So you've made the decision to visit this incredible place ('cause seriously, why not?!). Now begins the exciting but gruelling process of trip planning. Hopefully you've read our all-encompassing how-to guide to seeing Machu Picchu on the cheap and our tips on flying South America affordably, which is practically all the info you need for booking this trip yourself!
Now, one of the lesser but essential costs of visiting Machu Picchu is purchasing entrance tickets to the ruins. This must be done before arrival at the site, as tickets are not sold at Machu Picchu itself. There's several ways to purchase your tickets. Here's the 2018 prices and your options for buying!
Machu Picchu ticket prices for 2018
Machu Picchu Main Grounds
Adult: $47 USD (152 Soles)
Students*: $24 USD (77 Soles)
Child (8-17 years)*: $24 USD (77 Soles)
GetYourGuide Instant Booking Price: $79 USD
This provides entry to Machu Picchu – that is, the main ruins, terraces, and temples that you see in typical photos (pictured above, left). It does not provide entry to climb either of the mountain peaks including Machu Picchu Mountain or Huayna Picchu.
Machu Picchu & Montaña (Mountain) Machu Picchu
Adult: $62 USD (200 Soles)
Student*: $38 USD (125 Soles)
Child (8-17 years)*: $38 USD (125 Soles)
GetYourGuide Instant Booking Price: $99 USD
This provides entry to climb the taller mountain, Montaña Machu Picchu, which is 10,111ft/3,082m and provides a raised view of the ruins (pictured above, middle). This mountain is generally less busy, but has no ruins and is a longer climb. You must choose between 2 time slots to climb, either 7-8AM or 9-10AM.
Machu Picchu & Huayna Picchu
Adult: $62 USD (200 Soles)
Student*: $38 USD (125 Soles)
Child (8-17 years)*: $38 USD (125 Soles)
Viator Instant Booking Price: $81 USD (the lower price initially displayed is for local residents only)
This provides entry to the shorter, busier mountain peak, Huayna Picchu (8,923ft/2,720m). Here you'll have sweeping views (pictured above, right) and entry to the Temple of the Sun and ruins at the top. You must choose between 2 time slots to climb, 7-8AM or 10-11AM.
*Note: Children require a passport in-person for proof of age, including on arrival at Machu Picchu. Students require an ISIC card and passport when booking and on arrival in-person at Machu Picchu. When buying tickets for children between ages 8-17, select the “ESTUDIANTES” (student) rate.
How to buy Machu Picchu tickets online
While you can buy Machu Picchu entrance tickets in-person in Cusco, Aguas Calientes, or any major city with a Banco de Nacíon, it's strongly advised to purchase ahead in the high season (June to September), as tickets can sell out. If your itinerary is tight or you're travelling in the busy season, it's wise to book ahead. To do that, here's how to buy your entrance tickets online in advance!
NOTE: As of late, readers have stated they’ve had issues purchasing tickets on the Machu Picchu government website. It seems that the site only accepts Visa cards. While purchasing tickets yourself is the cheapest approach, a hassle-free (albeit pricier) alternative is to buy from a reseller such as GetYourGuide. This provides instant confirmation and is much more user friendly if you are encountering troubles on the government site. You can also consider an affordable guided tour from Aguas Calientes, which includes your bus and entrance ticket.
1. Go to the Ministry of Culture website
Be patient as the website can take a little while to load. You will need Adobe Flash installed (free download) to be able to view the website. You may get a prompt when it loads in Spanish titled, “Comunicado“, which is simply telling you that a passport or legible photocopy (we recommend bringing the original, though) is essential for entry at the site.
Once loaded, the homepage will look like this:
You can change the language to English by clicking the British flag at the top right. Previously you could only buy tickets in Spanish, but as of 2018, we can now use the English site for the entire process!
2. Select which sites you want to visit
1. Machu Picchu Museum
Above the calendar before picking a date (#1 in image above), you must first select the “Lugar a Visitar” (place to visit). Here you need to decide if you want tickets just to Machu Picchu, or if you want to visit the museum as well. The Museo Manuel Chávez Ballon a.k.a Museo de Sitio Manuel Chávez Ballon is a small museum, but is worth seeing the before visiting Machu Picchu itself. It has some neat artefacts with good translations, and is located near Aguas Calientes (not at Machu Picchu).
2. Huayna Picchu or Montaña Machu Picchu
Next, you must “Seleccione la ruta” (select the route, #2 in above image). Here you choose whether you only want to visit Machu Picchu, or if you want to also visit Huayna (Wayna) Picchu and/or Machu Picchu Mountain (Montaña Machu Picchu). These are two steep mountains at Machu Picchu which can be climbed for higher views, plus additional ruins at Huayna Picchu.
