Kondor Path Tours has prepared this updated 2024 guidebook about Machu Picchu, an Inca city everyone wants to know about. No photo or description can capture this experience. We will be there to see if a first impression is the best. A city that is perfectly nestled between two craggy mountain peaks. Read this travel guide about Machu Picchu for 2024.
The authorities of Machu Picchu have decided that visits to the Inca city are only possible on strict routes. What is the objective of this decision? The aim is to reduce the risk of infection by Covid 19 and to protect and preserve the Inca city for future generations.
Each visitor must follow a route that corresponds to the chosen ticket:
With the new “Regulations for Sustainable Use and Tourist Visits for the Conservation of the Inca Llaqta of Machu Picchu,” these new routes to the complex have been designed. This new regulation has established four official circuits for tourist visits.
All persons entering Machu Picchu must respect and follow these circuits.
Both visitors and guides must strictly respect these circuits. These circuits are expected to continue to be modified to preserve Machu Picchu.
For this reason, we would like to inform you about the new regulations and routes with Kondor Path Tours.
Join us to learn more about the meaning of Machu Picchu and new ways to visit the Inca citadel.
Learn about the New Tours to visit the Inca city of Machu Picchu. About the unique tours, New ticket sales About alternative routes Rules to follow
Machu Picchu is getting ready with new ways to receive passengers.
In addition, four official circuits were established to avoid crowds in the Inca city of Machu Picchu.
These facilitate the visit to Machu Picchu as you will have a fully signposted experience. So, if you are looking for the best reasons to visit Machu Picchu, you have come to the right place.
You can also choose alternative routes to suit your budget or time available. Those who wish to visit Huayna Picchu or Machu Picchu can now do so in a new and organized way.
Circuit number 1 covers the high part near Machu Picchu mountain. Here, you can walk through the agricultural area and get your first glimpse of Machu Picchu.
This circular trail begins at the well-known crossroads of the access road to the Inca Llaqta of Machu Picchu. Now, you climb to a platform at a maximum height of 240 meters.
From there, you have the first complete view of the Inca citadel, and you can continue to the ceremonial platform, where the well-known Cabaña del Guardián (Guardian’s Hut).
Walk along the Inca road to the Puente del Inca (Inca Bridge). From the Sun Gate (IntiPunku), a path descends to the urban area of the Citadel. There, you can see the main entrance or gate.
The main gate would be the original entrance to the urban sector of Machu Picchu. You can see the other side of the Citadel from the urban sector. The trail continues to the quarry area (Granite Chaos).
If you continue along the road, you will come to a group of Inca buildings leading to the Temple of the Sun. Then, you can continue to admire the Inca House, the Hall of Mirrors, and the Temple of the Condor. This trail is the extension of Route 1, but with the right ticket, you can also enjoy the other tours and learn more about the Inca Citadel.
This circuit is a long route to a high area to visit the Inca citadel. Circuit number 2 consists of the same route as number 1.
This tour differs in that after the Temple of the Sun, you will climb the stairs to the fountains. You will head to the Sacred Plaza to ascend to the Intihuatana Pyramid.
From the top of the pyramid, descend to the Sacred Rock. From there, you continue the path to the open space. From there, you reach the Three Gates, a series of buildings dedicated to the Inca elite.
Note that each Inca site cannot be visited for more than 10 minutes. When you finish, continue to the Hall of Mirrors and the Temple of the Condor. Unlike the first tour, this includes the sites of the Sacred Plaza, the Intihuatana, the Sacred Rock, and the Three Gates. This tour is one of the best Machu Picchu tours available. It tours the Inca citadel and its different sectors in great detail.
Places to visit with this route:
CIRCUIT NUMBER 3 TO MACHU PICCHU
This circuit tour begins at the crossroads of the access road to the Inca citadel of Machu Picchu. However, unlike circuits 1 and 2, this one considers the road that leads directly to the urban area through the agricultural terraces. This circuit is the shortest of the Inca citadels.
