Machu Picchu is without a doubt one of the most popular destinations in the world, for some enough reason to visit Peru at all. The famous hidden Inca town features countless bucket lists and counts with thousands of visitors every day. Unfortunately, nowadays Machu Picchu faces the fate of overtourism. Therefore, the INC (Instituto Nacional de la Cultura), the governing body of Machu Picchu, has changed the regulations and rules to be able to conserve this UNESCO World Heritage as long as possible for the coming generations. Here is everything you need to know for your visit of the Wonder of the World in 2019.

trips to machu picchu lead you to the citadel entrance

Entrance tickets

Machu Picchu citadel

While there were only two main schedules for the last years, from 6 AM to 12 PM and from 12 PM to 5:30 PM, there are now actually 9 hourly slots. This seems a bit confusing in the beginning, but is actually not at all. The schedules now start from 6 AM until 2 AM with a total stay at the citadel of four hours. For each time slot there are different amounts of entrance tickets provided. They range between 360 and 800 per slot, the ones from 6 AM to 9 AM being the most popular ones. Especially if you are planning your tour to Machu Picchu last minute it might be difficult to still get tickets in the early morning.

trips to machu picchu offer you great views

Huayna Picchu

During your stay at the sanctuary you have the chance to do an extra hike and get an extraordinary view over the whole site. One of the mountains and also the most popular one is called Huayna Picchu. To be able to do this hike you do need an extra ticket that can only be bought together with the general entrance ticket to Machu Picchu. Since 2019 there are now three different time slots for Huayna Picchu and Machu Picchu:

ENTRY MACHU PICCHU ENTRY HUAYNA PICCHU
at 6 AM between 7 AM and 8 AM
at 7 AM between 7 AM and 8 AM
at 8 AM between 10 AM and 11 AM

It is only possible to climb Huayna Picchu for the early-morning time slots. It takes about 45 minutes to the top. It is also important to know that, since it is such a popular mountain, tickets sell out extremely fast and there are only 400 available in total per day.

trips to machu picchu allow you to climb huayna picchu mountain

Machu Picchu Mountain

Another extra hike that does not receive enough credit is Machu Picchu Mountain. Not to confuse with Machu Picchu, the sanctuary, it is an extra hike like Huayna Picchu. It is higher than its brother and offers a breathtaking view over the citadel as well as Huayna Picchu. Taking around 1,5 hours to the top it is a longer hike but not as steep. Since Machu Picchu Mountain is still not that popular tickets do not sell out as quickly, if at all. To be able to climb it you need to buy your ticket together with the general entrance ticket as well:

ENTRY MACHU PICCHU ENTRY MACHU PICCHU MOUNTAIN
at 6 AM between 7 AM and 8 AM
at 7 AM between 7 AM and 8 AM
at 8 AM between 9 AM and 10 AM

Machu Picchu Mountain counts with 400 tickets in total per day.

You can buy your tickets either directly at the Ministry of Culture in Cusco or online through their website. If you book a tour through a travel agency they will get the ticket for you. A valid passport to buy the ticket and to be able to enter Machu Picchu is obligatory.

trips to machu picchu hike the mountain

Guide

Another addition to the new regulations is that it is not possible anymore to enter the citadel without a tour guide. Usually all trips to Machu Picchu booked through an agency include your guide but if you decide to go on your own you will find that at the entrance of the sanctuary plenty of guides offer their services. In addition, it makes your visit to Machu Picchu not only a “visit” but also a journey through time and an increase of your knowledge about the Incas.

Set circuits

Whereas in the past it was possible to go and explore the ruins as you wished there are now three different set circuits that lead you past different parts of the Inca city like Guards Hut, the Temple of the Three Windows and water fountains, through the lower “urban” area and the Three Doorways among other impressive buildings.

For everyone that wishes to do this once-in-a-lifetime-trip should know that there are different ways of how to organize trips to Machu Picchu. You can either do hikes or go by car and train. The most popular hike is the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu, with thousands of people walking along the original trail each year. This is also the only trek that enters the Inca sanctuary through the original entrance, the Inti Punku (Sun Gate).

inti punk is a must in some trips to machu picchu

For everyone who has not much time or is just not a big fan of hiking you can go by car to Ollantaytambo, about 2 hours from Cusco, and take the train to Aguas Calientes, also known as Machu Picchu Pueblo. There are two main train companies that offer regular trains, panoramic trains as well as luxury trains. If you decide to make your trip more unique and glamorous take the luxury train to Machu Picchu: The Hiram Bingham operated by PeruRail. This train in the style of the 1920s offers the ultimate train ride through amazing sceneries to your desired destination.

trips to machu picchu in aguas calientes

To better plan your trips to Machu Picchu pick the right time. The best month to hike Machu Picchu is said to be between May and August. During this time it is dry season in Peru and you won’t get surprised by sudden rain showers and foggy views. However, this time is also busy season which means huge crowds of tourists and tickets selling out in an instant. If you plan on visiting the World Wonder during these months better plan plenty ahead of time.

Peru has many wonders waiting for you to be discovered. Here in Cusco Travel Peru our specialty is to make your trip an outstanding experience, fill-in this form and let your taylor-made luxury Peru vacation begin.

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