Machu Picchu

How to Buy Machu Picchu Tickets: A Step-by-Step Guide (Updated 2022)

So, you've made the decision to visit this incredible place ('cause why wouldn't you?!). 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 are several ways to purchase your tickets. Here's the 2022 prices and your options for buying!

Editor's note: This guide was originally written by Jen Avery and has been updated in 2022 by Heather Jasper.

Alpaca Peru

All tickets are sold in time slots. Note that if you buy your tickets for 6:00AM, you can enter Machu Picchu between 6:00-7:00AM. If you are a bit late, they will usually still let you in. If you are significantly late, you will have to go back down to Aguas Calientes and buy a new ticket for a later time slot. All visits are now limited to a maximum of 4 hours, even if you buy the ticket for one of the extra mountain hikes.

Machu Picchu tickets are sold in Peruvian Nuevo Soles (PEN), whereas train and bus tickets to get to Machu Picchu are sold in dollars (USD). This is because the government controls archeological sites, but they have licensed the transportation to privately owned companies. Always check the current exchange rate for PEN because it changes frequently. As of time of writing, 1 USD was worth 4 PEN, which is the rate used for price estimates below.

COVID UPDATE: Tickets are available to purchase in January 2022 for all of 2022. Tickets used to be available starting in October of the previous year, but that has changed due to the pandemic. Check the popup notice on the government’s Machu Picchu website (Spanish only).

As of January 2022, the Peruvian government requires vaccination cards to enter any enclosed space, including restaurants, grocery stores and shops. Some companies may also required double masking and plastic face shields. Check for updates to these requirements on the website for the US Embassy in Lima.

NOTE: Check the fine print on most major credit cards, and you'll see they charge a transaction fee of up to 3% on foreign transactions. After buying your tickets, airfare, accommodation, and other expenses, these fees will add up quickly. The Chase Sapphire Preferred is our top choice of no foreign transaction fee cards, offering a sign-up bonus of 80,000 points (worth $1,000) when you spend $4,000 on everyday purchases in the first 3 months. Be sure to read our full guide on the best credit and debit cards to use overseas here.

Machu Picchu

Machu Picchu ticket prices for 2022

Ticket pricing is dependent on which site(s) you want to see. Below is a summary of each of the 4 ticket options, and what is included.

Machu Picchu Main Grounds (Llaqta de Machupicchu)

Adult (18+ years): $38 USD (152 Soles)
Undergraduate students* (up to 25 years): $19 USD (77 Soles)
Child (3-17 years)*: $17.50 USD (70 Soles)
GetYourGuide Instant Booking Price: $65 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 the mountain peaks: Machu Picchu Mountain, Huayna Picchu or Huchuy Picchu. When you are buying tickets, this is called Llaqta Machupicchu. Llaqta is the Quechua word for town, but it’s not translated to Spanish or English on the website. You can choose to do either Circuit 1 or Circuit 2. (Click on each option for maps). You will decide which circuit you want to do after you enter Machu Picchu, so be sure to take with you the map of the one you prefer.

Machu Picchu & Machu Picchu Mountain (Montaña Machupicchu)

Adult: $50 USD (200 Soles)
Undergraduate students* (up to 25 years): $31 USD (125 Soles)
Child (3-17 years)*: $29.50 USD (118 Soles)
GetYourGuide Instant Booking Price: $85 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 start the hike, either 7-8AM or 9-10AM. Only 400 tickets are sold per day, divided equally for 200 tickets per time slot. You must do Circuit 3 with this ticket.

Machu Picchu & Huayna Picchu (Waynapicchu)

Adult: $50 USD (200 Soles)
Undergraduate students* (up to 25 years): $31 USD (125 Soles)
Child (3-17 years)*: $29.50 USD (118 Soles)
Viator Instant Booking Price: $98 USD (lower price initially displayed is for local residents only)

This provides entry to the shorter, busier mountain peak, Huchuy Picchu (8,923ft/2,720m). Here you'll have sweeping views (pictured above, right) and entry to the Temple of the Moon and ruins at the top. This trail is narrow, and some parts have a lot of exposure. It is not recommended for young children or people with a fear of heights. Officially, children must be at least 13 years old to purchase a ticket. You must choose between 4 time slots to start the hike, 6-7AM, 8-9AM, 10-11AM or 12AM-1PM. Only 200 tickets are sold per day, divided equally for 50 tickets per time slot. These tickets can sell out five to six months in advance. You must do Circuit 4 with this ticket.

Machu Picchu & Huchuy Picchu (Montaña Huchuypicchu)

Adult: $50 USD (200 Soles)
Undergraduate students* (up to 25 years): $31 USD (125 Soles)
Child (3-17 years)*: $29.50 USD (118 Soles)
Viator Instant Booking Price: not yet available on Viator.

