New Machu Picchu Regulations Start July 1st 2017 

In 1983 the little known archaeological site of Machu Picchu received UNESCO World Heritage status.

Since then Machu Picchu has become one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world, with traveller numbers surging past 1 million visitors in 2008 and many new accolades being awarded.

At the time the Peruvian government, in consultation with UNESCO, took the decision to limit daily visitors to 2500 – an initiative that was seen as a significant move to try to conserve the famous site.

In reality, though, visitor numbers frequently went above 2500 due to the various ticket type combinations. At peak times of the year, actual visitor numbers are often as high as 3800 people per day.

To combat the issue of increased visitors the government has now decided to implement new Machu Picchu regulations, which will use timed-entry tickets in addition to daily quotas to control access to the site.

The new system is due to launch on 1st July 2017. The main changes to the regulations are outlined below.

New Machu Picchu Regulations

Split Entrance Times

Starting on 1st July 2017 and running for a period of 2 years, Machu Picchu entrance tickers will be split into two entrance times – Morning (AM) Entrance will be from 6 am–12 pm and the Afternoon (PM) Entrance will commence from 12 pm–17:30 pm. Visitors to the site will be restricted to their time frame and will need to leave the site before their entrance period expires.

Moreover, visitors will not be able to re-enter once they have left, unless they have an afternoon ticket.

No more lazy days exploring the site! Visitors and guides who fail to leave the site within their timeframe will be removed by authorities and may face a fine.

Entry with Official Guide Only

Entry into the site will from the 1st July 2017 require that visitors are accompanied by an official guide. This is a significant change and a key component of the new regulations, as the guides will be partially responsible for enforcing the rules.

Guides can either be official Machu Picchu guides or licensed tourist/trekking guides.

All guides will need to carry valid guide identification to enter Machu Picchu and will only be permitted to take a maximum group of 16 people into the Citadel. Upon entry guides will need to sign in and sign out all visitors in their group.

It is still unclear whether guides will be required to accompany visitors who have elected to hike Huayna Picchu or Machu Picchu Mountain.

Defined Routes

The new regulations propose defined routes that visitors will need to follow through the site, but it is still not entirely clear how this will be implemented.

The route will no doubt need to take visitors past all the main sites, but due to some areas being of more interest than others it is likely that traffic jams will form.

The government has assured operators and guides that the routes will be designed to separate crowds and prevent visitors from stopping at one highlight for too long. How this plays out in practice is yet to be seen though.


The new regulations also prohibit re-entrance to Machu Picchu, which means once you are in you can’t leave and come back in. This is clearly a problematic regulation as currently, the only toilets at Machu Picchu are outside the entrance.

The new rules do state that they will allow re-entrance for special circumstances, so one would hope a toilet visit is enshrined in the word ‘special’!

For visitors wishing to spend more than half a day in Machu Picchu, they will need to purchase two entrance tickets.

Mark Whitman

Hi, I'm Mark! Welcome to Machu Picchu Trek Guide - the Web's No.1 Trekking Guide to Machu Picchu. I started this guide to help trekkers like yourself get the information you need to plan for an awesome Machu Picchu trekking experience. Over 1 million people have used Machu Picchu Trek to plan their adventure to the famous Incan ruins. We hope we can help you too! If you have any questions don't hesitate to drop a comment below! Happy Trekking!

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  1. If I hire a guide ourside the Machu Picchu, what is the price for two person? so I can prepare before I go. And do they have a guide for a group of 16 for people to join in at the Machu Picchu?

    1. Hi Ann, the price varies by tour guide. Unfortunately I don’t have any up to date pricing for individuals or groups.

    1. Hi Mike, I’m not sure how the new regulations effect walking up to the Sun Gate. In times past you could just follow the trail up to the Sun Gate from within the Citadel. I suspect they will have a similar setup now as almost everyone who hasn’t hiked the Inca Trail want to walk up to the Sun Gate. Sorry I can’t give you a more definitive answer.

  2. Hi Mark ,

    Where do you find the information about the 2500 visitors a day to Machu Picchu? I’m writing a master thesis about it and need a reliable source. Did you find it on Unescos website?


  3. My partner and I are traveling by bicycle on a tight budget, and we were happy to learn that an official guide is not required for entrance into the park, at least as of August 2018. Still worth every penny – as I’m sure a local guide would be, but not necessary! 🙂

    1. Hi Sweety, I would recommend bringing warm hiking gear with you, although if you find you are missing something you can easily hire or buy in Cusco.

  4. A very nice blog for a very nice place.
    I am hiking up to Machu Picchu after few months and I can’t wait. I am spending a few days in Cusco before. Any tips or ideas for other fun things to do around there?

  5. This photo is amazing! Well from the photograph it pretty clean that you are very good photographer. Thanks for sharing this lovely travel experience with us
    I went to Peru in spring of 2012 and the crown jewel of any Peruvian getaway is Machu Picchu. We also were able to snap a few pics with limited people since we waited out a rain storm. But we were treated to the clouds climbing up Machu Picchu which was beautiful! ?

  6. My husband and I went to Peru for our honeymoon in 1982. Other than the hotel up at the site and a small guesthouse in Aguas Calientes, there were no other overnight accomodations to stay at Machu Picchu, so the place really cleared out when the tourist train left to return to Cuzco. We were able to take a photo of from the Sun Gate with no people in it before sunset. We climbed Huayna Picchu. I was terrified for a good part of the climb. The day before our climb, a guide warned us to be careful when reaching up to grab hold of a rock overhang because there could be a viper sunning on it. That was underscored when we came upon a dead viper by the side of the trail leaving Machu Picchu. There is an old photo of me at the top, clinging anxiously to a rock near the edge. That climb is right near the top when I think back over my reverse bucket list (i.e. wonderful things I’ve already done and seen.) ?

  7. Machu Picchu is an amazing place to visit soon. I am really amazed how they build that community. Thanks for this guide.?

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