Selfie stick ban among several new prohibitions at Machu Picchu

Peruvian Times Exclusive: Selfie Stick Ban coming into force at Machu Picchu

By Rick Vecchio ✐ 
Peruvian Times Contributing Editor ☄

Those ubiquitous snapshots visitors take of themselves at the iconic Inca sanctuary of Machu Picchu are going to have to be snapped at arms length under the new regulations being implemented. Selfie sticks are now officially banned.

The new rules, which will start to come into force in earnest as of July 1, 2017, are no kinder to serious photographers if they want to mount their cameras onto a tripod.

Visitors  will not be allowed to use “tripods, mono-pods or extensions for cameras, cell phones or any other stabilizing equipment or extension for filming and/or photography, unless authorized by the Department of Culture of Cusco (DDC Cusco).”

That’s according to the ministerial resolution that was published in February approving the new Regulations of Sustainable Use and Touristic Visits for the Conservation of the Inca City of Machu Picchu.* 

“In effect, the article that you cite refers to ‘every extension.’ Among those extensions are selfie sticks,” a spokesman for Machu Picchu Park director Fernando Astete wrote in an emailed response to Peruvian Times’ request for clarification.

“The use of such extensions greatly disturbs the flow and free circulation of visitors by generating terrible congestion,” the spokesman wrote. “Most of the arteries, ascents and descents in the Inca Sanctuary of Machu Picchu are narrow and very steep and the circulation is impeded, generating a lot of annoyance to those who, for the most part, want to contemplate the sacred city of the Incas in tranquility.”

Most of the rules about visitor conduct are carry-overs from the previous regulations, even if they weren’t always strictly enforced.

There will be no tolerance anymore for flagrant conduct, such as unfurling giant political banners, as Greenpeace did in December 2014, or stripping naked for a photo or to streak across the sanctuary’s main esplanade, as was a growing fad that same year.

Smoking or vaping are also out, as are running or hopping, or making “loud or annoying noises” such as clapping, screaming, whistling or singing “because it disturbs the tranquility and the sacred character of the Machu Picchu Sanctuary.”

Here is the full official list of do’s and don’ts: 

Visitors to Machu Picchu will not be allowed to:

  • Carry backpacks, bags or handbags larger than 16 x 14 x 8 inches (40 x 35 x 20 cm). Items that exceed these dimensions must be deposited in the cloakroom storage outside the entrance.
  • Enter with food and/or utensils.
  • Enter with any illegal substances or under the influence of any illegal drugs.
  • Enter with any type of alcoholic beverage or in a state of inebriation.
  • Carry umbrellas or parasols. (Caps, hats and raincoats are allowed.)
  • Carry tripods, monopods or extensions for cameras, cell phones or any other stabilizing equipment or extension for filming and/or photography, unless authorized by the Department of Culture of Cusco (DDC Cusco).
  • Enter with animals, except for guide dogs when strictly necessary.
  • Enter with any type of aerosols.
  • Enter with any type of musical instrument, megaphone or speakers.
  • Use virtual applications with cell phones or mobile devices along any narrow arteries, trails and points of congestion (the use of such technology is allowed only in large open spaces and designated explanation areas).
  • Enter with heels or hard-sole shoes (entrance is allowed only with shoes or sneakers that have soft or rubber sole).
  • Enter with baby carriages or strollers (only baby backpack carriers with non-metal frames are allowed).
  • Enter with sharp instruments and/or weapons of any kind.
  • Enter with banners, posters and/or placards, among other objects of this type. (The use of pennant are allowed exclusively for tour guides leading groups of at least 5 visitors and are limited to the model and dimensions determined by competent authorities in coordination with the respective guides).
  • Cause disturbances, hop, jump or generate disorder along the entry path to the Machu Picchu Sanctuary and/or at any point within the complex.
  • Enter with clothing intended for advertising purposes.
  • Climbing or leaning on walls and/or structures.
  • Touch, move or extract lithic elements.
  • Perform any type of graffiti.
  • Disturb, collect or extract native flora or fauna and/or cultural elements.
  • Carry out activities that distort the sacred character of the Machu Picchu Sanctuary, such as fashion shows, dances and social engagements, ceremonies of any kind.
  • Enter with portable stools or seats, among others.
  • Enter with trekking poles with metallic or hard tips (Canes and poles are allowed for use by elderly people or people with obvious physical handicaps, and in general as long as they have rubber tips).
  • Carry out any type of activity that implies the impairment or deterioration of the Machu Picchu Sanctuary, its natural environment and/or facilities.
  • Obscene acts contrary to morality and good manners.
  • Undress, wear costumes, lie down, run and/or jump.
  • Smoking or vaping.
  • Make loud or annoying noises such as clapping, screaming, whistling, singing, among other actions, because it disturbs the tranquility and the sacred character of the Machu Picchu Sanctuary.
  • Make any kind of fire.
  • Dispose of waste of any kind.
  • Disrespect the established circuits and routes.
  • The commercial sales in the interior of the Sanctuary of Machu Picchu and spaces the Puente Ruinas bridge.
  • Feed the domestic and wild animals of Machu Picchu Sanctuary.

* I encourage the British tabloids and other unscrupulous would-be “journos” to download and read this document before aping or outright plagiarizing this story without attribution… although since you’re reading it here first, attribution and a link would be very much appreciated.

✐  Rick Vecchio is also director of marketing and development for Fertur Peru Travelwhich is owned by his wife, Siduith Ferrer, and is a commercial sponsor of Andean Air Mail & PERUVIAN TIMES. You can read more of his articles on the Peruvian Travel Trends blog.

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  1. Keone Michaels says:

    No twitter button to post to my twitter feed easily with pic? Fail!

    • Hi Keone.
      There is a Twitter social share button at the bottom of the story. The graphic isn’t showing up on your Twitter feed? We’ll have our Webmaster check that out. Thanks for pointing it out.

  2. Hi,
    Can someone tell me what do you mean with “extensions for cameras” what does this mean ?
    Also, are you saying that people cannot take their mobile phone inside ? If so, what do I do with my phone ( I’m not going to use it to take photos, that’s what my camera is for ) .

    Not very clear and concerned as I arrive next week for my “trip of a life time” top of my bucket list.

    Steve ( UK )

  3. @St3 e
    extenstions for cameras –selfie sticks etc inluding mono pods tri pods gorilla pods etc — in other words your camera or phone can olnly be hand held. It doesnt say you cant take your mobile phones inside?

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