How do I book a ticket for Machu Picchu?

Réserver un billet pour le Machu Picchu au Pérou

Your trip to Lima is approaching and you’re wondering how to visit Peru’s must-see destination? Here’s how to book a ticket to Machu Picchu!

An ancient 15th-century Inca city perched on a rocky peak in the Peruvian Andes, the archaeological site of Machu Picchu is one of the world’s most popular tourist destinations. Included on UNESCO’s World Heritage List since 1983, the site has been one of the New Seven Wonders of the World since 2007. Perched at an altitude of 2,438 metres, the ruins of the Inca city straddle the ridge between Huayna Picchu, meaning « young mountain », and the mountain you see behind all the Incas. – the mountain you see behind all the souvenir photos of the site – and Machu Picchu, meaning « old mountain » in Quechua.

Getting a ticket for Machu Picchu and Huayna Picchu can be difficult: « only » 400 tickets are sold online every day. 2,500 visitors are allowed on the Machu Picchu site every day. But you’ll need to book several months in advance to be one of the lucky ones to visit Machu Picchu. Here’s how to get your Machu Picchu ticket.

Machu Picchu ticket prices

Machu Picchu and Inca ruins

Adult: €37.9 (152 Soles)

Instant booking: €60

This ticket gives access to Machu Picchu – that is, to the main ruins, terraces and temples you see in the typical photos. It does not give access to the mountain peaks, including Machu Picchu Mountain or Huayna Picchu.

Machu Picchu & Montaña

Adult: €49.90 (200 Soles)

Instant booking: €74

This provides access to the highest mountain, Montaña Machu Picchu, which measures 3,082 m and offers an elevated view of the ruins. This mountain is generally less frequented, but has no ruins and takes longer to climb. You have to choose between 2 time slots to climb, either 7am-8am or 9am-10am in the morning.

Machu Picchu & Huayna Picchu

Adult: €49.90 (200 Soles)

Instant booking: €66 (price initially shown is for local residents only)

This takes you to the lowest and most popular peak, Huayna Picchu (2,720 m). Here, you’ll enjoy panoramic views and the entrance to the Temple of the Sun and the ruins at the summit. You have to choose between 2 time slots to climb, either 7am-8am or 9am-10am in the morning.

Machu Picchu, billets en ligne

Photo credit: Flickr – Moody Man

How can I buy tickets for Machu Picchu online?

Although you can buy tickets to Machu Picchu in person in Cusco, Aguas Calientes, or in any major city with a Banco de Nacíon, it’s strongly advised to buy your ticket in advance in high season (June to September), as tickets may be out of stock. If your schedule is tight, or if you’re traveling in high season, it’s wise to book in advance. Here’s how to buy your tickets online in advance!

Online, we read that many travelers have had problems purchasing tickets on the Machu Picchu government website. Apparently, the site only accepts Visa cards. While buying your ticket yourself is the cheapest approach, a hassle-free (albeit more expensive) alternative is to purchase it from one of the many resellers visible here. This allows instant confirmation and is more user-friendly than if you run into problems on the government website. Alternatively, consider a guided tour from Aguas Calientes, which includes your bus and entrance ticket.

Book on the Peruvian Ministry of Culture website

Billet Machu Picchu, site officiel

1. Choosing your visit

On the official website (activate Flash Player) – Spanish-speaking, but translatable into English, Italian and Brazilian Portuguese – start by choosing the places you wish to visit(Lugar a visitar), in the tree structure on the left (above the calendar):

  • Machu Picchu,
  • Museo Manuel Chávez Ballon, on theAguas Calientes site.

2. Choose your route

Billet Machu Picchu, site officiel

Then choose your tour itinerary: whether you wish to visit Machu Picchu alone, or also Huayna Picchu (maximum 400 tickets per day) and Machu Picchu mountain (800 tickets per day). Huayna Picchu mountain is the site’s highest point (2,720 metres) and the most popular, while Machu Picchu mountain rises to 2,438 metres.

3. Choose a date

Billet Machu Picchu, site officiel

As tickets are limited, you’ll need a time slot. A calendar appears as soon as you click on the day on which you wish to visit the archaeological ruins. If you are a non-resident Peruvian, Ecuadorian, Bolivian or Colombian, select the  » extranjeros » box.

Please note that tickets are available on this site for adults only. Tickets for minors aged 8 to 17 must be purchased locally (at a travel agency, at your hotel in Cusco, at the Aguas Calientes cultural center or at sales outlets in the city of Cusco).

4. Register, pay, print

Billet Machu Picchu, site officiel

You must then enter your passport details (surname, first names, gender, age, country of origin, passport number) and your e-mail address. Tick the two boxes « La informacíon proporcionada es correcta » and « he leido y acepto los términos y condiciones » (« the information is correct » and « I have read and accept the terms and conditions ») and complete the booking: a booking form opens on the screen, copy the booking number and proceed to online payment of the ticket by copying the previous code. Keep a copy of your Machu Picchu ticket in your e-mail inbox – as well as your passport, which is essential when traveling abroad – and print it out.

Buy your ticket for Machu Picchu in Cusco or Aguas Calientes

If you can’t book your ticket online, you can get one on the spot, in Cusco. Where? At the offices of the Ministry of Culture, open Monday to Saturday from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.(Casa Garcilaso on Calle Garcilaso).

Alternatively, the Aguas Calientes Regional Culture Office will also sell you your Machu Picchu ticket (« Direccion Regional de Cultura Aguas Calientes Office ») from Monday to Saturday, 5am to 10pm. You’ll need your passport and payment in cash.

If you can’t pay online, or buy your Machu Picchu ticket in Cusco or Aguas Calientes, you can also pay for your reservation at a national bank (Banco de la Nacíon) in any Peruvian city, such as Lima.

Machu Picchu ticket prices

Budget-wise, it’s often at the point of payment that things start to grate.

As you’d expect, prices vary depending on the tour package. Here is an indicative list of ticket prices:

  • Manuel Chavez Ballon Museum: 22 Soles, or €5.5
  • Machu Picchu ticket only: S152 (€37.9)
  • Machu Picchu + Machu Picchu Mountain ticket: S200 (€49.9)
  • Machu Picchu + Wuayna Picchu ticket: S200 (€49.9)
  • Free for children under 8
  • Machu Picchu tickets for students and children aged 8-17: an ISIC (International Student Identity Card) and passport are required to purchase the student ticket (50% discount).

Practical information on tickets

Tickets for the Machu Picchu ruins have included compulsory guided tours since July 1, 2017. However, Wayna Picchu and Machu Picchu Mountain can be explored as free visitors.

In any case, you have to pass through Cusco or Aguas Calientes: so you won’t miss out on the Machu Picchu ticket sales points!

Main photo credit: Flickr – Marina & Enrique