Answer from our Expert:
Good Question; Officially; Yes you need a guide for a first time Machu Picchu visit. Unofficially; the rule is in place but is not applied and does not seem to be applied in the near future. Secondly, deciding on a guide or not is also something that depends from person to person. Some people enjoy their visit more and some less with a guide so this is very personally. As all Machu Picchu visits are now limited to a fixed route all visits will have more or less the same order and therefore a guide perhaps less necessary. Then again, a guide does not what times which place is open and what time it is best to visit this or this point. A guide can also provide you with more background information and latest updates as investigations are still ongoing. Finally, I feel that a (good) guide should increase your enthusiasm and passion for the places visited and this is something that ads value to the whole experience.