This week the Management of the National Park of Machu Picchu have communicated several new entrance rules which are now being enforced from this month forward.
Although the new entrance rules will not affect the majority of visitors, the new will affect the elderly, the disabled and visitors wishing to hike the surrounding mountain trails like Huayna Picchu.
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The new entrance rules for Machu Picchu were communicated to our guides in a recent meeting, and are missing some specifics, which still need to be clarified. However, for the time being, here are the new entrance rules for Machu Picchu which will take effect immediately.
Use of Walking Sticks
All visitors are now banned from taking walking sticks in to the Sanctuary of Machu Picchu, with the exception of the elderly or those with a physical disability (no age for elderly determined). Visitors with physical disabilities need to present a medical certificate at the time of admission to the park, confirming the need for a walking stick.
The Use of an Umbrella
Visitors are only permitted to enter Machu Picchu with a small foldaway umbrella. Large umbrellas with metal or wooden points are not allowed. The emphasis is small and foldable.
Backpacks / Baby Holders
Large backpacks are not permitted to be taken into the citadel of Machu Picchu, only small personal bags are allowed. Small Kangaroos for carrying babies will still be permitted. (The clarification of the dimensions and weight of a small bag was not specified).
Wheelchair uses must inform the park management at time of entrance. Wheelchair uses will be assigned a member the park staff to accompany them into Machu Picchu. Access for wheelchair users is restricted to the first terrace level below the main entrance level, which offers an almost complete panoramic view of Machu Picchu. The park management also commented that wheelchair access to other zones of the park may be permitted during low season, but only in the afternoons.
Entrance Conditions for Machu Picchu Mountain & Huayna Picchu
It was communicated that the Mountain of Huayna Picchu will close at 2pm, and all visitors must return to the entrance gate before that time. The entrance trail to the Great Cavern and Sun Temple descending from the peak of Huayna Picchu will close at 12pm. Tourist arriving after 12pm will not be permitted to enter.
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Regarding entrance to Machu Picchu Mountain Trail, entrance will only be permitted until 11am. Hikers will need to reach the summit before 12.30 pm (or 1pm with great exception). A park warden will close the summit at this time, and any hikers who have not made it to the summit will be told to return to the entrance. (The trail takes approximately 1h30m to ascend).
As the pressure from the UNESCO World Heritage Committee mounts on the Peruvian Government to put in place measures to preserve and safeguard the future of Machu Picchu, inevitably new rules and measures need to be enforced. These new entrance rules for Machu Picchu are nothing really that new, just a reinforcement of older rules that seem to have been forgotten. Today I read a proposed 2014 government resolution greatly restricting the follow of visitors at Machu Picchu, and perhaps this new reinforcement of older rules may be a sign that the things are about to change at Machu Picchu. Change is not a bad thing! In fact it is greatly needed. We welcome any new rules that helps preserve the future of Machu Picchu and allows everyone to enjoy it!