It begins with a descent of no more than 30 meters to reach the warehouses (colcas) and continues along the road that crosses the agricultural area.
You can admire the various agricultural terraces until you reach the main gate, through which you enter the urban area. You get the ceremonial fountains and continue south to the Temple of the Sun.
If you continue, you will see the Casa del Inca and climb the stairs to the fountains. From this point, the route takes the same path as Route 1. This route does not take more than 3 hours. The maximum stay in Machu Picchu is 4 hours, so you still have time to explore the site.
Places to visit with this route:
Circuit 4 covers the same route as Circuit 3, except that it includes the Sacred Plaza, the Intihuatana, the Sacred Rock and the Three Gates, the Hall of Mirrors, and the Temple of the Condor.
This section is the same as the previous one, with the difference that this route climbs to the Plaza Sagrada and follows a circuit similar to number 2.
With the difference that it surrounds both the Sacred Plaza and the Intihuatana, this path trail is especially suitable for people with disabilities or the elderly. It is recommended for those who need special attention.
This tour is available with some Machu Picchu tickets. As in the case of the alternative routes of Huchuy Picchu and Huayna Picchu.
To avoid overcrowding the visit to the Inca citadel and preserve the area’s archaeological heritage, the Ministry of Culture constantly adapts the circuits. It is unknown when a new circuit for hikers on the Inca Trail will be available for reservations. For more details, follow our publications; we will keep you informed. This trail is what the new Circuit 5 will look like.
Approximate walking time: 1.5 hours
Places worth seeing on this route:
Places to visit with this route:
NEW TICKET SALE Once you access the official government website:
https://reservas.machupicchu.gob.pe/inicio, you will notice that new tickets are available.
So far, there are 4 new entries:
Machu Picchu Mountain Llaqta: This ticket gives access to the Inca citadel of Machu Picchu through circuits 1, 2, and 3.
You can choose one of the routes depending on your time and condition. This hiking trail is one of the best ways to learn different facts about Machu Picchu. Circuit 4 + Wayna Picchu:
This ticket gives access to the alternative route to Huayna Picchu Mountain. The Llaqta route consists only of circuit number 4. Machu Picchu Mountain and Circuit 3: This ticket gives access to the alternative way to Machu Picchu Mountain.
However, access to the Llaqta consists only of circuit number 3. This ticket allows you to re-enter the complex. Circuit 4 + Mount Huchuy Picchu: This ticket gives access to the alternative route to Mount Huchuy Picchu. However, access to the Llaqta is only available from circuit number 4.
This entrance has nine schedules. The first is from 06:00 to 07:00, and the last is from 14:00 to 15:00.
ABOUT ALTERNATIVE ROUTES
We have new rules for reopening the archaeological complex and new regulations for reopening the Machu Picchu, Huayna Picchu, and Huchuy Picchu mountains.
On the alternative route to Machu Picchu Mountain, there will only be 400 seats available per day. The first shift will be from 06:00 to 07:00, and the second from 08:00 to 09:00.
Those who choose this route should head directly to the Machu Picchu mountain route after entering.
After the walk, you leave the monument in the same way. This ticket is the only one with the possibility of re-entry. However, if you choose circuit number 3 of Llaqta, the alternative route to Huayna Picchu will only have 200 permits daily. All seats will be distributed on four main schedules.
The first shift will be from 06:00 to 07:00.
The second is from 08:00 to 09:00.
The third shift will be from 10:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m.
The fourth shift was from 12:00 to 13:00.
However, those opting for this route can only take circular route number 4. This entrance does not offer the possibility of re-entering the monument. As you will see, you can still enjoy the alternatives to Machu Picchu, but with the routes indicated.
Rules to keep in mind when visiting Machu Picchu
These standards were in place before the pandemic and are still in effect.
This rule applies to both visitors and guides. It is not allowed to carry backpacks or bags larger than 40x35x20 centimeters.