New for 2022, this provides entry to the short hill next to Huayna Picchu (8,923ft/2,720m). Here you'll have views of the most important temples in Machu Picchu from above. You must choose between 9 time slots to start the climb, 6-7AM, 7-8AM, 8-9AM, 9-10AM, 10-11AM, 11-12AM, 12AM-1PM, 1-2PM, or 2-3PM. Only 200 tickets are sold per day. You must do Circuit 4 with this ticket.

*Note: Children require a passport in-person for proof of age, including on arrival at Machu Picchu. Children under 3 years old are free, with official identification. As per the Ministry website, foreign undergraduate students must have a valid photo student ID card issued by the university that is valid for the academic year of the date of visit.

How to buy Machu Picchu tickets online

While you can buy Machu Picchu entrance tickets in-person in Cusco, 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.

Though purchasing tickets yourself is cheapest, a hassle-free alternative is to buy from a reseller such as GetYourGuide. This provides instant confirmation on booking and no check-in required. You can also consider an affordable guided tour from Aguas Calientes, which includes your bus and entrance ticket.

If you wish to buy on the government website here's how to do so!

1. Go to the Ministry of Culture website

Be patient as the website may take time to load. The site should display in English, as indicated by the “English” on the top right. There is often a popup of pertinent information, unfortunately only in Spanish. Still, it’s always important, so take the time to try to understand or even translate it. Once loaded, the homepage will look like this:

2. Select your ticket type & visit dates

As of time of writing, when you click on BUY TICKETS, the website switches to Spanish without an option for English. You first need to select the route “ruta.” See descriptions above for help choosing between the four options. Here is the link to one map with all four circuits on it and information in both Spanish and English.Machu Picchu how to buy tickets

Click “fecha de visita” to choose the date you will visit Machu Picchu. Next, select the number and type of tickets you want. Adults are 18+ years, children are 3 to 18 years, babies 2 years and under are free. Foreign (non-Peruvian) university students must have an original, valid photo university-issued ID and passport who are up to age 25 years. Student tickets can be bought online through an authorized travel agency or at the reservation office in Cusco with a valid student ID and passport.

Machu Picchu how to buy tickets online

3. Enter your information

Now you must enter your information exactly as it appears on your passport and click next. You must then click the box “Declaro bajo juramento que la información ingresada de los visitantes de la presente reserva es verdadera”, which translates to “I swear under oath that the information for the visitors of this reservation is true.” Then scroll down and check the box to agree to the terms and conditions.

Machu Picchu how to buy tickets online

Next you must fill out the remaining information – be sure to put in an e-mail address you use as this is where your receipt will be sent. Choose your payment method and hit continue. Then finish completing your payment details.  Remember, if you aren't using a no foreign transaction fee card, you might be paying up to 3% in extra fees, so it's best to sign up for a card ahead of time, such as the Chase Sapphire Preferred card.

Verify personal information

4. Accept the Terms & Conditions

These are a very long list and there is no translation in English provided on the website. You should read them, even if you must use a translator. They can be changed at any time and the description below may not be the same as the day that you buy the tickets. There are three parts to this and you must open each of the three and click on “aceptar.” There is no English translation available on the website for any of them (we've written translations for you below).Machu Picchu how to buy tickets online

  • Leer y aceptar los Términos y Condiciones (Read and accept terms & conditions)
  • Leer y aceptar los Protocolos de Biodeguridad (Read and accept biosecurity protocols, i.e. Covid regulations)
  • Leer y aceptar las condiciones de uso del boleto (Read and accept the conditions for use of the ticket)

In the Terms & Conditions, the government is referred to as DDC-C: Dirección Desconcentrada de Cultura de Cusco. Here are some of the most important points in the ten clauses. This is not a complete translation! You should still read the complete terms and conditions on the website.

