Where To Buy Machu Picchu Tickets

The Complete Guide

where to buy machu picchu tickets

Where To Buy Machu Picchu Tickets

The Complete Guide

Perched high up in the Andes Mountains at more than 7000 feet above sea level, Machu Picchu is one of the most visited destinations in the world.

In fact, until recently Machu Picchu was actually receiving well over 5000 visitors a day during the high season.

Aside from all the negative effects of overtourism and the damage this was causing to the ancient citadel of Machu Picchu, the real concern was how difficult it was to get a good selfie.

However, thankfully the Peruvian government has since stepped in.

The max number of visitors has now been capped at 2500, in order to the help preserve the historical site of The Lost City and other various “selfie” related concerns.

In all seriousness, although the recent limit on tourism is an overall positive for The Lost City, it does require visitors to book their Machu Picchu entrance tickets well in advance before their visit.

The availability of Machu Picchu tickets is not a problem for travelers who book their tickets several months in advance.

However, anyone who waits until the last minute to book risks the chance of missing out on the Machu Picchu adventure all together!

Therefore, in this guide we will show you everything you need to know about when and where to buy Machu Picchu tickets.


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When To Visit Machu Picchu?

The best time to visit Machu Picchu throughout the year is during the dry season when the days offer more sunshine and less rain.

The months of May – August are the best times to visit the Lost City because the chance of rain is very slim and all of the hiking trails are open.

machu picchu sunshine

Not to mention the weather is a lot less foggy allowing for a much better view of Machu Picchu.

Can you imagine traveling all that way to Peru to finally see it and you couldn’t even snag a good photo!?

Although there are a lot of tourists visiting Machu Picchu during these months, consequently why it is considered the high season, traveling during the shoulder season is a bit less touristy.

If  you travel here during the months of April or September (which is condidered the shoulder season), you will see significantly less people compared to May – August.

While, in comparison, traveling to Machu Picchu during the rainy season may offer significantly less tourists, none the less, it also offers very unpredictable weather patterns with frequent heavy rains.

February in particular is not a great month to visit, especially if you were planning to do the famous Inca Trail because due to such heavy rains, the trails are closed for maintenance.

Best Time To Visit Machu Picchu?

 The best time of the day to visit Machu Picchu is in the morning from about 6 a.m until 9 a.m.

After these time slots the site tends to become quite overcrowded and awfully difficult to snag a decent photo.

machu picchu peru

More specifically, the time slots of 10 a.m – 2 p.m are by far the busiest, therefore it is best to avoid these all together, especially during the peak season.

The site of Machu Picchu opens at 6 a.m and the earliest people to arrive are typically those hiking the Inca trail.

The first buses from Aguas Calientes to Machu Picchu begin departing around 5:30 a.m in order to get tourists to the top of the mountain for when the gates first open.

Pro Tip

On a majority of ticket reseller sites, they actually charge extra money for the earlier time slots.

Therefore, we recommend purchasing your tickets through the official Machu Picchu tickets website in order to avoid these unnecessary extra fees.

Machu Picchu Ticket Prices

How To Buy Machu Picchu Tickets Online

The official Machu Picchu ticket booking site is Ministry of Culture Peru.

This is where you will find the cheapest Machu Picchu tickets online.

official machu picchu ticket website

Beware buying your tickets from other sites because these are ticket resellers and their Machu Picchu ticket prices are much higher than on the Ministry of Culture website.  Prices on these alternative sites typically fluctuate to around $20$35 USD more depending on the desired time slot for your visit.

Therefore, if you want to avoid paying more money than you have to for your Machu Picchu tickets, then Ministry of Culture is your best option.

You have three different ticket purchase options:

  • Machu Picchu basic entry
  • Machu Picchu & Mountain
  • Machu Picchu & Huayana Picchu

Machu Picchu Official Ticket Prices (Basic Entry)

This is the standard entry level ticket for Machu Picchu that allows access to the main ruins and temples that you see in all standard photos.

