Machu Picchu – Visitor Information

Established around 1450 CE and declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1983, the Incan citadel of Machu Picchu is on everyone’s list when travelling to South America. Over the last few years the citadel ruins are showing increasing signs of damage from high visitor numbers. In an effort to protect and preserve the ruins for future generations of Peruvians and travellers, the authorities have implemented a circuit and timed ticket entries system.

Depending on whether you want to summit mountains, visit temples or take incredible photographs, in order for you to have the best experience during your visit, it’s important that you choose the right ticket for you. There are 4 ticket types that have different entry times, circuit options and visit time limits. If you don’t know your Huayna Picchu from your Huchuy Picchu, don’t worry, it’s all explained below.

Visiting Rules

  • At the entrance, every visitor must show their ticket and passport. Students must also present their valid student ID.
  • Visit duration is generally limited to a maximum of 2,5 hours.
  • The only exceptions are tickets for the surrounding mountain peaks Wayna Picchu, Machu Picchu Mountain, and Huchuy Picchu, which allow for a longer entry.
  • The entry ticket entitles you to a single entry. It is not possible to leave and re-enter the citadel with the same ticket.
  • It is recommended to have a tour guide accompany you on your first visit to Machu Pichu. However, it is not mandatory.

Admission times

  • Machu Picchu is open to visitors daily from 6:00 to 17:30
  • Visits are not possible outside of these times.
  • The last slot starts at 15:00 hrs
  • According to the resolution of May 2024, visitors purchasing tickets for specific entry slots are granted a tolerance period of 30 minutes during low season and 45 minutes during high season. This means that arrivals are permitted within the designated tolerance time frame for each slot.


  • You may not take large bags, groceries, and disposable bottles into the citadel.
  • You can only carry one small bag with you.
  • Walking sticks are allowed for physically challenged and elderly visitors (only if equipped with a rubber tip).

Areas of Interest

There are 4 main areas of interest within of the Machu Picchu complex:
  1. Machu Picchu Citadel
  2. Huayna Picchu 
  3. Huchuy Picchu
  4. Machu Picchu Mountain

Machu Picchu Citadel

With this ticket you can tour Machu Picchu and see more than the 150 structures that make up the city. You will see temples, terraces, residences, water channels and some other structures whose construction is still a huge mystery.  This is the heart of the Incan city and gives you a fantastic insight into the lives of its inhabitants. Some paths may have some rocky sections, with uneven ground, however the citadel is very accessible and presents few physical challenges. 

Huayna Picchu

Huayna Picchu is one of the mountain peaks that surround Machu Picchu. It is probably the most famous as it towers over Machu Picchu in the background in many photos. The ascent takes place on a narrow and extremely steep path and takes around 45 – 60 minutes, depending on the pace. Once at the summit, a fantastic view of the whole of Machu Picchu and the surrounding mountains awaits. Since the path is very narrow and exposed in some places, we recommend this hike for experienced and sure-footed hikers. We highly recommend sturdy shoes.

For athletic and adventurous travellers you may also wish to visit the Temple of the Moon on the back side of Huayna Picchu. It is a challenging hike, taking around 4 hours roundtrip from the Huayna Picchu control point.

Huchuy Picchu

Huchuy Picchu is something like the little brother of Wayna Picchu. Until 2020 this optional visit was included in the entrance fee for Wayna Picchu, but since 2021 there are separate tickets for this hike.

Huchuy Picchu is right next to the checkpoint at the Sacred Rock and can be reached on a hike of around 15 minutes. Compared to the other options, this hike is significantly easier and shorter and therefore also possible for less experienced travelers.

Machu Picchu Mountain

Machu Picchu Mountain, which is also the Apu (sacred mountain) for the complex, is located south of the citadel, opposite Wayna Picchu. The hike partly leads through dense vegetation, but always rewards you with great views of Machu Picchu and the surrounding area. It takes about 90 minutes to get to the top of Machu Picchu Mountain, depending on your pace. The path leads over a lot of stairs. We recommend having a good physical condition and sturdy shoes for this route.

