New Rules for Machu Picchu Starting July 2017

As many of you know, the Peruvian Ministry of Culture has decided to change how guests can visit Machu Picchu that will impact all upcoming trips. These new rules also change how companies like Alpaca Expeditions operate our tours and have installed many new regulations. 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. It is a very long legal document written in Spanish, which reflects changes to visiting hours, how guides must operate within the site, the circuits which tourist must follow though the site and reconfirmation general entrance rules. We hope to break down all the important details below so that you as our guest understand how you are affected.

Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu 5D/4N

Why New Rules?

Since Machu Picchu was first given the UNESCO World Heritage status back on Dec 09, 1983, tourism has grown every single year making the historical site so crowded that it is difficult to visit. And there are concerns of how this is affecting the preservation of the site. Before this new law, general entrance tickets were limited to 2,500 per day, and on some peak days of the year, this number actually sold out. The reality however, is that the amount of people visiting Machu Picchu per day is much more than 2,500, when you consider the various combinations of ticket types available (actually around 3,800 entrances). The new rules have been implemented to control how visitors and guides access the site, in order to maintain the integrity of the site and its legacy for future visitors. Bizarrely, these new rules actually allow more people in each day - almost double.

Highlights of the New Rules

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 , all visitors entering Machu Picchu must be accompanied by a guide. Guides must be official Machu Picchu guides or licensed tourist guides. They must present an up-to-date and valid guide identification before entering Machu Picchu. Guides are only permitted to take maximum group size of 16 people. Guides need to sign in and sign out all visitors. The guides will also be responsible for informing visitors of the regulations of the park. Guides will accompany all visitors hiking Machu Picchu Mountain and Huayna Picchu Mountain. The regulations are still fairly unclear.

Defined Circuits

This is the part that is least defined. They want you to be able to see the all the ruins within one session but of course this is only possible at a face pace. The routes or circuits will be set up to separate the crowd and prevent everyone from stopping at one highlight. 

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.”

FAQs

Since I booked my tour before the regulations were announced, am I still affected?

Yes, this affects everyone no matter when they booked. It's the new law for everyone who enters Machu Picchu.

How much is a second ticket to Machu Picchu?

Each ticket is $50 US. If you choose to spend the entire day at Machu Picchu (6AM - 5:30PM) you will need to purchase a second ticket, which we can secure for you.

If I go back to Machu Picchu for a second time, do I need to hire another guide?

No, you can enter the second time without a guide, as long as you show the ticket from the day before that you did use one previously.

Will I be able to see all of Machu Picchu now?

We believe it is possible to see all of Machu Picchu with your guide in one session - but it will be a bit rushed without as much relaxing time and photo time. If you would like to do a more leisurely tour you will need a second ticket for the afternoon.

Are there special rules for those doing the Inca Trail?

As of now, YES. The Ministy continues to say that those doing the Inca Trail will not be forced to leave at noon. This is because the 4 day trekkers, which is the most popular route, will not arrive to Machu Picchu until 8AM and this is too little time to visit the ruins, especially if you are doing one of the extra hikes.

How will this affect my train time?

We generally book the 2:55 PM or 4:20 PM train based on availability. This will not change for tourist train travelers. But those taking the Vistadome to Poroy has changed to an hour later, departing Aguas Calientes at 4:45PM now. If you wish to take an earlier Vistadome train, there is a 3:48 that goes to Ollantaytambo.

Rules of Machu Picchu

As set out in Article 19 of the Ministerial Resolution, here are the general visitor rules for Machu Picchu (I have only included the important ones):

  • 19.1. Any type of bag/rucksack measuring more than 40 x 35 x 20 cm (15.7 x 13.7 x 7.9”) is not permitted, and must be placed in storage (near the entrance).
  • 19.2. It is prohibited to enter with food and drink.
  • 19.4. It is prohibited to enter with alcoholic beverages.
  • 19.5. It is prohibited to enter with umbrellas or sun shades (hats and ponchos / rain coats are permitted).
  • 19.6. It is prohibited to enter with photographic tripods or any type of camera stand/support. This is only permitted with pre-authorization and the appropriate permit.
  • 19.9. It is prohibited to enter with any musical instruments, including megaphones and speakers.
  • 19.11. It is prohibited to enter with shoes with high-heels, or hard soles. Only soft soles are permitted (like those found in training shoes or walking shoes/boots).
  • 19.12. It is prohibited to enter with children’s strollers / prams. Only strap on baby/child carriers are permitted.
  • 19.17. It is prohibited to climb or lean on walls or any part of the citadel.
  • 19.18. It is prohibited to touch, move or remove any lithic items / structures.
  • 19.22. It is prohibited to enter with walking sticks with a metal or hard point. Only elderly people and physically-handicapped people are permitted to enter with a walking stick, when it has a rubber tip.
  • 19.25. (my favourite, and this had happened on more than one occasion) It is prohibited to get naked, dress up, lie down, run and jump.
  • 19.26. It is prohibited to make loud noises, applaud, shout, whistle and sing. The tranquillity and character of Machu Picchu must be maintained at all times.
  • 19.27. It is prohibited to smoke or use an electronic cigarette.
  • 19.32. It is prohibited to feed the resident or wild animals.
  • 19.33. It is prohibited to paraglide, fly any type of drone or small aircraft.

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