The only thing that gets the Instagram generation more excited than spiked seltzer is a UNESCO World Heritage Site like Machu Picchu. It's a reason that the over-touristed, 600-year-old Incan citadel made our list of 50 Places to See Before They Die. To protect the one of the globe's great modern wonders, the Peruvian government is now following the blueprint of the Italian government in Venice and unveiling brand-new, stricter visitor regulations.
Here's the skinny:
- Pick a time and stick to it: Machu Picchu is now employing three different entry slots for visiting the sanctuary. 6AM-9AM, 9AM-12PM and 12PM-3PM. Buy a ticket for one of those slots and don't miss your time, or you won't be allowed in. You're allowed to stay up to four hours, and the park officially closes at 5:30.
- Don't be Mr. 2,501: Only 2,500 visitors will be allowed up each day.
- You will need a certified guide: This rule came into place a few years ago but hasn't been expressly enforced. Not a bad rule for you and your party to follow, though. Several sections of the Incan Trail are subject to erosion due to landslides so making this up as you go isn't the move. Plus, you want the historical tidbits. Check out the folks at Valencia Travel Cusco.
- Choose your mountain: It's either Huayna Picchu or Machu Picchu Mountain. If you want to do both you'll need another ticket on another day.
- No PB&Js: Packed lunch is no longer permitted. Bring some almonds and a (reusable) water bottle, then load up on lomo saltado later.
- Wheelchair accessible: It's true. Check out Wheel the World for more info.
- And on the horizon: 2020 will most likely introduce varied time slot pricing. Everyone likes to get their hike in at the start of the day, so if you're looking for a deal, plan on visiting in the afternoon.
For more information on the changes, head here.
Images via Unsplash
h/t Matador Network