Hiking the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu – New Rules for 2019 / 2020

Hiking the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu is a Bucket List Adventure that attracts thousands upon thousands of tourists every year, and rightly so. The magnificent 15th century Inca Citadel is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, it is one of the New Seven World Wonders, and its history inspires us all, but if the recent press releases are anything to go by, it’s not going to be quite so easy to visit it in the coming years.

Machu Picchu Entrance Tickets Limited to 3 Hours in 2019

While there is no official communication from government agencies yet, it is believed that travellers visiting Machu Picchu on a day ticket will only be allowed to stay for 3 hours from January 2019. This will replace the current entry system whereby visitors can stay for the entire morning or entire afternoon, depending on the ticket they have purchased.

Why? Well, there have long been concerns that Machu Picchu is overcrowded, and having visited twice, I can confirm that this is most definitely the case, but there is no suggestion that the number of day visitor tickets will be reduced. During a public session in Cusco, Peru’s Minister of Foreign Trade and Tourism, Roger Valencia said that the objective of the new rule is “to improve the order and experience of visitors” and to “preserve the historic monument”.

It has not been confirmed if these new rules will also apply to trekkers, and so this is something to keep an eye on if you plan to Hike the Inca Trail in 2019.

Big Changes Proposed for the Inca Trail 2020

The new limited entry tickets are not the only changes set to take place at Machu Picchu. From 2020, there will be significant changes to the Inca Trail as we know it, with campsite closures, limited campsite spaces forcing smaller groups to share, and the introduction of permanent structures such as kitchens and toilets.

Again, all of the above is still to be confirmed by the governing officials, but if these new rules do come into effect, you may have to share your Inca Trail Experience with strangers, even if you have booked a private group departure, as the use of the constructed kitchens, dining rooms, and toilet facilities will be obligatory for all on the trail.

There is one way to avoid this, and that is to book your Private Inca Trail Tour for 2019 and be one of the last few travellers to enjoy the ‘authentic’ trail – exactly how the Inca’s left it.

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