This might be confusing because all of the following can be called “Machu Picchu”, so I’ll try to be unambiguous.
Machu Picchu is the famous Inca city, abandoned and now ruins that you can visit as part of a national park. To get there, you generally arrive by train to an inhabited Peruvian city called Aguas Calientes (also known as Machu Picchu Pueblo). Also, the whole site is named for a mountain also named Machu Picchu — Montaña Machu Picchu, to be unambiguous — which you can climb once inside the park.
As many visitors do, we arrived by train into Aguas Calientes, then took the bus up to Machu Picchu itself, then climbed Montaña Machu Picchu. I want to know the beginning and ending elevations of this climb, but can’t find a good source of information on this.
Note that when you’re there, it’s obvious that Machu Picchu is easily a few hundred meters above Aguas Calientes, and Montaña Machu Picchu is easily a few hundred meters above that.
However, when I start web searching to find the elevations of Machu Picchu (the Inca city) and Moñtana Machu Picchu (the mountain towering above all this), I find a lot of inconsistent data; combining local sources and guidebooks with the top couple Google hits for “elevation Machu Picchu” and “altitude Machu Picchu”:
The Lonely Planet guidebook says that Aguas Calientes is at 2400 meters above sea level, and doesn’t give elevations for the other two.
There’s a sign at the Aguas Calientes train station saying it’s at 2410m.
Encyclopedia Britannica’s article starts with a note explicitly addressing the variation in estimates of elevation; they then state both 2440m and 2350m as numbers given by Peruvian officials for Machu Picchu
sacredsites.com article on Machu Picchu claims the mountain top as 9060 feet (2760 meters), but it’s not entirely clear which mountain top they mean — Montaña Machu Picchu, or Huayna Picchu, which is much lower.
The Peru Guide’s Machu Picchu FAQ says Machu Picchu is 2430m.
So, no coherent answer. Wow. This can’t really be that hard to answer these days. Now I wish I’d taken a GPS unit with us and measured this myself!