what makes altitude sickness a real concern. We recommend you acclimatize on arrival. Machu Picchu is just below the limit where altitude sickness normally occurs (2,500 m). The classic Inca road to Machu Picchu, however, rises to a height of risk (4,500 m). While Machu Picchu is below the critical height, the Huayna Picchu mountain if you have enough altitude for you to feel the symptoms of altitude sickness, that is why we recommend taking at least 1 day to acclimatize, you can do it in the city of Cusco, or even better, in the Sacred Valley of the Incas.



Diarrhea is a common disease in Peru due to the stomach sensitivity of some travelers, who can not stand the changes in the cooking and preparation and ingredients of food, to prevent this disease avoid eating heavy meals, at least until their Organism gets used to the new foods and the change of altitude and climate.


Health tips on your trip to Machu Picchu




These are some hygiene tips that you should consider while you are traveling in Machu Picchu. The change of altitude, climate, environment, eating habits, among others, require some rules of hygiene and sanitation that every traveler should know.

  • Avoid making effort or eating heavy meals during your first day in Cusco, this can contribute greatly to get sick of "altitude sickness".
  • Never drink tap water, consume only bottled water and verify that it is well sealed; otherwise only consume boiled water.
  • Avoid milk and milk products, unless they have been previously pasteurized.
  • Avoid the use of ice in different places, it is usually made of untreated water.
  • Avoid the consumption of all types of food (vegetables, meat and fish) in unhygienic-looking premises.
  • Raw foods such as salads are safe only in restaurants.
  • Always check the expiration date and the conservation status of the food.
  • Disinfect yourself or wash your hands often, preferably with antibacterial soap.
  • You can buy fresh fruit in the markets and warehouses, wash them before consuming. Fruit is always the best alternative. However, be careful with some fruits such as mango, it is delicious, but you could have an upset stomach if you consume it in excess or if you were previously exposed to the sun.
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