We're tracking ongoing changes to rules for travel to Machu Picchu, Inca Trail hikes and other relevant destinations in South America. Just to keep you informed, because we love you guys! So check back from time to time. We're winding down 2022 and revving up for 2023. What do travelers need to know about navigating the airports, trains, bus stations and hotels in Peru? Here's information to unravel some of the rumors and explain what our recent groups arriving in Peru are reporting. The official Machu Picchu website has made a few changes. More than once in 2022! Proper advance planning is more important than ever. Here's highlights about travel in Peru, to help you snap out of your pandemic fatigue:

  • We have Black Friday and Travel Tuesday deals for all ages!  View 7-day trips to Machu Picchu in 2023! CLICK HERE to get the details
  • The best little portable water filter for travelers! (and we're offering our groups a discount code! CLICK HERE to read why we love it, and buy.
  • 2023 Machu Picchu Entry Tickets will be released beginning December 22, 2022 for entry January 1-5. Beginning January 3, tickets for entry from Jan 6-31 will be released. Tickets for entry each month in 2023 will be released one day at a time until January 17, when tickets for August to December will become available.
  • Central Restuarant in Lima ranked #1 BEST RESTAURANT in 2022! In the world amigos! Don't forget about the step-sister restaurant MIL in the Sacred Valley. Not too shabby either. 
  • As of November 15, 2022, the cost of Inca Trail permits are going up, effective immediately. How does that affect people already booked and paid? Our manager in Cusco has decided to "eat" the loss. But each tour operator will have to decide how to deal with it. But we are adding an additional whopping $200 per person to the cost of our 4 day Inca Trail hikes in 2022! This only affects the long 4-day Inca Trail, the 5-day Inca Trail and the "fast" 3-day Inca Trail. The short Inca Trail cost is not affected.
  • Peru drops all covid entry requirements and eliminates the state of emergency effective Nov 1, 2022. Come on down folks! As a bonus, it's reported that it's no longer necessary to fill out that darn health declaration form! But. There's always a but. The airlines are still the boss. No matter what I say, always double check with your airlines for the final word. 
  • There were several times in 2022 when Machu Picchu Tickets sold out..We see a company offering Machu Picchu "VIP" entry tickets when the government website shows they are sold out. How are they doing that? In case you're wondering, tour operators and agencies CANNOT pre-buy and hold Machu Picchu tickets. Scroll down below and I'll explain under HOT TOPIC. 
  • Ecuador lifts all travel restrictions effective immediately (Oct 20, 2022). Ready to book your Machu Picchu & Galapagos Island Adventure? CLICK HERE
  • Permits for Inca Trail hikes in 2023 available now. CLICK HERE to find out more about Inca Trail hikes. 
  • Peru eliminates the use of face masks except in hosptials and public transportation. Officially takes affect on October 1, 2022
  • Scam Alert Lima airport. Recently tourists have been targeted by people who may be wearing vests and representing themselves as airport employees (or security) trying to get tourists to wrap their luggage in plastic and hustle them into taxis to Lima. This provides exposure for purses and bags to have items stolen. Always keep your purse/personal bag with you at all times. Pre-arrange taxis with your hotel or on arrival at the desk as soon as you exit customs. There is no rule requiring anyone to have their luggage wrapped for any reason.
  • The body of a missing 30 year old Italian hiker was discovered in the Sacred Valley on Sept 18. Alberto Fedele left the village of Urubamba on July 4 and was not heard from for 80 days. It's possible he fell off a cliff. The remains of a Belgium tourist missing since last January, was discovered in the Colca Canyon. Please always hike with a companion or tell someone your itinerary. Trails are not marked and weather conditions can change suddenly. It's easy to arrange local tour guides who can accompany you and offer advice on how to stay safe. 
