Machu Picchu welcomes nearly 1 million visitors a year

On a daily basis, the Machu Picchu Archaeological Site welcomes about 3,300 tourists, which represents almost 1 million visitors to the Sanctuary per year.

Mechanisms are being proposed to balance the lengths of visits, with the aim of “not congesting” the area, it was announced.

Ricardo Ruiz Caro, head of Cusco's Culture Decentralized Administration (DDCC), specified the park currently opens from 7.00 A.M. to 5.00 P.M. Nonetheless, the DDCC is analyzing the possibility of extending the service hours by 30 more minutes.

"We want to use time more efficiently, since the study on the carrying capacity is almost ready. It establishes that only 2, out of the more than 12 sunlight hours we enjoy, are used intensely," said Ruiz Caro.

Likewise, he dismissed a proposal suggesting night visits to the site because the area is "too sensitive" from the biological and environmental points of view.

"We would have to analyze if the visits at night would alter the life systems existing in the area. We think a night schedule is not possible in the short term," Ruiz Caro added.

After revealing Machu Picchu welcomes about 1 million visitors a year, Ruiz made clear the problem "is not" the number of tourists visiting the site, but the way "how tourist flow is managed."

In this sense, a visitor center at Machu Picchu valley will be built with the aim of monitoring the number of people arriving at the monument, the DDCC official said. 

The official recognized the amount of tourists generates trade and jobs for the people of Cusco and Peru.