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Circuit 2 Machu Picchu
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Circuit 2 in Machu Picchu: advantages and disadvantages

Machu Picchu has four different circuits, which allow you to know the archaeological site in a special way. Circuit 2 is the most complete tour, which includes visits to important Inca constructions such as the Temple of the Sun, the Intihuatana, the Main Temple, the Sacred Rock, the Temple of the Condor and more. However, this circuit does not allow you to visit other important buildings such as the House of the Inca. What are the advantages and disadvantages of this circuit? Learn more!



View of Machu Picchu from the Guardian's House
View of Machu Picchu from the Guardian’s House

Why are there tourist circuits in Machu Picchu?
Machu Picchu is one of the best tourist destinations on the planet. This is what international travel contests say, as well as the testimonies of thousands of people in internet forums. The Inca city receives about 1.5 million people a year. Unfortunately, this number of visitors endangers this great tourist attraction. A few years ago, Machu Picchu was on the list of historical patrimonies according to Unesco. In order not to endanger the archaeological site, the Peruvian authorities set up specific circuits that allow to decongest the large number of people in the Inca llaqta. Because of this, Machupicchu is off the list of endangered heritage sites. However, every year the control of visits is improved with new regulations such as strict schedules and circuits. Today, for example, there are four circuits available for everyone.


Machu Picchu Tourist Circuits

There are four circuits in Machu Picchu available:

  • Circuit 1

    Circuit 1 offers a tour of the religious and agricultural sector (lower part) of Machu Picchu. It includes the visit to important temples, such as: the Temple of the Sun, the Main Temple, the Temple of the 3 Windows, the Temple of the Condor, the Water Fountains, the agricultural sector and more. The tour also includes the classic postcard photo in the sector of the Guardian’s House. The tour takes an average person 2 hours. It is recommended for all people, especially older adults or children in acceptable physical condition.

  • Circuit 2

    Circuit 2 offers a tour of the most complete religious and agricultural sector (lower part) in Machu Picchu. It includes visits to important temples, such as: the Temple of the Sun, the Main Temple, the Temple of the 3 Windows, the Intihuatana, the Sacred Rock, the Temple of the Condor, the Water Fountains, the agricultural sector and more. The tour also includes the classic postcard photo in the sector of the Guardian’s House. The tour takes an average person 2 hours and 30 minutes. It is recommended for everyone. It is the most complete circuit of the Inca citadel.

  • Circuit 3

    Circuit 3 offers a tour of the agricultural sector (lower part) of Machu Picchu. It includes a visit to some of the most important temples, such as the Temple of the Sun, the Temple of the Condor or the House of the Inca. The tour does not include the classic postcard photo in the sector of the Guardian’s House but it does include a beautiful shot from the perspective of the agricultural sector. The tour takes an average person 1 hour. As it is the shortest circuit, it is recommended for older adults or people with some type of physical disability.

  • Circuit 4

    Circuit 4 offers a tour of the agricultural sector (lower part) of Machu Picchu. It includes visits to some of the most important temples, such as the Temple of the Sun, the Temple of the Condor, the House of the Inca, the Sacred Rock, the Water Mirrors and the Water Fountains. The tour does not include the classic postcard photo in the sector of the Guardian’s House, but it does include a beautiful shot from the perspective of the agricultural sector. The tour takes an average person 1 hour and 30 minutes. It is recommended for all people looking for a shorter but entertaining tour in Machu Picchu.

All circuits in Machu Picchu

The entrances to Machu Picchu offered by circuit 2

Circuit 2 to Machu Picchu is included in two types of tickets: a) Machu Picchu Solo entrance and b) Machu Picchu with Inca Bridge entrance:

  • Entrance Machu Picchu Solo

    This ticket is the most requested by visitors to Machu Picchu. It offers the entrance only to the archaeological site and its main constructions through Circuit 2. Optionally, it also allows the entrance to circuit 1. This ticket allows the entrance to the visitors in ten different schedules: from 6 am, 7 am, 8 am, 9 am, 10 am, 11 am, 12 pm, 1 pm, 2 pm, and 3 pm. The visiting time, from the time of admission, is approximately 2 hours and 30 minutes. The ticket is availability for about 2,500 people per day. However, due to the high demand, the purchase must be made online 2 or 3 months in advance. The ticket costs 152 soles for foreign adults and 64 soles for adults from the Andean Community (Peru, Colombia, Ecuador, or Bolivia).

  • Entrance to Machu Picchu with Inca Bridge

    This ticket is also one of the most requested by visitors to Machu Picchu. It offers admission to the archaeological site and, in addition, to the Inca Bridge in the eastern sector of the Inca citadel. The constructions included in circuit 1 or 2 are the most popular. The Inca Bridge tour is a 30-minute walk to the wooden bridge that demarcated the limit of the Inca city in the eastern sector. This ticket allows visitors to enter at nine different times: from 7 am, 8 am, 9 am, 10 am, 11 am, 12 pm, 1 pm, 2 pm and 3 pm. The visiting time, from the time of admission, is approximately 2 hours and 30 minutes. The ticket has availability for about 2 thousand people per day. However, due to the high demand, the purchase must be made online 2 or 3 months in advance, otherwise, there is a risk of not finding availability. In the same way, the ticket costs 152 soles for foreign adults and 64 soles for adults from the Andean Community (Peru, Colombia, Ecuador or Bolivia).



