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Is Machu Picchu closing?

Is Machu Picchu Open?

Yes, Machu Picchu is open during 2023 and 2024 as per the Ministry of Culture, and it is currently running at full capacity. Machu Picchu after being closed as a result of strikes for different months was reopened after an agreement between authorities, community groups, and the local tourism industry allowed it to resume operations.

Nevertheless, it is strongly advised to secure your tickets ahead of time due to the substantial demand. Presently, tickets are unavailable until mid-September. It’s important to be aware that the sought-after circuits 1 and 2 are already fully booked, with only circuits 3 and 4 currently open. These circuits involve the mountains.

Why is Inca Trail closed in February?

The Inca Trail to Machu Picchu is not operational in February. Since 2001, regulations for the conservation and management of the Inca Trail require its temporary closure throughout February for safety reasons and adverse weather conditions. Heavy rainfall and landslides are common during this period, prompting sanctuary officials to undertake maintenance work on trails, renovate bridges, and enhance facilities such as toilets and campsites.

Important Information

The Inca Trail to Machu Picchu underwent closure in February 2020 due to the impact of the pandemic. It was subsequently reopened in 2021. Additionally, closures occurred on both the Inca Trail and Machu Picchu due to strikes or internal issues within Peru.

Since 2001, regulations for the conservation and management of the Inca Trail mandate its temporary closure throughout February at Machu Picchu. This is due to safety concerns and challenging weather conditions. Heavy rains and landslides are common during this period, prompting sanctuary officials to conduct maintenance work on trails, renovate bridges, and enhance facilities like toilets and campsites.

Nevertheless, the temporary closure of the Inca Trail in February 2023 does not imply the closure of Machu Picchu. Machu Picchu operates on its own schedule, welcoming visitors from Monday to Sunday, including holidays, from 6 am to 5 pm. While the Inca Trail experiences a temporary closure, Machu Picchu remains open throughout the year. We strongly advise against alternative trekking routes to Machu Picchu due to safety concerns.

While unexpected changes can happen, they don’t necessarily indicate a permanent closure of Machu Picchu. The last prolonged closure occurred at the end of January 2010 when landslides damaged the railway connecting Aguas Calientes (the town below Machu Picchu) to the rest of the country, which was the sole access route. Without train services to Machu Picchu, access to the Inca city was restricted. In 2023, it faced closures in January and February due to pandemic issues and strikes in Peru.

Is Machu Picchu Closing Temporarily?

People often inquire about the closure of Machu Picchu. They frequently ask, “Is Machu Picchu closing?” or “When is Machu Picchu closing?” There’s a prevailing belief that Machu Picchu is closing, and this is a common topic during my guided group tours. Some of my guests have even chosen to visit Peru or Machu Picchu based on the rumor that Machu Picchu will be closing soon, expressing a desire to experience it before any potential closure.

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Machu Picchu underwent a temporary closure from January 21st, 2023, to February 11th, 2023. This precautionary measure was implemented in response to the political crisis and civil unrest in Peru, aimed at ensuring the safety and security of both our staff and guests.

Since February 12th, 2023, Machu Picchu has once again welcomed travelers, with visitors exploring the iconic citadel. The Inca Trail is scheduled to reopen on March 1st, 2023, following the regular maintenance carried out in February. All tours scheduled after March 1st are confirmed and will proceed as planned.

Yet, this article doesn’t focus on the brief closure of Machu Picchu. Instead, it delves into the speculations surrounding the potential permanent closure of Machu Picchu, exploring various factors contributing to these rumors.

The onset of widespread concern dates back a few years when Machu Picchu earned UNESCO’s designation as a World Heritage Site. With UNESCO’s mission to promote the safeguarding of natural and cultural heritage globally, Machu Picchu was identified as an endangered site. This designation led to speculations about the imminent closure of Machu Picchu, driven by the implementation of new regulations aimed at shielding it from potential harm and ensuring its preservation for the benefit of future generations.

Machu Picchu is not facing closure due to natural erosion or the impact of thousands of daily visitors. In efforts to preserve this World Heritage Site, authorities at Machu Picchu have introduced new regulations. These measures include the enforcement of curfews and the restriction of the number of visitors allowed per hour, aiming to ensure the protection and sustainability of this iconic site.

Machu Picchu February

Is Machu Picchu closed in February? The short answer to all of these questions is NO. Machu Picchu is presently accessible to the public and will remain open year-round. Closures of Machu Picchu occur only in response to natural events that pose a threat to its infrastructure. It’s important to note that only the Inca Trail will experience a temporary closure in February.

