Machu Picchu Closing? Here is What You Need to Know

is Machu Picchu Closed by Andean Soul Adventure

If you’ve been curious about whether Machu Picchu is closing or not, you’re not alone. This iconic archaeological wonder has been the subject of many rumors and questions. Let’s clear things up and provide you with accurate information about the status of Machu Picchu.

Is Machu Picchu Open?

Yes, Machu Picchu is open. It is operating at 100% capacity in 2023 and 2024. However, it is highly recommended to book tickets well in advance due to high demand. As of now, tickets are sold out until the middle of September. Please note that the popular circuits 1 and 2 are already sold out, with only circuits 3 and 4 currently available. These circuits refer to the mountains.

Is Machu Picchu closed in February?

Machu Picchu is not closed in February. While the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu is closed during February, Machu Picchu itself remains open to visitors throughout the year. The closure of the Inca Trail in February is due to safety concerns related to heavy rains, landslides, and the need for maintenance work on the trail.

Why is the Inca Trail Closed in February?

The Inca Trail’s closure in February, a practice since 2001, arises from a commitment to safety and preservation. Harsh weather conditions, including heavy rains and landslides, necessitate this temporary closure. During this time, sanctuary officials undertake vital maintenance work on trails, bridges, toilets, and campsites, ensuring the safety and integrity of this historic route.

Read more at: Inca Trail Alternatives in February.

Temporary Closure and Reopening

Machu Picchu recently experienced a temporary closure, which lasted from January 21st, 2023, to February 11th, 2023. This closure was a response to Peru’s political crisis and civil unrest, aiming to ensure the safety of both staff and visitors.

However, the good news is that Machu Picchu is once again open for exploration since February 12th, 2023. Travelers have been able to step foot into the awe-inspiring citadel, and the famous Inca Trail will reopen on March 1st, 2023, following maintenance activities.

Protecting a World Heritage Site

You might wonder why there has been speculation about Machu Picchu closing for good. The origins of these rumors can be traced back to the site’s designation as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. UNESCO’s mission is to safeguard and preserve cultural and natural treasures worldwide. Machu Picchu’s inclusion on the list of endangered sites prompted concerns that it might close in the future.

Machu Picchu: Is It Really Closing?

The truth is, that Machu Picchu isn’t closing due to natural erosion or excessive wear caused by tourists. Instead, authorities have introduced new regulations to ensure its protection. These measures include implementing curfews and limiting the number of visitors allowed per hour.

Machu Picchu’s Status in 2023

In the year 2023, Machu Picchu faced a temporary closure due to the political situation in Peru. This closure aimed to prioritize safety during a tumultuous period. Thankfully, the closure was lifted, and Machu Picchu is now fully operational, welcoming hundreds of travelers each day.

Addressing concerns related to the COVID-19 pandemic, Machu Picchu was indeed closed during the waves of the pandemic in 2020 and 2021. Regions in Peru, including Lima and Cusco, underwent lockdowns to combat the spread of the virus. As of now, international travel has resumed, and there are no COVID-19-related travel restrictions for visitors.

Visiting Machu Picchu

The great news is that Machu Picchu is open year-round for visitors to explore its wonders. Contrary to speculation, it remains accessible even during the rainy season. However, it’s important to note that the Classic Inca Trail (4-day trek) and the Short Inca Trail (2-day trek) are closed every February for maintenance. These closures do not affect access to Machu Picchu itself.

For those eager to embark on a trekking adventure to Machu Picchu in February, the Lares Trek (4-day option) is highly recommended.

Operating Hours

Machu Picchu opens its gates to visitors daily at 6:00 am. To experience the site’s serene beauty in the early hours, catching one of the first buses from Aguas Calientes or starting the hike from the town around 4:30 am is advisable.

Keep in mind that the main entrance closes at 4:00 pm. If you’re running late and have a ticket for the 2:00 pm entry shift, you must arrive at the main entrance by 4:00 pm, as there’s no entry allowed after that. Certain areas within Machu Picchu start closing after 4:00 pm, and rangers will ask visitors to exit by 5:00 pm. The official closing time is 6:00 pm, and the last bus departs for Aguas Calientes at this time.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Machu Picchu Closed for Erosion?

No, Machu Picchu is not closing due to erosion. Erosion concerns are being addressed through regulations and careful management.

Is the Classic Inca Trail Closed?

The Classic Inca Trail experienced temporary closures in the past due to factors like rock slides and the pandemic. As of now, it is fully open, with confirmed departures after March 1st.

Is the Inca Trail Closed in February?

Yes, the Inca Trail (both 4-day and Short 2-day options) is closed every February for maintenance. Machu Picchu itself remains open.

In conclusion, Machu Picchu isn’t closing permanently. It has faced temporary closures due to various reasons, but it remains a captivating destination that welcomes travelers from around the world to explore its history, beauty, and cultural significance.

 

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