There are small storerooms at the door for large bags. No food or utensils in Machu Picchu. No illegal substances, alcohol, or aerosols are allowed.
Umbrellas are not allowed. Camera tripods and selfie sticks are not allowed. Animals are not allowed, except guide dogs. Musical instruments are not allowed.
Strollers are not allowed, only backpacks that do not contain metal. It is allowed to enter with sports or walking shoes; shoes with heels are not allowed. It is not permitted to enter with any weapon.
The use of metal poles is not allowed. It is not permitted to enter or climb the structures or walls of Machu Picchu. It is not permitted to remove or deface the structures of Machu Picchu.
It is not allowed to alter the flora and fauna of the site—forbidden smoking in ruins.
You may not use drones or other flying devices. It would be best if you did not make films or documentaries without prior authorization. You must not enter any prohibited areas of the site.
“The new entrances and circular routes established by the government are a way to avoid crowds.
With the continuous reopening of the different archaeological sites and complexes, it is necessary to handle the demanding situation. We hope this article has facilitated our understanding of the new regulations for visiting Machu Picchu.
The team of specialists at Kondor Path Tours wishes we could have helped you. If you would like to know more about our different tours to the Inca Citadel, do not hesitate to consult with our team of specialized consultants, who will be happy to help you make the trip of your dreams come true. Peru has so much to offer that it can be challenging to know where to start.
With years of experience in the tourism industry, Kondor Path Tours is happy to help you with any questions about your trip to Machu Picchu and the tours involved. Make your Machu Picchu experience unforgettable.
The name Huayna Picchu means “new mountain” in Quechua. It rises 2,671 meters above sea level, and its summits are surrounded by Inca buildings, terraces, and a sanctuary at its base, the Temple of the Moon. The climb to the top takes 50 minutes and an hour and requires a hair-raising and complex ascent along a narrow path and through a cave-like tunnel.
The steep granite steps at the top take you to the edge of the abyss. The hike begins at the sacred rock at the north end of the sanctuary. Only 200 visitors are allowed per day in four shifts: the first from 6 a.m. to 7 a.m., the second from 8 a.m. to 9 a.m., the third from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m., and the fourth from 12 p.m. to 1 p.m. (note: visitors are not allowed to enter the Citadel after completing this walk).
Its Quechua name, Huch’uypicchu, means “small mountain.” At 2,496 meters above sea level, this peak, located very close to the imposing Huayna Picchu, is just that.
The moderate summit hike offers impressive views of Machu Picchu and the surrounding cloud forest, despite its relative size. The 1.9-kilometer walk takes between 45 minutes and an hour. From the checkpoint, the hike loops along the lower trail over the eastern terraces, ascends the summit, and exits again via the upper Inca terraces.
The number of visitors per day is limited to 200, divided into nine shifts throughout the day, with the first shift from 6:00 to 7:00 and the last shift from 14:00 to 15:00 (note: visitors cannot enter the Citadel after this tour).
At 3,061 meters above sea level, the Quechua name of this highest peak at the southern end of the Sanctuary means “old mountain.”
The climb is technically less demanding than Huayna Picchu, but the hike is more prolonged and less strenuous. It usually takes 90 minutes and two hours to reach the summit.
However, at several points along the way, this hike offers unparalleled views of the Inca citadel framed by the Huayna Picchu, around which the Urubamba River winds in a horseshoe curve.
Inca Bridge at Machu Picchu
As with Huayna Picchu and Mount Machu Picchu, the trail begins with a guard post where you must sign in and out. However, the hike is free for visitors with tickets for routes 1 or 2. It is a relatively easy, though unsteady, hike. The Inca Bridge takes 20–30 minutes to walk via a winding trail in the cloud forest.
The road, which gets narrower and narrower, offers spectacular views of the river valley and surrounding mountains.
But it is a beautiful sight. Four tree trunks lie loose in a six-meter gap in a section of the road planted into the steep mountainside. This “drawbridge” allowed the Incas to control access to prevent unwanted guests from sneaking in from the Aobamba Valley to the west.
