That naked guy at Machu Picchu

At the end of 2010 Dirk and I did an Inka Jungle trek to Machu Picchu with the Loki hostel in Cusco.  It’s not the classic Inca trail; it’s an alternative adventure 4 day ‘trek’ where you walk a lot, mountain bike and get the chance to zipline above treetops. ImageImageIt’s a great way to get to Machu Picchu; I definitely recommend it.  I think when we did it, it was only the second time that they offered this trek, so we were their guinea pigs.  Friends of ours went to the Loki hostel in 2012 and saw photo’s of Dirk and me on the pamphlets advertising the trek! ImageTogether with two Swiss guys (who said ‘tranquilo’ (calm), the only Spanish word they knew, a lot), an Argentinian guy (who had a beautiful girlfriend that he met on the internet) and our two guides (one who expressed a love for Vegas strip shows and the other who wasn’t allowed to be a chemist any more, because of ‘political reasons’, whatever that means) we spent four rainy days getting from Cusco to Aguas Calientes, the closest city to reach Machu Picchu from. ImageImageIt was indeed a scenic route.ImageImageBut, at some stages we did fear for our safety.  For example when we did this dodgy river crossing:ImageAnd this one:ImageWe did reach Aguas Calientes all in one piece.  I think the best part of the trek were the delicious meals we ate along the way.
ImageThe next morning we got up in the dark (and in rainy weather) to hike the last few kilometres to Machu Picchu.  People do this in order to get to Machu Picchu early as only the first 200 people get tickets to hike up Huayna Picchu – a high peak in Machu Picchu from which you get a beautiful view over the whole of Machu Picchu.ImageOur early morning paid off – we were within the first 200 people to enter, so not only did we get tickets to Huayna Picchu; we also got to see Machu Picchu before there were thousands of people walking around on the terraces. ImageBy the afternoon it’s impossible to take a picture without a thousand people in the background.
ImageAs we walked between the empty runes, we met a friendly photographer from Brazil who offered to take pictures of us.  He even made us do the ‘Titanic pose’ below:
ImageAbout half an hour later, we came across our friendly photographer again.  As we rounded a corner of the still empty site, Dirk suddenly stopped in his tracks and told me to keep walking.  The photographer was naked this time, and his friend was taking a picture of this naked man at Machu Picchu!  What a surprising way to learn of a strange custom at Machu Picchu – apparently tourists love taking naked pictures at this archaeological site!  Last month two tourists were arrested for taking naked pictures at Machu Picchu and some people even take videos while streaking on the terraces.  Luckily we haven’t come across any more naked tourists on our travels.


3 thoughts on “That naked guy at Machu Picchu

  1. This is a funny story. After the viral video of the two streakers earlier this year, there are now big signs up at the entrance reminding everyone in several languages about proper respect and decorum while in Machu Picchu. We didn’t see any naked tourists either and you’re right about the crowds but by late afternoon most of them had cleared out. We spent two days there.

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