Machu Picchu Tickets: Where to buy them

A comprehensive guide to buying tickets for Machu Picchu in 2016. How to buy them & where to get them.

Machu Picchu: No other destination in South America is so popular among travelers from other continents. The ancient citadel of the Incas attracts almost a million visitors each year. But traffic to Machu Picchu is severely restricted due to conservative concerns (find more general information on Machu Picchu here). Planning ahead is essential to make your bucket list dream come true. The essential part, however, is buying your tickets for Machu Picchu. Without them, you will have no chance to see the ruins.

Tickets for Machu Picchu sell out quickly. Only 2,500 people are officially allowed into the Inca ruins each day. So before you book a hotel, before you buy a train ticket, before you even get an airplane ticket to Peru, you really should check the ticket availability for Machu Picchu. There is another reason why planning ahead is vital. You cannot buy tickets at the entrance of Machu Picchu itself! So if you arrive with no ticket, you will have no way to get it. Here is how you get your tickets the right way.

How much do tickets for Machu Picchu cost?

Tickets for Machu Picchu are sold on the website of the Peruvian Ministry of Culture. There are 3 different ticket options you can choose from. If you want to do the Inca Trail you will have to buy your tickets through a tour company (more below).
With the standard Machu Picchu ticket you can see the ruins, the sun gate and the inca bridge
Standard Machu Picchu ticket

Adult: 128 Soles ( 37 USD)
Student & Children: 65 Soles (19 USD)
This is the standard ticket. You will be able to see ALL the ruins, but you will not be able to climb any of the mountain around Machu Picchu.

Huayna Picchu Tickets entitles you to climb Huanya Picchu and Machu Picchu. Limited to 400 tickets per day
Machu Picchu + Huayna Picchu

Adult: 152 Soles (44 USD)
Students & Children: 77 Soles (22 USD)
Huayna Picchu is the impressive mountain behind Machu Picchu. With this ticket, you will see the ruins and be permitted to climb the “young peak”. Also gives u access to the temple of the moon.

Machu Mountain ticket will give you entrance to the Mountain behind Machu Picchu and the ruins. Only 400 tickets per day
Machu Picchu & Machu Mountain

Adult: 142 Soles (41 USD)
Students & Children: 72 Soles (21 USD)
Less popular than Huayna Picchu, but also less busy; Hiking Machu Mountain takes longer and there are no ruins at the top.

The new afternoon ticket will be gain you entrance to Machu Picchu from 1pm and later. Good for people on a daytrip
New: Afternoon only ticket
Adult: 90 soles (27 USD)
Ever since 2016, there is an afternoon ticket (officially called “Machu Picchu Horario Vespertine 13:00 horas”). This will be much cheaper than the standard ticket, but will be only valid from 1 pm onwards. Since many trains from Cusco will arrive around that time, this ticket is especially interesting for people on a day trip or those who want to enter Machu Picchu on two separate days. 90 Soles for an adult
Important notice: Tickets are valid only with a valid passport. This also applies for children (age 7 to 17). Students will also need an ISIC card to proof their status.

How to buy Machu Picchu tickets online

There are various ways to buy tickets for Machu Picchu. By far the most reliable way is booking them online. The high season in Machu Picchu is from May to August, and tickets sell out quickly. In years before the Ministry of Culture didn’t offer an English website. But ever since 2016 there is a translation available, so there really is no need to contact an agency to do the booking. Since the whole booking process is a bit complicated, you will probably need 15 to 30 minutes to finalize everything. You will need a VISA credit card to buy your tickets online. For other options see below.

Step 1: Go to the official Machu Picchu website run by the Ministry of Culture (it may take a while to load).

Here is the link: http://www.machupicchu.gob.pe/

Visit the offical Machu Picchu ticket website and select the language via the flags to buy your tickets online and in english

Step 2: Select “English” via the flags in the upper right corner as the website is in Spanish by default. If you are fluent in Spanish, there really is no need to switch the language obviously. In fact the translation is a bit lousy, so you might actually find it easier.

Step 3: Navigate to the drop-down on the left labeled “visit place:” Here you have to choose “Machu Picchu” (except you only want to visit the Museum in Aguas Calientes).

Select Ticket type, date and ticket option to buy your Machu Picchu tickets online

Step 3: Select one of the options in the drop down below where it says “Select Entry Route. There are 5 different options:

Obviously there is the standard Machu Picchu ticket. Pick this one, if you only want to see the ruins itself

Then there are two different Huayna Picchu Tickets.  These sell out fast, so really make sure that you are choosing the right one. One allows you to enter between 7 am 8 am and the other between 9 and 10 am. Tickets will only be valid during these hours!

