Updated 18 September 2020
Is Machu Picchu closed? This is a rumor that has been strangely persistent lately.
The short answer to all of these questions is NO. Machu Picchu is currently open to the public, and it will remain open throughout the year. The closure of Machu Picchu reflects only the fact that at some point a natural event occurs that threatens its infrastructure. It is only the Inca Trail that will be temporarily closed in February
Is it safe to travel to Machu Picchu, Inca Trail or Alternative Hike? Coronavirus: Machu Picchu Travel Advisory
Nevertheless, Machu Picchu is going through a lot of changes. For example, do you know that the schedules to visit this beautiful citadel has changed from 2020? In total, 5,940 people will be able to purchase Machu Picchu tickets every day divided into 3 time slots (from 6 am to 9 am, from 9 am to 12 pm and from 12 pm to 2 pm). These New Machu Picchu Restrictions 2020 have changed the way people get to visit Machu Picchu forcing tour operators to change the way they used to operate tours.
Machu Picchu and Inca Trail was closed during the Coronavirus (COVID 19). Martin Vizcarra, the Peruvian president, declared a state of emergency and all important tourist sites were closed involving the Lost City of the Incas.
During the Coronavirus pandemic, the Peruvian government published new security protocols for all visitors. If you like to visit Machu Picchu, it is very important to read the protocols!
Machu Picchu and Inca Trail were closed on 16th March 2020.
During this season, the Ministry of Culture of Peru just refunded the money for Machu Picchu and Inca Trail March tickets. However, travellers and tour operators have been waiting for Machu Picchu and Inca Trail ticket refund of April, May, June, July and August. It is not an easy to work in Peru because the Peruvian government forgot about tour operators, travel agencies, Tour Guides, Porters and Cooks. For that reson, when travellers ask for refund, tourist companies need to refund from their own. Although, they do not have funds. It is difficult to survive the pandemic.
In June, the Peruvian government declared Machu Picchu and Inca Trail reopen on 15th of July, but only for Peruvian tourists. Tickets are free of charge for children and elderly people (65+ years old).
In October, all borders of Peru will reopen. Machu Picchu and all the Peruvian tourist attractions will open again. So, foreign travellers can enter without any problems. Nevertheless, the Peruvian goverment recommends taking preventive actions during trips due to the pandemic.
Machu Picchu tickets will be for free for foreign children and senior travellers (65+ years old) until December 31st 2020!
The Inca Trail will be free until December 31st 2020! However, all participants are required to travel using a tour operator. Today, the 4-Day Inca Trail is available only for November and December! If you like to hike it, we recommend you to book ASAP! In case of being sold out, go for the 2 Day Inca Trail. Inca Trail Machu is a 100% local tour operator and we can help you to solve your trip to Peru.
|BOOK ONLINE HUAYNA PICCHU & MACHU PICCHU TICKETS 2021!|
If you like to know more about Machu Picchu New Schedules, visit this site → MACHU PICCHU RESTRICTIONS 2020
Some people have misunderstood these changes which have led to a bunch of misleading information on the Internet. That is why, it is essential to understand why this happened and what to do about it.
Here are a few examples:
The Inca Trail to Machu Picchu is closed during February 2020. Since 2001, The Machu Picchu restrictions regarding the management and preservation of the Inca Trail demand its temporary closure for the whole month of February due to safety matters and harsh weather conditions. Heavy rains and landslides occur during this time while the sanctuary officials carry out works of maintenance of trails, renovation of bridges and improvement of toilets and campsites.
However, the closure of the Inca Trail on February 2020 does not mean that Machu Picchu will be closed too! Machu Picchu has its own schedule which is available from Monday to Sunday from 6 am to 5 pm, including holidays. Only the Inca Trail closes temporarily while Machu Picchu remains open all year round. We do not recommend anyone to hike to Machu Picchu by any else alternative trek due to safety issues.
Sometimes, unexpected changes can occur, but this do not mean that Machu Picchu closing is for forever. The last extended closure occurred in the end of January 2010 when landslides damaged the railway connecting Aguas Calientes (the town below Machu Picchu) with the rest of the country, being the only access road. Without trains to Machu Picchu, one is not able to access the Inca city.
If you like to book the Inca Trail in 2021, you should obviously avoid February or choose an alternative route of climbing Machu Picchu. On the other hand, if you like to go directly to Machu Picchu, February is still a viable month to visit it as long as you are not bothered by rain.
Remember that, February is one of the months of the low season in Machu Picchu. One of the reasons for the low number of visitors is the rainy season from December to March. Rain can make the stone paths becoming a bit slippery and fog is a constant problem. On the other hand, you could see the Machu Picchu landscape with only few clouds and most likely with a rainbow during days with only light rain which make it an unforgettable scene!
If you only have 1 spare day to visit Machu Picchu, you might get there by train - a 2-hour trip taking you through the breathtaking Sacred Valley.
Travel by train through the Sacred Valley to the city of Aguas Calientes. Then, take a bus to the citadel of Machu Picchu. Enjoy a guided tour and then spare time to take pictures and tour the ancient city on your own. In the afternoon, board a train back to the Cusco City. Another option is to reach Machu Picchu via an alternative route around the Hydroelectric Plant. This way is longer (it takes about 7 hours in total), but it offers more adventures.
Also, you can choose one of the train trips to Machu Picchu and enjoy the New Wonder of the Modern World in a different way. The options are: a trip to Machu Picchu in a full day or the Sacred Valley 2 Day Tour to Machu Picchu with overnight in the town of Aguas Calientes. The latter takes you through impressive landscapes of the Sacred Valley marked by small adobe villages with traditionally dressed native Quechua inhabitants, small farms and agricultural terraces.
Even if the Inca Trail is closed in February, there are other incredible routes for climbing Machu Picchu:
The Inca Jungle offers one of the most adventurous route of climbing Machu Picchu. It combines downhill cycling, rafting, zip-line and hiking.
This alternative trek lasts 5 days. Cross the imposing snowy Salkantay at 4,650 metres until you reach Machu Picchu passing through Aguas Calientes.
This trek has many variations. Its starting point is situated in the village of Lares. After 4 days of walking, you arrive at Machu Picchu.
You can expect more drastic changes in the future. Plans to further limit the freedom of visitors at the site have already been drawn up. This will confine a visit to a more controlled route throughout the site, as opposed to the free-roaming exploration we are currently allowed.
If such plans are implemented, there will undoubtedly be pros and cons for all visitors to Machu Picchu. But for the Historic Sanctuary of Machu Picchu, it means a crucial step in ensuring the future preservation of the site. Which, in the long run, protects against the real threat of Machu Picchu closing for a longer period of time.