  • We have seen private people try to resell Machu Picchu entry tickets. Do not buy Machu Picchu tickets (or Inca Trail permits) from a private party. They are not transferrable. Click here to read more.
  • If any agency tells you they can get you entry tickets to Machu Picchu and you can't see availability on the official website, please walk away. No. Actually you should run! You can't buy them when they're sold out. Agencies and tour operators cannot pre-buy or store Machu Picchu entry tickets.  The official government website that shows ticket availability can be viewed by anyone and is the only source for buying all entry tickets. This is the same website that tour operators use to buy tickets for their groups. HERE IS THE OFFICIAL LINK  TO MACHU PICCHU WEBSITE. 
  • Latam Airlines now has direct flights from Cusco, Peru to Santiago, Chile. Flights are limited to certain days of the week.
  • Easter Island, Chile is now reopened and flights are available on certain days of the week. We are booking trips to Machu Picchu with extension to Easter Island. 
  • When Machu Picchu tickets are sold out, Inca Trail permits are still available for some dates. We are able to set up a 2-day trip using Inca Trail permits which come with 1 entry to Machu Picchu. Choose to hike or tour by van. Text for details, but give us at least 7 days notice if you can! Contact Heather  (757-270-9293 and What'sApp)
  • Inca Bridge reopened at Machu Picchu for the first time in over 2 years. And then it closed again!. I have no idea why. Vidal doesn't know why either. Maybe someone in the Tourism Ministry office woke up with a headache! 
  • Find out which circuits at Machu Picchu offer access to get the Classic iconic photo of Machu Picchu with Huayna Picchu in the background. 
  • Rainbow Mountain Vinicunca Pass is now reopened There's also another Rainbow Mountain hike "without the hike." What's the difference? Click here for details.
  • NEW rules "recommend" that all visitors hire a private tour guide for their trip to Machu Picchu. But it's not required! The reason is that people are showing up at the wrong times and getting confused about the various circuits and the tickets. Visitors need to coordinate their logistics and timing for the trains, buses and entry. Huayna Picchu tickets do not include access to Llaqta de Machu Picchu (the main city). Lots of variables to unravel. I have strategies for setting up trips properly. Let's say it's my "superpower." Text or call my assistant Heather 757-270-9293.. You don't have to buy anything, although we appreciate when you can book a little day trip or something. We'll do our best to help you out for free  (also on What'sApp)
  • To find "pickup" tour guides on the day of your tour of Machu Picchu, be aware that they are moving! You'll find them at the bus stop in Aguas Calientes. Read more here. 
  • The NEW Machu Picchu official government website redesigned their landing page with a link to view a  map of each circuit. Here's a link to the official Machu Picchu government website. This website is where you buy your entry tickets directly if you don't want to pay extra to a tour operator or ticket distributer. Circuit 2 is the main circuit and is the longest. That's the one I would choose for the most thorough tour. Buying tickets is a 2-step process. The first step is to make the reservation. The second step is to make the payment.
  • Inca Trail permits include 1 entry ticket to the new lower circuit 5 at Machu Picchu. Here's link to Book your hike anytime. Contact: jacquie@adiosadventuretravel.com 
  • Most hikes and trails are open in Machu Picchu. This includes Huayna (Wayna) Picchu and a new hike called Huchuy Picchu which is so close in spelling to Huayna Picchu, that people might get confused! And the new rules at Machu Picchu restrict Inca Trail hikers to circuit 5.. (More details CLICK HERE) The Sungate is only accessible by Inca Trail hikers. And the Inca Bridge has gone back to the spectacled bears as no one is allowed there.

