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.

Tour Operators

Alpaca Expeditions

Alpaca Expedition is a local tour operator for the Inca Trail, Salkantay Trek and the alternative hikes to Machu Picchu. Alpaca Expeditions has got positive reviews and five-star ratings on TripAdvisor.
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Llama Path

15 years of experience of Llama Path in operating the Inca Trail and loads of positive reviews ensure you an awesome trekking experience! Moreover, it offers guaranteed trek departures.
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Tierras Vivas

Tierras Vivas Travel is a highly professional trek and tour company that focuses on both young and older travelers alike, making sure everyone arrives to his/her intended destination.
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United Mice

United Mice was started by an experienced Inca Trail Guide and has developed a sterling image over the almost 30 years of activity. United Mice offers superb hiking services along with bilingual Guides.
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Inca Trail permits

18 January 2019
If the 2019 limit was set to travel to the Inca Trail, you must make your plans as soon as possible. Book your Inca Trail permits 2019 online 6 months in advance. There are only 500 spaces available per day, approximately 200 are assigned to tourists and 300 to porters, cooks and guides. If the number of spaces is exhausted, you will have to choose another date. If the permits ...
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Inca Trail Porters

18 January 2019
Every day, five hundred of people do the Inca Trail. They usually complete the 43-km trail in 4 days. For most of them, the trip is their lifetime experience and fulfillment of their personal ambitions. The satisfaction of having completed the trek and visiting the spectacular Incan city of Machu Picchu is hard to beat. Although, this feeling is even better if you know that all porters helping you ...
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Wildlife of the Sierra

17 January 2019
The Andes of Peru have been heavily populated by wildlife for thousands of years, In Inca times all types of Andean wildlife enjoyed a form of protection, and although periodic hunts occurred, these were few and the privilege of the ruling class. After the Spanish conquest and the breakdown of the Inca infrastructure, wild animals were hunted indiscriminately and consequently suffered a population decline which was further advanced by ...
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Responsible Travel

17 January 2019
In recent years, the increase in awareness of the impact of our activities on the natural, economic and social environment has extended to the form of tourism, which has led to the emergence of a new way of traveling called responsible tourism. Responsible travel seeks to contribute to the maintenance and protection of the patrimonial, cultural and natural assets of the destinations with the ultimate goal of promoting sustainable development ...
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Trekking in the Andes

16 January 2019
The great Andes mountain chain stretches the entire length of the South American, and made up of dozens of individual mountain groups known as Cordilleras. In Peru, these snow-capped peaks have been the source of superstition, frustration and inspiration to mankind for thousands of years. And modern-day outdoor enthusiasts have found that walking around mountains is as much of a thrill as climbing them. For these trekkers, Peru is a paradise. Mountain ...
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