New regulations for Machu Picchu Peru
New regulations for Machu Picchu Peru
Machu Picchu, one of most important tourist destinations of Peru, has been receiving increasing amounts of tourist crowds over the past years. Visitor numbers often reached as high as 3800 people per day. In an attempt to preserve the Inca Citadel for future generations, the Peruvian government, in consultation with UNESCO, has decided to control the flow of visitors. Therefore, some new regulations for Machu Picchu Peru have been implemented on July 1st 2017.
Do you plan on taking a Machu Picchu Tour soon, or will you be doing a hike to Machu Picchu? Of so, please don’t stop reading and check this.
We will indicate the most important rules that affect your Machu Picchu Tour:
- There are now two entrance times per day; from 6:00 to 12:00 and from 12:00 to 17:30. You buy your Machu Picchu Ticket for either the first, or the second time slot.
- Visitors can only enter Machu Picchu with an official Machu Picchu guide or a licensed tourist guide.
- There are three defined circuits which visitors must abide by – it is not allowed to deviate from these circuits
- Huayna Picchu & Machu Picchu Mountain retain their schedules as before (see further below)
As the new restrictions have been introduced recently, the rules might still be adjusted in the coming months.
Machu Picchu Tickets and Entrance Times
The most important regulation is that tickets will grant entry for a specific time period of the day, allowing the large influx of visitors to become more uniform throughout the day. The two entrance times are:
- Morning entrance, from 6 am – 12 pm
- Afternoon entrance, from 12 pm – 5.30 pm
These time frames are fixed and cannot be amended. If you have a ticket for the morning entrance, and enter at 11 o’clock, you must leave Machu Picchu at 12 o’clock.
To promote the afternoon time slot and space out crowds (60% of Machu Picchu visits now take place before 13:00), the price for the afternoon is slightly lower than the price for the morning. Apart from having fixed two time slots, it is now no longer possible to re-enter the site once you have left, unless you have another (afternoon) ticket. It is possible to visit Machu Picchu all day, but you will need two entrance tickets.
Note that tickets that were already purchased before July 1st will still be valid through December 2017; these tickets are not subject to the new time restrictions.
Tour guides in Machu Picchu
It used to be possible to visit Machu Picchu alone, without a guide. However starting July 1st, all visitors must be accompanied by an official Machu Picchu guide or a licensed tourist / trekking guide. The guides are responsible for informing visitors of the regulations of the site. Each guide is allowed to take a maximum group of 16 people into Machu Picchu. For larger groups, there are 2 or more guides required. During the Machu Picchu tour, visitors need to walk along with their guide.
Circuits in Machu Picchu
The new regulations also include a system of fixed circuits. The government has indicated that the routes have been designed to separate crowds and prevent visitors from stopping at one highlight for too long. The INC (National Institute of Culture of Peru) has developed three defined routes, each focused on a different part of the site.
Circuit 1 is the classic route, and also the most challenging of the three options. Circuits 2 and 3 visit the mid and lower sectors and are especially suitable for those wanting a relaxing, less physical demanding visit. The route that you take will be defined when purchasing the ticket. Each circuit takes about 2-3 hours to complete and should be abided by; in case you leave your assigned route, you can be removed from the site.
Huayna Picchu & Machu Picchu Mountain
For the two treks within Machu Picchu, to Huayna Picchu and Machu Picchu Mountain, the regulations remain the same. For each trek, there are 400 places available, divided into two groups of 200 each.
For Huayna Picchu the first entrance is between 7.00 and 8.00; the second entrance is between 10.00 and 11.00. For Machu Picchu Mountain the first group enters between 7.00 and 8.00 and the second group between 9.00 and 10.00. You must present yourself at the trail head at the start time to gain entrance. Both climbs take about 3 to 4 hours.
A reminder of other regulations for a visit to Machu Picchu
Keep in mind these general visitor rules for Machu Picchu:
- Any type of bag / backpack with dimensions exceeding 40 x 35 x 20 cm (15.7 x 13.7 x 7.9 inches) is not allowed and should be left in the luggage storage near the entrance.
- It is not allowed to take food and drink with you.
- It is forbidden to take alcoholic beverages inside.
- It is prohibited to bring an umbrella (hats and ponchos / raincoats are allowed).
- It is prohibited to bring a tripod.
- It is not allowed to enter with musical instruments or speakers.
- Shoes with high heels and hard sole shoes with hard soles are prohibited. Only soft soles shoes are allowed (such as training shoes or running shoes / boots).
- It is not allowed to enter with prams / buggies.
- It is prohibited to climb walls or lean on walls.
- Walking sticks with a metal or hard point are prohibited.
- Drones are prohibited.