Machu Picchu Tickets Will Have New Restrictions
The Lost City of Machu Picchu (one of the Wonders of the World, and a UNESCO World Heritage Site), has long been a popular tourist destination thanks to its’ magnificent stone architecture and the surrounding landscape. In recent years, visitor numbers have risen exponentially, and this has led to incredibly long queues of 2 to 3 hours, at the shuttle bus top and entrance gate.
In order to tackle this problem, Peru’s Ministry of Culture, in consultation with UNESCO, have announced a new set of rules for visiting Machu Picchu. Starting July 1st 2017, visitors will be required to enter with an official Machu Picchu tour guide or tour operator. The guide is only permitted to take a group of 16 people, and for larger groups, 2 or more guides will be required. The guides will also be responsible for informing the visitors of the site regulations.
According to the new rules, tickets will grant admission for specific times; in the morning (that is, between 6:00 a.m. and noon), or in the afternoon (that is, between noon and 5:30 p.m.). Once you leave the site you’ll not be permitted to re-enter, therefore you must make sure you book a suitable time slot for your visit. In addition to the new times, all visitors will now have to stay on 1 of 3 approved routes which weave throughout Machu Picchu, as opposed to exploring the ruins independently. The government has indicated that these routes have been designed to separate the crowds and prevent the visitors from stopping at one spot for too long.
The changes are actually as a result of a 2015 study done by a United States archaeologist and recommendations from UNESCO, on how to ensure that the historical Machu Picchu is not hurt by the rising numbers of tourists. The best part of these new changes is that there will be fewer visitors at the site at any given time. This will basically make the experience much more pleasant and will let visitors enjoy the beautiful views without the large crowds. The new rules will be tested for the next 2 years, after which the government will make tweaks to the policy as needed.
It’s important to note that Machu Picchu is not the only site making such changes. The new measures are part of a much larger travel trend that is happening throughout the world. Some of the other popular tourist hot spots which have been imposing tourist limitations in recent years include, but not limited to; Venice, Cinque Terre, and Seychelles.