  • Adult Ticket – 152 PEN
  • Student Ticket – 77 PEN
  • Schoolchild – 70 PEN

aguas calientes to machu picchu

Machu Picchu and Mountain Official Ticket Prices

This ticket includes entry into Montaña Machu Picchu which offers a slightly raised view of the ruins down below.

This is generally the less busy of the two mountains around Machu Picchu. The available time slots for this ticket are 7–8 a.m and 9–10 a.m.

  • Adult Ticket – 200 PEN
  • Student Ticket – 125 PEN
  • Schoolchild – 118 PEN

Machu Picchu and Huayana Picchu Official Ticket Prices

 See Machu Picchu from a whole new perspective as you hike to the ultimate viewpoint of Huayana Picchu. Enjoy the breathtaking panoramic views perched atop Huayana Picchu.

From this viewpoint is also where you will be able to visit the famous Sun Gate.

However, be aware these tickets in particular sell out much earlier than the others and therefore, must be booked around 2 months in advance during the high season.

This ticket has 2 available time slots to hike between 7-8 a.m and 10–11 a.m.

  • Adult Ticket – 200 PEN
  • Student Ticket – 125 PEN
  • Schoolchild – 118 PEN


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What To Do If You Experience Payment Problems On The Official Machu Picchu Booking Site?

A common problem when attempting to book your Machu Picchu ticket online through the official website is a payment rejection error.

However, if you do happen to come across this same issue, don’t panic because it seems to happen quite a bit and there are ways around it.

We have listed some common steps to fix this error and complete your purchase:

  • Contact your bank and find out if they are placing a hold on your card.
  • Use a friend’s card to try and complete the purchase.
  • If you have any friends with a Peruvian bank, try and use their card to make the purchase. (This method almost always works).
  • Check with reception at your hostel/hotel to see if they can buy the ticket for you.
  • Finally, you can purchase the ticket on a Machu Picchu ticket reseller site. Although the tickets on these sites typically cost $20 – $35 USD more (depending on the time slot), at least you will finally have your ticket.

machu picchu llama kiss

How To Get To Machu Picchu?

From Cusco, you will have to decide between three different travel methods in order to reach Aguas Calientes, which is the town located closest to Machu Picchu.

Minivan – The most affordable but also the most troublesome method

Trek – The most memorable but also the longest method

Train – The shortest but also the most expensive method

Read our full guide for a more in-depth explanation on how to travel from Cusco to Machu Picchu.

how to get to machu picchu

Minivan from Cusco To Machu Picchu

 The most common and affordable method of getting to Machu Picchu is to book a minivan for around $20 – $40 USD roundtrip.

However, be aware that the minivans do no take you all the way to Aguas Calientes, but instead take you to the nearby town of Hidroelectrica.

Arriving into Hidroelectrica will immediately give the appearance that your minivan driver has left you in the middle of nowhere. However, keep in mind that Hidroelectrica (which literally translates to hydropower) is nothing more than a water plant that happens to be the closest drop off point to Aguas Calientes.

From Hidroelectrica, you will then need to walk an additional 2.5 hours along the train tracks in order to reach Aguas Calientes.

hidroelectrica to aguas calientes

Trek Along The Inca Trail To Aguas Calientes

Hiking one of the many guided trails is the most rewarding method of getting to The Lost City.

With miles of different hiking trails, all leading you on an unforgettable journey to the most breathtaking destination in Peru, this is the perfect option for the more adventurous travelers.

The majority of the treks are 4 days long and take you high into clouds as you travel along some of the most breathtaking trails through the Andes Mountain Range.

Train From Cusco To Machu Picchu

This is the fastest method of traveling to The Lost City, which will have you at your final destination in around 3 hours. Additionally, unlike the minivan option, the train from Cusco to Machu Picchu takes you directly to the town of Aguas Calientes.

