Peru's Machu Picchu Is Making a Big Change for 2024 — Here's What Travelers Need to Know

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The change is effective Jan. 1, 2024.

<p>FEBRUARY/Getty Images</p>

FEBRUARY/Getty Images

Peru's famous Machu Picchu is an iconic destination in South America. Dubbed "the lost city of the Incas," the 15th-century citadel was discovered in 1911 by American explorer Hiram Bingham and was later designated a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1983. The ruins only allow a maximum of 3,800 visitors per day, but that's slated to change in the new year.

Local government officials recently announced that Machu Picchu will accept more visitors — as many as 4,500 guests per day — starting Jan. 1, 2024. According to Peru's Ministry of Culture, on some days, the site will welcome up to 5,600 daily visitors.

The goal is to help revive Peru's tourism after the pandemic. For reference, Peru reportedly welcomed 4.5 million visitors in 2020 before the pandemic. The country is expected to only have 2.2 million visitors by the end of 2023. (It should be noted that Peru experienced civil unrest earlier this year and officials closed Machu Picchu. As of last month, the U.S. Department of State had a level 2 advisory on the nation.)

According to the officials, conserving the site remains a priority.

“The state-owned Historic Sanctuary of Machu Picchu is an integral part of Peru’s national protected areas system and enjoys protection through several layers of a comprehensive legal framework for both cultural and natural heritage,” UNESCO shares in the description of Machu Picchu

The Ministry of Culture also shared on social media that they would increase the enforcement of proper entry times and other rules to protect the integrity of the historical sites. As part of the entry timing system, the tourism office recommends purchasing tickets in advance on the official website, which costs approximately $42.

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