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Machu Picchu

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Machu Picchu

When Is the Best Time 

Machu Picchu is open year-round, every day from 6 AM to 5 PM. Find our detailed season overview below. Including the best tips on how to avoid the crowds: 

June – August (high season): Best weather but peak tourist time. Very crowded.

April/May & September/October (shoulder seasons): Still pleasant climate with slightly fewer tourists. October is a great month as you can already spot some amazing blooming orchids. However, many of them can only be seen in the rainy season. 

November – March (rainy season): With heavy rain in February. Each February the Inca Trail is closed for maintenance. The wet season is not recommended for a visit. However, there are fewer tourists, and many fascinating orchids are blooming.


Rules and Time of Day

The place has over 1.2 million visitors each year and gets heavily crowded each day. Starting July 1, 2017, the government issued new rules to control the crowds. However, if you do the math you'll find out, that now, even more visitors can enter. That's why we still suggest, to get there early in the morning or late in the afternoon.

The New Machu Picchu Rules:

  • Entrance time #1: 6 am - 12 pm
  • Entrance time #2: 12 pm - 5:30 pm (entrance closes 4:30 pm)
  • Ticket cost about 47 USD
  • You have to choose one of the two entrance tickets.
  • You are not allowed to re-enter the site on the same day.
  • You can only enter with an official guide. That means you either book a guided tour (see below) or you get a guide in front of the site. However, as of September 2017 they still let you in with a valid ticket regardless of a guide. 
  • There are additional rules like it's not allowed to enter with food/drinks, as well as large backpacks. Again, at the moment they do not seem to check these rules as people still enter with food.

It will be crowded during the day. We strongly suggest one of these 2 options:

Early: Get here first thing in the morning by staying the night before in Aguas Calientes and taking the earliest bus at the bus depot to arrive at 6 AM at Machu Picchu. You have to buy a morning ticket for this (at the moment it's still fine without a guide / Sept. 2017. Or you can get a guide in front of the site). Buy a morning ticket in advance: Machu Picchu Morning Ticket

Late: Get there in the afternoon when many groups have already left, and you get the chance to enjoy the place again. The last bus leaves at 5:30 PM. Enter about 4:00 pm (last entrance at 4:30 pm). You have to buy an afternoon ticket for this: Machu Picchu Afternoon Ticket

Alternative to taking the bus: Hike from Aguas Calientes to Macchu Picchu and/or back (UPDATE: We need to check if this hike is still allowed without a guide after the new rules are in place). It takes about 90 minutes, and it’s very strenuous. The walk back is easier and excellent option. By walking back, you can enjoy the place in the late afternoon with fewer tourists and then just take a relaxed hike back after 5 PM. Again, you'd have to buy the afternoon ticket for this.

Discover 
Historic Site
PE
Where  
Peru, Cusco
Review and Tips 

Machu Picchu is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the most visited attraction in Peru. It was built by the Incas around 1450. Those ruins are remarkable and truly magical.

Tours and More Tips: Machu Picchu Tours, Tickets & Guides

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Comments

Mar 26, 2016

Awesome place! More photos would be great.

Mar 26, 2016

Fantastic place !!! We went in January, no rain at all, nice weather and crowded. I assume less crowded than summer time but is MP. We can't expect less ! For the trekking a permit is mandatory and the local travel agent that provides the guide will get them for you. Give yourself plenty of time to book your dates. There are 2 days trekking and 4. We did the 2 days and for us was enough. If you decide to do the 2 days trekking allow yourself a week in total to spend time in Cuzco and around. And drink Pisco Sour. Wonderful drink !

Mar 27, 2016

great info, thanks!

@scubamonica: Was the 2 days trekking tour also the popular Inca Trail or another one?

Mar 27, 2016

Yes. 2 days trekking is part or same route of 4 days. You ask the train to stop in kilometer 104 and your guide will be there waiting for you. Is a full day walking up and down with some stops for lunch and other matters. You will get to the Sun Gate. Then you sleep at Aguas Calientes and next day you go back to MP by minibus and will start the day through the other entrance. If you need to contact a tour company i recommend Cusco Native. Local and good. Not only offer MP trekking but also other areas. We also use them for Titikaka lake.

Mar 27, 2016

Awesome, thanks @scubamonica!

May 15, 2016

Hi,
nice website, i like:)

We stayed there in November, a good time, but sometimes a little bit rainy. But we were lucky pigs;) at the end of November we had the perfect day to stay there 2 nights. Our description and report about you can found here:
http://reisefreiheit.eu/reisen/a...

see you soon
Peggy (Blogger at reisefreiheit.eu)

May 15, 2016

Some inspirations from the top of montana Machu Pichu, best time to go up at 7 am.
Every day they let max 400 people on the top between 7 and 11 am, best time is 7 am, because when you go up at 11 am you will have the the noon time, the sun will be very hot! And also taking pictures are better before noon!