How to hire a guide in Machu Picchu?

From July of 2017, all people who visit the Inca city of Machu Picchu, will need to hire an official guide to visit the site. The Ministry of Culture of Cusco informed, that to continue with the changes for the conservation of the patrimony. From July 1, you will not be able to enter Machu Picchu if not in the company of a guide.

Machu Picchu one of the seven wonders of the modern world and one of the most important destinations on the planet; It has an impressive Inca architecture, with some of the most incredible buildings that exist. So, you should know “how to hire a professional and authorized guide in Machu Picchu“, do not let an improvised or unofficial guide ruin your trip to Machu Picchu. Machu Picchu can delight any person, even those who know nothing about it; however, a guided tour to Machu Picchu is the best way to get to know the Inca city.

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Where to hire a guide in Machu Picchu?

If you plan to travel independently and not as part of an organized tour, you have the option of hiring an official tour guide at the entrance to Machu Picchu, where the site guides are located; they are authorized by DIRCETUR to offer their services to visitors. Remember that these are identified with your official guide credential, most Machu Picchu guides work independently, there will always be one available; unless it comes in high season.

How to hire a guide in high season?

Remember that on festive dates such as: the Inti Raymi Feast (June), Peru’s Independence Day (July 28), Christmas (December), New Year, or any time of the high season (May to September) , it is advisable to book your guide in advance, it would be best to book it when you book your Machu Picchu tickets; but it is not all you need to book in advance of coming in high season, additional hotels and tours also have to be booked in advance.

Choose the right guide in Machu Picchu  

There are official guides in the same Machu Picchu that can be hired at the same door. Their skills with the language they offer and the historical knowledge of the place can vary dramatically. So if you opt for this option we recommend that you invest a few minutes selecting the guide that gives you the best impression. In principle if you opt for this option a guide in 2018 costs about 140 PEN. (around 45 USD) for a group of 2 people.

How much does a guide cost in Machu Picchu?

The price is quite fixed among all the guides, so it is better not to argue with them about this matter because the only thing you will get is creating an unnecessary row. The price basically depends on the size of the group, and for more than two people it usually goes for around 70 Soles (23 USD per person). If the group is very large, and only in that case, it is worthwhile to haggle a little the price between the different guides in order to get a discount. Officially, only qualified and authorized guides can guide in Machu Picchu, although reality tells us that there are many other guides that practice without being authorized. The official guides of Machu Picchu must have completed a university career in tourism and have obtained a certificate of professional qualification generated by the National Tourism University. You will know that it is an official guide if you carry a blue identification card generated by said university. Additionally, all official guides operating in Machu Picchu must be certified in first aid.

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It is important to know that the guides will not provide or buy tickets for Machu Picchu for you. This is something that you must do well in advance and acquire them through the Ministry of Culture in Cusco or Aguas Calientes. This applies to all those who are traveling to Machu Picchu independently without any tour booked in advance, since in the latter case they usually manage the preferential acquisition of tickets almost always. If you are going to visit Machu Picchu through the Inca Trail, Salkantay, Inca Jungle Trek or any of the alternative treks around the Sacred Valley , the truth is that you will already have a specialized guide who will inform you of all the procedures that you must do to make the visit to the old city an unforgettable experience. If you opt for a guided tour in a language other than Spanish, the skills change completely and it is very convenient to check the level of your language by speaking directly with the guides in the desired language before hiring any service.

Tips :

Finally, the custom of tipping is highly recommended at the end of the service. It is not an obligation at all, but if the service is quality it is a local custom just like in other places like EE. UU o Chile is tipped in restaurants or bars. In general, a figure of about 5 USD per person is a typical value and common among visitors who have really enjoyed the guided service. In conclusion, consider a value of about 23 USD per person plus the optional tip you want to give. Without a doubt, the visit to Machu Picchu will be one of those days that you will always remember.

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