The “Lost City of the Incas” is arguably one of the most awe-inspiring sites in the world. A World Wonder, I’ve been twice and it remains on my list – I’m not sure it will ever be removed!
Machu Picchu overloads the senses. Breathtaking views. A spiritual tranquility for quiet reflection and introspection. Llama gardeners working and entertaining. An adrenaline high felt after the achievement of hiking the Inca Trail. Sense of marvel at the engineering, astronomical, architectural, and agricultural accomplishments of the Incan people. Whatever your appetite, Machu Picchu is sure to fuel it.
It’s been in the news lately about limits being placed on visitors to Machu Picchu. New restrictions plus previous closures of the trail have resulted in a bit of misinformation.
Unfortunately, Machu Picchu has become an endangered site. Since it’s designation as a UNESCO World Heritage site, the Peruvian government has enacted many rules for visiting the site to try and mitigate the effects of thousands of visitors tromping about.
Advanced planning is a must. Permits to hike the trail are extremely limited and sell out months in advance. The number of admissions to the citadel are also limited, but with more availability than hiking permits. These too sell out during busy times, so it is well worth the effort to plan and purchase tickets in advance.
For several years, the trail has been closed for the month of February, to give it a “rest” and perform maintenance, but the citadel is open year-round.
Beginning July 1 of this year, the government has added additional limits. Admissions to the citadel will be timed and visitors will no longer be able to wander at will – no off-path traffic. The requirement for an official guide will be enforced and re-entry will not be permitted, unless you purchase a second ticket. They will also be enforcing walking stick, luggage, and other rules that have previously been haphazardly enforced.
Bottom line, the site is not closing – but to preserve this legacy, the restrictions are getting tighter.
Is Machu Picchu on your bucket list?