Your Guide to the New Machu Picchu Visitor Rules & Restrictions

Written by: Sam Travel | 8 May, 2024
Machu Picchu access restrictions

To enter Machu Picchu the rules have changed since 2021, in addition to the 4 different circuits taken 5 different ways, there are maximum tickets for the site every day. The Park administration has taken measures to facilitate the visit with circuits to try to conserve the site for future generations.

These four different circuits enable the sustainability of the UNESCO WORLD HERITAGE. They are regulated by regulation on sustainable use and tourists visits for the conservation of Llacta Machu Picchu and can be booked online on the Ministry of Culture website or we can help you book them. There are only 4,500 tickets released every day for Machu Picchu. These tickets are distributed between Inca Trail treks, Machu Picchu citadel, Huchuy Picchu, Huayna Picchu and Machu Picchu Mountain. Booking in advance is essential.

Tickets per Day

  • Machu Picchu Citadel 2950 Tickets
  • Huayna Picchu Mountain 400 Tickets
  • Machu Picchu Mountain 400 Tickets
  • Huchuy Picchu Mountain 200 Tickets
  • Inca Trail 500 Tickets
  • Short Inca Trail 250 Tickets

Total 4500 Tickets

Circuits

There are 5 Circuits to enter Machu Picchu, Circuits 1 and 2 normally for the day trippers and Circuits 3 and 4 for those who want to do the extra treks and for people doing the Inca Trail.

  • Circuit 1 involves the all of the Inca citadel – the entrance times you can visit from 6am to 09:00 am
  • Circuit 2 involves the Inca citadel without the Intihutana stone, the Temple of Three Windows and the Temple of the Condor. You can visit from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm
  • Circuit 4 and Huayna PicchuTicket allows entry to the Inca city from 6 am. The total daily capacity of 200 people is divided into two groups (100 persons each): This Circuit includes the lower part of Machu Picchu.
  • Circuit 3 and Machu Picchu Mountain Ticket enables access to Machu Picchu from 6 am. The total daily capacity is of 400 people is divided into two groups (200 persons each): This Circuit includes the lower part of Machu Picchu. The visitors can re-enter the Machu Picchu to explore circuit 3.
  • Circuit 4 and Huchuy Picchu Mountain Tickets enables access to Huchuy Picchu mountain from 6 am. The total daily capacity is of 200 people is divided into two groups (100 persons each): This Circuit includes the lower part of Machu Picchu. Two group entries per day 6am to 7am and 2pm to 3pm.

How Long Can I Stay at Machu Picchu?

The new Machu Picchu rules determine that tourists are strictly limited to four-hour stays. Most visitors do not take more than four hours on average to explore the site. Officials exercise control over the amount of traffic at any given time to maintain control of the Inca sanctuary. It Is regulation that all tourists must be led by a tour guide in order to preserve the world heritage site. Tourist groups are made up of a maximum of 10 people per guide. Reentry to the site is prohibited. The guided tour duration was set in 2 hours in order to free room for more groups, avoid crowds and especially protect the Inca town of Machu Picchu.

New Rules for Entering Machu Picchu

1. Preserve the Past: Machu Picchu has survived for 500 years, but it requires our help to continue sharing its magnificence with future generations. We recommend you stay on designated paths, refrain from touching the structures avoid leaning against walls.

2. Follow the Designated Circuits: To manage the flow of visitors and minimize impact, Machu Picchu now offers five distinct circuits. Choose your route wisely and respect the indicated pathways.

3. Respect the Environment: Immerse yourself in the stunning natural surroundings, but remember to leave no trace. Carry out all waste, including wrappers and containers, and dispose of them responsibly. Help safeguard the delicate balance between heritage and nature.

4. Water Bottle Choice: Instead of bringing plastic bottles, we recommend opting for a reusable water bottle or canteen. This small change contributes to reducing plastic waste and supports sustainability efforts.

5. Hiking Poles: Please note that carrying hiking poles is prohibited. However, if you have a specific need due to a leg issue, we advise you to contact the Ministry of Culture to request a special permission.

6. Rainy Season: A rain jacket is an eco-friendlier choice and will keep you dry while exploring the wonders of Machu Picchu.

