Yes! Well, that is the short answer, but we know that you might have many more questions about visiting Machu Picchu now. Since November 1st, the imposing seven world wonders opened their doors again. However, before writing a post letting you know about all the protocols, we wanted to visit Machu Picchu ourselves.
Even though some people prefer to wait longer to travel, others are interested in starting their journeys sooner. Peru is currently following international standards to be a safe destination and only opening attractions which have implemented the corresponding protocols.
Therefore, if you are thinking about traveling to Peru and visiting Machu Picchu… keep reading!
How is everything at Machu Picchu right now? What can I expect?
As you can imagine, the authorities have taken serious actions to turn Machu Picchu into a safer place and reduce risk of becoming infected. Some of these guidelines will make your visit a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
#1 The same amount of people that used to enter the site per hour is now the maximum capacity per day.
Yes, Machu Picchu right now only allows 75 people to enter per hour, amounting to 675 people per day. The entrance starts at 6:00 in the morning, and the last schedule is at 14:00. And if you add that not all people who book their entrance ticket actually go, then you will definitely see Machu Picchu as no one has in the last twenty years.
#2 They only allow groups of 8 people, including your guide
This is to avoid big groups. Therefore, the time is perfect for small groups that do not need to split. We strongly recommend visiting Machu Picchu with a guide for many reasons, but especially because he knows exactly what to do, which path to take, and will help you to follow all the protocols.
#3 Social distance within your group but with others, too!
We know social distancing is the key to ensuring our safety, that is why within the same group the personnel will recommend a distance of 2 MTS or 6ft. between themselves. However, with other groups the distance will be 20 MTS or 65 ft. This might sound like too much, but at least we will not need to worry about photobombing!
#4 People will be there, making sure you have the safest experience
There will be many guards and personnel dedicated to helping the visitors follow the protocols and taking care of you. They will be responsible for measuring your temperature, showing you the entrance, and giving you information. Remember to respect their work, and don’t be annoyed if they ask you not to stay too long at a view point, or remind you to keep your distance or ask you to use your facemask at all times.
#5 Don’t forget to follow route 1 or 2
Machu Picchu has now implemented 4 routes. To sum up, if you want to have the wide and classic route overlooking the impressive Citadel, take route 1 or 2. Both will take you to the classic spot of the Guardian house.
So, how do I get to Machu Picchu?
From Cusco, you will need to go towards Ollantaytambo train station, and to get to this station, we encourage you to use a private vehicle or coordinate directly with your tour operator.
Train Journey to Machu Picchu
The trains to Machu Picchu are operated by either Peru Rail or Inca Rail. They both have an Affidavit that must be filled out before boarding their trains. To fill them in you will need to know the train company you are using and your train ticket number. We will give you these one week before your trip begins. Here are the details:
- Complete this form
- This form can be presented in digital or printed format.
- They must be filled in 24hrs before travel.
You must use a surgical mask or N95 certified mask, and a face shield on the train.
After the train journey, the only way to get to Machu Picchu is by bus. You might have read about a walking trail to the Citadel, but this is currently closed. However, the bus is operating with the capacity reduced to 50%. The protocol is very similar to that of the train.
All these protocols will be the same on your way back, and it is extremely important that you don’t forget to board the bus at the time it shows on your entrance ticket.
Entering Machu Picchu
- Visitors must fill in this affidavit stating they are in good health conditions. It is personal and must be printed out
- Visitors will use your face mask at all times.
- Your temperature will be measured when entering the site.
- You must have your passport with you to enter Machu Picchu.
- The entrance starts at 6:00 hrs, being the last schedule at 14:00 hrs.
- The Archaeological Site closes at 17:00 hrs.
- Machu Picchu receives now 675 per day and only 75 people per hour.
Don’t forget to bring these two documents, it will make your visit run smoothly!
Machu Picchu circuits or routes
There are 4 one-way circuits currently available at Machu Picchu. After inspection, we recommend 1 and 2. You can decide which you wish to take on site:
- Circuito Alto Corto (1) / Short High Circuit: Ascends to viewpoint platform passing by the “Guard’s House”, the “Main Gate”, the “Quarries”, the “Sun Temple’s viewpoint”, the “Sacred Square” and the “Water Mirror”. Exit through the “Pisonae Square”.
- Circuito Alto Largo (2)/ Long High Circuit: Ascends to viewpoint platform passing by the “Guard’s House”, the “Main Gate”, the “Quarries”, the “Sun Temple’s viewpoint”, the “Sacred Square”, the “Sun Dial”, the “Sacred Stone”, the “Western Storage Houses”, and the “Condor’s Temple”. Exit through the “Inferior terraces”.
- Circuito Bajo Corto (3) / Short Low Circuit: Passes through the “Storage Houses”, the “Superior Terraces”, the “Royal House” and the “Water Mirrors”. Exit through “Pisonae Square”.
- Circuito Bajo Largo (4) / Long Low Circuit: Passes through the “Storage Houses”, the “Superior Terraces”, the “Royal House”, the “Sacred Stone”, the “Western Storage Houses” and the “Condor’s Temple”. Exit through the “Inferior Terraces”.
You can find a map of the described routes here
Other hikes at Machu Picchu
- The other hikes to Wayna Picchu, Machu Picchu Mountain, Intipunku, and Inca Bridge, are currently closed.
- The 2- day Inca Trail is available but once they reach the Sungate travelers must register and head to the main exit.
- The 4-day Inca Trail is currently closed too.
Machu Picchu – All you need to know
Planning a trip to Machu Picchu can be overwhelming. There is so much information on the internet that sometimes it’s difficult to know where to start. What is the weather like? How to get to Machu Picchu? Which train to choose from? Huayna Picchu or Montaña Machu Picchu? Inca Trail permits? Are there any alternative Inca Trails?
These are just some of the most common questions we receive on a daily basis, so we have put together a small article with useful information on all you need to know for visiting Machu Picchu.
You can take a look to the article here: Machu Picchu – All you need to know
And if you are planning on hiking the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu you can not miss this one: Inca Trail to Machu Picchu – All you need to know