Machu Picchu Has a Very Strict New Entry Policy

Jan 11, 2019

This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.

If your 2019 travel plans include a trip to the ancient Inca citadel of Machu Picchu, there’s an important change you need to know about. Travelers must purchase a timed ticket for access to the UNESCO World Heritage Site, and that pass is only valid for one hour.

The new ticket system, which went into effect on Jan. 1, will require travelers to opt for a specific entry time (hourly from 6am to 2pm), and the tickets expire after one hour. (If you have a 6am ticket, for example, you must enter the site by 7am.)

As part of the change, maximum stay times have been limited to four hours or less. Travelers will want to opt for an earlier entry time between 6am and noon, because the later slots (1pm and 2pm) still require visitors to exit the citadel by 5:30pm.

By staggering visitors, the government hopes to reduce wait times and overcrowding. (To encourage fewer people from arriving in the early morning, for example, incentives have been introduced for travelers who enter later in the day, such as free access to the on-site museum.) But it’s not quite clear how officials plan to enforce the four-hour window.

All tickets provide access to the two main circuits around Machu Picchu, but travelers interested in an alternative hike to Huayna Picchu or Machu Picchu mountain will need to purchase timed tickets exclusively for these treks. Both include access to the citadel.

This is just the latest in a series of changes the Peruvian government has been slowly implementing in an effort to curb the tourism boom. Since July of 2017, for example, visitors have been required to enter Machu Picchu with an official guide. That’s when timed tickets were first trialed, too. Visitors could opt for either morning or afternoon sessions, each approximately six hours in duration.

At this time, ticket prices remain unchanged (152 sols person, or approximately $45; 200 sols per person or $60 for access to the citadel and either Machu Picchu mountain or Huayna Picchu), but according to the Peru Telegraph, early morning ticket prices could increase 20% in 2020 — meaning if Peru’s most famous attraction has been on your bucket list, now is definitely the right time to scratch it off.

Tickets can be purchased directly through Machu Picchu’s official website, and entry times and dates cannot be changed.

If all this seems a bit too structured for your liking, there are plenty of other ways to experience Peru’s famous Inca ruins. The so-called second sister to Machu Picchu, Choquequirao, is just starting to gain popularity with international travelers. But the strenuous multi-day hike required to see this equally impressive archaeological site is a strong deterrent.

Featured image by Willian Justen de Vasconcellos via Unsplash.

Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card

Earn 90,000 bonus miles and 10,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new card in the first three months of card membership. Offer ends 11/10/2021.

With Status Boost™, earn 10,000 Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, up to two times per year getting you closer to Medallion Status. Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels, 2X Miles at restaurants and at U.S. supermarkets and earn 1X Mile on all other eligible purchases. Terms Apply.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Limited Time Offer: Earn 90,000 Bonus Miles and 10,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months. Offer expires 11/10/2021.
  • Earn up to 20,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) with Status Boost® per year. After you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, you can earn 10,000 MQMs two times per year, getting you closer to Medallion® Status. MQMs are used to determine Medallion® Status and are different than miles you earn toward flights.
  • Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels.
  • Earn 2X Miles at restaurants worldwide, including takeout and delivery and at U.S. supermarkets.
  • Earn 1X Miles on all other eligible purchases.
  • Receive a Domestic Main Cabin round-trip companion certificate each year upon renewal of your Card. *Payment of the government imposed taxes and fees of no more than $75 for roundtrip domestic flights (for itineraries with up to four flight segments) is required. Baggage charges and other restrictions apply. See terms and conditions for details.
  • Enjoy your first checked bag free on Delta flights.
  • Fee Credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✓®.
  • Enjoy an exclusive rate of $39 per person per visit to enter the Delta Sky Club® for you and up to two guests when traveling on a Delta flight.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • $250 Annual Fee.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees
Regular APR
15.74%-24.74% Variable
Annual Fee
Balance Transfer Fee
Recommended Credit
Terms and restrictions apply. See rates & fees.

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.