HOT TOPIC: How come we see a website that offers Machu Picchu VIP entry tickets when the offcial Peru government website shows they are sold out? 

  • Here's what they're doing. They're buying permits for the 2 Day Inca Trail hike that come with circuit 5. They skip the hike on Day 1 and take you to the village of Aguas Calientes (where they pre-book a hotel for you and you pay on arrival) Then the next day you go to Machu Picchu for a guided tour on circuit 5. Then return to Cusco. 
  • How are they able to offer tours of circuit 2 when the government website is sold out? Again, they set up a 2 day trip to Aguas Calientes. After arrival in the village, you are shown where to stand in line about 1.5 hours to pre-register for tickets for entry the next day. At 6AM on Day 2, you will again wait in line and hopefully get your tickets for entry the same day. NOTE: there is a limit of 1000 "last minute" Machu Picchu entry tickets per day and people need to understand that if all tickets sell out, they may need to spend another night in Aguas Calientes and try again to get entry tickets the next day. 

Do Visitors Entering Machu Picchu National Park need to show their Health Documents? 

No. Peru eliminated the state of emergency effective November 1, 2022. Although it was not required to show vaccination status to enter Machu Picchu, it is not necessary to show any documents related to covid for entry to the country or any of the archaeological sites. And. And. Passengers arriving in Peru are no longer required to fill out the darn health declaration form. As always, don't believe anything you read on the internet. Go to your airlines for the final say. The airlines are the boss until you get to Lima. Then we're in charge baby!

New Policies for Inca Trail Permit Holders Visiting Machu Picchu.

I'll tell you the good news first. Hikers coming off the Inca Trail on the last day of the 4 day hike and the mini 1 day hike have exclusive access to stand right next to the famous Guard House that overlooks the Machu Picchu city. This is your "special treat" for suffering on foot to get to Machu Picchu. Visitors arriving in Machu Picchu by train and bus do not have access to this sacred spot. This spot is reserved for you! The bad news is that the Machu Picchu entry ticket that comes with your hiking permit restricts you to Machu Picchu lower circuits and you're expected to tour circuit 5 after the hike. I guess they figure you get to see Machu Picchu from the upper terraces as you descend from the Sungate and you get to stand next to the Guard shack. So this is your one and only access to the upper terraces in case you want the classic view. The ticket to Machu Picchu that comes with the permit is for lower circuit #5.. Here's a link to read more about which circuit is best for getting the iconic view of Machu Picchu.

Machu Picchu updates:

  • Visitors are permitted to enter Machu Picchu without a tour guide, although officials are recommending that visitors should have one. 
  • Face masks are not required except in hospitals and public transportation
  • There are now 5 one way circuits and the Machu Picchu website has a great map tool that shows the layout for each circuit. CLICK HERE.
  • 4 and 5 day Inca Trail hikes open through the end of 2023. Here's a link to read about changes to the Machu Picchu tickets that come with Inca Trail permits
  • Tickets to hike WaynaPicchu and HuchuyPicchu are available through the end of December 2022. You cannot buy tickets for 2023 no matter what anyone tells you. You may pay a ticket distributor for tickets in 2023, but they won't buy it until tickets are released. (usually late December)
  • Lima airport "Left Luggage" storage is reopened. It's located on the international side of the airport terminal. At the back of the arrival rea.

Covid arrival protocols in Lima, Peru

As of November 1, 2022, it is no longer necessary to show any documents related to covid. You only need a valid passport and a visa if you're a citizen of a country that is required to get one. Please double check your international airlines. They are still the boss!

What About Covid Boosters for foreigners entering Peru? What is "fully vaccinated?"

No longer applies as all covid restrictions ended on November 1, 2022. 

(Disclaimer: I am offering this information anecdotally to provide insight based on reports from real travelers and local tour guides. I am not responsible for the actions of the Peruvian authorities or airlines with regards to any arrival policy to any country)

Be Alert to Prevent Theft while traveling in Peru

A long time ago, I was a cop. And a private detective. So, it's in my blood. I can't help it. I have to share this story. In March 2022, a lone femaile Swedish tourist was walking in the Cusco historical center (near Koricancha Temple) looking at her cell phone, when a young man grabbed her phone and ran. She chased him down and caught him. Fortunately a nearby citizen patrol apprehended the man who claimed to be a Colombian national. I am not suggesting anyone should chase down a thief in case you are robbed. (but secretly, I confess I admire her)

On August 19, 2022 Cusco police busted a local gang of cell phone thieves. Two gang members picked on a young man in the Wanchaq district who was able to iD the robbers for the police  This led to their arrest and further investigation regarding other thefts and the dismantling of a the criminal gang. Chalk one up for the good guys!

We had another group of women in June who stopped at the ATM in the main Cusco plaza then went to lunch at a very nice restaurant on the plaza. One women took a few photos then stashed her camera in her backpack which was at her feet. None of the women paid attention to a middle aged man sitting alone at a nearby table. The man told the waiter he was waiting to order after his friend arrived. Right in front of the women, the man grabbed the backpack with the camera and ran out the door. No one was able to catch him. The restaurant had video footage but he could not be identified. A police report was filed but the backpack was never found. This is a reminder to everyone to follow basic protocols to protect yourself and your valuables. Prevention is best. 

