Access to Machu Picchu【COVID-19 Update】

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Due to the increase of visitors during the last years, Peru decided to change its regulations for Machu Picchu’s entrance so that visitors could have a more pleaseant and responsible experience.

However, although this regulation was implemented only recently, the current situation of Covid-19 suposes that some measures are reconsidered.

In this article we would like to explain you what this regulation is about and how it has been affected. So that when we can travel again, you can know exactly how to do it. The earlier you plan everything, the better.

New regulation

We have read and figured the official regulations (yes, we are brave) and consulted with our partners in order to bring you reliable first-hand information and tell you about it in a simple way.

We will clarify the new situation for you and then explain you the different types of entrance and areas that can be visited normally.

Entrance to Machu Picchu according to the latest access regulations

All the changes proposed by the new regulations are to avoid the deterioration of the area and to better distribute the number of visitors throughout the day, with special interest in avoiding overcrowding during the early hours of the morning. So that we can all have a better experience during the visit.

Normally, the duration of the visits is limited to 4 hours, which is extended to 6 hours if you visit Huayna Picchu and 7 hours if you visit the mountain of Machu Picchu. In all cases it is obligatory to enter with an official guide in groups of maximum 20 people.

Although normally the entrance shifts have very specific schedules and durations, the duration of the visits will only be regulated more strictly if necessary, otherwise they will be more tolerant.

Current situation due to COVID-19

Due to the current situation we are facing with the COVID-19 virus, visits to Machu Picchu are suspended and will only be re-initiated after the state of emergency ends. Once the number of infections is reduced and sanitary protocols are implemented for the transfer of visitors, as well as the biosecurity measures that must also be implemented by guides and tour operators, tourist attractions can be reopened as well as the country’s borders.

Entrance to Machu Picchu by turns

Generally, tickets are sold for two different shifts, the morning shift (6:00am to 12:00pm) and the afternoon shift (12:00pm to 5:45pm). During the morning shift, all visitors may stay in the venue for 4 hours, regardless of the time they enter. For example, if you enter at 11:00am you will not have to leave at 12 noon, but at 3:00pm. During the afternoon shift, although the entrance indicates that it is from 12:00pm, the access is usually allowed from 11:00am.

As a new measure, the Ministry of Culture of Peru, established that the maximum number of visitors that Machu Picchu could receive (once tourism is reactivated) would be 2,244 per day.

Before the pandemic, the maximum number of daily visitors (combining the two shifts) was 5,346. Each shift with a maximum of 2,637 visitors, although for the morning shift up to 3,267 tickets were allowed to be sold. And the rest would be subtracted from the afternoon shift.

Finally, and taking into account how it was carried before, travelers who had access to Machu Picchu for two consecutive days did not have to hire a tour for the second day, but only show the previous day’s ticket.

Areas to visit and types of ticket to Machu Picchu

In order to explain it well, we must understand that the archaeological zone has three different areas: Machu Picchu, Machu Picchu Mountain and Huayna Picchu. These are three areas of Machu Picchu at different heights, for which you can buy a single ticket (which only gives access to Machu Picchu), or a combined one, either with the Mountain of Machu Picchu or Huayna Picchu.

Ticket types and price

1. Basic entrance only for Machu Picchu (morning and afternoon shifts):

Price visit Machu Pichu

*Free entrance for children under 8 years old.

You can check the availability of tickets at the official website of Machu Picchu

2. Entrance to Machu Picchu Mountain

Mountain of Machu picchu

This mountain is at the bottom of Machu Picchu. It has wide roads with little inclination that make it the best option if you travel with children or older people.

Normally, 800 people are allowed to access it per day and it consists of a 2 kilometer walk with a 300 meter climb. It takes about 3 hours to do it, with great views of the Inca city. Curiously, you will meet less people than in Huayna Picchu, so you will be able to enjoy it with more tranquility.

3. Entrance to Huayna Picchu

huayna picchu

It is the highest mountain within the archaeological zone. To get to the top you will have to walk along narrow carved paths around the mountain, hold on to more than one rope and climb many steps.

Besides having one of the best panoramic views of the area you will also find the Temple of the Moon located in one of the caves you’ll find on the way. This climb will test your physical fitness and is not recommended for people who are afraid of heights.

Only 400 tickets are sold per day and there are 2 shifts of climbing: one that allows access from 7 to 8 and another from 10 to 11. By the way, children under 12 are not allowed.

climbing huayna picchu
The climb to Huayna Picchu is not easy…
…but the views are amazing 🙂

Life is very short and full of surprises. So as soon as all this is over, we encourage you to decide to travel and see one of the wonders of the world, as well as a country with an incredible culture, gastronomy and landscapes!

Have a good trip!

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