Inti Punku (Gate of the Sun)
These ruins, located at an altitude of 2,700 meters, are the endpoint of the Inca Trail and offer hikers a magnificent first view of Huayna Picchu in front of them and the magnificent stone citadel that sprawls across the mountain’s saddle. Visitors to Machu Picchu can also enjoy this iconic view during the day.
It takes 45 minutes and an hour to climb Inti Punku from the sanctuary, leaving the guard house to the left of the upper terrace.
For years, Inca Trail permits allowed hikers arriving through the Inti Punku (Sun Gate) to re-enter the Machu Picchu sanctuary and access the upper terraces.
This spot provided another opportunity to enjoy the iconic panoramic view of the plaza, with Huayna Picchu in the background, and explore the main sights.
This circuit changed in June 2022 with a new policy restricting them to terraces and lower sanctuaries from routes 1 and 2. Classic Inca Trail hikers no longer have the right to re-enter the cover after leaving it. Short Inca Trail hikers can return the next day from Aguas Calientes using THE CIRCUIT NUMBER 5 EXCLUSIVE FOR HIKER OF THE INCA TRAILS PERU.
However, all Inca Trail hikers must purchase an additional ticket to return to the top of the sanctuary and hike routes 1 or 2.
What should I bring to Machu Picchu?
How long does it take to climb Machu Picchu?
For the ascent to the Sanctuary, you can choose between a 75-minute hike and a 2-hour hike (the duration depends on your physical condition) or take one of the buses that leave Aguas Calientes every five minutes between 5:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m.
Buses take about 25 minutes to travel the winding Hiram Bingham Road. Bus tickets are sold at the vehicle exits in the vehicle office, but there are often long lines. Also, tickets for Machu Picchu are not sold at the upper entrance gate of the Inca citadel; buying them in advance and even with KONDOR PATH TOURS is better.
In Aguas Calientes (Machupicchu Pueblo), there is an office of the Ministry of Culture where you can buy tickets, but buying them at the last minute is not advisable.
Tickets can sell out days or weeks in advance during the high season (June through August).
Therefore, purchasing the bus ticket to the sanctuary and the entrance ticket to the citadel well in advance is advisable. Visitors can also check availability and purchase tickets on the official Machu Picchu website.
Train ticket to Machu Picchu
The Kondor Path Tours team of specialists has selected the best schedules and prices for train tickets to Machu Picchu, and we publish them in our online reservation. Choosing the best time to visit Machu Picchu is usually complicated, but we will make it easy for you to choose the best time to visit Machu Picchu. Our staff will prepare for the best time to take the train and visit Machu Picchu. Please do not waste your time; we will take care of your trip to Machu Picchu by train.
These train tickets are for Expeditions (Perurail) or Voyagers (Inca Rail) train services. They include transfers from your hotel in Cusco – Poroy – Cusco and the train ticket from Poroy – Machu Picchu – Poroy.
Our driver will pick you up at your hotel and take you to the train station. When you return to Poroy, the same driver will pick you up at the station and drop you off at your hotel.
Vistadome or Paronamic Train 360 from Ollanta, Machu Picchu, to Ollantaytambo
This train departs from Ollantaytambo to Machu Picchu and Ollantaytambo. After booking, you will receive an email from our reservations department with your train ticket attached.
Expedition or Voyager Train from Ollantaytambo – Machu Picchu to Ollantaytambo
This service is an economical tourist train; only the train ticket is included. If you want to add transfers, Machu Pichu, etc., select this option in our online reservation system.
Bimodal service (transfer and train from Cusco to Machu Picchu to Cusco)
The bimodal service includes the tourist bus from Cusco to Ollantaytambo, where you take the train to Machu Picchu. After visiting Machu Picchu, take the train to Ollantaytambo, where the railway company staff will bring the tourist bus to pick you up at Av Sol (IncaRail) or Wanchaq (Perurail) station.