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28th July 2011
Last-minute Inca Trail tours made more difficult by new regulations and extra charges for both locals and tourists
The National Institute of Culture (INC) and the Machu Picchu Historical Sanctuary Management Unit (UGM) have recently imposed new restrictions on hiking the Inca Trail.
The new restrictions are designed to minimise the damage to the ruins and terrain and to conserve the historical resource. The regulations also limit the number of hikers on the trail, have set time entrances and a new surcharge for anyone wishing to attempt the climb of Huayna Picchu.
Due to a limit of 2,500 people per day, the INC are encouraging visitors to buy their tickets for Machu Picchu online at least 15 days before arrival. Travellers who try to buy their tickets in Cusco or Aguas Calientes will be denied entrance if the maximum number has already been reached.
Anyone wishing to hike up Huayna Picchu must now purchase tickets prior to their trip and there is a new surcharge (on top of the price to enter the citadel) of 150 Soles (around £6) for foreign visitors. Only 400 people, including guides and porters, are allowed to climb daily.
Pura Aventura, an adventure travel company in Peru, said, “It is worth mentioning there are still some great hikes to do in and around Machu Picchu that are not yet restricted: climb Machu Picchu Mountain for a truly impressive view of Machu Picchu as the condors see it, hike back along the Inca Trail to the Sun Gate to see Machu Picchu as those on the Inca Trail see it, or hike out to the Inca Bridge for more amazing views.”
Other park regulations include prohibition of littering, plastic water bottles, cutting or damaging trees, removing or damaging stones from the ruins and the trail, removing plants, killing animals, lighting open fires or camping in the archaeological sites.
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Inca Trail travel guide, including map of Peru, top Inca Trail experiences, tips for Inca Trail travel, when to trek the Inca Trail and Inca Trail tips
Machu Picchu and Inca Trail travel guide, including map of Peru, tips for Machu Picchu travel, when to visit Machu Picchu and trek the Inca Trail
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