However, Machu Picchu is currently undergoing significant changes. For instance, did you know that the visitation schedules for this stunning citadel have been revised from 2021 to 2023? Now, a total of 4,500 individuals can purchase Machu Picchu tickets each day, divided into three time slots and four circuits (from 6 am to 9 am, from 9 am to 12 pm, and from 12 pm to 2 pm). These new restrictions in 2023 have altered the way people experience Machu Picchu, prompting tour operators to adjust their tour operations accordingly.

How Can I Get to Machu Picchu When Inca Trail Closes?

If you’re planning to book the Inca Trail for 2024, it’s advisable to steer clear of February or consider alternative routes to reach Machu Picchu. However, if your plan is to visit Machu Picchu directly, February remains a viable month, provided you don’t mind the possibility of rain.

Keep in mind that February falls within the low season at Machu Picchu. The reduced number of visitors during this month is attributed to the rainy season spanning from December to March. The rain may result in slightly slippery stone paths, and persistent fog can be a challenge. However, on the brighter side, you might witness the Machu Picchu landscape adorned with only a few clouds and possibly a rainbow on days with gentle rain, creating an unforgettable scene!

Machu Picchu During 2023

Machu Picchu’s temporary closure this 2023

Machu Picchu is now fully open, welcoming hundreds of travelers daily. It experienced a temporary closure during the political crisis in Peru, spanning from January 21st, 2023, to February 11th, 2023.

Machu Picchu’s temporary closure this 2023

Machu Picchu underwent closure during the 2020-2021 pandemic period, prompted by successive waves of Covid-19. Various regions in Peru, including Lima, Cusco, and others, experienced prolonged and stringent lockdowns for several months.

machu-picchu-pandemic

Is Machu Picchu open for visitors?

Yes, Machu Picchu and all Inca sites and tourist attractions are open for travelers.

Is Machu Picchu Closed In February?

Machu Picchu remains open throughout the year, including the rainy season. However, it’s important to note that the Classic Inca Trail 4 days and the Short Inca 2 days are closed every February for maintenance. This closure specifically applies to the trails and not to Machu Picchu itself.

Despite the maintenance closures, we offer trekking tours to Machu Picchu in February. The Lares Trek, a 4-day trek, stands out as the best and most recommended option during this period.

Machu Picchu Opening Time?

Machu Picchu opens its gates daily at 6:00 am. To be among the first to arrive and enter, you can either catch the earliest buses from Aguas Calientes or commence your hike from the town at 4:30 am.

Machu Picchu Closing Time?

Machu Picchu’s main entrance ceases operations at 4:00 pm. Although the latest entrance shift available for purchase is at 2:00 pm, there’s a grace period until 4:00 pm for those arriving late from Cusco. Beyond this time, entry is not possible.

Post 4:00 pm, certain areas within Machu Picchu start closing down. By 5:00 pm, park rangers commence requesting visitors to exit, and typically, by 5:30 pm, the citadel sees no more visitors. The official closing time is 6:00 pm, coinciding with the last bus departure from Machu Picchu to Aguas Calientes.

Machu Picchu FAQs

What Month Is Machu Picchu Closed?

Machu Picchu is never closed; the citadel is open all year round.

Is Machu Picchu closing due to erosion?

No, Machu Picchu will not close due to erosion, and it was never closed for this reason. Only during the Pandemic 2020 – 2021 was it closed. 

Is Classic Inca Trail 4 days to Machu Picchu Closed?

The Inca Trail faced closure in the last week of January 2020 due to a rock slide at the Second Campsite, Pacaymayo Alto. Initially set to reopen on March 1st, 2020, the closure extended by two weeks due to heavy rains.
In response to the Covid-19 pandemic, the Peruvian government implemented a stringent quarantine on March 16th, 2020, resulting in the shutdown of all tourist sites. The Inca Trail remained closed until March 2021, when it reopened at 50% capacity. Currently, the Classic Inca Trail is fully operational.
As of today, the Inca Trail is closed, but all departures scheduled after March 1st are confirmed.

Is Inca Trail Closed in February?

Indeed, the Inca Trail 4 days and the Short Inca Trail 2 days observe closures every February for maintenance. It’s crucial to distinguish this from Machu Picchu, which remains open throughout the year.
For those planning a Machu Picchu trip, it’s advisable to secure entrance tickets well in advance. Tickets for 2022 are nearly sold out, and the 2023 season will soon be available for purchase. Procuring tickets early is advisable. You can make your purchase online through tour operators such as TreXperience or directly on the government website. Remember to have your passport and other necessary documents ready during the ticket purchase process.Inca Trail Closed

