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Machu Picchu Mountain Difficulty for Older Adults

Machu Picchu Mountain Difficulty for Older Adults
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I am traveling to Peru with my parents, who are both around ~70 yrs old. We will be going to Machu Picchu and am debating on which tickets to purchase. I would like to hike Machu Picchu Mountain with them, but am wondering if that will be too much. They are both fairly active for their age and have no problems walking longer distances, but they're also not spring chickens. On top of that, wearing a mask (or 2) while climbing a mountain makes things that much more difficult for even the fittest.

Is MP mountain too difficult for most older adults?

If I get the tickets and we can't make it to the top, surely we can just stop and turn around correct?

Any advice would be great.

Thanks in advance!

8 replies to this topic
Cusco, Perú
Level Contributor
120 posts
3 reviews
4 helpful votes
1. Re: Machu Picchu Mountain Difficulty for Older Adults
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Hi, sure, you can do this mountain, you can walk slowly and the trail is safe. When you will walk up, you can take off the masks and you walk it, in case you find people near you, you can use the masks.

2. Re: Machu Picchu Mountain Difficulty for Older Adults
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Excellent! Thank you so much. I'm looking forward to seeing my parents at the top of the mountain.

Arcadia, California
Level Contributor
2 518 posts
40 reviews
22 helpful votes
3. Re: Machu Picchu Mountain Difficulty for Older Adults
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You should consider taking trekking poles for your parents, especially if you are going up the mountain. I'm in their age group, active and can also walk longer distances and didn't go up the mountain, but the Citadel also presents a challenge to older people because of the uneven terrain and the many steps.

London, United...
Destination Expert
for Salta, Bolivia
Level Contributor
7 808 posts
338 reviews
179 helpful votes
4. Re: Machu Picchu Mountain Difficulty for Older Adults
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Barring any specific physical infirmities or injuries, age is a s much a state of mind as anything. Many 70 year olds I know could skip up those mountains, many in there 20s would struggle. Indeed there is empirical evidence to suggest that older people cope better with altitude than younger.

Anyone can do a lot to make their trip easier/more enjoyable by preparing in advance to improve basic aerobic fitness and leg strengthening exercises - all those steps and steep slopes are tough on the knees!

Other issues to consider may be their ( or your) attitude/ feelings towards heights. There are a lot of steep drop offs and few safety railings. Personally I hate, heights! I have never allowed it to stop me doing stuff but can’t pretend I find that aspect enjoyable.

Have you asked your parents for their opinion? In the end it is the only one that really matters.

Brussels, Belgium
Level Contributor
15 040 posts
464 reviews
477 helpful votes
5. Re: Machu Picchu Mountain Difficulty for Older Adults
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Well I agree, age is a factor ... amongst other factors. I'm 65 and I'm a pretty good runner.

Cincinnati, Ohio
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622 posts
9 reviews
7 helpful votes
6. Re: Machu Picchu Mountain Difficulty for Older Adults
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I’m 37 and very physically fit. I live at sea level and found the altitude very difficult. We had a hard time walking around Machu Picchu. I was very glad to not have booked any kind of mountain hike or extra trekking. I’ve run a marathon with massive hills without having to stop and rest but couldn’t get up to the overlook without stopping.

London, United...
Destination Expert
for Salta, Bolivia
Level Contributor
7 808 posts
338 reviews
179 helpful votes
7. Re: Machu Picchu Mountain Difficulty for Older Adults
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You make a very valid point Sanger - age and fitness are no indicator of how you may or may not be affected by altitude. I recall our first time at altitude was climbing Mount Kinabalu, Borneo @ 4100m, the highest mountain in Malaysia. We were with a bunch of friends on our way to a wedding. Some were super fit marathon runners and semi pro footballers/ athletes who had ten years on us. It was the younger ones who failed to make it to the summit. The older ones and the females amongst us seemed to fare much better.

Brussels, Belgium
Level Contributor
15 040 posts
464 reviews
477 helpful votes
8. Re: Machu Picchu Mountain Difficulty for Older Adults
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MP mountain is only 3082 meter.

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