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Can You Bring a Drone to Machu Picchu?

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Machu Picchu is one of the most amazing structures in the world. The pride of Peru, this ancient Incan citadel is a historical site that many travelers have at the top of their bucket lists.

Can you fly your drone at Machu Picchu?

No. You can bring a drone to Peru as long as you follow the country’s guidelines for safe and legal drone flying. However, you may not fly your drone at Machu Picchu without a special permit designated for flying at historical sites.

If you’re planning to bring your drone into Peru, you’ll want to check the general guidelines first. After you understand those, then you can begin the process of getting permission to fly your drone at Machu Picchu.

Can I bring a drone to Peru? #

Peru is a South American country known for its long history, amazing architecture, and pristine beaches. It’s no wonder drone enthusiasts are eager to fly around the beautiful landscape of this wonderful destination.

Before you hurry over to Machu Picchu, you need to ask whether drones are allowed in Peru at all.

They are. With a few restrictions, you are allowed to bring a drone to fly in Peru.

This isn’t necessarily a green light to go to Machu Picchu, unfortunately. Flying your drone at this historical site requires more red tape, and approval isn’t guaranteed.

It’s important to know and follow all drone guidelines when you are traveling abroad. This will help keep you and others safe, and it will ensure you have a pleasant stay in the country.

» MORE: Can You Bring a Drone to Peru?

What guidelines will I need to follow for flying a drone in Peru? #

When you come to Peru, you will be expected to adhere to some guidelines that are in place to keep you and others safe. The good news is that these rules aren’t too tricky once you read through them carefully.

Here are the most common rules you must follow when you are flying a drone in Peru:

  • To fly a drone in Peru, you must register with the Directorate of Certifications and Authorizations department of the General Directorate of Civil Aeronautics (DGAC).

  • You must get your registration application in person at the Ministry of Transport and Communications (MTC), and the approval can take up to 48 hours. You may also find the registration application at the Citizen Service Center in the region where you are staying.

  • Flying in rural areas has no restrictions, but urban locations require specific permits from the MTC. You will need to include the date, time, and coordinates for your flight.

  • You will be required to keep your drone nearly 100 feet away from other people or buildings.

  • Your drone must remain within your line of sight and not go higher than 500 feet. This places an automatic restriction on how high or far away you can send your drone, so make sure to adjust your drone settings accordingly.

  • Your drone cannot fly faster than 100 miles per hour.

  • The flight may not last longer than one continuous hour. For this reason, it’s important to plan your drone footage capture during times or dates when you can precisely identify great photo moments.

  • At night or during times with poor visibility or weather conditions, you will not be permitted to fly.

  • Hazardous objects may not be dropped or launched from your drone.

  • As with many countries, the law prohibits drone flights in certain locations, including near airports, roads, large crowds, historical sites, or other protected areas.

  • Of course, all drone flyers know that basic drone safety and etiquette call for respecting the privacy of others.

What about Machu Picchu? #

This is where you are unlikely to get a win, unless you jump through some major hoops and score a special permit.

As of 2020, Machu Picchu park officials have begun enforcing the rules that prohibit everything from drones to selfie sticks – and even umbrellas.

There’s a good reason for this caution. Machu Picchu is an ancient site that features delicate, narrow pathways. The park is protected by the government and Machu Picchu’s World Heritage status. Objects that are banned have been restricted because they pose a threat to the structure itself.

There are, however, nearby areas where drones are allowed. These places are not to be missed by drone operators who are visiting the region. Here are three locations to add to your travel list:

Cusco #

The city of Cusco, near Machu Picchu, was once the Inca capital. It has a long history and many beautiful locations and mountain ranges for photographers to capture.

With the proper permits, drones are generally allowed in this area.

Aguas Calientes #

This rural region is also known as Machupicchu Pueblo because of its close proximity to the sacred historical site. Perfect for those photographers who are seeking images of a village-like atmosphere, Aguas Calientes usually allows drones.

Sacred Valley of the Incas #

Also known as the Urubama Valley, this valley of the Andes is just north of Cusco, and it’s a popular place for tourists to explore. This vast and breathtaking valley has a significant Incan history, complete with ruins and beautiful vistas. It is a perfect location for epic drone flyovers.

How do I get a permit to fly a drone in Peru? #

Before you head to Peru, check with your airline to make sure your drone is permitted on the flight. Airlines are often updating their safety regulations, and it is always best to double-check before you get to the airport.

» MORE: Airline Drone Policy (Read This Before You Travel)

After you arrive in Peru, you will need to go in person to the MTC or to a Citizen Service Center. Make sure you do this at least 48 hours in advance of your intended drone flight.

In order to prepare for a successful application process, bring the following with you:

  • Your passport
  • Any papers or documentation for your drone
  • Proof of your legal permission to fly in your home country
  • Your intended flight date and time, purpose, and other relevant details
  • A breakdown of the specs for your drone
  • A Spanish speaker 🙂

» MORE: Can You Bring a Drone to Peru?


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