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Which is better, group or private guide at Machu Picchu?

Washington DC...
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Which is better, group or private guide at Machu Picchu?
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Planning a trip for January and wondering if it's worth the money and a better experience to have a private tour guide versus a small group guide at Machu Picchu? Any opinions? Thanks!

21 replies to this topic
New York City, New...
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1. Re: Which is better, group or private guide at Machu Picchu?
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I would do private or a group with no more than 4-5 people and then you can all share the cost of the guided tour.

You can talk to a guide at the entrance and ask him to form a small group.

Miami, Florida
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2. Re: Which is better, group or private guide at Machu Picchu?
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Is a guide really necessary though? Presumably, you are going through the gate and the trails are marked and everything. In my case, I just want to walk up Machu Picchu Mountain and visit the Citadel. It couldn't be that hard.

Is a guided tour just for those travelers who wish to learn more about the history of Machu Picchu? Thanks for the clarification.

r c
Portland, Oregon
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3. Re: Which is better, group or private guide at Machu Picchu?
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"...Is a guide really necessary though? Presumably, you are going through the gate and the trails are marked and everything. In my case, I just want to walk up Machu Picchu Mountain and visit the Citadel. It couldn't be that hard.

Is a guided tour just for those travelers who wish to learn more about the history of Machu Picchu? Thanks for the clarification..."

Note, i was there in 2019 and not sure if things have changed...but when i was there..

you did not need a guide. If as you state all you want to do see/walk the grounds, then you can do that. But also note, you will not find alot of markers stating whats what either.

I didnt get in on a guide since when i was about to go through the gates, i didnt see any guides hanging around, so i just did it on my own. but also note, they have it setup like a cattle chute so you may want to plan or look at the routes.

good luck

Miami, Florida
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4. Re: Which is better, group or private guide at Machu Picchu?
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There are four routes you can take now. I have another thread devoted to that. Can't seem to get an answer as to which one(s) is/are the best to take. Basically, in terms of the Citadel, there are two high "circuits" and two low "circuits." If you want the ticket that allows you to climb MP mountain and see the citadel, you have to choose the low, short "circuit," and I have no clue what that lets you see. Your saying that it is set up like a cattle chute certainly doesn't inspire confidence.

Cincinnati, Ohio
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5. Re: Which is better, group or private guide at Machu Picchu?
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I guess it depends on what you want to get out of Machu Picchu. If you literally just want to see it and take a photo, no, you don’t need a guide. If you want to understand the history behind it, the significance of various buildings and temples, and what it is exactly you are seeing; you either need a guide or spend your time buried in a book. It’s not a museum with an audio guide and various markers. And more importantly, not every section is open all the time. So you would miss several sections doing it self guided if you hit the times wrong. The way we look at it, is that we didn’t fly to South America, then travel all the way to Machu Picchu, to walk up a trail, take a photo, and go home.

Montreal, Canada
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6. Re: Which is better, group or private guide at Machu Picchu?
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If I'm not wrong, I think as a general rule no tourist can enter Machu Picchu without a certified guide, If you don't have one in advance at the entrance you can join a group. Obviously with the explanations of a guide either in private or in a small group is much better. You can also try to enter without a guide. Good Luck!!!

Stamford...
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7. Re: Which is better, group or private guide at Machu Picchu?
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I was at Macha Pichu in Oct and we had a private guide to ourself only because we couldnt find any other english speaking tourist who wanted guide but it was still very cheap - 30$. If you can find more people, i would say max 4-5 and that good mix of people to share a cost and group not getting too crowded.

In regards to OP question, you dont need a guide to enter MP and you can easily walk around without anyone guidance.

New York City, New...
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8. Re: Which is better, group or private guide at Machu Picchu?
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Correct, you don't need a guide to enter Machu Picchu. It is optional to hire one at the entrance for a private tour or join/form a small group to share the cost. No need to reserve anything in advance for this.

I would say hire a guide, as they will point out things you may not notice on your own.

Sheffield, United...
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9. Re: Which is better, group or private guide at Machu Picchu?
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It says on the official ticket website that you must have a guide to enter. Has this rule changed or is it not enforced? Thanks

Brussels, Belgium
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10. Re: Which is better, group or private guide at Machu Picchu?
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It has never been enforced.

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