One of the world’s most famous tourist attraction, Machu Picchu, was added to the UNESCO World Heritage collection more than 30 years ago. This greatest artistic and architectural land has been inundated by the influx of tourists, and taken a heavy toll on the site and its conservation. To avoid further damage to the structure, tourist access to this popular destination will become significantly limited.
Under pressure from UNESCO, Peruvian authorities announced new measures to minimize, rather control the flow of tourists to Machu Picchu.
Official tour guide
Starting July 1, 2017, all foreign visitors to Machu Picchu are required to hire an official guide to enter the ancient site. Guides must be licensed and group size will be limited to 16 people per guide.
After entering, they will be required to follow one of three pre-designated routes through the citadel complex. Previously, guides were recommended, but not mandatory, and tourists were allowed to roam the Incan citadel more or less independently, following any marked route they pleased.
Tickets will allow entry for a specific time period, either a morning (6:00am – 12:00pm) or afternoon (12:00pm – 5:30pm). If you intend to spend more time than your allotted time period, then you will need to buy tickets for both time slots. Ticket prices to the citadel will remain the same ($46 for adults).
UNESCO recommends 2,500 per day, but Peruvian authorities have doubled that number to 5,000 visitors in a day. The new system of two entry times will create a more even distribution of people, allowing 3,267 in the morning and 2,673 in the afternoon. The new rules will be in place for two years, after which further adjustments will be made if necessary. As the morning is generally the most popular time to visit the site, due to better average weather conditions, we recommend visitors book ahead from the official website to guarantee a ticket for an early entry slot.