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New Machu Picchu Entrance Times

Machu Picchu is an incredibly popular site, and in fact, often over 4,000 people visit each day. In Peru, it is the most popular tourist destination. Due to the popularity of Machu Picchu, the Ministry of Culture has implemented two entrance times (previously there was only one). The Ministry of Culture has added another entrance time so that the experience of Machu Picchu can be enjoyed without the worry of there being too many people, with more focus on the sacredness of the site and the rich history that goes along with it.

The changes in entrance times mean that travelers must also adapt their bus and train plans. The route to Machu Picchu remains the same, however, just with adjusted times. In order to reach Machu Picchu, travelers must take a train from Cusco or the Sacred Valley. The train takes travelers to a town called Aguas Calientes, and from there, a 25 minute bus ride is necessary to reach Machu Picchu. Unlike the trains, the bus system is first come, first serve. The buses run frequently, however, because of the traffic, people often have to wait for several buses to pass in order to board one that has room. We advise that you buy your train ticket according to the new entrance times, with extra time for the bus ride.  If you are traveling with Cusi Travel, there is no need to worry about bus and train times as we will take care of that.

There are new regulations in regards to tour guides as well. Visitors of the Inca city must be accompanied by a tour guide during the entire tour, with a minimum of 3 hours in Machu Picchu and a maximum of 4 hours. However, if visitors enter Machu Picchu with a tour guide, they can come back the next day without a tour guide as long as they show the ticket from the previous day as well as the name of the tour guide who was with them. So you will need to enter Machu Picchu and exit with your tour guide, and your tour guide is responsible for making sure that you exit at the appropriate time according to your ticket. If you plan on entering during both the first and second entrance times in the same day, then you will need to buy entrance tickets for both times. In this case, the tour guide service for the second entrance is optional.

The new entrance times for Machu Picchu are from 6:00 am to 12:00 pm and the second entrance time is from 12:00 pm to 5:30 pm, with a maximum time of 4 hours inside of Machu Picchu when you have the general Machu Picchu ticket for either of these times. This includes those that enter from the Inca Trail, and their 4 hours begin once they check in at the Machu Picchu entrance. However, there are also different types of tickets to enter Machu Picchu that allow for more time available inside the citadel. This applies to tickets that include Huayna Picchu and Machu Picchu Mountain, since visitors are allowed enough time for their tour of Machu Picchu and also to climb the specified mountain. Visitors with the Machu Picchu Mountain ticket will have a maximum time of 7 hours, and visitors with Huayna Picchu Mountain will have a maximum time of 6 hours. A tour guide is not necessary when you have a ticket for either of these mountains.

Another important change is that it is no longer permitted to exit and reenter Machu Picchu. So once you exit, even if you have not used your full 4 hours inside of Machu Picchu, you will not be allowed to reenter. Please keep this in mind when considering restrooms, since there are only restrooms located outside the Machu Picchu entrance and not inside of the citadel. The restrooms cost 1 sol to use so make sure you use the restrooms before entering Machu Picchu.

If you have any questions about these new regulations, please contact us at info@cusitravel.com.

By Abigail Sullivan