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Know the rules to enter Machu Picchu, how to behave during your visit and what items you aren't allowed to bring with you

Machu Picchu – stricter code of conduct and prohibited items

New regulations on how to enter and behave when visiting Peru’s most popular tourist attraction


To improve the conservation and preservation efforts and to better cope with an increasing number of visitors, Cusco’s regional Culture Directorate informed that next to the new entrance times and the obligation to hire a licensed tour guide, Machu Picchu visitor as well have to follow a new, stricter code of conduct and are prohibited to enter with and use certain quite common items inside the archaeological zone.

New regulations to visit Machu Picchu

As we already reported in our article “New entrance times for Machu Picchu” since July 1 of this year Machu Picchu visitors can enter Peru’s most popular tourist attraction only in two specific time periods: in the morning from 06.00 am to 12.00 pm or in the afternoon from 12.00 pm to 05.30 pm.

Additionally, visitors are only permitted to enter the Inca citadel accompanied by an official tour guide in groups of max. 16 people (some sources say 20 pax) and have to stay on one of the three established routes.

Visitors who want to stay the whole day have to buy two tickets, one for the morning turn and one for the afternoon turn.

The access times to Machu Picchu mountain (07.00 am to 08.00 am and 09.00 am to 10.00 am) and Huayna Picchu (07.00 am to 08.00 am and 10.00 am to 11.00 am) remain the same. Both mountains can be climbed without a tour guide, before or after the tour of the archaeological complex.

New rules of conduct when visiting Machu Picchu

According to the latest resolution Machu Picchu visitors have to behave in an appropriate and respectful manner at the entrance to Machu Picchu and inside the archaeological complex.

It is forbidden to make loud and annoying noises such as clapping, whistling, shouting, screaming and singing. No jumping, running and causing trouble or disorder either.

In addition, any type of activity that might damage, change or destroy any cultural or archaeological element of Machu Picchu, its natural environment and facilities is forbidden.

It is prohibited to touch, climb and lean on walls and any historic structures and to (re)move or alter any archaeological elements (incl. graffiti). Visitors have to stay on established routes and follow the instructions of tour guides or other staff.

Disturbing and feeding domestic and wild animals is prohibited, as is removing and gathering native flowers and plants. Do not litter!

Any activity that might violate the sacred character of the site is of course prohibited also; this includes ceremonies of any kind, rituals, dances, gatherings and any type of shows, as well as behaving contrary to morality or public decency (so no disguises, no being topless or undressed, no stretching out, no making out, no sex)

No smoking and no vaping when visiting Machu Picchu.

Taking pictures and shooting films is only allowed for private purposes

In cramped spaces and on narrow trails the usage of cell phones and mobile device is prohibited.

Furthermore, it is prohibited to fly over Machu Picchu with paragliders, drones or any other flying device.

Prohibited items when visiting Mach Picchu

The new rules also contain a number of items, some of which are commonly used by many travelers, that are prohibited to be taken into and to be used inside the archaeological complex of Machu Picchu.

These prohibited items include:

  • Any kind of extension, support and stabilizer for cameras, filming equipment and cellphones; so no selfie sticks, monopods and tripods
  • Any type of bag or backpack larger than 40 x 35 x 20 cm (15.7 x 13.7 x 7.8 in); these have to be deposited at the left luggage facility at the entrance
  • Food
  • Alcoholic beverages, drugs and other illegal substances. Intoxicated visitors are denied entry
  • Animals, except for service dogs
  • Baby and infant strollers as well as baby backpacks with metal frames; soft baby carriers are allowed.
  • Walking sticks and trekking poles with metal tip; canes for seniors and people with walking difficulties are allowed as long as they have a rubber tip.
  • Umbrellas
  • High-heels and any type of shoes with heels or hard soles; allowed are walking shoes, hiking boots, sports shoes, etc. with soft or rubber soles.
  • Drones and other flying devices
  • Weapons or sharp objects
  • Poster, banners and flags
  • Folding chairs or stools
  • Speakers, megaphones, musical instruments
  • Spray cans or any other type of aerosol
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