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Portada / Useful information for travel to Peru / Touristic Tickets / Machu Picchu ticket and guidance service

Machu Picchu ticket and guidance service

Since 2017, all visitors arriving at Machu Picchu must enter the Inca citadel with an authorized tour guide. Here we provide all the details.
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Group of tourists with an official tour guide from CuscoPeru.com.

In July 2017, the Peruvian government mandated that all visitors to the archaeological park of Machu Picchu be accompanied by an official tour guide, to make their visit to the ancient Inca city more orderly and comprehensive.

The Inca citadel of Machu Picchu, as many already know, was named one of the seven wonders of the modern world. It is not only an archaeological complex but also a natural ecological sanctuary and a particularly beautiful place.

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Tour guide with a group of tourists in Machu Picchu. Source: CuscoPeru.com
Tour guide with a group of tourists in Machu Picchu.

What are the visiting options at Machu Picchu?

When you book your entrance ticket to the Historic Sanctuary of Machu Picchu, you basically have 4 options or alternatives to choose from:

  • The first option is to take the basic tour, i.e., the guided tour of the citadel, also known by its Quechua name Llaqta. The number of tickets available each day is 2,500. The company of an official tour guide is mandatory throughout the tour.
  • The second option allows you to visit the citadel (Llaqta) plus entry to Huayna Picchu mountain. There are 400 tickets available each day and must be booked three months in advance to secure a spot. The company of an official tour guide to climb the mountain is optional.
  • The third option allows you to visit the citadel (Llaqta) plus entry to Machu Picchu mountain. There are 400 tickets available each day for entry to this mountain. The company of an official tour guide to climb the mountain is optional.
  • The fourth option allows you to visit the Inca citadel (Llaqta) plus entry to Huchuy Picchu mountain. There are 200 tickets available per day. The company of an official tour guide to climb the mountain is optional.

What is the guided service at Machu Picchu?

The guided service at Machu Picchu involves the accompaniment of an official tour guide throughout your stay at the archaeological site. The duration of this guided service depends on the type of circuit chosen but on average lasts about two hours, and the cost of this service is NOT included in the entrance ticket.

Official tour guides are required to complete a professional degree in Tourism and undergo an accreditation and evaluation process by local authorities before they can offer guided services at Machu Picchu.

Guided service for two tourists at Machu Picchu. Source: CuscoPeru.com
CuscoPeru.com provides tour guides with extensive experience.

Where to hire an official guide for Machu Picchu?

The Machu Picchu entry ticket does not include the guided service. However, entry to the citadel with an official tour guide is mandatory.

All organized tours include guided service in the package offered. However, if you are traveling independently, you can find tour guides offering their services at the entrance to Machu Picchu.

The authorized guides are properly identified with a credential issued by DIRCETUR, the regulatory body for tour guides in Cusco.

There are always guides at the entrance of Machu Picchu who work independently. However, during the high season, it is very unlikely to find one available.

How much does it cost to hire the guided service?

The price for a guide varies depending on the number of people in the group and the type of guidance required.

  • Shared guide: This type of guide involves sharing the service with other tourists who are not part of your group. The price starts from USD 15, but it can decrease as more people join the group.
  • Private guide: This type of guidance is offered only to people from the same group or even if it's just one person. The cost can vary from USD 65.

The maximum number of people in a group is 10.

How long does the guided tour in Machu Picchu last?

The duration of the guided tour varies depending on the circuit selected at the time of purchasing the ticket.

  • Circuit 1: This circuit allows you to explore both the upper and lower parts of the archaeological site, visiting most of the important constructions. The guided tour lasts approximately 2 h 30 m.
  • Circuit 2: This circuit is an extension of Circuit 1 and includes additional areas, making it more comprehensive. It is ideal for those who want a more complete experience during their visit to the Inca citadel. The tour lasts approximately 3 hours.
  • Circuit 3: This circuit allows you to visit the lower part of the Inca citadel. The tour lasts approximately 2 hours.
  • Circuit 4: Like Circuit 3, it covers the lower part of Machu Picchu citadel, but this circuit has a greater extension. The tour lasts approximately 2 h 30 m.
Tour guide and two tourists in Machu Picchu. Source: CuscoPeru.com
Visiting Machu Picchu with an official tour guide is the best way to learn about the history of the Inca citadel.