  • avoid walking around alone while holding valuables in your hands. (this should apply when walking with companions too)
  • protect your devices with passwords. And remember that some devices have separate SD cards with separate passwords!
  • avoid using apps on your phone that provide access to banking or sensitive personal information. 
  • set up other sources as backups for recovery in case your phone is stolen or lost
  • secure your valuables in zippered pockets or a waist bag (bum bag) in the front of your body. Don't take it off or set it down because this is when it's most vulnerable. All my travel clothes have pockets with zippers or flaps with snap closures. Especially jackets and outerwear.
  • do not hold phones, cameras and valuables in your hands while walking around.
  • do not wear earpods or headsets while walking around
  • do not open wallets full of cash in public. Before you leave your hotel room, take out the amount of cash you think you need for the day and carry it in a separate secure pocket.
  • think like a thief. Who are they most likely to target? Don't be that target!
  • What about using a cell phone tracking app? Even if your phone is located on a map, what are you going to do? Hire a taxi to take you to a neighborhood and knock on the door of strangers?

How to find tickets on the official Machu Picchu website.

From the home page of the official Machu Picchu website you can see a "BUY TICKETS" button. When you click the link you'll see a window for Tarifa General at the top and right under will be "RUTA." MAKE SURE THE CORRECT "RUTA" is on display for the tickets you're trying to buy! There is a drop down box to see the list of the various ticketing options, and "Bob's Your Uncle!" Now you know how to choose the correct entry tickets to Machu Picchu. They just updated the Machu Picchu website with a separate link to view each circuit. See it on the homepage

And. (There's always an "and!") Pay attention to how much time these tickets allow for exploring the actuall ancient city before you begin the hike. The entrance to Huayna Picchu is on the other side of the park and you have exactly 1 hour to get from the Machu Picchu main entrance to the checkpoint for Huayna Picchu and Huchuypicchu. (I included an example of how the timing works in the next paragraph) After the hike you walk to the exit. That's it. You're done. Here's the fine print: "Visitors must enter {Machu Picchu} at the corresponding time and go directly to the entrance control to the alternative routes Montaña Waynapicchu and Huchuypicchu They will not have the right to re-enter the llaqta, having to make the complementary route (long low circuit) to the alternative route chosen during their movement towards the alternative route and during their exit from it."  Here's a link to read about which circuit is the best for getting the Classic View of Machu Picchu.

When you click the box to buy the ticket for Huayna Picchu you will see that your entry time at the main gate to Machu Picchu is exactly 1 hour before the printed entry time for your hike. For example, if your Wayna Picchu hike is from 9-10AM, you can enter the MP main gate at 8AM. This gives you 1 hour, and an extra 45 minutes if you want to checkin for the Huayna Picchu hike as late as possible. You can checkin up to 10AM. I would be at the checkpoint no later than 9:45AM. So you could tour the lower circuit from 8am - 9:45am if your HP tickets are 9-10am. 

This allows you to tour the lower circuit 4 on the way from the Machu Picchu main entry to the checkin for the hike following the "short low circuit." And then you can see more stuff on the way out after the hike. But you cannot enter the other circuits which include the ancient city. This might be a deal-breaker for me. 

However the logistics for hiking Machu Picchu Montana are different. I translated the fine print: "Visitors must enter at the corresponding time and go directly to the entrance control to the Machupicchu Mountain alternate route. They have the right to re-enter the monument to make the tour in the nuclear area strictly by the short low route, which does not enter the Sacred Square."

Printing your entry tickets. Buying Machu Picchu tickets is a 2-step process if you do it on the official government website. The first step is to request the date, time and type of ticket you want. You will get a notification email with a confirmation code. The second step is to make the payment. This is when your tickets are confirmed. Then go to the official Machu Picchu website to the tab marked "Search Reservation" and copy/paste your confirmation code in the search bar. Here's where people sometimes make a mistake. The confirmation code must have a hyphen between the last 2 digits. If your code is not working, add the hyphen and try again. You can download and print. I would do both. 

What can you do if you want to hike to WaynaPicchu and tour the Machu Picchu ancient city? I have a solution. 

