Regulations can be frustrating for all parties involved. In some cases, respecting basic and necessary regulations can be a problem. In other situations, like this recent case with Machu Picchu, regulations seem so restricting that they are nothing short of absurd!
Think you disagree? Read on to learn about time restriction for exploring the ruins as well as the implications for wanting to use the bathroom!
Now there are new regulations introduced for visiting Machu Picchu
Feel like holding it for four hours?
First of all, anyone who has been to Machu Picchu knows that there is no shortage of things to see. The mystic Inca citadel is steeped in ancient history: stone sundials, temples concealed in caves, and the sacred sacrificing tables. There’s a reason that it’s usually recommended to spend a night in Aguas Calientes and make an early start to the ruins. Not only is the sunrise upon Machu Picchu breathtaking, but you can easily spend the whole day there – exploring!
This makes the news of additional regulations all the more disappointing. As a tourist, the time you now have to explore this new wonder of the world has been limited to four hours.
To top it all it off, the bathrooms are built outside of the ruins AND outside of the entrance gate. This means that if you have to use the toilet any time during your four hours in Machu Picchu, you risk losing your ticket!
..or spending an extra $15 USD?
There are loopholes to this regulation, but probably not ones you would prefer. Namely, you can purchase a ticket for one of the additional peaks: Huayna Picchu, or Montaña Vieja.
Buying this extra ticket will extend the duration of your stay in the ruins. Additionally, by spending this extra $15 USD you will be provided with the right to leave the ruins once (in order to use the toilet). Regardless of weather conditions or desirability, you must now always buy an additional ticket if you want to hike one of the aforementioned additional peaks.
However, this is assuming that you are even able to purchase a ticket. They tend to sell out in advance and must be bought before their 8 or 10 AM departure times. Imagine being at this awe-inspiring treasure of cultural heritage, only to have your stay limited to four hours because you were unable to purchase an extra ticket. Not to mention the thousands of other daily tourists without toilet access for four hours – which is bound to cause some problems!
These changes are in effect, and have been tested out and tweaked throughout July of this year (2018).
It is not out of the question that in the coming months the Ministry of Culture will adjust these regulations. There has been no shortage of complaints, and we can only hope that they will be received with deft action.
Of course, we will keep you updated on any changes to come!
Read the Washington Post article on overcrowding and the new regulations: Peru’s new rules to tackle the mounting crowds on Machu Picchu