Machu Picchu New Rules 2022

Last updated on 26th December 2021

To protect and preserve the Machu Picchu World Heritage Site, the Peruvian authorities have issued comprehensive regulations that regulate visits to Machu Picchu, the surrounding mountains, and the Inca Trail. Here you will find the regulations currently relevant for your visit.

Machu Picchu Overview

Machu Picchu - map of the citadel with the given visiting routes

Routes

Wood board indicating one-way direction in the paths within Machu Picchu. Tourists and Wayna Picchu in the background

There are fixed routes through the facility with limited capacities to visit Machu Picchu. Below is an overview of the 4 official routes (also indicated on the map above):

  • Route 1 (upper short tour, red): This route leads from the entrance through the upper sector, over agricultural terraces, past the guard’s house, through the main entrance to the urban sector, to the sun temple, and from there over the water mirrors in the lower sector back to the exit.
  • Route 2 (upper long tour, dark blue): This is the most comprehensive route and is recommended for the most complete exploration of the citadel. The route leads from the entrance through the upper sector, over agricultural terraces, past the guard’s house, through the main entrance into the urban sector, to the temple of the sun. From there it continues over the temple square and the Intiwatana Pyramid in the upper sector to the sacred rock in the rearmost part of the citadel, and then through the lower sector past the condor temple to the exit.
  • Route 3 (lower short tour, yellow): This is the shortest of all routes and includes only a small, limited part of the citadel. The route leads over agricultural terraces directly into the lower sector, past the Temple of the Sun, to the house of the Inca, and from there over the water mirrors in the lower sector back to the exit. This route only requires you to navigate a few stairs and is particularly recommended for people with reduced mobility.
  • Route 4 (lower long tour, turquoise): This route also only includes the lower sector, but leads to the rear area of ​​the citadel. The route leads over agricultural terraces directly into the lower sector, past the Temple of the Sun, to the house of the Inca, and on to the sacred rock, and from there to the lower sector past the Condor Temple and back to the exit.

Additional time restrictions apply to three popular attractions within the citadel:

  • Sun Temple: only 13:00-16:00 (#02 on the map, Routes 1,2,3,4)
  • Intiwatana Pyramid: only 07:00-10:00 (#07 on the map, Route 4)
  • Temple of the Condor: only 10:00-13:00 (#11 on the map, Routes 2,4)

Visiting the Sun Gate and the Inca Bridge is currently not possible.

There are also tickets that allow a visit to the surrounding mountain peaks, but in return only include a limited visit (route 3 or route 4) through the citadel. You can find more details here:

Wayna Picchu

Huchuy Picchu

Machu Picchu Mountain

Admission times

Machu Picchu is open to visitors daily from 6:00 to 17:30. Visits are not possible outside of these times. When purchasing the admission ticket, a fixed time slot of 60 minutes must be selected for admission. This can no longer be changed after it has been issued.

With the classic Machu Picchu ticket, you can choose from one of the 4 possible routes on site. We usually recommend Route 1 or Route 2 to our customers, as these allow the most extensive visit to the facility. The maximum allowed visiting time is 4 hours. There are 9 entry time slots of 60 minutes each with a limited number of visitors to choose from:

  • 6:00, 7:00, 8:00, 9:00, 10:00, 11:00 = maximum 200 visitors for each time slot
  • 12:00, 13:00, 14:00 = maximum 348 Visitors for each time slot

Ticket booking

Entrance tickets to Machu Picchu are issued based on personal data and are non-transferable or refundable. The following information is required to purchase the tickets:

  • Full name
  • Gender
  • Passport number
  • Nationality
  • Date of birth

Due to the limited number of visitors, we recommend that our customers have their entrance tickets for Machu Picchu issued at least 40 days in advance. A reimbursement after issue is not possible.

Children under 3 years of age do not have to pay admission. A reduced price applies to children/teenagers up to the age of 17. Students up to 25 years of age receive a discount on presentation of a valid student ID from their university (an ISIC student ID is not accepted).

Tickets can be purchased online as well as at the ticket offices in Aguas Calientes and Cusco. There is no sales point at the entrance to Machu Picchu itself!

Visiting rules and regulations

Admission is only permitted within the booked time slot of 60 minutes; access before or after this time slot is not possible.

The duration of the visit is generally limited to a maximum of 4 hours. (The only exceptions are tickets for the surrounding mountain peaks Wayna Picchu, Machu Picchu Mountain and Huchuy Picchu, which allow for a longer entry.)

At the entrance, every visitor must show their ticket and passport. Students must also present their valid student ID here.

The entry ticket entitles you to a single entry. It is not possible to leave and re-enter the citadel with the same ticket (exception: ticket for Machu Picchu Mountain for visiting route 3).

