Hard on the heels of restrictions on the climbing of Huayna Picchu comes the news that visitor numbers to the site itself are to be limited to 2,500 per day.
This is significantly more than the 917 a day (no more than 385 at any one time) advocated by UNESCO. The Peruvian government was pushing for a figure of around 3,400 a day. With commitments made to UNESCO to invest in stabilising the site, a compromise figure of 2,500 visitors a day was reached back in 2008.
The news that the limits are actually being imposed comes rather suddenly though as is the way with announcements relating to Machu Picchu, it’s never entirely clear if there is a concrete implementation date. What we are being told is that tickets cannot be bought at the site or in Aguas Calientes. They must be bough ahead of time online at www.machupicchu.gob.pe
Apparently this is now a market for re-sale tickets and counterfeits in Aguas Calientes just below Machu Picchu. It’s that sort of place. Of course these tickets might get you in, they might not.
In terms of current numbers, 2,500 per day is about what we would expect in a busy month, say June. It is fewer than the number of people currently visiting in July or August so expect to see some scrabbling around to get people into Machu Picchu.
Of course, anyone traveling on Pura’s holidays to Peru can rest assured that we will buy any and all relevant permits. It really does make it more difficult for people on more flexible, backpacking type holidays to simply turn up and see what they want to see, when they want to see it.
Looking at the numbers for this year, July shows a total of 80,981 visitors coming to Machu Picchu. For the same month the nearby site of Choquequirao shows 10. That’s ten.
That’s just by way of a reminder to say that there are many spectacular hikes and sites in Peru, not least of which is the hike from Choquequirao to Machu Picchu.
Find out more about our Peru holidays or call us on 01273 676 712 for advice.