Two European tourists, one from France and one from Switzerland, were expelled from Peru’s Machu Picchu World Heritage Site on May 5 after being caught taking naked photos and posing in front of the iconic Inca citadel.

The Peruvian National Police (PNP) announced on Twitter, ‘The wonder of the world should be respected! A foreigner who undressed just to take pictures in the archaeological remains of Machu Picchu in Cusco was detained by PNP Tourism personnel,” and included a photo of one of the men.

According to Maritza Rosa Candia, the Director of Culture in Cusco, security guards at Machu Picchu’s most visited site spotted the naked European tourists near the House of the Guardian. Candia later reported the incident on RPP radio. “Today, two tourists of foreign nationality were registered without clothes, which is strictly prohibited in the Archaeological Park of Machu Picchu. Our staff immediately took action, notifying the police and instructing the tourists to dress and leave the sanctuary,” she said.

In the presence of law enforcement, the 23-year-old Frenchman deleted the photos he had taken of the 26-year-old Swiss man. Subsequently, the guards took the tourists to the police station to face further charges. Candia emphasized the importance of tourists following the recommendations of the Machu Picchu security staff. She also said that they must comply with the regulations outlined in the park.

A UNESCO World Heritage Site

Machu Picchu, a UNESCO World Heritage site, is a world-class tourist destination. Before the pandemic, it attracted millions of tourists each year, providing a significant source of revenue for the region. However, the pandemic has had a significant impact on the tourism industry, resulting in a notable decrease in visitor numbers and economic losses for the local community.

Due to the pandemic’s travel restrictions and safety measures, only 4,000 people visited Machu Picchu in 2022, leading to substantial revenue losses for local businesses dependent on tourism. The site is now open to tourists once again.