Since Machu Picchu was first given the UNESCO World Heritage status back on Dec 09, 1983, tourism has grown every single year making the historical site so crowded that it is difficult to visit and enjoy. The government is attempting to reduce the crowded conditions at Machu Picchu and to offer the opportunity for more people to enjoy the archeological site. The major concern is the preservation of the site and its legacy for future generations. The new rules have been implemented to protect the heritage of Citadel of Machu Picchu, for the country of Peru and the world to continue to experience its magical presence and stature in the history of the Incas.
Highlights of the New Rules
morning & afternoon sessions
With the new rules for Machu Picchu Citadel, there are two different session times:
- Morning Session, 6am to 12pm (6:00 – 12:00)
- Afternoon Session, 12pm to 5:30pm (12:00-17:30)
There are limited amounts of entrance tickets for each session. You are only allowed to visit during the time of the session you have purchased, morning or afternoon. For example, if you enter at 6:00am your session ends at 12:00pm. You can no longer stay all day at Machu Picchu, go for lunch and then come back later on without paying a second time. Once you enter, you cannot leave and return even though your session time has not ended, except if you need to use the bathroom which outside of the citadel.
entrance only with licensed guide
As of July 1 2017, no one can enter Machu Picchu without the guidance of a certified licensed guide for Machu Picchu. Guides must be official Machu Picchu guides and present an up-to-date and valid guide identification. Guides need to sign in and sign out all visitors and informing visitors of the new regulations of the park. With SAM Travel Peru, you will have your own official licensed guide that will personally guide your group.
When your group is finished visiting the Citadel of Machu Picchu you must exit with your guide.
Another significant change is that there are now three routes or circuits to explore Machu Picchu. With your guide, you must select which route or circuit to enter first with your guide. SAM Travel Peru guides will make sure you are picking the best route for viewing and taking photos. It is not still clear if after finishing one route you will be allow to enter a second. You will be given time to walk to the Inca Bridge (about an hour round trip) or the Sun Gate (2 hours round trip) if there is sufficient time left in your session time. You must leave the park by 12pm if you are in the 1st session and 5:50pm if you are doing the second session.
huayna picchu & machu picchu mountains
Huayna Picchu Mountain climb or Machu Picchu Mountain climb are only available in the morning session, 6am to 12pm. Huayna Picchu has 2 turns, 7am and 10am entrance. Machu Picchu Mountain is at 9am entrance only. Those that have chosen either of these climbs will do their guided tours; either before or after their entrance times as agreed upon by their guides. Those that are doing the Huayna Picchu Mountain climb have until 2pm to exit the park and those doing Machu Picchu Mountain have until 3pm to extra the park to give them time to do the climbs and be able to see Machu Picchu.
Will I be able to explore all of Machu Picchu in One Session?
It may be a bit difficult and rushed. It is still not clear how many circuits you can visit in one session. The circuits are from 2 to 3 hours to complete with your guide. After that, you should have free time to explore more or walk to the Inca Bridge or the Sun Gate. You are also allowed to come back for a second session in the afternoon, but you will have to purchase a second ticket to do so.
If I want to visit Machu Picchu Citadel for the second session or a second day do I need a guide?
No, you do not need a guide to return to Machu Picchu for a second session or second day. However, you must show proof or your previous session ticket to enter without a guide.
How much does a second ticket to Machu Picchu Cost?
A second ticket to Machu Picchu cost $55
If I climb Huayna Picchu or Machu Picchu Mountain, will I be able to see much of Machu Picchu?
If you purchase entrances to Huayna Picchu or Machu Picchu Mountain climb, you are given extra time at Machu Picchu. For Huayna Picchu you have 2 hours extra until 2pm and for Machu Picchu Mountain, you have 3 hours extra until 3pm.
Can I climb Huayna Picchu or Machu Picchu Mountain in the afternoon session?
No, there are no entrances to either climb available in the afternoon.
How are those doing the 3, 4, or 5 Days Inca Trail to Machu Picchu affected by the new rules?
Based on what it known now, the government is giving those that do the Inca Trail 3, 4, or 5 days treks extra time to explore the Citadel of Machu Picchu, due to the fact that they usually do not arrive until 8am. The Two days Inca Trail is not affected because they enter the park in the late afternoon and return the next day for the 6am entrance time.
How are the One Day Tours to Machu Picchu affected by the change?
Those doing the One Day Tour to Machu Picchu will arrive in the mid-morning to Aguas Calientes on their chosen train service. There will be time to get a quick lunch and then take the shuttle bus up to Machu Picchu with your guide to start the second session at 12pm to 5:30.
Are Train Times affected by the New Changes?
The train times remain the same for all those passengers that are doing the 1st session for Machu Picchu. Time is still need to take the shuttle bus to Aguas Calientes and there will be lines with everyone leaving at the same time. This give time to get a quick lunch and get to the train by 3:50 without rushing. The train for Expedition will still be 4:22pm and the train time for Vistadome Train will be at 4:22pm. Both will be to the Ollantaytambo station and then a transfer by our private van to Cusco and your hotel arriving around 8:30pm. Any other times must be arranged with our office and may incur additional costs.
Those doing the One Day Tour to Machu Picchu that are taking the Expedition train will take the 6:20pm train and those taking the Vistadome train will take the 6:10pm train to Ollantaytambo and then be transferred to their hotel in Cusco.