Machu Picchu: New Entrance Rules

11.05.2017

On Thursday April 27, 2017, Peru’s Ministry of Culture announced the new entrance rules for visiting Machu Picchu. The new Ministerial Resolution No. 070-2007-MC, was first published in February 21, 2017, in the El Peruano, a newspaper which is used by the government to publish changes to the law. These new laws will affect all visitors to Machu Picchu that are visiting the Inca citadel from July 01, 2017 onward.

Split Entrance Times

From July 01, 2017, and for a period of 2 years, entrance tickets to Machu Picchu will be split into 2 entrance times.

  1. AM Entrance, from 6 am – 12 pm.
  2. PM Entrance, from 12 pm – 5.30 pm.

Visitors must leave the site within the time frame stated, and cannot re-enter once visitors have left the site. Visitors and guides who don’t enter and leave within the time frame stated, will be assisted to the exit by the competent authorities! You have been warned.

Entry with Official Guide Only

This is probably the most significant rule. From July 01, 2017 onward, all visitors entering Machu Picchu must be accompanied by a guide. Guides must be official Machu Picchu guides or licensed tourist guides. The must present an up-to-date and valid guide identification on entering Machu Picchu. Guides are only permitted to take maximum group sizes of 16 people. Guides need to sign in and sign out all visitors in his/her group. The guides will also be responsible for informing visitors of the regulations of the park.

How guides will accompany visitors hiking Machu Picchu Mountain and Huayna Picchu Mountain is fairly unclear. I shall try to define this over the coming days.

Defined Circuits

The new rules define 3 circuits which visitors to Machu Picchu must abide by. The route that you take will be defined when purchasing the ticket (make sure you buy the correct ticket). Each circuit takes an average 2h 30 mins to 3 hours to complete. To understand the exact route you will take, you need to have a fairly good understanding of the layout of Machu Picchu. The circuits are marked with ropes. Circuit 1, is the classic route, and the most challenging from a physical perspective. It first takes in the upper-sector of the citadel, before heading in a large loop around to the lower-sector. Circuits 2 & 3, visit the mid and lower-sectors, and are more suitable for those who want a more relaxing visit. At the end of this article we have included layouts of the new circuits (as published by the Ministry of Culture). It is not permitted to leave these defined areas, and anyone found doing so, can be removed from the site.

Alternative Circuits

Huayna Picchu Mountain

Entrance to Huayna Picchu Mountain is permitted in two distinct entrance windows. You must present yourself at the trail head at the time shown below to gain entrance. Note: This ticket is a combination ticket with the general Machu Picchu entrance ticket.

First entrance: 7 am – 8 am.
Second entrance: 10 am – 11 am.

The visitor must sign in and out of the trek at the control post, at the start of the trail head. The new law states that the time to complete the trek should be between 3 & 4 hours, depending if you include or leave out the Gran Cavern (also known as the Moon Temple). This technically means that you could enter Huayna Picchu at 11 am, and leave Machu Picchu at 3pm.

Machu Picchu Mountain (Montaña)

Entrance to Machu Picchu Mountain is permitted in two distinct entrance windows. You must present yourself at the trail head at the time shown below to gain entrance. Note: This ticket is a combination ticket with the general Machu Picchu entrance ticket.

First entrance: 7 am – 8 am.
Second entrance: 9 am – 10 am.

Visitors must sign in and out of the trek at the control post, at the start of the trail head. The new law states that the time to complete the trek is approximately 4 hours. All visitors must have left the trek by 3pm. It seems to me, that this might well be the best ticket to buy as this will allow you much more extended time in Machu Picchu, then the standard ticket, especially when you consider that the ticket costs about US$ 7 per person more.

Re-entrance

The new rules also prohibit re-entrance to Machu Picchu, meaning once you enter, if you leave you are not allowed to return. They do include a stipulation in the new rules, which allow re-entrance for special circumstances. At the moment, the only toilets at Machu Picchu are located on the outside of the park, so until a solution is found to solve this problem, I think that this is a fairly good “special circumstance.”