Both mountains have limited entry with time slots. Tickets for entrance can only be purchased beforehand. Huayna Picchu has a maximum of 400 people per day, with entry at either 7-8AM or 10-11AM. Montaña Machu Picchu has a maximum of 800 people per day, with entry at 7-8AM and 9-10AM. Huayna Picchu is the taller mountain (8,923ft/2,720m) and is busier, but it has wider views and ruins along the way to the top. Montaña Machu Picchu is shorter (7,874ft/2,400m), slightly cheaper, and less busy, but has no ruins.
3. Choose your date
Once you've selected your places to visit, you can choose which day you want to go by clicking it on the calendar (#3 in above image). If you've done the previous two steps, the image below will load on your page. Once it's there, proceed to step 4!
4. Choose the # of tickets needed
If you are from Peru, Bolivia, Ecuador, or Colombia, then under the “Nacionales y Comunidad Andina” (Nationals and Andean community members) select “Cantidad” (quantity) and click the up arrows to choose the number of tickets needed. If you are from anywhere else in the world (e.g. North America, Europe, Australia, Asia, etc.), select the “Extranjeros” (other) option and click the arrows to choose the number of tickets needed under “Cantidad” (quantity). Once you've done this, select “Paso 2” (Step 2) at the bottom, indicated below:
Take note, this page will also tell you how many tickets are still available on your selected date where it says “Disponibilidad” (available). In the photo above, this means there are still 1901 tickets available on the selected date.
NOTE: If you need to buy CHILD tickets, click the button on the right above (“Tickes para estudiantes”). Children aged 8 and over pay the student (“estudiantes”) rate. Children 7 years and under are FREE.
5. Enter your information
Now you must enter your information exactly as it appears on your passport. “Nombres” is your first name, followed by “Apellidos“, your last name or surname. Next select your “Pais” (country). Take note these are all listed in Spanish, so choose the Spanish spelling of your country. For example United States = Estados Unidos, Ingleterra = England, and so on. If you don't know the name of your country in Spanish, simply type it into Google Translate.
Once you've entered your information, click “Paso 3” (Step 3).
6. Finalize your order
You're now on the final page. You may get a pop up to “Leer Términos y Conciciones” (read the terms and conditions), though these are only written in Spanish. Enter your e-mail address in the “Correo” (e-mail address) field. Double check that “La informacíon proporcionada es correcta” (the information provided is correct). Remember, it must match the I.D. provided. When you're ready, click “Generar Reserva” (generate reservation).
Now you will get a couple of pop-ups, including your “Formato de Reserva” (Reservation form) (shown below). This is important so don't close it, you haven't paid for your ticket yet! Take the “Reserva” (reservation number) listed on the page and copy it. Next select the “Pagos” (payment) tab above on the main panel, which will take you to a new page.
7. Pay for your tickets
You now need to paste your reservation code into the payment page, which will look like this:
Next you will be taken to a payment screen where you enter your credit card information. Once you've filled in all the fields, hit “Enviar” (send).
8. Save & print your tickets
When your payment is complete, print your receipt and tickets, and save them to your computer as a PDF. You should e-mail these to yourself and/or save to a USB stick and bring it on your trip. It's never good to only have a paper copy of important documents.
And that's it! If you want, you can also purchase your Machu Picchu ticket in-person. You may wish to do this if you're unsure of your dates and/or are arriving in the low season. Here's how to do that!
How to buy Machu Picchu tickets in Cusco
In Cusco, tickets can be bought at the Ministerio de Cultura which is open Mon-Sat, 7AM-8PM. The address is Casa Garcilaso on Calle Garcilaso, just before the Plaza Regocijo and near the Museo de Chocolate (see photo below – look for the unit with the glass doors). You must bring your passport and either a credit card or cash to purchase.
How to buy Machu Picchu tickets in Aguas Calientes
In Aguas Calientes, tickets can be bought at the Machu Picchu Cultural Centre (Direccion Regional de Cultura Aguas Calientes Office). The address is Av. Pachacutec (just off the main square), and hours are Mon-Sun, 5AM-10PM. You must bring your passport and cash to purchase (note: the latest information says only cash is accepted here). The ATMs in Aguas Calientes charge higher fees, so try to withdraw extra cash beforehand if you're able.
How to buy Machu Picchu tickets in Lima (or any city in Peru)
You can follow our instructions for reserving online, then make a payment in person at any Banco de la Nacíon in Peru with your reservation printed out. You will need to speak a bit of Spanish to explain what you want to do. If you are not conversational in Spanish, it's recommended to buy online or in-person at Aguas Calientes or Cusco.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q. How many Machu Picchu tickets are there per day?
A. 2,500 visitors are allowed into the site each day.
Q. Should I book my tickets in advance?
A. That depends. If booking in person, you always run the risk of tickets being sold out, though this tends to only happen in the high season (June to September).
Q. What happens if I need to cancel my ticket?
A. You should contact the Ministry of Culture regarding any changes to your ticket. You may call via the phone number listed on their site – 51 84 58 2030. You can also e-mail to: [email protected]
Have any further questions about getting tickets for Machu Picchu? Feel free to ask below!