Machu Picchu
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Guide service rules and restrictions
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Rules and restrictions of the guide service in Machu Picchu

Visiting Machu Picchu with a tour guide is the best option during your visit to Cusco, Peru. He or she can explain every detail of the famous Inca city. In addition, it will help you safeguard your safety and that of the Wonder of the World. There are some rules and restrictions that you should know about this service.


How to hire a guide in Machu Picchu?
You can hire a tour guide in Machu Picchu through a tourism agency (online or in person). Remember that you can also hire these services directly at the entrance gate to the Inca city.


Is it mandatory to visit Machu Picchu with a tour guide?

  • On July 1, 2017, the new rules came into effect in Machu Picchu , which forced tourists to hire a guide during the tour of the famous archeological site.
  • The tour is mandatory through the archaeological site (Inca city), but not by alternative routes: Huayna Picchu mountain and Machu Picchu mountain.
Guide in Machu Picchu
Guide in Machu Picchu

How long is the tour of Machu Picchu with a tour guide?

  • The tour of the Inca city of Machu Picchu lasts approximately 2 hours 30 minutes. There are also other special routes whose duration is 3 and 2 hours, respectively.
  • The tours of the Huayna Picchu or Machu Picchu mountains last between 2 and 3 hours, depending on the time it takes for the tourist to travel through these adventure routes.

What is the route I will follow through Machu Picchu with a tour guide?

  • There are 3 circuits to perform in Machu Picchu.
  • Circuit 1 is the longest and takes approximately 3 hours. Circuit 2 is the most used and takes approximately 2 hours 30 minutes. Finally there is circuit 3 that lasts 2 hours and is special for older adults and people with disabilities.
  • All tours include a visit to the main temples and precincts of Machu Picchu, such as: the Temple of the Condor, Main Square, the Botanical Garden, the Guardian’s House and more.

What places includes the guided tour in Machu Picchu?

  • Circuit 1 includes the following tourist attractions of Machu Picchu: Guardian’s House, Main Square, Temple of the Sun, Botanical Garden, Intihuatana, Sacred Rock, Temple of the 3 Windows, Temple of the Condor, Colcas and water mirrors.
  • Circuit 2 includes the following tourist attractions of Machu Picchu: Colcas, Temple of the Sun, Main Square, Botanical Garden, Intihuatana, Sacred Rock, Temple of the 3 Windows, Temple of the Condor and water mirrors.
  • Circuit 3 includes the following tourist attractions of Machu Picchu: Colcas, Temple of the Sun, Botanical Garden, Main Square, Temple of the Condor and water mirrors.

How many people make up a guided group at most?

  • The tour guides are in charge of a group consisting of a maximum of 16 tourists. The guide is responsible for safeguarding the integrity of tourists as well as that of the Inca city.
  • Tourists who travel the Huayna Picchu or Montaña mountains cannot do so in a large group. The tour is optional and is mainly done with a private service (between 1 to 5 tourists).

Other rules and restrictions of the guide service in Machu Picchu

  • Tour guides must carry their authorization card in a place visible to tourists. Otherwise you cannot perform the guidance service.
  • Tour guides must register the entry to each of the tourists that make up their group. Once the tour is finished, you must also check out each of the visitors.
  • Visitors should follow the guide’s recommendations during their tour of Machu Picchu. The guide’s duty is to protect the integrity of the archaeological site as well as that of tourists.
  • The guide is responsible for compliance with some basic rules in Machu Picchu. For example: you cannot return the indicated road or you should not stay for more than 20 minutes contemplating a building (except in cases of emergencies).

Why is a tour guide necessary in Machu Picchu?
The tour guides in Machu Picchu are trained professionals to provide all the necessary information to the tourist about the Inca city. They also know how to react to emergency situations as well as first aid techniques.


Questions and answers about the tour guide service in Machu Picchu

  • a) Do I need to hire another guide if I re-enter Machu Picchu the next day or later?

    It is not necessary to hire a tour guide again if you will re-enter Machu Picchu the next day or after your guided tour. To do this, you should only ask the guide for a signed paper that indicates that the tourist has already made his guided tour.

  • b) Can I move from one group to another during the tour with a tour guide?

    You cannot move from the group led by the tour guide you hired. If an authority of Machu Picchu discovers that it does not belong to the indicated group, it will request its departure from the Inca city.

  • c) In which languages are guided tours of Machu Picchu made?

    Generally, tour guides in shared services offer their services in Spanish, English and Portuguese (sometimes French). To take a tour in another language, it is recommended to book a private guide through a tourism agency.

  • d) How much does it cost to hire a tour guide in Machu Picchu?

    The price varies according to the type of service chosen (shared or private). In the door of the Inca city there are guides that offer shared tours from 30 soles per person (approximately 10 dollars).

  • e) What guided tour of Machu Picchu does the Intipunku trek offer?

    None of the 3 circuits established in Machu Picchu offers the tour of the Puerta del Sol (Intipunku). To make the walk to that place you must hire a tour guide in private service.

  • f) How to choose the tour guide of my choice?

    You can choose the tour guide of your choice through an authorized tourism agency. There you can choose the language and detailed data of the tour guide offered.

  • g) Do I need a tour guide to visit the Machu Picchu Museum?

    The guided tour of the Machu Picchu Site Museum ‘Manuel Chávez Ballón’ is not mandatory. You can request one at the door of the enclosure whose location is 6 kilometers from the Inca city.

  • h) Is the guide service included if I hire a tour to Machu Picchu?

    Yes. All tours to Machu Picchu include the tour guide service. You can choose a group or private guide in the language of your choice.

  • i) Is there limited availability to get a tour guide in Machu Picchu?

    During the so-called ‘high tourist season’ it is usually more difficult to get an available tour guide. At that time of the year (from May to August), it is recommended to book a guide online in advance.

  • j) Does the tour guide service offer free time in Machu Picchu?

    Yes. The tour guide service includes free time for the visitor to take pictures and appreciate the Inca city with freedom. Generally this happens in the ‘House of the guardian’, from where the Inca city can be seen panoramicly.

 

By Ticket Machu Picchu – Last updated, December 2, 2019