Machu Picchu re-opened for tourism on November 1, 2020 and is currently free to all who enter (foreigners and nationals). Machu Picchu was also awarded the Safe Travel seal, granted by the World Travel and Tourism Council, which certifies the site as a safe destination. Machu Picchu first opened its doors to Peruvians and citizens of Chile, Venezuela, Colombia, France, among others.
The train companies PeruRail and Inca Rail are currently operating its services to and from Machu Picchu on the Expedition and Vistadome trains. The company added that passengers must use their mask and face shield from the boarding points and on board the train. Likewise, no standing passengers may be transported and each passenger must respect the seat assigned on their ticket in order to guarantee the obligatory physical distance inside the train cars.
Read more about the health and safety protocols of Peru Rail
Last November 30, the capacity for visits to Machu Picchu increased from 675 to 1116 daily visitors. Those who want to visit Machu Picchu must generate the reservation and confirm it (an email will be sent to the address they register) within a period of no more than 48 hours before the issuance of the entry tickets.
There are currently four defined circuits at Machu Picchu right now:
Short High Circuit. This circuit includes the ascent to the lower or upper platform (general explanation area) of the so-called Guardian House to continue along the Main Facade, the Granitic Chaos sector (Quarries), the Plaza de los Templos, the Espejos de Agua complex and the exit by the Plaza del Pisonae.
High Long Circuit. This circuit includes the ascent to the lower or upper platform (general explanation area) of the so-called House of the Guardian to continue along the Main Facade, the Granitic Chaos sector (Quarries), the Plaza de los Templos, Llamakancha, Sacred Rock, Eastern Qolqas and the exit is through the lower terrace.
Short Low Circuit. This circuit includes entrance through the Qolqas sector, terraces adjacent to the Dry Moat (general explanation area), Casa del Inca, Espejos de Agua complex and the exit through the Plaza del Pisonae.
Low Long Circuit. This circuit includes entrance through the Qolqas sector, terraces adjacent to the Dry Moat (general explanation area), Casa del Inca, Llamakancha, Sacred Rock, Eastern Qolqas and the exit is through the lower terrace.
The visiting hours of the Intihuatana, the Templo del Cóndor, the Temple of the Sun, The Sun Gate (Intipunku), Machu Picchu Mountain, Huayna Picchu and the Inka Bridge (Puente Inka) will not be available for tourist visits until further notice.
Current rules of entry for Machu Picchu in COVID-19 times:
- Each person must have their own ticket for entry.
- The ticket only includes the entrance to Machu Picchu.
- The ticket is free, personal and no transferable. The change of date, document number or date is not allowed.
- You must confirm your reservation within a maximum period of 48 hours, otherwise it will automatically be canceled. By confirming the reservation, you accept the Terms and Conditions, the Visit Regulations, the Prevention Protocol against COVID-19 and the Contractor and Visitors Health Declaration Form.
- Only one reservation is allowed per person until December 31, 2020.
- Arrive at the entrance gate to Machu Picchu at the exact time indicated on your ticket. If the entrance is early you must arrive to Aguas Calientes (Machu Picchu Pueblo) the day before.
- The daily visit schedule to Machu Picchu begins at 6:00 a.m. and ends at 5:00 p.m. There are nine time ranges for the entry of visitors to the citadel of Machu Picchu, the first time range being from 6:00 to 7:00 hours and the last being from 14:00 to 15:00 hours.
- To enter, you must present your ticket in print or digitally, along with your original identity document and an affidavit of health in print or digital format.
- Tourists will have their body temperature taken. Those who present a temperature of 38 ° C or more will not be allowed into the Inca citadel. If symptoms of COVID-19 are identified, the person will be isolated in the designated isolation area and the person will be immediately reported to the competent health authority.
- During your visit, you must comply with the biosecurity protocol: disinfection of footwear, personal equipment and hands, temperature measurement, social distancing (20 meters between each group) and the permanent use of a mask that covers your nose and mouth.
- The consumption of food is not allowed during the visit.
- Children under 12 years of age can enter Machu Picchu, always with caregivers.
- Only children under 3 years old do not require an entrance ticket.
- Visitors must board the bus that transfers from Machu Picchu Pueblo (Aguas Calientes) to the citadel with a maximum of 30 minutes prior to the time range that appears on their respective entrance tickets.
All free entrance tickets for Machu Picchu 2020 were SOLD OUT quickly in December. Protocols and prices after December 31, 2020 have not been announced or listed yet.
The other routes at Machu Picchu are also not available for booking at this time.
Reservations are not open yet for 2021.
The Route 5 Inca Trail tour has been open for tourists since November 1, but tours must be booked with an authorized guide or agency and you have to enter the trail with a licensed guide.
Route 5 begins at the archaeological site of Chachabamba (km 104), you then pass through the Wiñaywayna archeological site, next you arrive at the Intipunku sector where tourists will continue towards post No. 8 and continue to the exit of the Machu Picchu citadel. The next day you will tour the Inca citadel of Machu Picchu.
Here are the current protocols for the Inca Trail in Covid-19 times:
- Personnel and visitors must maintain a minimum social distance of 1.5 meters and wear a facemask that covers the nose and mouth.
- Before starting the tour, it is necessary to disinfect footwear and the personal equipment of the visitors, as well as hand hygiene.
- Visitors must fill out and sign the Affadavit of Health at the entrance to control post to Route 5. In case someone has tested positive with COVID-19 they must present a document that proves their discharge.
- After the entry control, each group will start their tour with a difference no less than 5 minutes with respect to the previous group. During the tour it is recommended that the minimum distance between visitors is 4 meters and between different groups of at least 20 meters.
- Body temperature will be taken upon entry and exit. If a result greater than 38 ° C is reported, entrance will not be allowed and the person will be isolated and the competent health authority will be notified.
- The visitor control staff has the power to deny entry, interrupt the tour and, if necessary, withdraw any person who does not comply or refuses to comply with the biosecurity measures established in the protocol.
- 120 visitors are allowed to enter per day (just 30% of the total).
- The maximum number of visitors per group is 8 (6 tourists, 1 guide and 1 support staff. The support staff can be replaced by a tourist).
- The hours of entrance to Route 5 are from 6:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.
- While eating, tourists and staff must maintain a distance of 2 meters from one another. Food preparation is not allowed on Route 5.
- There are hygienic service areas with hand washing stations located at Chachabamba and Wiñaywayna.
Extra: info about Cusco’s Archeological Sites during the corona pandemic:
As of October 15th the Archaeological Parks of Sacsayhuamán, Pisaq, Ollantaytambo, Chinchero, Tipón, Moray and Pikillaqta have been reopened for tourism.
The first phase was only for locals followed by subsequent phases for national and then foreign tourists.
The Ministry of Culture is opening these sites free of charge, provided that visitors comply with biosecurity protocols such as wearing masks, face shields and respecting the minimum distance during the tour.
Although entrance is free for all Cusco residents, a virtual ticket must be obtained before visiting each tourist complex, in order to avoid queues and crowds near the access gates.
To obtain these free passes you must go to this portal to make a reservation indicating the day and time of the visit:
Dirección Desconcentrada de Cultura de Cusco
According to the protocols, visit to all sites will be from Monday to Saturday, from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. and only at 50% of their capacity. For Sacsayhuamán, 1000 people per day will be able to enter. Pisaq, Ollantaytambo, Tipón and Pikillaqta will allow a maximum of 480 daily visitors with Chinchero and Moray allowing 360 people each day.