Those planning a trip to Machu Picchu should familiarise themselves with changes to the ticketing system that have now come into effect. The new system requires travellers to choose a specific hourly entry time to the ancient Inca citadel from 6am to 2pm, and once admitted, they can only stay for four hours.
Tickets can be purchased directly through Machu Picchu’s official website, and entry times and dates cannot be changed. The tickets expire after one hour, so if your ticket is for 10am, you must enter the site by 11am. The idea is that the new system will regulate the number of visitors in Machu Picchu at any given time, and will also minimise wait times outside the ancient ruins.
A total of 600 people are now allowed to enter the citadel at each hourly interval, so no more than 2400 people will be exploring the ruins at any one time. Officials say that the new arrangement will also help to mitigate the impact of so many tourists walking on the stone steps and sacred paths. Beware though – it may make sense to go earlier in the day, because now that the maximum stay is four hours, even those entering at 2pm will need to exit by the closing time of 5.30pm.
Mincetur, the Ministry of Foreign Trade and Tourism, says that the new measure will bring about an improvement in all services related to the main tourist attraction of Peru and provide a better experience for the visitor.