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PE MAP vu4-s.jpg (28165 bytes) Machu Picchu

The Basics
Getting there, hotels, restaurants & tips

The Mystery of Machu Picchu
VistaDome rail service Cuzco-Machu Picchu
Hiram Bingham service Cuzco-Machu Picchu
Map of Peru Rail services
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July 10, 2017

As of July 1, 2017 new regulations and controls are being introduced by the Ministry of Culture for visits to Machu Picchu.  These new regulations and controls will be tested during a trial period between July and October 2017, with final regulations being mandated as of January 2018 based on the outcome of the trial period.

The QUICK FACTS below will outline the regulations as introduced and as being tested.

Please remember nothing will be definitive until the end of the trial period, October 2017.

In addition, you must have your passport (not a photocopy) with you when you go into Machu Picchu as it is now required for entry.

QUICK FACTS and TIPS - reflecting proposed changes effective July 1, 2017.

The ruins are open 6AM to 5:30 PM daily. They are not open at night.

Tickets will  be sold for either morning (0600-1200) or afternoon  (1200-1730) entry into the ruins. 
    Total time allowed in the citadel for any morning or afternoon is 4 hours.

You must have a ticket for each morning and-or afternoon you want to enter the ruins.

The first entry to the ruins must be with an authorized guide.
    It has not yet been determined if guides will be required for second or third visits.
    If you are going to re-enter a second time, you must have your first entry ticket with you and it must be in good condition.

The guide that accompanies you on your first visit will be required to follow one of 3 circuits, based on visitor's ability and interests.
    You can discuss the circuits with your guide and choose which you want at the time you enter and begin the visit.
    A specific circuit is not indicated on your entry ticket.

Visits to Machu Picchu that are combined with Wayna Picchu will be allowed 6 hours for completion.
    Visits to Machu Picchu combined with Apu Machu Picchu will be allowed 7 hours for completion.

Once you have entered the ruins for the morning or the afternoon, you can not exit and re-enter. 
    Only one entrance is allowed on each entry ticket even if the allowed time has not been used up.

One person can not buy two entry tickets for the same morning or same afternoon,
in an attempt to have more than 4 hours in the ruins.
    You can buy entry tickets for as many different morning or afternoon shifts you want to use.


Located at the summit of the mountain, they are at an altitude of around 9,000 feet

The shuttle bus from Machu Picchu Pueblo (Aguas Calientes) takes about 20 minutes to reach the summit via scenic 2,000 foot serpentine road; your shuttle ticket is good for transport up once and down once. Shuttle tickets for additional trips are easily available at the ticket office opposite the departure point.


There are bathroom facilities at the entrance to the ruins (bring your own toilet paper, just in case).


There is a snack bar just at the entrance to the ruins

There is a small check-room where you can leave bags, etc, for a small fee. Make sure they lock and don't leave anything valuable inside, just to be safe.

Food and beverages are not allowed in the ruins.

Be prepared for your visit and have a day pack to carry your day gear so you have two hands free to help negotiate and navigate the narrow, steep stairs that take you about the ruins.

Day gear should include rain poncho or jacket and waterproof case for your camera and film; sun and insect protection; a hat with brim or bill. A hiking stick can be useful as well.

If you want to climb Huayna Picchu, there are two entry periods and a limit of 400 hikers per day. The first 200 begin at 7AM and have to hike up (about 1 hour) and be back down by 10AM. The second group of 200 departs at 10AM and must be down by 1PM. The path is steep and narrow and can be quite dangerous if wet. The reward for your efforts is a spectacular vista of the ruins.


Getting there is a spectacular trip in itself but no longer a definitive set pattern. It consists of two parts:

  1. Getting to Machu Picchu Pueblo (Aguas Calientes)
  2. Getting from Machu Picchu Pueblo (Aguas Calientes) to the ruins

GETTING TO MACHU PICCHU PUEBLO (AGUAS CALIENTES): This is one of the great train trips of the world.

PeruRail operates three trains: 

NOTE: Between January and June each year, PeruRail implements the BiModal service. Trains during this time period operate between Ollantaytambo and Machu Picchu Pueblo only. There are no trains departing from Cuzco to Ollantaytambo during this period.

Inca Rail

  • Presidential Class

  • First Class

  • Executive Class

NOTE: operates between Ollantaytambo and Machu Picchu only; does not operate from or to Cuzco.


The train stops at the new station in Machu Picchu Pueblo (Aguas Calientes). From the station it is a short walk through the Indian Market to the intersection where buses are lined up. The first bus departs around 0530, and the last bus departs from Machu Picchu at 1730 – don’t miss it as it will take you more than an hour to walk down. In the mornings buses depart every 10 minutes or when full. Once all the trains have arrived, departures are less frequent.

The ride is a 2,000 foot serpentine road that offers spectacular views to the valley and river. It doesn't matter which side you sit on; because of the numerous switchbacks both sides are exposed multiple times to the open-view side. Going up takes about 20 to 25 minutes; going down about 20 minutes


There are two places to stay:

  1. In Machu Picchu Pueblo (Aguas Calientes), at the bottom of the mountain
  2. At the top of the mountain, close to the entrance to the ruins

A booming, lively town with shops and restaurants. Some of LADATCO's preferred properties:


Most day tours take the excellent buffet lunch at the Sanctuary Lodge terrace. There are always lots of people at the main eating times of Noon to 2PM. There is a small snack bar just before the entrance. 

There are multiple acceptable pizza houses and small restaurants on the main plaza in Machu Picchu Pueblo (Aguas Calientes). Inka Pizza bakes their pizzas in an adobe oven but their menu is much larger than just pizza.  Just a couple of blocks up the main thoroughfare is the lovely Indio Feliz restaurant.

The Hotel Machu Picchu El Pueblo in Machu Picchu Pueblo (Aguas Calientes) has built a new large restaurant next to the train station with that will offer day visitors an alternative to the Hotel Machu Picchu Sanctuary Lodge terrace cafeteria. They operate their own restaurant for their guests for lunch and dinner, and is a viable alternative for dinner if you are staying in town at another hotel.