Have Machu Picchu on your list of places to visit before you die? Good. The sacred, “Lost City of the Incas” high in the mountains of Peru is widely regarded as one of the most beautiful and inspiring spots in the world. But here’s a travel tip: be sure to pack some clothes. Because the Peruvian government is cracking down hard on nudity at Machu Picchu.
Yes, hard as it may be to believe, it seems that tourists have developed a habit of running around nude at the 650-year-old citadel. Why Machu Picchu of all places brings out the nudist in people — at nearly 8,000 feet above sea level, it must be chilly up there, even with clothes on — is not entirely clear. But there have been enough recent occasions of tourists at the site stripping down to the bare essentials to provoke an angry reaction from Peru officials.
“Machu Picchu is visited by tourists of different ages, religions and ideologies,” said Alfredo Mormontoy, of Peru’s Culture Ministry. “Nude behavior may bring pleasure to a small percentage of people, but it causes discomfort and anger to others. We need to make sure other tourists don’t feel awkward.”
In the most recent incident, four Americans were taken into custody after they were caught posing for their own nude photos at Machu Picchu. Alex Brian Hager, Tyler Curnes Addison and Manuel Quintin Quevedo, all 22 or 23 years old, were detained along with a fourth man, Terry Wayne Curnes who is 54 years old. So who knows what was going on there. But security guards at Machu Picchu confiscated their camera.
That was on March 14. Just two days earlier, there were two separate nude tourism incidents in one misty Machu Picchu morning. In the first, two Australians,Thomas William Halse, 22, and Sam Adrian Parnell, 24 were caught with their pants down and then some, also taking nude photos of themselves at about 6:20 am.
Less than two hours later, at 8:15, guards again had their hands full — but were sure to wash them afterwards — with Canadians Patrice Daudelin and Marc Antonie Mathien, both 20, who were also snapping nude selfies on their cell phones.
But that’s not all. An Israeli tourist, Amichay Rab, put up an entire web site, My Naked Trip, with nude photos of himself from around South America, including Machu Picchu. Here’s his Machu Picchu shot. But be warned. Once you see this, it can’t be unseen.
Last year, an unidentified couple streaked across the Machu Picchu site and ended up, not surprisingly, on YouTube.
The Peruvian government has seen more than enough.
“There are places in the world that people can get naked, but not all places are (appropriate) for getting undressed,” said Mormontoy.
The government has issued 27 new rules of conduct for tourists as Machu Picchu. “No nudity” is high on the list.
Second Image: MyNaked.Trip.com
Third Image: YouTube Screen Grab