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Machu Picchu: New Circuits 2024 / 2025 Updated!

Machu Picchu: New Circuits Updated!

The government has recently implemented new regulations in April 2024 to limit the number of visitors per day in order to preserve the site’s fragile ecosystem. 

That, through Law No. 23765, several places in the city of Cusco are declared Cultural Heritage of the Nation, including the Pre-Hispanic Sanctuary or Archaeological Park of Machupicchu;

A «Study of Load Capacity and/or Limit of Acceptable Change for the Historical Sanctuary of Machupicchu-Machupicchu National Archaeological Park» has received approval pursuant to Directorial Resolution No. 035-2016-DDC-CUS/MC. 

This study, among other things, looks at suggestions on how to make the Machupicchu Llaqta more user-friendly by getting rid of congestion points, using timed tickets, and offering lower prices for afternoon entry. 

Additionally, the study aims to ensure the preservation of the site by implementing sustainable tourism practices and minimizing the impact of visitors on the environment. These measures are crucial in maintaining Machupicchu as a sustainable and well-preserved cultural heritage site for future generations to enjoy.

Circuit 01 or Terraza Superior: «Panoramic» 

This circuit is ideal for those who want to get a complete overview of Machu Picchu and its most emblematic features. It is important to plan and book your tickets, as access to Machu Picchu is controlled to protect and preserve this important archaeological site. By following this circuit, visitors can fully appreciate the beauty and significance of Machu Picchu while also helping to ensure its preservation for years to come. The panoramic views and iconic landmarks along this route offer a unique and unforgettable experience for all who visit. The scenic tour will take you through the highlights of Machu Picchu from where you can enjoy stunning views of the citadel and its mountainous surroundings.

There is a disadvantage to this circuit in that you can only access the high platform of Machu Picchu and stay for 2 hours due to preservation efforts and visitor limitations. However, the restricted time frame ensures a more controlled and respectful experience for all visitors, but it still has a spectacular view of Machu Picchu and allows for a more focused exploration of the sacred spaces. The limited time also helps to preserve the site for future generations to enjoy.

Main Square: It is one of the first places you will visit on the circuit. The Main Square is a central and ceremonial space surrounded by Inca structures and terraces. 

Intihuatana: This is an important archaeological monument located on the top of Machu Picchu. It is a sacred place that is believed to have astronomical and ritual functions. Temple of the Sun: Located near the Main Square, this temple is one of the most impressive examples of Inca architecture in Machu Picchu. It is dedicated to the worship of the sun. 

Residential sector: This includes several structures where the inhabitants of Machu Picchu are believed to have lived and where you can explore everyday life in the citadel. 

Viewpoints and sights: Through the tour, you will find several natural sightseeing sites and strategic sightpoints from where you can get panoramic views of Machu Picchu, as well as the surrounding mountains and landscape. 

The trails and paths: In addition to the specific sites, the panoramic circuit will also take you through the paths and trails that connect the different areas of the citadel, allowing you to appreciate the urban planning and architectural distribution of Machu Picchu.

Route 1-A: Machupicchu Mountain Route  This route takes visitors to the top of Machu Picchu Mountain, known for its panoramic views of the archaeological site.

It was considered sacred by the Incas and was possibly used for ceremonial purposes and astronomical observations. Climbing this mountain provides a unique perspective of the urban layout of Machu Picchu and its mountainous surroundings.

You will be able to enjoy:The Machu Picchu Mountain Route takes you to the top of the mountain located south of the Machu Picchu citadel.

This route is less crowded compared to the popular Huayna Picchu, making it a great option for those looking for a less congested but still impressive experience.

  • Path and Difficulty: The path to the top of Machu Picchu mountain is steep and challenging in some sections. Visitors are recommended to be in good physical condition and prepared for a demanding hike. The trail is well-marked and winding but can be slippery in wet conditions.
  • Panoramic views: From the top of Machu Picchu mountain, visitors can enjoy stunning panoramic views of the entire Machu Picchu citadel, as well as the surrounding mountain peaks. This panoramic view offers a unique and less common perspective than that obtained from other points of the citadel.
  • Limited capacity: Like Huayna Picchu, access to Machu Picchu mountain is limited to a specific number of visitors per day. This is to protect both the archaeological site and the safety of visitors. It is recommended to reserve in advance to ensure your entry.

Duration of the hike:

The hike to the top of Mount Machu Picchu can take between 1.5 to 2 hours, depending on the pace and weather conditions. It is recommended to start early in the morning to avoid the midday heat and have more time to enjoy the views from the top.

Route 1-B: Upper Terrace Route

This route includes the upper terraces of Machu Picchu, which were crucial to the agriculture and sustainability of the city. The terraces allowed agricultural production in a difficult mountainous environment, demonstrating the advanced hydraulic and agricultural knowledge of the Incas.

