Tough travel restrictions to permanently stay for tourists at popular Machu Picchu

Machu Pichu's stunning views attract thousands of tourists

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Pre pandemic, visitor numbers to Machu Picchu used to hit 4,800 a day. Anyone who arrived was allowed to enter, according to a 2017 UNESCO World Heritage Committee report. 

But since the pandemic, strict controls have limited visitor numbers to just 2,224 a day.

Numbers hiking the Inca trail are also restricted, with just half the previous number of tourists allowed.

Visitors will need to plan early if they want to see the famous site at sunrise as travellers.

Guests used to be able to explore Machu Picchu for up to four hours.

However, a strict one hour restriction is now enforced to keep crowds under control.

The tough rules are definitely “here to stay”, say staff.

Travellers to the UNESCO World Heritage site used to be able to buy a ticket on arrival.

However, experts now recommend those keen to see Machu Picchu should book their tickets at least one or two months in advance. 

Last-minute travellers could find there are no tickets available.

A new ticketing website is usually booked up to two months in advance.

The tough restrictions have meant that emotions have been running high.

Tourist meltdowns are a common site in queues to visit Peru’s ancient wonder. 

Machu Picchu staff report seeing tourists “crying” and “complaining” as they struggle to deal with the strict pandemic rules.

Many of the travellers may have crossed continents to get to Peru for the once in a lifetime trip.

Guests who are hoping to complete the Inca circuit in one day will also be disappointed.

In 2019, strict fixed routes were put in place to control visitor numbers. 

Although some tourists take the train to Machu Pichhu, many hike on Inca trails. 

While tourists used to be able to take their time hiking, restrictions have meant guests can now choose just one trail. 

Tourists can no longer double back or try multiple trails. 

Experts now recommend tourists spend at least two or three days in the area to visit the whole of Machu Picchu.

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