Yes, this means taking this transportation method completely allows you skip that 2.5 hour walk from Hidroelectrica.

However, even though this is the most convenient travel method, it is also the most expensive out of the bunch.

Prices for the train range from $150 – $600 USD per person roundtrip depending on which train service you select (1st class being the most expensive).

Though if you are an elderly, unfit or someone on a restricted time frame for your visit, this is option is highly recommended.


Read our full guide for a more in-depth explanation on how to travel from Cusco to Machu Picchu.

train from cusco to machu picchu

How To Get From Aguas Calientes To Machu Picchu

Aguas Calientes is located at the very bottom of the mountain where Machu Picchu is located at the top of.

Therefore, in order to reach The Lost City, you must find your way up this 400-meter mountain either by foot or by bus.


Hiking From Aguas Calientes To Machu Picchu

Hiking from Aguas Calientes takes around 2 hours to reach the top.

Therefore, you will need to wake up extra early in order to successfully arrive at Machu Picchu by your designated time slot.

Though the hike up is extremely beautiful and rewarding, it is also quite exhausting considering the entire trail is almost vertical as you climb 400 meters to the top.

Bus from Aguas Calientes To Machu Picchu

The alternative option to get to the top is to take the bus from Aguas Calientes to Machu Picchu.

Compared to a 2-hour exhausting hike, the bus only takes around 30 minutes to reach the top.

Although it does cost $12 USD for a one-way ticket and $24 USD for a roundtrip, which is considered to be very expensive by Peru standards, I do have to admit it is a nice alternative.

Unlike Machu Picchu tickets, bus tickets can be purchased the day of or before your visit in Aguas Calientes near the final train station along the river. Just be sure to bring your passport or valid form of I.D, otherwise you will not be allowed to purchase your ticket.

Buses depart from 5:30 a.m until 3:30 p.m. However, you can enter Machu Picchu until 4 p.m and stay until 5 p.m.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Many Days Do You Need In Machu Picchu?

 I recommend spending either 1 or 2 nights at Machu Picchu in order to make it a less stressful experience.

Traveling to Machu Picchu from Cusco can be quite a difficult task. Unless of course you decide to take the train from Cusco, which although it makes the trip easier, it is also very expensive and often times out of budget for most backpackers.

Therefore, anyone who is hiking or taking the minivan to Machu Picchu should definitely stay at least one night to avoid unnecessary exhaustion and frustration.


Where To Stay At Machu Picchu?

 Aguas Calientes is the closest town to Machu Picchu, located at the bottom of the mountain.

This is where everyone stays when visiting Machu Picchu.

Though it is a relatively small town, there are plenty of accommodation options in Aguas Calientes for both luxury and budget travelers.

In addition to an abundance of accommodation, Aguas Calientes also has plenty of delicious restaurants, shops and other necessary conveniences located directly in town.

Visit Hostelworld.com To Search For Affordable Hostel Accommodation

Visit Agoda.com To Search For Affordable Hotel Accommodation

aguas calientes to machu picchu

Important Machu Picchu Tips

  • Don’t forget to bring your passport the day you visit Machu Picchu otherwise you will be denied entry.
  • No drones are allowed within or around Machu Picchu. This is strictly enforced so don’t even bother attempting to bring or fly one.
  • No camera tripods are allowed inside either.
  • It is recommended to purchase your Machu Picchu tickets at least one month before your planned time to visit.
  • This price does not include any transportation or tour guide.
  • Contrary to popular belief, you DO NOT need to purchase a guide before entering the premise.
  • Do not take any pictures that may in any way disrespect Machu Picchu or you will pay the consequences. Especially with anything that involves nudity…
  • Don’t forget to stamp your passport on the way out. This is one of the only places that allows you to stamp your own passport which is a surprisingly satisfying experience. Or so I’m told… Sadly I forgot to stamp mine on the way out.

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