  1. General terms: tickets are non-transferable.
  2. You must use the ticket correctly: personal information must be correct and can only be used on the date and at the time on the ticket. This second clause also includes a long list of what is prohibited at Machu Picchu: drugs or alcohol, people under the influence of drugs or alcohol, anything that could be construed as a weapon, anything that could be used as a trap for wildlife, combustibles like gasoline or kerosene, speakers or anything that could make loud and obnoxious noise, domesticated or exotic animals, candles, and “visitors who show immoral or improper conduct.”
  3. This clause is another list of what is prohibited at Machu Picchu: campfires or any kind of open flame, food, writing or making any kind of graffiti on the walls, climbing or touching the walls of any structure, loud noises (yelling, whistling, etc.), using any part of the ruins as a bathroom, any drink that is not in a water bottle, disturbing any flora or fauna, hiking poles except for handicapped or elderly, and smoking. [Drones are prohibited but not on this list].
  4. This clause is about “contingency cases.” Strict regulations for when a ticket could be changed, mostly due to natural disasters, transportation strikes, etc.
  5. This clause basically says that the DDC-C is not responsible for anything the visitor does and that the person with the ticket must assume all responsibility for everything.
  6. This clause is about the use of the website and call center. Any changes to dates or times of tickets must be made more than 72 hours before the ticket’s entry time. Tickets are non-transferable to other people.
  7. This clause is about how tickets can be paid for, i.e. credit cards online or cash at the office.
  8. This clause is about refunds. (Reminder, these terms & conditions can be changed at any time and may not be the same on the day that you buy your tickets. Always read all terms & conditions before your purchase your tickets). If your tickets are cancelled by the DDC-C then you are entitled to a refund. If the pandemic prevents you getting to Machu Picchu, you can change the name and date for a 10% fee. If you want to change your ticket, you will pay 30% fee if it’s 24 hours before the ticket entry time, 25% fee if it’s 48 hours before and 10% fee if it’s 72 or more hours before. If you don’t use your ticket and don’t notify the DDC-C ahead of time, you lose the ticket. It becomes non-refundable and non-transferable.
  9. This clause is about how the ticket is valid only once and after you enter Machu Picchu, it cannot be used again.
  10. This last clause is about privacy and receipts.

5. Check-in to obtain your tickets

Once your purchase is complete, you have accepted all of the terms & conditions and clicked “Generar reserva” you'll receive an e-mail with your tickets which includes a reservation number: Machu Picchu how to buy tickets online

Click on the “check in” button on the homepage and enter your reservation number there. From there you can save and print your tickets, or complete payment if you haven't already. Don't forget to save and print your tickets for safe keeping. It doesn't hurt to save them to a USB or have screenshots on your phone for back-up in case of Wifi issues.

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). They are also for sale in the office on Calle Maruri 340. You must bring your passport and either a credit card or cash to purchase. At time the time of our most recent update, two face masks were required to enter the office. Always carry a second face mask with you as many places require double masking.

Cusco Mapi tickets office

How to buy Machu Picchu tickets in Aguas Calientes

**NOTE: THIS OFFICE HAS BEEN TEMPORARILY CLOSED DUE TO THE PANDEMIC**

In Aguas Calientes, tickets can be bought at the Machu Picchu Cultural Centre (Dirección 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: previously only cash was accepted here). Some 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 Nación 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 in Cusco.

Museo Manuel Chávez Ballon

The Museo Manuel Chávez Ballon a.k.a Museo de Sitio Manuel Chávez Ballon is a tiny but informative museum with artefacts and good translations. The museum is located near Aguas Calientes (not at Machu Picchu itself) and is an easy stop en route to hiking up to the Machu Picchu entrance from Aguas Calientes. It is open until 3PM and you can visit for free in the afternoon with your Machu Picchu ticket. If you would like to visit in the morning, the price is s/22 PEN (about $5.50 USD).

Frequently Asked Questions

How many Machu Picchu tickets are there per day? 2,500 visitors are allowed into the site each day. It was closed for most of 2020 and had significantly reduced tickets in 2021, but is on track to be back to pre-pandemic numbers for 2022.

Should I book my tickets in advance? Probably. It depends and there is of course risk to not buying ahead of time. If booking in person in Cusco, you always run the risk of tickets being sold out, though this tends to only happen in the high season (June to September). If you want tickets that include Huayna Picchu, these can sell out months in advance at any time of year.

What happens if I need to cancel my ticket? In most cases, tickets are non-transferable and non-refundable. See the description of the 8th clause of the Terms & Conditions. However, if you have extenuating circumstances, you should contact the Ministry of Culture regarding any changes to your ticket. Read this information about refunds on the website. You may call via the phone number listed on their site + 51 84  582030. You can also e-mail to: [email protected]

When do Machu Picchu tickets go on sale for the next year? Before the pandemic, tickets would go on sale October 1st for the following year. Since the Covid-19 pandemic started, tickets have been made available starting January 1st.

Why is Machu Picchu sometimes written Machupicchu? There is no one “right” way to spell Quechua words with the Spanish or English alphabet. You will also see “huayna” and “wayna” used interchangeably, but they both mean young in Quechua. Likewise, you will see both Inca and Inka used.

How do I choose between the four ticket options? That is the most difficult part of buying tickets! If you choose to do the extra hike up any of the three “mountains,” check the map of the corresponding circuit. You get to see significantly less of the “llaqta” with those three tickets. If you want to see every part of Machu Picchu, you should buy just the ruins: Llaqta Machupicchu. If you want to see all of the ruins and do an extra hike, buy two tickets and carefully calculate the timing of each entrance so that you have enough time for both – or stay an extra night in Aguas Calientes and visit two days in a row!

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