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 is thinking to impose 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 there might be an implementation that every visitor should enter and leave the ruins obligatory with a local guide. New rules may also apply for the permits to climb Machu Picchu Mountain and Huayna Picchu Mountain. At this time, any changes in this or in the cost of a ticket has not been announced. Operators are hoping there will be given an option of buying both the morning and afternoon tickets for travelers that do wish to spend a full day at the ruins. Initially this change was to begin by June or July 2017, but after consultation with tour operators, locally and internationally, the date has been unofficially moved to January 2018. The worry of operators is most of all the short notice of this new regulation.
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.
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