Tripod restrictions at Machu Picchu? : LUSENET : Large format photography : One Thread

Well, I can access the forum for a minute, so I guess I'll ask my question: does anyone know if there are restrictions on using a tripod, or "professional-looking" camera at Machu Picchu in Peru? I recently brought my 12X20 to Uluru (Ayer's Rock) in Australia, and was relentlessly hassled by park rangers every minute that I spent there. I'd like to avoid a similar fate at Machu Picchu next week: is there a permit that I can get, fee/bribe I can pay?

Thanks for any help you can offer, if in fact this forum still exists!


-- Nathan Congdon (, May 01, 2002


Nathan, I was at Machu Picchu years ago, and I don't know if this helps, but even if you should need a permit for a tripod, be prepared to offer a bribe! The Secret Police at the Cusco airport kidnapped a british doctor who was part of the group I was travelling with. This happened while we were waiting to board. He simply dissappeared. Since we were a fairly large group of Yanks and Brits and we all refused to board until our missing comrade was found, the airline people started a search of the terminal and found him tied and gagged in a janitors closet. One of the officials pressed into service by the airline was identified by the shaken doctor and he(the official, a member of the secret police) fled the terminal with two accomplices. To put this into perspective, this happened nearly ten years ago. Personally, I'd go back to Peru in a heartbeat. Cusco incidentally, is a lovely city. Just beware that there are still banditos and some of them work for the government(Hey! That sounds like where I live now!) Sounds like you'll have a great trip, just take care.

-- John Kasaian (, May 02, 2002.

I can't help you with an answer. Sorry! However, hauling a 12x20 up to machu picchu I think may be a greater burden than anything else, but I am envious of the opportunity to try! I hope you succeed! btw, where are you located when not traveling? I'd love to see the results!

-- Andy B. (, May 02, 2002.

I think John's experiences date to the last days of real activity on the part of the 'shining path' who, by the mid '90's were totally toothless. By that same period government had stabilized a great deal, although there is some unrest these days again.

I have traveled to Cuzco and Machu Picchu several times over the past 15 years and have had no trouble at all for the past 7-9 years. As to your specific question, I know of no regulations that would get in the way of your using whatever equipment you wanted on a non professional basis. I have had a 4x5 and tripod with me in teh ruins several times.

Equally, if ont more importantly is making srue that you are prepared to haul whatever equipment you choose. The question is one of altitude and being sure you are prepared for the altitude. Whatever you do I strongly recommend that, unless you are an experienced hiker and in great shape, you strongly consider taking the train to the ruins rather than walking.


-- Ted Harris (, May 02, 2002.

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