It is recommended to have a tour guide accompany you on your first visit to Machu Pichu, however, it is not mandatory. For groups of 8 travelers and above, one or more accompanying guide(s) are required. One tour guide must accompany the group for every 8 guests (larger groups are not allowed).

Large bags, groceries, and disposable bottles are not allowed into the citadel. You are only allowed to carry a small bag with you. Walking sticks are only allowed for physically challenged and elderly visitors.

Trains and Shuttle buses

Tourist sitting in the shuttle bus from Aguas Calientes to Machu Picchu wearing a mask and a face shield

Aguas Calientes, the starting point for visiting Machu Picchu, can be reached by train from Cusco or Ollantaytambo. Trains operated by PeruRail and IncaRail, which offer different categories and frequencies, run on the route.

The tickets are issued based on personal data and are only valid for the selected departure. A refund of already issued train tickets is not possible. The same personal data required to issue the train tickets will be required for entry to Machu Picchu.

Due to limited space on board the trains, baggage restrictions apply to passengers. Only one piece of hand luggage per person is allowed, which must not exceed a maximum length + width + height of 157 cm and a maximum weight of 5 kg.

Shuttle buses, subject to an additional charge, run between the town of Aguas Calientes and the Machu Picchu citadel. The buses to Machu Picchu run between 5:30 and 15:30, the return trip is possible from 6:00 to 18:00. The journey takes around 30 minutes.

When there are high numbers of visitors, queues for the shuttle buses can form. You should therefore plan a sufficient buffer time. Visitors should take the shuttle bus from Aguas Calientes to Machu Picchu at least 30 minutes before the booked visit slot.

Wayna Picchu

Female and male tourists wearing masks in Machu Picchu with Huchuy Picchu Mountain and Wayna Picchu Mountain as backdrop

Wayna Picchu is one of the mountain peaks that surround Machu Picchu and probably the most famous as it towers over Machu Picchu in the background in many photos. The ascent takes place on a narrow and extremely steep path and takes around 45 to 60 minutes, depending on the pace. Once at the summit, a fantastic view of the whole of Machu Picchu and the surrounding mountains awaits.

Since the path is very narrow and exposed in some places, we recommend this hike for experienced and sure-footed hikers. Sturdy shoes are highly recommended.

Access is directly via Route 4 to the checkpoint near the Sacred Rock. With the ticket for the Wayna Picchu visitors may not take the long route 2 to the checkpoint. After the descent, follow Route 4 again to the exit

Due to the duration of the hike, the maximum time limit of 4 hours for visiting Machu Picchu does not apply to this route.

There are 4 time slots of 60 minutes each to choose from for admission to Wayna Picchu:

6:00, 8:00, 10:00, 12:00 = maximum of 50 visitors for each time slot

Huchuy Picchu

Tourists going along a path within Machu Picchu facing the Huchuy Picchu Mountain and Wayna Picchu

Huchuy Picchu is something like the little brother of Wayna Picchu, until 2020 this optional visit was included in the entrance fee for Wayna Picchu, but since 2021 there are separate tickets for this hike.

Huchuy Picchu is right next to the checkpoint at the Sacred Rock and can be reached on a hike of around 15 minutes. Compared to the other options, this hike is significantly easier and shorter and therefore also possible for less experienced travelers.

As with Wayna Picchu, access is directly via Route 4, and after the descent Machu Picchu must also be exited along this route.

There are 9 time slots of 60 minutes each to choose from for admission to Huchuy Picchu:

6:00, 7:00, 8:00, 9:00, 10:00, 11:00, 12:00, 13:00, 14:00 = maximum of 22 visitors for each time slot

Machu Picchu Mountain

Wood board in Machu Picchu indicating the path to Machu Picchu Mountain

Machu Picchu Mountain, which is also the Apu (sacred mountain) for the complex, is located south of the citadel, opposite Wayna Picchu. The hike partly leads through dense vegetation, but always rewards you with great views of Machu Picchu and the surrounding area.

It takes about 90 minutes to get to the top of Machu Picchu Mountain, depending on your pace. The path leads over a lot of stairs, a good physical condition and sturdy shoes are highly recommended for this route.

Due to the duration of the hike, the maximum time limit of 4 hours for visiting Machu Picchu does not apply to this route.

Access to Machu Picchu Mountain is directly via the first part of Routes 1/2 to the control point. After the descent, however, it is not possible to continue along these routes and you have to leave Machu Picchu along the same path (as do the guests who reach Machu Picchu on the Inca Trail from the Sun Gate).

Then you can enter the facility again with the Machu Picchu Mountain ticket to complete the short tour on Route 3.

There are 2 time slots of 60 minutes each for admission to Machu Picchu Mountain:

6:00, 8:00 = maximum 200 visitors for each time slot

A female and male traveler exploring Machu Picchu with views of the surrounding mountains
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