Circuit 2 in Machu Picchu: advantages and disadvantages

Circuit 2 begins with the entrance of the visitor through the main gate of Machu Picchu.

Then the ascent is made by a chain of stone stairs for approximately 15 minutes (30 minutes for an elderly person or people in poor physical condition) until arriving at the famous area of the Guardian’s House.

In the Keeper’s House you can get the classic photos of Machu Picchu. There the visitor can stay as long as needed to take the best pictures.

Then begins a descent through the religious sector of Machu Picchu. First you access through the control gate until you reach the viewpoint of the Temple of the Sun (view from the top).

Then you will access the Main Square, also called Sacred Square. There the visitor will appreciate two important Inca constructions: the Main Temple and the Temple of the Three Windows.

If the visit is made between 7 am and 10 am, the tourist will be able to access a path of stone stairs that leads to the Intihuatana. The visit to this temple is closed outside these hours.

After walking for about 10 minutes you can access the northern sector of Machu Picchu where there is a large stone monolith known as the Sacred Rock. A few steps from there is the gateway to the Huayna Picchu mountain but circuit 2 does not include the route to this mountain.

Circuit 2 continues in a return section passing by the factories or handicraft centers of Machu Picchu. The tourist will be able to appreciate them in the distance but not to enter.

The route offers two paths: one leads to the water springs and the other to the Temple of the Condor. The latter is open from 10 am to 1 pm. Outside these hours it cannot be visited.

The route also includes a visit to the water fountains and the agricultural sector, where the llamas of Machu Picchu usually graze.

Finally, after a route of 2 hours 30 minutes on average, it is time to leave Machu Picchu.


Map: Machu Picchu circuit 2

Machu Picchu Circuit 2

Difference between circuit 2 and the other circuits in Machu Picchu

CircuitsCircuit 1 (recommended for all)Circuit 2 (recommended for all)Circuit 3 (recommended for older adults)Circuit 4 (recommended for all)
TicketMachupicchu Only and Machupicchu with Inca BridgeMachupicchu Only or Machupicchu with Inca BridgeMachupicchu with MountainMachupicchu with Huayna Picchu or Machupicchu with Huchuy Picchu
PhotoClassic photo from the Guardian HouseClassic photo from the Guardian HouseBeautiful photo from the agricultural sector of MachupicchuBeautiful photo from the agricultural sector of Machupicchu
Inca constructionsGuardian’s House, Temple of the Sun, Main Temple, Temple of the 3 Windows, water fountains and agricultural seGuardian’s House, Temple of the Sun, Main Temple, Temple of the 3 Windows, Intihuatana, Sacred Rock, Temple of the Condor, Water Mirrors, water fountains and agricultural sectorAgricultural sector, water springs, Temple of the Sun and House of the IncaAgricultural sector, water sources, Temple of the Sun, House of the Inca, Sacred Rock, Temple of the Condor and Water Mirrors.
Travel timeApproximately 2 hoursApproximately 2 hours 30 minutesApproximately 1 hourApproximately 1 hour 30 minutes
DifficultyModerateModerateEasyEasy

Questions and answers about circuit 2 in Machu Picchu

  • 1) What are the advantages of circuit 2 in Machu Picchu?

    Circuit 2 has the advantage of offering the most complete tour of Machu Picchu, including the main Inca temples and the classic photo.

  • 2) What are the disadvantages of circuit 2 in Machu Picchu?

    The disadvantage is that it does not offer any additional trekking routes, nor the visit to the Inca House (included in circuits 3 and 4).

  • 3) How long does it take to do circuit 2 in Machu Picchu?

    Circuit 2 in Machu Picchu takes approximately 2 hours and 30 minutes. You are not allowed to go back, so once outside the archaeological site, you cannot re-enter.

  • 4) Does circuit 2 include the Intihuatana in Machu Picchu?

    Yes, circuit 2 includes the visit to the famous Intihuatana (sundial) from 7 am to 10 am.

  • 5) Does circuit 2 include the classic photo of Machu Picchu?

    Yes, circuit 2 allows the visit to the sector of the Guardian’s House. From this point you get the most famous postcard photo of Machu Picchu.

  • 6) Does circuit 2 include the Temple of the Condor?

    Yes, circuit 2 includes the visit to the famous Temple of the Condor from 10 am to 1 pm.

  • 7) Does circuit 2 include the visit to Intipunku?

    No, Intipunku is not included in Machu Picchu Circuit 2. The only way to visit this temple is through the Inca Trail, either in its 4 or 2 day version.

  • 8) Which are the tickets to Machu Picchu that offer circuit 2?

    Circuit 2 is offered in two types of tickets: a) Machupicchu Solo ticket and b) Machupicchu with Inca Bridge ticket.

  • 9) What is the difference between circuit 1 and circuit 2 in Machu Picchu?

    Circuit 1 and Circuit 2 offer similar tours. However, the second one is the most complete because it covers the north side where the Sacred Rock is located. Circuit 2 shortens this route to make it more accessible to seniors.

  • 10) Is it dangerous to do circuit 2 in Machu Picchu?

    No, circuit 2 in Machu Picchu is safe for everyone. It is recommended to do it in the company of a professional tour guide.

Advice from people who have been there

Machu Picchu

Waldo B.By: Waldo B.

“The best trip“

“How could I not come earlier. A pride for us Peruvians. No wonder many people come from so far away. And we so close many times do not know it. Recommended for everyone.“

 

By Ticket Machu Picchu – Last updated, May 20, 2024