Here's what I would do. Set up a 2 day trip with a tour of Machu Picchu Llaqta (ancient city) in the afternoon of the first day. This gives you all morning to travel from Cusco or Sacred Valley at an enjoyable pace to get to Machu Picchu. After the tour of the ruins you spend the night in Aguas Calientes. Then go back up to Machu Picchu the next morning and do the hike. Take the afternoon train back to civilization. This means you have to buy two sets of tickets for entry on 2 separate days. Is it worth it? It is for me because the "experiences" are very different. The Huayna Picchu hike is not the tour and the tour of Machu Picchu is not the hike. But I can't answer that for you. 

What is the difference between the hikes to Huayna Picchu and Huchuy Picchu? Which one should you get?

The first thing to know is that Huayna Picchu and Wayna Picchu are different spellings for the same place. Let me explain. Before covid there was the famous short, 2-hour hike called Huayna Picchu, which is the little mountain you see behind Machu Picchu. It's famous for being treacherous. And for being popular, which led to tickets selling out. Because the word "Huayna" is pronounced "Wayna," they eventually changed the spelling of the hike to "Waynapicchu" because of us gringos. Keep that in mind and stay with me. In October 2021 they finally reopened the hikes in Machu Picchu and guess what? They added another NEW hike called Huchuypicchu. (say it with me: "hoochweepeechu") This is a very short hike to an even smaller hill in front of Waynapicchu. Huchuypicchu has 8 start times beginning on the hour from 6AM to 14:00 daily. That's your first clue that you might have the wrong hike if you're looking for HuaynaPicchu. Wayna Picchu has 4 hikes available per day only in the morning. Huchuypicchu has 8 per day.

If you want to hike WaynaPicchu (which is also known as Huayna Picchu) you need to look for Ruta - "Circuito 4 + Waynapicchu". That's how it's written on the official Machu Picchu website. When you choose your date the ticket availability will display and you should see 4 start times and a cost of 200/s. per adult foreigner. It takes me about 2 hours to do this hike round trip. I've heard of younger people who have done it in less than 1 hour. But I wouldn't know a thing about that!

Maybe you're not in great shape or you don't have the time to hike Waynapicchu. Or you just want to get up high for a view of Machu Picchu. Whatever your reason, to find Huchuypicchu tickets, look for Ruta - "Circuito 4 + Montana Huchuypicchu." There will be 8 start times and the cost is 152/s. per adult foreigner. 

By the way, once you buy your tickets, you can't change them. I suppose you could send an email to the Machu Picchu office and beg them, but they're pretty cold-hearted when it comes to poor bastards buying the wrong tickets. Don't expect them to willingly change anything. And it's likely that most people who buy the wrong tickets won't realize it until they're standing at the checkin gate peering at Huayna Picchu only to find out their tickets are for Huchuypicchu. 

Why were Machu Picchu entry tickets sold out in August, September and October 2022 and could it happen again?

Entry tickets to Machu Picchu sold out for the last two weeks in August, most of September and even October in 2021. And then in 2022, most of July, August and September were sold out. Here's why. Peruvians showed up in Cusco in early August, (as they do every year) for their Independence Day celebrations combined with 2 week school vacation), to buy entry tickets and visit Machu Picchu, the emblem of their national heritage. But due to increased interest in traveling after the pandemic, plus normal seasonal increase in visitors at that time of year, all tickets sold out unexpectedly. Exercising their freedom of speech, the Peruvians showed up in numbers to protest at the ticket offices, train stations, and buses. The government offered the following (short-sighted) solution. People could buy tickets for any date they chose in September or even October and use those tickets to enter Machu Picchu in August. This of course created another problem in that tickets in September and October sold out and people planning to buy tickets to Machu Picchu for entry in September and October could not find availability. In August 2022, the government agreed to sell 1000 entry tickets per day in person in the village of Aguas Calientes. I explained this earlier.

Tickets to Machu Picchu can sell out in advance. And due to the overlap of Peruvian holidays with heavy tourism, August is the month when it's most likely to happen. 

By the way, I don't recommend buying tickets to Machu Picchu on other dates and trying to use them on any date you want. The fact that the Ministry of Tourism allowed people in August 2021 to enter Machu Picchu with tickets dated from September and October 2021 is not an indication of an across-the-board policy change. It was a temporary measure to solve an immediate problem.

Can We Buy Entry Tickets to Machu Picchu with an expired passport?

