With new tour circuits starting from 1 June 2024, travelers visiting Machu Picchu can expect a more personalized experience.

While the variety of the new Machu Picchu circuits may mean doing more research to ensure you see exactly what you want, the goal of these changes is to reduce the impact of mass tourism and preserve the archaeological site in the long run.

We've prepared a guide with everything you need to know about the new circuits, current official prices, and booking information.

What changes begin in June 2024? 

Starting this month, more circuits of Machu Picchu have been introduced requiring visitors to decide more precisely, and ahead of time, what kind of experience they want. Each route around the site also has different prices and time slots. Based on popularity, some routes will need to be booked as soon as possible, while others are expected to be available last minute.

I discussed each circuit with my Peruvian friend and tour operator, Aime Ramirez, to understand what each offers and what to expect.

What are the new circuits at Machu Picchu? 

There are three new circuits, each with multiple sub-routes that provide walkers different experiences. Of the ten total route options, six will be available year-round, while four will only be available during the high season (1 June to 15 October).

Each Machu Picchu circuit is a designated route that allows visitors to explore different parts of the ancient Incan city. Each circuit offers a unique panoramic view, caters to different fitness levels, and provides a different perspective of the archaeological site.

Can I do more than one circuit of Machu Picchu?

Yes, you can do multiple circuits in one day, but you will need to buy different tickets for each circuit and plan your timing perfectly – something that is not alway easy in practice – as circuit timings will be more strictly enforced.

Sign showing the way to the Sun Gate, about a mile along a trail from the Machu Picchu site. The Sun Gate was once the main entrance from the south.
Pick a circuit to the Sun Gate, which will take you along a trail with views of the Machu Picchu site © Gina Power / Shutterstock

Circuit 1: Panoramic Circuit

1-A: Machu Picchu mountain route

Times: 7am, 9am
Category prices: General prices for foreigners – adult: S/.200.00 ( ~€52)

This circuit offers a blend of adventure and panoramic views. Starting from the upper terrace area, it allows you to climb Machu Picchu mountain, one of the highest points in the archaeological site. The trek takes about 4 hours round trip, depending on your physical condition. From the summit, you'll be rewarded with stunning vistas of the urban area of Machu Picchu and the surrounding mountains.

Circuits 1-B to 1-D

Times: Every hour from 6am to 3pm
Category prices: General prices for foreigners – adult: S/.152.00 ( ~€40)

1-B: Upper terrace route

Ideal for those who prefer a shorter walk, this route offers panoramic views from the upper terrace but doesn't include the urban area of Machu Picchu. It's perfect if you're looking to capture that iconic photo without a strenuous hike.

1-C: Intipunku cover route (high season only)

Starting from the upper terrace, this route leads you to the Sun Gate (Intipunku), the traditional entrance point for those arriving from the Inca Trail. While you won't explore the urban area, the panoramic views along the way are truly spectacular.

1-D: Puente Inka route (high season only)

Also starting from the upper terrace, this route takes you to the Inca Bridge, where you can observe the Vilcanota River. It’s a short, scenic walk with historical significance, perfect for a leisurely morning.

A view of Machu Picchu from the upper terrace.
Find a route that will take you to the classic Machu Picchu panorama © Anton_Ivanov / Shutterstock

Circuit 2: Inca City Circuit

2-A: Classic designed route

Times: Every hour from 6am to 3pm
Category prices: General prices for foreigners – adult: S/.152.00 ( ~€40)

According to Aime, this is the best circuit at Machu Picchu. This is the classic route that lets you capture the famous panoramic photo from the upper terrace and then walk through the urban area of Machu Picchu. You’ll pass by the main square and reach the Sacred Rock.

2-B: Lower terrace route

This route starts from the lower terrace and allows you to explore the urban area. Similar to the classic route, you’ll still get that panoramic shot but from a slightly different angle. You’ll also pass through the main square and the Sacred Rock.

The stone-built. Temple of the Sun at Machu Picchu.
See Temple of the Sun at Machu Picchu on the Royalty Circuit © Rafal Cichawa / Getty Images

Circuit 3: Royalty Circuit

3-A: Wayna Picchu mountain route

Times: 7am, 9am
Category prices: General prices for foreigners – adult: S/.200.00 ( ~€52)

This route is for the adventurous at heart. Starting from the lower part of Machu Picchu, you’ll visit the Temple of the Sun, the Fountain Sector, the Inca’s house (Inca Palace), and part of the industrial sector. The highlight is climbing Wayna Picchu, which involves steep, narrow stairs and offers breathtaking views. It’s not for the faint-hearted but worth every step.

Circuits 3-B to 3-D

Times: Every hour from 6am to 3pm
Category prices: General prices for foreigners – adult: S/.152.00 ( ~€40)

3-B: Designed royalty route

Similar to the Wayna Picchu route, this one starts from the lower part of Machu Picchu and covers major highlights like the Temple of the Sun and the Sacred Rock, without the climb to Waynapicchu. It’s perfect for those wanting a visit to this part of the site without the physical challenge.

3-C: Great cavern route (high season only)

This circuit includes a visit to the Great Cave as part of the Wayna Picchu mountain. It requires significant physical effort but offers a unique perspective of the archaeological site.

3-D: Huchuy Picchu route (high season only)

This route is less strenuous than the Wayna Picchu climb and takes you to the summit of Huchuy Picchu. You’ll pass through similar landmarks like the Temple of the Sun and the Sacred Rock but with gentler inclines.

How to get a ticket to Machu Pichu like a pro

Currently, there are only two official ways to get a ticket to Machu Picchu: buying your ticket at Centro Cultural Machupicchu in Aguas Calientes in person (which is risky due to the last-minute availability), or getting it online through the Ministry of Tourism website (this will direct you ta the ticketing site). This option is best for planning ahead and choosing your perfect route.

Of course, you can book a tour to Machu Picchu with your favorite tour operator, or with local operators in Peru, but they will likely use one of these two methods to do the bookings.

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