In which turn to enter Machu Picchu
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Machu Picchu in the morning or in the afternoon, which is better?

Since July 2017, there are new rules to visit the Inca city of Machu Picchu. From then on you can decide for the Machu Picchu ticket to enter, in the morning (6:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.) or in the afternoon (12:00 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.). Here is everything you need to know about the new entrance tickets to Machu Picchu, so that you can choose the shift that best suits you.



Amigos en Machu Picchu
Friends enjoying the landscape of Machu Picchu

Machu Picchu is open every day of the year from 6 am to 5 pm. To improve the quality of the visit, different entry times were organized: from 6 am, 7 am, 8 am and so on until 2 pm (the archaeological site closes at 5 pm). The schedules in the mornings allow to visit the mountains. Most visitors make their visit in the morning. The visit in the afternoon, on the other hand, allows a freer tour as there are fewer tourists around. You choose!


Machu Picchu in the morning or afternoon?

  • Initially, UNESCO placed Machu Picchu on the list of endangered heritage, however this status was revoked in February 2016. This was due to the implementation of entry times divided into nine shifts (from 6 a.m. , 7 am, 8 am and so on until 3 pm).
  • Midday became something like rush hour at Machu Picchu, putting enormous pressure on its delicate surroundings. Since 2010, visitors to Machu Picchu exceeded one million tourists and in 2016 1.4 million people visited the Inca city.
  • Currently you can stay in Machu Picchu for 4 hours from the moment you enter. However, for this you must respect the entry and exit times. In this way it will help relieve the pressure on the ruins, which are more fragile every day. But do you already know which one to choose?

Machu Picchu ticket – morning shift (6:00 a.m. – 12:00 m.)

  • The Machu Picchu ticket opens its doors from 6 in the morning. Then the visit time is approximately 4 hours.
  • There are also other times in the morning: from 7 am, 8 am, 9 am, 10 am, 11 am and 12 pm.
  • If you want to be among the first people to enter Machu Picchu (from 6 am), you can choose to spend the night before in the town of Aguas Calientes.
  • Looking to see the sunrise in Machu Picchu? One thing you should know is that the sun actually rises behind the Andes mountains, and it won’t be visible from the Inca city until 7 or 8 in the morning, depending on the season.

These times are recommended for:

  • Tourists planning to stay the night before in Aguas Calientes.
  • Tourists who want to be among the first people to enter Machu Picchu.
  • Tourists who wish to walk up to Machu Picchu (2-hour walk). The bus trip from Aguas Calientes takes approximately 30 minutes.
  • Tourists looking to see the sunrise at Machu Picchu.
Machu Picchu in the morning
Landscape of Machu Picchu in the morning shift

Machu Picchu Ticket – afternoon shift (12:00 m. to 5:30 p.m.)

  • The Machu Picchu ticket closes its doors at 5 in the afternoon. In other words, in the afternoon you can visit at times: 12 pm, 1 pm and 2 pm.
  • Visiting time is 4 hours maximum.
  • The advantage of visiting Machu Picchu in the afternoon shift is that it allows a tour without many visitors around. In the afternoon the archaeological site shines with less tourist traffic.
  • Looking to see the sunset in Machu Picchu? Choose the schedule from 2 in the afternoon and stay in the Inca city until 4 or 5 in the afternoon.

These times are recommended for:

  • Tourists who love photography. Many of them say that the best light to take pictures of Machu Picchu is around 4 pm
  • Tourists looking for a freer tour of Machu Picchu and far from the tourist traffic in the mornings.
  • Tourists looking to see the sunset at Machu Picchu. Many people consider the sunset in the Inca city as one of the most wonderful scenes that can be seen in the Inca city.
  • Tourists who want to visit Machu Picchu in a day trip (from the city of Cusco).
Machu Picchu en la mañana
Machu Picchu in the afternoon shift

Can I stay in Machu Picchu all day?

  • There is no entry ticket to Machu Picchu that allows you to stay all day (from 6 am to 5 pm) in the Inca citadel.
  • In addition, the rules indicate that the tourist should not spend more than 4 hours in the Inca city. Unless you buy tickets to the Machu Picchu mountain or Huayna Picchu mountain. In that case the time limit is 6 and 7 hours, respectively.
  • Finally, the circuit through Machu Picchu follows a strict route (it is not possible to return the steps).

Other things to consider on your visit to Machu Picchu

  • Machu Picchu is quite large. This is the same city and its structures, the three mountains (Huayna Picchu, Machu Picchu and Huchuy Picchu), the Inca bridge, the Sun Gate (Intipunku), etc. All these places are wonderful in their own right. If you want to have a really incredible experience in Machu Picchu, we recommend you to visit Machu Picchu two days in a row. You will be able to enter the second time alone, and enjoy Machu Picchu on your own.

Questions and answers about visiting Machu Picchu in the morning and afternoon

  • 1. What is the best time to visit Machu Picchu?

    The afternoon hours are the most recommended to visit Machu Picchu (for example, the ticket from 12 pm, 1 pm or 2 pm). In the afternoon Machu Picchu shines with fewer tourists. Thus the tourist can make his tour with greater freedom.

  • 2. How much time is allowed to visit Machu Picchu?

    The ‘Machupicchu Only’ ticket allows up to 4 hours of visit. Same for the case of the tickets to Huchuy Picchu and the Inca Bridge. The tickets that include the mountain Machu Picchu and Huayna Picchu, allow 7 and 6 hours of visit respectively.

  • 3. How much time do I have to visit the mountain Huayna Picchu?

    The ‘Machupicchu with Huayna Picchu’ ticket allows up to 6 hours of visit.

  • 4. How much time do I have to visit Machu Picchu Mountain?

    The ‘Machupicchu with Huayna Picchu’ ticket allows up to 7 hours of visit. It also allows you to re-enter Machu Picchu.

  • 5. How much time do I have to visit Huchuy Picchu Mountain?

    The ‘Machupicchu with Huchuy Picchu’ ticket allows up to 4 hours of visit.

  • 6. How much time do I have to visit the Inca Bridge?

    The ‘Machupicchu with Inca Bridge’ ticket also allows up to 4 hours of visit.

  • 7. What advantages do I have if I visit Machu Picchu in the afternoon?

    Afternoon hours allow you to visit Machu Picchu more freely as there are fewer tourists touring the archaeological site. It also allows you to get beautiful photos of the Inca citadel. The disadvantage is that it does not allow you to visit the Intihuatana (open from 7 am to 10 am).

  • 8. Is it necessary to spend a night in Machu Picchu village?

    To visit Machu Picchu in the morning (from 6 am) you need to spend a previous night in the town of Aguas Calientes (Machu Picchu town). However, the visit starting at 10 am, can also be done with a trip of only 1 day departing from the city of Cusco.

  • 9. What time does Machu Picchu open its gates?

    Machu Picchu opens its doors from 6 am. The closing of the archaeological site is at 5 pm.

  • 10. How to spend the whole day (morning and afternoon) in Machu Picchu)?

    It is not possible to spend the whole day in Machu Picchu as the ticket allows approximately 4 hours of visit.

Advice from people who have been there

Machu Picchu

Evangelina NBy: Evangelina N

“All the magic in one place“

“No sentence can describe this beauty. If you have the opportunity to come, come, you won't regret it. Plan your visit well, you can choose the weather, the experience and even how you want to get there if you do in advance.“


 

By Ticket Machu Picchu – Last updated, September 23, 2022

 


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