7. Photography Etiquette: While taking photos at Machu Picchu is necessary, tripods and selfie sticks are prohibited at Machu Picchu as they obstruct the pathways. Avoid taking selfies to ensure your safety and your fellow visitor’s experience.

8. Silence: As you travel the pathways, remember that Machu Picchu is a place of reverence and contemplation. Keep conversations at a considerate volume and embrace the serenity that envelopes this ancient city.

9. Guided Tours: With an experienced guide, unlock the fascinating stories that lie within Machu Picchu’s stones. Their knowledge shed light on the site’s historical, architectural and cultural significance, enhancing your connection with its past.

10. Beyond the Gates: Respect the boundaries that separate visitors from certain areas. Avoid venturing into off-limit zones, as they’re cordoned off to ensure both your safety and the preservation of the site.

11. Leave No Trace: Preservation begins with each visitor. Refrain from leaving any marks, such as graffiti or etchings, on the stones. Let your memory of Machu Picchu remain intact without altering its physicality.

12. Waste Management: Dispose of waste thoughtfully by utilizing the provided trash receptacles. Minimize the impact of your visit by embracing the ‘pack-in, pack-out’ principle, ensuring the citadel remains as pristine as it was meant to be.

 Inca Trail + Machu Picchu New Rules 2025

  • All visitors must be accompanied by a Tour Guide. 
  • A group must not exceed 16 visitors. 
  • A maximum of 500 people per day (including supporting staff) is allowed to start an Inca Trail.
  • Porters are not authorized to carry more than 7 kg.
  • The route remains closed during the month of every February for its maintenance. 
  • An Inca Trail booking must be through an authorized travel agency/tour operator that is responsible for an entry ticket purchase. 
  • Admission of an Inca Trail permit can only be made at the Ministry of Culture’s box office. No payment and for any reason will be accepted at the entrance and checkpoints of the Inca Trail!!
  • Staying in the trail network must not exceed the deadline set for each route. 
  • Lavatories (bathrooms) are intended for public use and are properly marked. They cannot be used for washing dishes or sleeping! 

Tour Operators

You will need a tour operator who is well-versed in the new rules and how they affect treks and tours. You will also need to arrange your tickets in advance, never arrive without Machu Picchu tickets organized or you could end up not being able to visit the mountain or citadel at all.

Sam Travel Peru is a locally owned and operated Peruvian tour operator based in Cusco that uses an innovative approach to provide our clients with extended access to these sites without circumventing the new restrictions.

Our college-educated, English-fluent tour guides also have a clear understanding of what visitors are allowed to bring in with them as well as the route they must follow once inside the site. To make the most of your trip – and to avoid getting caught unawares by the new rules and restrictions – trust the local experts at SAM Travel Peru for your trip or trek to Machu Picchu.

Machu Picchu’s allure lies not just in its extraordinary architecture but also in its ability to evoke a sense of wonder and respect for history. The entrance rules have been introduced to preserve the site for future generations. By adhering to these rules, you contribute to the site’s preservation. Hopefully we have given some clarity to the new regulations for you tour to Machu Picchu.

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Bernie s 2023/03/02

Had a great trip with our guide Ray Herrera and driver Alfredo. Lots of good experiences in a short period of time 4 days. Learnt a lot not just about the main tourist destinations but Peru in general by Ray. Ray has a passion for Inca history and local produce. Ray knows all the good photo spots and we managed the sun out every day .. Good culture and if you want to get on a tour ask for Ray at Sams Travel = amazing

Tanya H 2023/03/02

Ray was our Tour Guide and Alfredo was our driver for a 4 day tour we did with SAM Travel Peru. Ray's knowledge of the history of Cusco and Machu Picchu was outstanding. Ray was very accommodating with all our needs. He stayed alongside us when trekking and helped where he could. His sense of humour was pleasant to be around. Ray spoke very good English. He is such a nice guy. I would strongly recommend Ray to be your tour guide to visit Machu Picchu. Ray explained everyday what the plans were for the next day, which was reassuring what we needed to take etc

Captanjack 2023/01/012

Our 1 day tour thru the Sacred Vally with Danny was wonderful. He was very knowledgeable and able to answer all our questions in detail. I would recommend asking for him personally if you are able.