You can visit:

  • The Machu Picchu Mountain Route takes you to the top of the mountain that lies south of the citadel of Machu Picchu. This route is less crowded compared to the popular Huayna Picchu, making it an excellent choice for those seeking a less congested but equally impressive experience.
  • The path to the top of Mount Machu Picchu is steep and challenging in some sections. Visitors are advised to be in good physical condition and prepared for a demanding walk. The trail is well marked andined but can be slippery in wet conditions.
  • Panoramic views: From the top of Mount Machu Picchu, visitors can enjoy stunning panoramic views of the entire citadel of Machu Picchu, as well as the mountainous peaks surrounding it. This panoramic view offers a unique and less common perspective than the one obtained from other parts of the citadel.
  • Limited Capacity: Like Huayna Picchu, access to Mount Machu Picchu is limited to a specific number of visitors per day. This is to protect both the archaeological site and the safety of visitors. It is recommended to book in advance to secure a seat.
  • Duration of the walk: The walk to the top of Mount Machu Picchu can take between 1.5 to 2 hours, depending on the pace and weather conditions. It is recommended to start early in the morning to avoid the noon heat and have more time to enjoy the views from the top.

Route 1-C: Intipunku Ported Route 
This route is only available during the high season.

Intipunku, or the Gate of the Sun, was a ceremonial and strategic place in Machu Picchu. It is famous for being the entry point to the sanctuary from the Inca path, it is said that it was possibly used for astronomical observation rituals. Intipunku is not only an impressive viewpoint but also a significant archaeological site. It was the main entrance to Machu Picchu for those who walked the Inca Way from Cusco. This gate was a ceremonial and strategic place that marked the access to the sacred city.

  • The Ported Route Intipunku begins from the main area of Machu Picchu and follows the path that traditionally led the ancient travelers who walked the Inca Way from Cusco. Intipunku is within walking distance from the main citadel, providing unique panoramic views of Machu Picchu.
  • Path and Difficulty: The path to Intipunku is not as steep as the routes to Huayna Picchu or Mount Machu Picchu, but it is still a moderate walk that requires some physical effort. It is well-marked and refined, making it easy to navigate even for less experienced hiking visitors.
  • Panoramic views: From Intipunku, visitors can enjoy spectacular panoramic views of Machu Picchu and its surroundings. This area offers one of the most impressive views of the citadel, especially when arriving after a walk that follows the footsteps of the ancient Incas.
  • Walk duration: The walk to Intipunku from the main area of Machu Picchu can take approximately 1 to 1.5 hours, depending on the pace and weather conditions. It is an accessible walk for most visitors and offers a unique reward in the form of stunning views upon arrival.

Route 1-D: Inka Bridge Route

This route is only available during high season. The Inka Bridge is an impressive structure that shows the ability of the Incas to build roads and bridges in difficult terrain. It was part of the complex system of roads that connected Machu Picchu with other important sites of the Inca Empire, it is also very important as it helps visitors better understand the advanced engineering of the Incas and their ability to adapt to the mountainous terrain. 

  • The Inka Bridge Route starts from the main area of ​​Machu Picchu and leads to the Inca Bridge, which is a stone-built structure that serves as a bridge and possible access route to the citadel from certain directions. 
  • The path to the Inka Bridge is relatively short and not too demanding in terms of physical difficulty, but the terrain can be uneven and rocky, so it is recommended to be careful when walking. 
  • Inca Bridge: The Inka Bridge is a fascinating structure that is integrated into the rocky landscape of Machu Picchu. It was originally built as part of the Inca road system and is believed to have had a defensive function, allowing controlled access to the citadel.
  • During the walk to the Inka Bridge and upon reaching the structure, visitors can enjoy panoramic views of the surrounding landscapes and lush vegetation. It is a quiet and less crowded place compared to other important areas of Machu Picchu.
  • Duration of the hike: The hike to the Inka Bridge from the main area of ​​Machu Picchu usually takes between 30 and 45 minutes, depending on the pace, stopping to enjoy the scenery and take photographs.

Circuit 2 (Machupicchu Classic)

Route 2-A: Designed Route

This route is designed to explore the central and monumental areas of Machu Picchu, including the Main Square, the Intihuatana, the Temple of the Sun, and other urban sites. These areas were crucial in the ceremonial, religious, and social life of the Incas in Machu Picchu. Also known as Machu Picchu Classic, it is a visit option that allows tourists to explore and enjoy the most significant sites of Machu Picchu in a more comprehensive way.

Route 2-B: Lower Terrace Route

The lower terraces were important for agriculture and the structural stability of Machu Picchu. They also provide unique insights into the hydraulic and agricultural engineering of the Incas, which allowed cultivation on pronounced slopes.

  • The Lower Terrace Route focuses on agricultural terraces and other structures located in the lower part of Machu Picchu. It is a way to explore this important function of the Inca citadel.
  • Views and landscapes: Through the tour, visitors can enjoy panoramic views of the surrounding landscape and the mountains surrounding Machu Picchu. The location of the lower terraces offers a unique perspective of urban planning and integration with the natural environment.
  • Trails and paths: The Lower Terrace Route usually includes well-marked paths that allow visitors to walk between farm terraces and other related structures. These trails offer a close experience with Inca architecture and engineering.
  • Duration and accessibility: The duration of the Lower Terrace Route may vary depending on the pace and interests of visitors. It is accessible to most visitors, although some areas may require moderate physical effort due to the slopes and stairs leading to the lower terraces.

 

 

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