Are Children Banned from Entering Machu Picchu?
In case you see a headline indicating that children are banned from entering Machu Picchu, it only applies to entry for local tourists in November.
As we know from recent history, media headlines can be misleading. And this is a perfect example. I called Vidal in Cusco who is always amazed at the Machu Picchu stories that come out on the internet. So this is what's really happening.
To protect fragile populations, the Peru government continued covid lockdown in November for Peruvian children age 12 and under, as well as senior adults over age 65. On October 19, the Peru government made limited entry tickets to Machu Picchu available thorugh November 30. It looks like there was a communication gap between agencies. The administrators of tourism weren't thinking about the younger kids still restricted to their homes when they released the entry tickets to Machu Picchu online. People could go online and reserve free tickets, at first in November and now through December 2020. But there was no mention of age limit, so families could reserve tickets for anyone including kids under 12 who were technically restricted to their homes in November.
To correct the situation, the Peru government had to invalidate all Machu Picchu entry tickets for kids under 12 and senior citizens over 65 through the end of November because these entry dates conflicted with the terms of the lockdown over this same period of time. This applies only to those who reserved entry tickets in November. The ban is not a policy change and in no way affects entry tickets for later dates for local or foreign tourists.
As of December 1, children under 12 are now permitted to enter historical and archaeological sites including Machu Picchu. Perurail is allowing children under 12 to book tickets on trains with their parents and guardians.
After a successful month of managing tourists during the reopening of Machu Picchu in November, the Peru government has increased the capacity of visitors to Machu Picchu from 30% to 40% effective on December 2.
As of December 9, all entry tickets to Machu Picchu through the end of December 2020 are sold out! Unless the government increases the visitor capacity again, there is only one other way to enter Machu Picchu. That is the "backdoor." Here's a link to read more about that option.
I've communicated recently with lots of foreigners who are interested in traveling to Peru in December 2020. We've had a few people book tours and other services in December. At this point, we're expecting a mini surge of foreign visitors traveling to Machu Picchu over the Christmas and New Year's holidays.
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. I'm planning to travel to Machu Picchu and I bought a ticket for December. Vidal and I set up zoom and have made a few short videos recently to provide updates and share news about what the first visitors to Cusco should expect. Here is a link to Adios Adventure Travel Youtube Channel.