Sherry 2022/12/26

We booked the Classic Cusco to Machu Picchu tour with SAM travel which we really had a good experience. SAM travel is very responsive during the communication and cater to our changes needed. Our guide is Ray who is also an very awesome guide. He is knowledgeable, patient, humorous as well reliable, he help us take many good photos and also go extra mile to help with our request. Thanks Ray! Thanks SAM travel that gave us good memories in Peru! Highly recommend if you consider booking any tour in Cusco.

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C Clark 2023/01/20

Wow. We had such an incredible experience in Sacred Valley and Machu Picchu. Our guide, Dayvit, is the most knowledgeable guide we have ever had. He has such an extensive knowledge of the history and is very friendly and helpful. If you are planning a trip to Peru, I highly recommend SAM travel and be sure to request Dayvit!

Emma Dinzebach Clark 2023/01/10

2 day tour sacred valley / Machu Picchu highly recommend! David was the best tour guide. He knows an incredible amount about Incan culture and is personable and funny. He also kept us up to date on a political situation happening when we were there and was informative. Overall, this tour checks all the boxes. Thank you!

Nupur Joshi 2023/01/02

We used SAM Travel for a 2D/1N trip from Cusco to Sacred Valley and Machu Picchu on Dec 25-26, 2022. The team was good with communication from the start - both Saul and Junior were very helpful and professional with answering any questions and clearing up any misunderstandings. Our guide, Miguel, was prompt, pleasant, and quite knowledgeable. We enjoyed his company and insight over the 2 day trip and recommend him to anyone booking with SAM Travel.

Xueying Chen 2022/12/20

We booked the Classic Cusco to Machu Picchu tour with SAM travel which we really had a good experience. SAM travel is very responsive during the communication and cater to our changes needed. Our guide is Ray who is also an very awesome guide. He is knowledgeable, patient, humorous as well reliable, he help us take many good photos and also go extra mile to help with our request. Thanks Ray! Thanks SAM travel that gave us good memories in Peru! Highly recommend if you consider booking any tour in Cusco.

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Cheri Buccino April 21, 2024

Powerful! This journey tests your humanity and leaves you in awe of yourself and the beauty that Pachamama provides. April 2024 We conquered the Inca trail and it was only made possible with the help and guidance from our expert guides Jean Pierre (JP) and Jimmy. The knowledge these gentlemen shared was admired by all of our group and the envy of other trail hikers who stopped to listen. The hike has many layers of challenges including language barriers, altitude sensitivities and food specifications. The team at Sam travel exceeded the needs and went above to ensure our comforts were met. A special mention must be made to Mario, the Chef who somehow performed magic with nutritious flavourful meals to satisfy even the pickiest consumers and Francesco who was our lead porter who orchestrated the harmony that happened behind the scenes to get everything done. Nothing less than marvellous from this team. Thank you to each of the group who made our trek a remarkable experience.

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Bhavana Lalwani April 18, 2024

Jose and Henry were great guides for our first time exploring machu pichu! They were very attentive and kept everything on a smooth schedule. Highly recommend!

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Ryan April 9, 2024

The whole experience was amazing. Ray, our guide answered all of our questions and definitely had our best interest in mind the whole time. Timothy the cook made fantastic food and somehow found a way to prepare a birthday cake with no notice! Boni our head porter and his whole crew were kind, accommodating, and had such upbeat attitudes which really made the experience great!

Isabel Batteria April 17, 2024

I spent two days with Sam Travel’s guide Raymier, who guided us through the one-day 12-km stretch of the Inca trail and then took us to Machu Picchu the next day. In my group, I was always the last one on the trail because I come from the coast and I’m not used to altitudes, and honestly I could also have prepared physically a little better. Raymier respected my pace, never rushed me, and supported me throughout the ardous trail. He had much knowledge to share. I speak Spanish, but ended up in an English tour, and Ray’s English was very good. He was funny, respectful, and versatile. He knew where to take all the best photos and patiently took photos of all of us. I would trust Sam Travel again especially if I was lucky enough to have Ray as a guide again.

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