New Rules for Machu Picchu 2021

Updated October 13th, 2021

Together with local authorities, the Ministry of Tourism has released a new set of rules to regulate visits to Machu Picchu from December 1st, 2020.

Information on the Cusco’s Cultural Board’s website is currently available only in Spanish. Therefore, we have summarized the relevant aspects for visitors and tourism companies in English.

Machu Picchu Entry and Visitation Regulations

  • The current daily capacity for Machu Picchu is 2050 spaces. This capacity restriction is valid until December 31st. Before the outbreak of the Coronavirus, the capacity of Machu Picchu was capped at 2244 daily visitors, however, during the pandemic, this maximum capacity was reduced to 40% (897 spaces). Capacity has now gone up to 2050 again. This is subject to change according to changes in alert levels in the future. We strongly recommend travelers planning to visit Machu Picchu to buy their tickets ASAP since availability has become rather limited.
  • Temperature will be taken before entry, visitors registering more than 37.5°C (99.5° F) or more won’t be allowed to enter the site.
  • Groups will have a maximum of 9 (8 visitors and a guide).
  • Children under 3 years of age do not need to pay an entrance fee. Children aged between 3 and 17 years can pay a reduced entrance fee. The reduced student rate only applies to 18 to 25-year-olds who can present a university student card (the ISIC Card is not valid).
  • During the Machu Picchu tour, a minimum distance of 1.5 meters (5 feet) between visitors is suggested, and for groups, at least 20 meters (66 ft).
  • The visit has a maximum duration of 4 hours.
  • Wearing of a mask is compulsory during the entire visit to Machu Picchu.
  • To comply with safety and health protocols throughout the travel experience, measures to keep social distancing have been implemented. Socially distanced markings on the floor for the waiting line to board the shuttle bus from Aguas Calientes to Machu Picchu can now be found. At train stations, one seat has to remain empty between passengers.
  • Antibacterial hand gel is available at train and bus stations, etc. 

Trains to Machu Picchu

PeruRail and IncaRail have resumed their operation on November 1st 2020. Both companies have implemented safety protocols.

  • All passengers must show their ID along with their digital boarding pass.
  • Boarding will be done exclusively by means of showing your digital boarding pass (on your smartphone).
  • Before boarding the trains, the symptomatology form must be submitted in digital format, through a sworn statement. In the case of children under 14 years old, they may only travel with at least one of their parents/guardians. Find the sworn statement for each rail company:
    General Form: Peru Rail / Inca Rail
    Children under 14 years old: Peru Rail / Inca Rail
    Over 65 years old: Peru Rail / Inca Rail
  • Wearing of a mask and a face shield on board is compulsory.
  • Temperature checks will be carried out on board.
  • As of November 29th, 2020, the new capacity of the trains has been upped to 100%.
  • Consuming food onboard is not permitted.
  • The Hiram Bingham train will only operate on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays until June 30th, 2022.
Map of the points of interest in the Sacred Valley, Cusco, Inca Trail and Machu Picchu
Passengers wearing face shields and masks traveling with PeruRail after Machu Picchu's re-opening

Hours & Admissions

  • Visits to Machu Picchu begin at 06:00 am. The site closes at 05:30 pm.
  • There are 9 visit slots from Monday to Sunday, the first from 6:00 am to 7:00 am and the last from 2:00 pm through 3:00 pm.
  • Visitors should take the shuttle bus from Aguas Calientes to Machu Picchu max. 30 minutes before the start of the assigned visitation time slot.
  • As you see in the picture below, signage and floor markings allow for compliance with social distancing.
  • Wearing of a mask during your visit is compulsory.
  • Due to the limited number of tickets to Machu Picchu on sale, we recommend you first check slot availability and based on that look for a suitable train frequency.
  • Entrance availability can be checked online here.

A close up of a guide wearing a mask and an alpaca while visiting foggy Machu Picchu

Machu Picchu Circuits

Three one-way circuits have been defined to reduce gatherings in Machu Picchu.

Map of Machu Picchu showing the three current circuits available for visit

Shuttle bus from Aguas Calientes to Machu Picchu

Similar to the trains, the capacity of the shuttle buses from Aguas Calientes to Machu Picchu and vice-versa is 100%. Wearing a mask and a face shield on board is compulsory.

Admission to the Inca Trail

Since July 15th, 2021, it is again possible to buy permits for the 4/3 and 5/4 Inca trail. From October 11th, it will possible to buy permits for 2022.

For the 2-day and 4-day Inca Trail, the maximum number of hikers joining a group is 7, while for the remainder of options there can be 8 hikers in a group without considering the guide or porter. In total, the maximum number of visitors per group can be 25 people consisting of 8 tourists, 1 guide, and 10-16 support people (such as porters).

Before starting the hike, visitors must sign an affidavit of health found here.

Body temperature checks will be made at the starting point as well as at different checkpoints throughout the trial

Currently, the Inca trail is run at 50% capacity:

  • For the 4-day Inca Trail there are 250 spaces at a time
  • For the 2-day Inca Trail there are 125 spaces at a time

From 2022 the Inca Trail should run at 100% capacity with up to 10 hikers per group.

Access to Wayna Picchu & Machu Picchu Mountain

The new rules for Machu Picchu also include guidelines for visits to Wayna Picchu and ‘Machu Picchu Mountain’ which have both already opened to visitors again.

Machu Picchu Mountain has 400 spaces a day distributed into 2 entrance times: 06:00 a.m. and 08:00 a.m.

Wayna Picchu has 200 spaces a day distributed into 4 entrance times: 06:00 a.m., 08;00 a.m., 10:00 a.m., and 12:00 pm.

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