New guidelines for how travelers visit Machu Picchu will be put into effect on July 1, 2017. Now you must enter the site during one of two time slots and explore attractions in the urban and agricultural sectors along an established walking circuit.
In 2016, a record 1.3 million visitors went to Machu Picchu. These new regulations have been established to protect the integrity and legacy of this stunning UNESCO Historic Sanctuary, and ensure a better experience for visitors.
Our team is on the ground in Peru keeping tabs on the latest updates and noting how these new rules might impact your upcoming visit to Machu Picchu.
- New Entry Time Slots
- Time Visiting Machu Picchu
- New Walking Circuits
- Huayna Picchu or Machu Picchu Mountain Hike
- Treks to Machu Picchu
New Entry Time Slots
Beginning on July 1, you can enter Machu Picchu during one of two time slots.
Morning Time Slot: 6am-12pm
Afternoon Time Slot: 12pm – 5:30pm
Time Visiting Machu Picchu
Each day you can spend a maximum of 4 hours at Machu Picchu (across the two time slots). If you enter Machu Picchu at 10am, for example, then you have until 2pm to visit.
Travelers who want to spend a full day at Machu Picchu (more than 4 hours) need to buy two entrance tickets for the morning and afternoon time slots.
New Walking Circuits
The new walking routes around Machu Picchu are showcased (and color coded) for your convenience.
From the main entrance, the yellow inbound circuit traverses along an upper section of Machu Picchu, past a stunning view over the citadel from the Guardhouse (Caretaker’s Hut) and impressive structures such as the Temple of Three Windows and a series of fountains through which water still flows.
The Sacred Rock (Ceremonial Rock) is where the red outbound circuit begins. It leads back to the main entrance through the lower urban section of Machu Picchu through the Group of Three Doorways and the fine masonry of the Royal Enclosures.
The blue alternative circuits branch off from the inbound and outbound circuits. Two of these alternative options go up to the Sun Gate or around the base of Machu Picchu Mountain to the Inca Bridge.
General Admission Ticket
A general admission ticket holder needs to enter Machu Picchu with a guide. Guided tours need to be arranged in advance with your travel advisor. No re-entry into the ruins is permitted.
Huayna Picchu or Machu Picchu Mountain Hike
Visitors with a general admission + hike ticket are not required to have a guide accompany them on the hike. After completing the climb up Huayna Picchu or Machu Picchu Mountain, you can continue exploring the site on a guided tour. The “Sacred Rock” is currently the designated spot for our travelers to meet their guide after their hike and begin their tour.
Entry time restrictions also apply to general admission + hike tickets:
- Huayna Picchu hikers have a maximum of 6 hours total to visit Machu Picchu. This includes time to do the hike and take their tour.
- Machu Picchu Mountain hikers have a maximum of 7 hours total to visit Machu Picchu. This includes time to do the hike and take their tour.
Treks to Machu Picchu
Doing the 4-Day Inca Trail?
The new entry restrictions don’t apply to Inca Trail arrivals. On the final day, you will enter Machu Picchu through the Sun Gate in the morning and take a guided tour of the citadel.
Doing the Salkantay, Lares, and 2-Day Inca Trail?
Spend the night at a hotel in Aguas Calientes the night before you visit Machu Picchu. The following day you will visit the Inca citadel for your guided tour (4 hours total). Our travelers will enter Machu Picchu during the morning time slot: the exact time will vary.
These new visitor regulations at Machu Picchu will become effective for a 4 month trial period (July 1st through October 31st) and continue thereon upon evaluation by the Peru’s Ministry of Culture. Check back here for more updates, and in the meantime, “Go Discover.”
Peru for Less is a group of travel experts who live, work, eat, and breathe all things South America. Their inspiration stems from a deep appreciation for the beauty and diversity that make this continent so special.