Machu Picchu, one of the most famous – if not the most famous – tourist sites in South America, introduced new regulations for visitors last summer. Annual visitor numbers to the ancient Inca citadel ballooned to over one million in 2016, intensifying already high concerns about the impact of this heavy tourism on the ruins.
The new regulations split visitors into morning and afternoon sessions, each of which allows for four hours of access to the site. Visitors will also need to be accompanied by an official tour guide, and follow more defined routes around the site.
Tickets that had already been purchased under the old system were honoured until the end of 2017, but January will mark a complete shift to the new system. The new regulations are set to be reviewed after two years to determine if additional changes are needed to protect the iconic site.