Machu Picchu regular tickets

  • First Shift to Machu Picchu: 6:00 am
    The entrance to Machu Picchu begins at 6 am, and to reach there on time, it’s essential to catch the first buses from Aguas Calientes at 5:30 am. It’s recommended to stay overnight in Aguas Calientes town (Machu Picchu Pueblo) the night before your visit. After exploring the citadel, visitors typically exit around 10 to 10:30 am.
  • Second Shift to Machu Picchu: 7:00 am
    The entrance to Machu Picchu opens at 7 am, and entry is not permitted before this time. The bus journey from Aguas Calientes takes about 30 minutes, but during peak season, the bus lines may extend to almost 30 to 45 minutes. Visitors should factor in these considerations. The approximate exit time from Machu Picchu is around 11 am.
  • Third Shift to Machu Picchu: 8:00 am
    The entrance to the citadel starts at 8 am. You must always consider the 30-minute bus drive and lines for this bus. You will exit the citadel around noon.
  • Fourth Shift to Machu Picchu: 9:00 am
    The entrance to Machu Picchu starts at 9:AM. This shift is perfect for those traveling from Cusco or the Sacred Valley early trains. The exit time is around 1: p.m.
  • Fifth Shift to Machu Picchu: 10 am
    The entrance starts at 10 am. At this time, the sun can be extreme; use sun protection; the exit time is around 14:00.
  • Sixth Shift to Machu Picchu: 11 am
    The entrance starts at 11 am; ensure you have eaten something before entering Machu Picchu, as you won’t find any stores inside. The exit time is around 15:00 pm.
  • Seventh Shift to Machu Picchu: 12 pm
    The entrance to the site starts at noon; you must have lunch before this time. Once you are inside Machu Picchu, you won’t have access to any stores. The exit time is around 4 pm.
  • Eighth Shift to Machu Picchu: 1 pm
    The afternoon entrance starts at 1 pm, Have plenty of water with you, and always rain gear just in case. The Exit time is around 5 pm.
  • Ninth Shift to Machu Picchu: 14 pm
    The last shift starts at 2 pm, and you can enter until 4 pm; you must try to arrive at the designated time (2 pm) as many sites will start closing after 4 pm. Machu Picchu closes at 6 pm, and you must exit around 5.30 pm at the latest.
Machu Picchu regular tickets

Machu Picchu + Huayna Picchu Entrance Tickets

  • First Shift: 6 am Machu Picchu / 7: am to 8: am Huayna Picchu Mountain
    This ticket allows you to enter Machu Picchu from 6 am and 7 am to 8 am at Huayna Picchu Mountain. There are only 200 spaces per day, and you must book in advance.
  • Second Shift: 7 am Machu Picchu/ 7: am to 8: am Huayna Picchu Mountain
    This ticket allows you to enter Machu Picchu after 7 am and Huayna Picchu Mountain from 7 am to 8 am. There are only 200 spaces per day, and you must book in advance. Make sure to arrive on time.
  • Third Shift: 8 am to Machu Picchu / 10 am to 11 am Huayna Picchu Mountain
    This ticket allows you to enter Machu Picchu after 8 am and from 10 am to 11 am to Huayna Picchu Mountain. The perfect shift for all our day tours and trekking tours.

Machu Picchu + Machu Picchu Mountain Entrance Tickets

  • First Shift: 6 am Machu Picchu / 7: am to 8: am Machu Picchu Mountain
    This ticket permits entry to Machu Picchu from 6 am to 7 am and access to Machu Picchu Mountain (also known as Montaña) from 7 am to 8 am. With only 200 spaces available each day, advance booking is essential.
  • Second Shift: 7 am Machu Picchu/ 7: am to 8: am Machu Picchu Mountain
    This ticket allows you to enter Machu Picchu after 7 am and to Machu Picchu Mountain from 7 am to 8 am.
  • Third Shift: 8 am to Machu Picchu / 10 am to 11 am Machu Picchu Mountain
    This ticket allows you to enter Machu Picchu after 8 am and from 9 am to 10 am to Machu Picchu Mountain.

Huchuy Picchu + Circuit 4

This ticket enables entry to Machu Picchu after 7 am and guides you through the lower part of the site. There are 200 tickets available daily for this access. You can choose from various time slots: 7 am, 8 am, 9 am, 10 am, 11 am, 12 pm, 1 pm, and 2 pm to suit your convenience.

Inca Bridge + Circuit 1 or 2

This is one of the latest circuits/tickets available for exploring Machu Picchu. It includes the standard Machu Picchu ticket along with an additional hike to the Inca Bridge.

The trek to the Inca Bridge takes approximately 30 minutes, making it a one-hour round trip. It’s essential to be aware that the trail is narrow and steep, so it’s not recommended for travelers with vertigo.

You have the flexibility to choose from various time slots: 7 am, 8 am, 9 am, 10 am, 11 am, 12 pm, 1 pm, and 2 pm.


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Machu Picchu 1 Day Tour

Enjoy a comfortable full day of energy in lost city of the incas Machu Picchu

Machu Picchu 1 Day Tour

Enjoy a comfortable full day of energy in lost city of the incas Machu Picchu