Access to Machu Picchu Mountain is directly via the first part of Routes 1/2 to the control point. After the descent, however, it is not possible to continue along these routes and you have to leave Machu Picchu along the same path (as do the guests who reach Machu Picchu on the Inca Trail from the Sun Gate). For this reason, a ticket including Machu Picchu Mountain allows you to re-enter the citadel complex after your hike to complete Circuit number 3.

Ticket Types

Ticket TypeCircuit OptionsMax visit timeEntry TimesClimb Duration
Machu Picchu OnlyCircuit 2
Circuit 3 Route 3-B
2.5 hours6am, 7am, 8am, 9am,10am, 11am, 12pm, 1pm, 2pm, 3pmN/A
Machu Picchu + Huayna PicchuCircuit 3 Route 3-A5.5 hours7am & 9am2 hours round trip
Machu Picchu +Machu Picchu MountainCircuit 1 Route 1-A
Circuit 3 – Route 3-B
7 hours7am & 9am3 hours round trip
Machu Picchu + Huchuy PicchuCircuit 3 Route 3-B
Circuit 3 Route 3-D
3.5 hours10am & 12pm 30 minutes round trip

The Circuit Options

Please note:

  • If you are visiting Machu Picchu with a shared tour, the guide will select which circuit you will take for the tour.
  • If you are doing a private tour and you purchased your entrance ticket before 20th June 2024, you are not able to pre-select the circuits below, this will be decided at the entrance of the citadel with your guide.
  • For private tours and new tickets purchased after 20th June 2024, it is possible to indicate which circuit you would like to purchase. Please let us know.
  • If you wish to see more than one circuit during your visit, you must purchase a second entry ticket.

Circuit 1 or ‘Panoramic’

Explores the upper and lower section of the so-called agricultural sector of Machu Picchu (featuring terraces).
It’s a panoramic circuit where you can have views of the surrounding mountains Wayna Picchu, Huchuy Picchu and Putucusi as well as the central area of the archaeological site.

There are two options for this circuit:

  • Circuit 1 Route 1-B: as described above and marked with a red line in map below
  • Circuit 1 Route 1-A: as described above and providing access to Machu Picchu Mountain (the backstiched line to ‘Montaña Machu Picchu’)

During the high season (from June 1st to October 15th and December 30-31) two further options are available:

  • Circuit 1 Route 1-C: as described above and in addition providing access to the Sun Gate (look for Intipunku in the map)
  • Circuit 1 Route 1-D: as described above and in addition providing access to the Inca Bridge (look for ‘Puente Inka’ in the map)

Circuit 2 or ‘Classic’

This circuit, which is highly sought after by visitors, encompasses both the agricultural and urban sectors of Machu Picchu. Along the route, you’ll encounter landmarks such as the Inca quarry, the Sun Temple lookout point, the Sacred Stone, the storages known as Qolqas, and the Temple of the Condor, among other sites depicted in the map below.

There are 2 options when choosing this circuit:

  • Circuit 2 Route 2-A: as described above and including the ‘Guard House’  – one of the most popular spots in Machu Picchu (for the panoramic picture)
  • Circuit 2 Route 2-B: as described above but not including the ‘Guard House’

Circuit 3 or ‘Royal’

This tour explores the lower section of Machu Picchu, encompassing the agricultural terraces before delving into the urban sector. Notable attractions in this area include the Water Mirrors, Pisonay Square, the Temple of the Condor, and the Sacred Stone.

There are 2 options when choosing this circuit:

  • Circuit 3 Route 3-B: as described above  
  • Circuit 3 Route 3-A: as described above and in addition providing access to Wayna Picchu (see the yellow arrows indicating the path to ‘Montaña Wayna Picchu’)

During the high season (from June 1st to October 15th and December 30-31) two further options are available:

  • Circuit 3 Route 3-C: as described above and in addition providing access to ‘Gran Caverna’ (Great Cavern)
  • Circuit 3 Route 3-D: as described above and in addition providing access to ‘Huchuy Picchu’
Circuit 3 Route 3-C
Map of the Machu Picchu Citadel with a yellow line indicating the Route 3-D tour to Huchuy Picchu.
Circuit 3 Route 3-D

If you are still unsure of which ticket best suits you and your needs, please speak to you Travel Designer, who will help you decide.