The number of visitors to Machu Picchu has increased significantly over the last few years; 2016 saw an average of 3,000 people per day. In order to protect the site for future generations, and to ensure that every visitor’s experience is a positive one, Peru’s Ministry of Culture has announced a number of changes for tourist access that came into effect from July 1st 2018.
Here’s our summary of the most important rules and how they may affect your trip.
Entrance to Machu Picchu is now only allowed with an official registered tour guide. All visitors will essentially have to pre-book tickets and tours before visiting which means forward-planning is key.
Previously visitors could spend a full day at Machu Picchu. Now there are 2 daily entry sessions. You can only enter within one of these two sessions, and you must leave the site before the end of your session.
Visitors were previously able to leave and re-enter Machu Picchu on their day-ticket (for example to go for lunch). Under the new rules, once you leave the site your visit has ended and you will not be permitted back in.
To avoid overcrowding and bottlenecks, and to improve the overall visitor experience, a fixed set of tour circuits has been announced. All tours must follow one of these 3 set routes and all visitors must stay on a marked route at all times.
Bags greater than 40x35x20cm will not be allowed into Machu Picchu. Bags can be stored for 5 soles in the storage rooms near the entrance.
At the time of writing we believe only bottles of water are allowed. Smoking is not allowed anywhere on the site, and this includes e-Cigarettes
Disrespectful behaviour is not allowed. Any climbing on walls or over rocks, or any behaviour that risks damage to any part of the site is not allowed. It is not permitted to remove rocks/stones or any part of Machu Picchu from the site.
Bulky items such as camera tripods, drones, umbrellas, push-chairs / prams etc are not allowed. You will need to make alternative arrangements for these items before your visit.
Hiking poles are not permitted. Only people who use a walking stick due to age or disability will be allowed to take one into the site. Only rubber-tipped walking sticks are allowed.
Hi-heeled shoes or any footwear that may damage the site is not allowed. It is recommended to wear soft-soled, waterproof shoes such as trekking shoes.
Officially the new rules state that you need to physically be with a guide, however if you have a two day ticket you will be allowed to enter on the second day without a guide as long as you show both your Day 1 and Day 2 tickets and have had them stamped by your guide.
No. Your visit is restricted to within one of the two entry sessions. You will not be permitted to stay longer.
Yes. You need to reserve a specific entry time (either 6am – 12pm or 12pm – 5.30pm). For all bookings with us we coordinate your entry time and your train ticket times to maximise your time in Machu Picchu.
Most visitors will reach Machu Picchu Pueblo (the small town in the valley below Machu Picchu itself) on the train from the Ollantaytambo or Poroy. From Machu Picchu Pueblo it is a very short bus ride to Machu Picchu itself. This means it is important to reserve train times that correspond to one of the two entry windows to maximise your time in Machu Picchu, otherwise you may find you only arrive at Machu Picchu at 10.30am and need to be finished before 12 noon.
There are some, but bear in mind that thousands of people visit Machu Picchu per day and guide group sizes are limited to 16 people per guide, so it is risky just turning up and hoping to find a guide. The safest option is always to book in advance through a reputable tour company such as ours, this way you are guaranteed an entry ticket, a guide and a tour.
Yes. All ticket types are limited per day and once they have sold out no more are issued. Our recommendation is always to reserve in advance to be sure of a ticket.
Huayna Picchu and Machu Picchu Mountain are lengthy treks and it will not be possible to tour the site and visit these areas within the new morning / afternoon 4 hour sessions. The treks are booked on a combination ticket which allow you more time in the site (2 hours for Huayna Picchu and 3 hours for Machu Picchu mountain in addition to the 4 hours standard ticket).
For Huayna Picchu you must start the climb either between 7am and 8am or 10am and 11am (depending on your ticket), and for Machu Picchu Mountain you must start between 9am and 10am.
If you wish to visit either Huayna Picchu or Machu Picchu Mountain during your visit to Machu Picchu then it is important you reserve this at the point of booking as it requires a different entry ticket, and we recommend doing this on the second day of a two-day visit.
Our treks and tours to Machu Picchu will be the full “Circuit 1” tour. Each tour will last approximately two and a half hours (all tours run at the same speed as the park guards ensure groups don’t linger).
Previously it was possible to tour Machu Picchu with your guide then have some free time to explore the ruin by yourselves afterwards, however with the new rules it appears that this is no longer possible and all visitors will leave the park with their guide immediately following the tour.