Yes. But. Here's what you need to know. The only way to buy an entry ticket to Machu Picchu is with your passport unless you're a citizen of CAN (latin American countries) in which case you can use your national ID. Passports must be valid for at least 6 months from your arrival date in Peru. There has been a delay in getting passports renewed in the US. Some people report that it's taken 4 months. Keep this in mind when you're buying tickets and planning trips. The passport document you use to buy your tickets is the same document you must show to enter Machu Picchu. Here's what you do if you're buying tickets in advance with a passport that's about to expire. Buy your ticket online with a passport that will expire and after you get your new passport, you travel with both the old and the new passports. You will use your new passport to enter Peru, and you will use your old passport to enter Machu Picchu. This is what we do for Inca Trail permits as well.

Can we combine our trip to Machu Picchu with excursions to the Amazon Jungle or Lake Titicaca?

Yes. The good news is that the Madre de Dios region in Peru is reopen.. As long as Latam Airlines continues to provide service to Puerto Maldonado (PEM), the jungle lodges welcome travelers.  One thing I recommend when setting up your itinerary is to book this segment at the front of your trip and save the Machu Picchu portion for the end. Be aware that the flights to and from PEM need to be synchronized with your lodge transfers. Always confirm the flight schedule with your lodge before you pay. Daytime and nighttime bus service resumed to Puno and Lake Titicaca. If you have a fixed schedule, we're offering private 1-day transfers from Cusco to Puno. To read more about Amazon Jungle and Lake Titicaca Follow this link.

What Hikes are Open in Peru?

All hikes are open in Peru. The only thing that I have heard is not open is Inca Bridge at Machu Picchu. If you're wondering about the Inca Trail hike, Rainbow Mountain, Humantay Lake, Salkantay Trek and other day hikes and multi-day treks, we set up a page devoted to the list of all hikes that are open and all that are closed. The 4 and 5 day Inca Trail hike permits are available through the end of 2023..  CLICK HERE

Can we get Inca Trail permits? 

Yes. Permits for all Inca Trail Hikes in 2023 are available. We're taking reservations now. Be aware that the Peru government raised the cost of permits effective November 15, 2022.

Hikers are now permitted to hike into Machu Picchu and go right to the Guard House overlooking the entire ancient city. It's been closed off since covid and visitors from the main entrance are not permitted access. Inca Trail hikers have exclusive access on the day they hike in to Machu Picchu. Note that once we set up the permit with your dates, we cannot change it later. The bad news is that the entry ticket to Machu Picchu that comes with your permit only allows access to circuit 5.. That's the lower circuit. I guess they figure you get to see the upper regions when you hike in, even though you're not actually inside the citadel. So the ticket to Machu Picchu is for the lower section only.

The same refund and cancellation policies apply to Inca Trail permits as before covid. Permits cannot be refunded, transferred or changed for any reason.  Here's a link to see the details fo the hike.

How to Buy Entry Tickets to Machu Picchu After Covid-19

  • Machu Picchu website is up and running. General entry tickets available to reserve for entry through the end of December 31, 2021 
  • Pre-order with a tour operator who will reserve the tickets for you (valid passport needed)
  • Pre-Book a package trip with hotels, tours and all ground transportation including train and entry tickets 
  • Beware that you cannot buy Machu Picchu entry tickets on site even if they are available. You cannot buy them in the village in Aguas Calientes. The only way to buy them is online or in person in Cusco. I suppose you could buy them online in the village of Aguas Calientes if you have internet access. But I don't know anyone who has every tried that. It would be a good experiment.  

What do you need to know about trip cancellation? 

It is strongly recommended that travelers purchase comprehensive travel insurance that covers all ground expenses. 

Stay in Touch With Adios Adventure Travel to Get Up-to-date Info About Traveling to Machu Picchu

Check back from time to time as I update information regularly. Sometimes daily if needed. I'm in touch with Vidal and Hubert in Cusco on a regular basis. 

My favorite travel accessory:

People always ask me what my most useful travel gadget is. I've taken this simple looking sack, called the SCRUBBA, on many trips. You won't believe all the things I've used this for! It's a handy air-tight bag marketed for hand-washing laundry, but I turned it into a multi-use "tote-of-all-trades," with more functions than a swiss-army knife. Perfect gift for surfers, boaters, photographers or fisherpeople!  (if you purchase the bag through the link on our website, I get a small commission for which I am truly grateful)