As a measure for the reactivation and economic promotion of tourism in the framework of the health emergency caused by COVID-19, the Executive Branch has provided free access to public servants, children and the elderly to Machu Picchu and other archaeological sites, museums, and natural areas.
Upon the reopening of the visits to Machu Picchu, it could not miss its main complement: the Inca Trail. Thus, the reopening of the wonder of the new world will be accompanied by the resumption of tourist routes along route No. 5 of the Inca Trail Network, from July 1, announced the Decentralized Directorate of Culture of Cusco.
Thus through its institutional web portal, the Decentralized Directorate of Culture of Cusco specified that this reopening will allow, in a first stage, a maximum circulation of 120 national and / or foreign tourists per day, divided into groups of up to 8 people, with a distance of no less than two meters between each visitor, as stipulated by the health protocol to avoid contagion of covid-19. Until before the pandemic, at least 500 people traveled this road.
Route 5 of the Inca Trail Hike reopens
The new normal requires care and this includes losing ourselves from the entire route of the Inca Trail Hike. This circuit of route 5 starts from the Chachabamba sector, at kilometer 104 of the Ollantaytambo-Machu Picchu railway line. On the tour you can see the archaeological site of Chachabamba, the Sacred Way, the pre-Hispanic monuments of Wiñayawayna and Intipunku until reaching the Historic Sanctuary and Archaeological Park of Machu Picchu. The route requires between 4 and 6 hours of walking.
“It has been seen as convenient that only route 5 of the Inca trail, that is, the route of km 104 of Chacchabamba, the Llaqta passing through Wiñaywayna is the only one that is enabled at this time, depending on the suitability of the measures that are are taking and advances in medicine; Among other things, we are going to be able to open other routes”, said José Bastante, head of the Machu Picchu archaeological park.
As for the phases, the first includes the opening of section number five of the Inca trail (km 104) and the Llaqta de Machu Picchu. Meanwhile, the second phase includes enabling the Amazonian access route through the Santa Teresa district, a bridle path that comes from the hydroelectric plant and the Santa María and Santa Teresa sector, the third phase is the opening of the conventional Inca trail from Piscacucho through the Huayllabamba area towards Machu Picchu.
There are alternative treks to Machu Picchu such as the Salkantay Trek or the Lares Trek. However, the Inca Trail Hike is the only one that will take you directly to the Inca City through the Intipunku and for the moment to respect the security protocols they are suspended.
Machupicchu and the new normal
Darwin Baca León, mayor of Machupicchu Pueblo confirmed that there are three phases of reactivation for tourism in this town. For the first phase, the Decentralized Directorate of Culture of Cusco established that the tourist visit is only to the nuclear area of ??the Machu Picchu llaqta, the alternate routes and the pedestrian entrance through Puente Ruinas being temporarily suspended, in order to safeguard health of workers, population and visitors in the face of the covid-19 pandemic.
The mayor of Machu Picchu estimates that the second phase could be reactivated in September, however, it is subject to the evaluation of the first phase and whether national and international travel is enabled.
Just three months ago the daily average of visits to Machu Picchu was more than two thousand people a day, now post-pandemic visits will only accept 675 daily visitors, divided into groups of up to 8 people and a maximum of 75 visitors per hour. .
Before the pandemic, visits to the Machu Picchu sanctuary had restrictions only for the spaces declared vulnerable: the Intihuatana, the temples of the Sun and the Condor, which were enabled for visits in three shifts. Now the accesses to the mountains Machu Picchu and Huayna Picchu, Puente Inca and Inti Punku are closed, only the nuclear area of ??Llaqta can be traveled, divided into four circuits that will be open to the public in this first phase.
The health protocol considers two available circuits: the Upper Circuit, which ascends to the lower platform of the House of the Guardian, and the Lower Circuit that begins its journey through the Qolqas sector.
Security protocols: The cultural entity, within the framework of the regulations issued by the Executive, carries out the pertinent tasks and meticulously reviews the protocols so that the archaeological monuments and museums included in Legislative Decree No. 1507 are available for tourist visits with the security required to minimize health risks and avoid the spread of the new coronavirus.
How many visitors will be able to enter Machu Picchu?
The Ministry of Culture approved the capacity of 2,244 daily visitors to Machu Picchu. This was established in Ministerial Resolution No. 173-2020-MC published on July 7.
The measure was supported by the report made by the Decentralized Directorate of Culture of Cusco, through the document ‘Implementation of the recommendations of the «Study of load capacity and limits of acceptable change for the Historic Sanctuary of Machu Picchu – 2015» and results obtained: 2016-2019 ?.
When will the reopening of Machu Picchu be?
Peruvian archaeological museums and sanctuaries will once again receive visitors as of October 15, after a seven-month pause due to the coronavirus pandemic, the Ministry of Culture reported on Thursday.
The reopening of heritage sites will be gradual and the Inca citadel of Machu Picchu, the jewel of Peruvian tourism, does not appear in the first group.
«The doors of museums, monuments and public archaeological sites will be reopened from October 15, progressively and in stages, as part of phase four of the economic reactivation of the country,» the Minister of Culture told the press, Alejandro Neyra.
He explained that access will be free to museums and archaeological sites until November 15, but with a capacity of 50% of the traditional one.
What circuits will be done once Machu Picchu receives tourists?
The Decentralized Directorate of Culture of Cusco has defined the four circuits that will take place once Machu Picchu can receive visitors:
- Up Large Circuit (1): Involves the ascent to the platform of the so-called House of the Guardian to continue along the Main Facade, the Quarries sector, the Mirador del Templo del Sol, the Plaza de los Temples, the Espejos de Agua complex and the exit for the Plaza del Pisonay.
- Up Large Circuit (2): It involves the ascent to the platform of the so-called House of the Guardian to continue along the Main Gate, the Quarries sector, the Viewpoint of the Temple of the Sun, the Plaza de los Temples, Intihuatana, Llamakancha, Sacred Rock, Qolqas Orientales, Temple of the Condor and exit through the lower terrace.
- Low Short Circuit (3): It involves entering through Qolqas, explanation platform, Casa del Inka, Espejos de Agua complex and exit through Plaza del Pisonay.
- Low Long Circuit (4): It implies the entrance through Qolqas, explanation platform, Casa del Inka, Llamakancha, Sacred Rock, Eastern Qolqas, Temple of the Condor and exit through the lower terrace.
And the health protocols?
The use of masks will be mandatory for all visitors and guides, as well as hand washing and shoe cleaning before entering Machu Picchu. In addition, the distance between people must be respected.
Tours in Cusco:
Visiting Cusco is a real adventure whose protagonist will be yourself, instead of a memorable experience, that is why Cusco is definitely one of the most incredible cities with a great variety of archaeological centers and tours such as Sacred Valley, Camino Inca or Machu Picchu. To enjoy an unforgettable experience, contact Inka Trail Backpacker, a company that will better assist you during your visit, of course it is always with the necessary advice for you and yours as well as the guarantee, responsibility and security that characterizes us. If you visit the city of Cusco another impressive destinations that you can visit are the tour to rainbow mountain peru or the humantay lake tour from cusco, which only takes one day. But if you are gonna to stay more days in Cusco, other archaeological places you can know will be the choquequirao trek peru, the salkantay trek to machu picchu, and the classic inca trail 4 days 3 nights.