Machu Picchu by Helicopter



UPDATE from Peru Travel Diary:

Helicopter is banned to protect wildlife at Machu Picchu

Peru government officials say noise of rotors affects habitat for the spectacled bear and red-plumed Andean cock of the rock. It has been banned from 21st June 2010.

No helicopters will be permitted to use airspace at the site or the surrounding 125 square miles.

Heli-Cusco officials say they are trying to lift the ban.


Now you can reach Machu Picchu from Cusco by helicopter. This service had been suspended for a while. But recently Heli- Cusco company has got the permission to fly to Machu Picchu. Recently Peru Institute of National Resources (INRENA) has passed a favorable opinion on helicopter travel to Machu Picchu. Hence Ministry of Transportations and Communications approved the service again for Machu Picchu lovers.

The helicopter is not going to fly over Machu Picchu , and because of the geological structure of the zone and the thick vegetation the resounding waves do not have any harmful effect on Machu Picchu ruins.

Fare of Heli-Cusco


Fare ($) 

One Way 280.00
Round Trip 480.00

The helicopter used by Heli -Cusco


  • Time Schedule of Heli-Cusco



(Departure and Arrival) 

Cusco - Machu Picchu 8.15 - 8.55
Machu Picchu - Cusco 15.00 -15.35
Cusco - Machu Picchu 16.00 - 16.40
Machu Picchu - Cusco 16.45 - 17.25


  • Location of Helipad


At Cusco you have to start from Cusco airport, but in Machu Picchu the helipad is located at Aguas Calientes, at KM 109.


  • Controversy on Impact of Helicopter


Long ago there were helicopter service for the travelers to Machu Picchu. Helicopter reached the people up to Machu Picchu ruin. But the service was discontinued as the vibration was harmful for this century old ruins. Recently Inkaterra got permission to fly again. They started in June, 2006 and brought lot of travelers from Cusco to Machu Picchu. But due to the protests of environmentalist this service was suspended last year.

This year Helicopteros del Cusco S.A. (Heli-Cusco) made some environmental impact study on Machu Picchu. They tried to proof that if heliport is located outside the citadel, then there is actually no harmful effect of helicopter on Machu Picchu. Finally The INRENA (National Institute of Natural Resources) approved the resumption of commercial operations in helicopter to Machupicchu and ruled out that any type of environmental impact in the zone of the sanctuary exists, whether sonorous or by vibration. This resolution allows Heli-Cusco to operate in Machu Picchu. So the same heliport, which was used by Inkaterra, is being used by current operation.

National Institute of Culture (INC) of Peru opposes the decision of starting the helicopter operation. INC director Jorge Zegarra Balcázar said that this permission should not be offered to the company Heli-Cusco because the sanctuary is being damage in different ways. He also complained that Heli- Cusco gives false information stating the helipad is three kilometer away from Machu Picchu citadel, which is actually only one kilometer away aerially from Machu Picchu.

There was a series of meeting of the Machupicchu Unit of Management (UGM) to discuss the helicopter operation in Machu Picchu. The regional government, the INC Cusco, the INRENA and the Department of Tourism participated in those meetings. One of the factors that favors the use of helicopter flights is the APEC summit and the consequent protection of the heads of state.


  • Contacts of Heli - Cusco

Herman Schwartzmann is the general manager of Heli-Cusco and the contact person.

You can send email to :

Other Contact informations are -
Calle Arica 849 – Miraflores
Telf: (51 1) 447-5656
Fax: (51 1) 447-1220
Cel: (51 1) 9352-6246
24hrs: (51 1) 9352-6248

Cusco Aeropuerto
Velasco Astete
Telfax: (51 8) 424-3555
Cel: (51 1) 9352-6251


Helipuerto “El Rocotal”
Telf: (51 8) 421-1019

They have a website also :

But I am afraid you may not get much information from their website. As most of the pages are under construction. Also the site is in Spanish only. But you can call them to the above phone numbers.

The helicopter used by Heli -Cusco


Finally A site which speaks from visitors Point of View and .... provides information neutrally...

 -NY Evening News




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