Since Machu Picchu was voted as one of the New 7 Wonders of the World in 2007 it has become unarguably one of the most popular and famous sited in South America.
The number of visitors to Machu Picchu each year has grown from the low 100,000s in the 1980s, to a peak of nearly 1.4 million tourists in 2014 – an approximate increase of 700%! This increased traffic is slowly “wearing away” the famed site and could become Machu Picchu´s curse.
To protect the archaeological site, the government imposed new admission rules to visit the citadel.
- Ticket sales will be divided into a morning (7am to 12pm) and an afternoon shift (12pm to 5:30pm) and every visitor should enter and leave the ruins obligatory with a local guide. For the morning shift there will be allowed a maximum number of 3267 visitors a day (including the people coming from the Inca Trail).
- Visitors will be given maximum 4 hours to visit the ruins once they entered the ruins and will be given the choice of 3 circuits. The guided tour will take minimum 3 hours. The guides are required to help maintain orden.
- Groups can be maximum of 20 people per guide.
- Visitors who wish to spend the whole day at Machu Picchu are allowed to buy both the morning and afternoon tickets, as long as capacity allows.
- Visitors that have permits to climb Huayna Picchu Mountain are allowed to spend 6 hours in Machu Picchu and visitors that have permits to climb Machu Picchu Mountain are allowed to stay maximum 7 hours in the citadel.
- According to Art. 16, it won´t be allowed to leave the ruins and re-enter afterwards. (which is something new, as there are no bathroom facilities inside Machu Picchu)
- This structure will maintain until December 2017 and will be re-evaluated and if needed adapted.
- We were notified that the new regulation system will definitely begin to work at the 1st of July 2017. Tour operators, locally and internationally had hoped that the date would be moved to January 2018 but this seems to not be the case.
As an operator we understand that our authorities in Peru have been considering the change for some years, and want to make it in an attempt to manage crowding, easing the stress on the fragile ruins with the greater good in mind, keeping Machu Picchu in great shape and accessible for future travellers. Nevertheless this new regulation has been implemented with very short notice and few consulting. Many details of how the new regulations will exactly be implemented and controlled at the site are still unclear. Train schedules to Machu Picchu and travel schedules may have to change according to these new rules.
We want visitors to know that were are here to help them. Vamos Expeditions is a licensed tour operator in Peru and Cusco. We create authentic travel experiences and adventure tours. We have taken more than 35000 happy clients to Machu Picchu, the classic Inca Trail and mini-Inca Trail to Machu Picchu and other parts of Peru and Latin America. We are right by your side to help you fall in love with the treasures of this beautiful part of the world.
For the most recent updates about this new regulation you can also check out the oficial webpage of the Peruvian Government: (only in Spanish): Ministry of Culture Peru .