Machu Picchu + Machu Montana tickt. Machu Mountain is the other mountain you can hike. Again you got two options, one earlier, one later.

Last but not least there is the Afternoon ticket (Machu Picchu Horario Vespertine 13:00 horas). It will allow you to see Machu Picchu at a cheaper price. If you only want to tour the standard circuit, this will suffice. But know that there is a lot more to see in Machu Picchu, and you won’t be able to see it all.

Step 4: Select a date

Last but not least you have to enter a date for your planned visit. It will show you the availability on the left side, so you can basically move around the dates to see if there are still tickets left. Don’t be confused by the two categories. The “National Category” (and it’s cheaper price) is only available for Peruvian residents.

Step 5: Select the Quantity

This is a bit tricky as the form is programmed rather badly. You have to click into the field below “Quantity” and enter whatever number you need. It will then update the price to be paid in Peruvian Soles.

Select the Quantity of Machu Picchu tickets you want. Simply press on the quantity field and enter the number

Step 6: Move on to “Step 2”

Once you got all the details of your planned trip sorted out (date, ticket type, quantity) you have to click on “Step 2”. On clicking, a new modal will load where you will have to fill in the details for all ticket holders. Important: Your passports will be checked at the entrance so it is very important to double-check whatever you fill in here.

Step 2 for buying Machu Picchu tickets online. Validate the holders (passport id, age, etc)

Step 7: Move on to “Step 3”

Once you are sure you filled in all the correct names, ages and so on, you have to press on “Step 3”. The ToC will open in a new window (which you can print out or ignore). You will also proceed to the last step where you can review all the information you provided. You also need to fill in some last details.
You have to enter a valid e-mail address (Your confirmation will be sent to this e-mail!) and check the two checkboxes. Then you only have to click on the big “book” button to finalize your tickets.

Last step to secure your Machu Picchu tickets online - enter your e-mail adress and aprove the terms and conditions
Step 8: Pay your Machu Picchu tickets
Last but not least you will have to pay your tickets in advance. So don’t close the windows that will pop up. This window will be labeled “Booking Form” and will contain a booking-code. Write this one down.
On the main website, you will find a tab “Payments”. Click on it and enter your reservation code. It is only possible to pay with VISA at the moment, so best have your credit card at hand. Once you entered your code, click on “pay” and fill in your credit card data and pay your tickets.
Step 9: Save & print your tickets
It is important to know that you will only receive online tickets. So after you finished the payment process, absolutely don’t forget to print your receipts and tickets. Save them on your computer, put them on a USB stick or your mobile and maybe even store them somewhere online. You will not be able to enter Machu Picchu without these print outs and you will not be able to enter the ruins if you forgot to bring your ID.

How to buy Machu Picchu tickets without a VISA card

VISA cards are very common in South America. So you really should consider getting one before your trip, since Master Cards are actually only rarely accepted. Without a VISA Card you will not be able to buy your tickets online, save through a travel Agency offering different payment options.

If you can’t get your hands on aVISA Card but still want to buy your tickets, you would have to follow the steps above for a ticket reservations and then pay directly in Peru. You can pay your tickets at any Banco de La Nacion or one of the few tickets offices. Ticket offices can be found in Cusco and Machu Picchu. This will perhaps get a bit tricky and certainly means wasting time searching for the ticket office, and so on. So better avoid it.

How to buy Machu Picchu tickets in Cusco?

There are a couple of ticket offices in Cusco. The main office is located at Calle Garcilaso next to the Museo Casa Garcilaso and opens from 7:00 a.m. to 7:30 p.m., except on Sundays and holidays. You can also pay at the PERURAIL counter at AV Pachacutec or inside the luxury hotel Monasterio. Bring your passport and the passport of any person you need a ticket for. Payment is possible via credit card or cash.
The Cathedral on the Plaza del Armas in Cusco. Not far from here you can buy your tickets for Machu Picchu offline

Can I buy Machu Picchu tickets at the entrance?

It is not possible to buy your tickets at the entrance of Machu Picchu. There is, however, a ticket office in Aguas Calientes. Depending on availability you may be able to buy your ticket there. Be aware that as of now only payments in cash are accepted. There are ATMs in Aguas Calientes where you can withdraw money.

Buying tickets for Machu Picchu via an agency

There are many agencies offering to sell tickets for Machu Picchu. There really is no need to do this, as you will usually pay an unnecessary premium. Also, keep in mind that only personal tickets are sold, so tour companies won’t be able to offer you tickets when all official tickets are sold out either.
The only real reason to book your Machu Picchu tickets via a tour agency would be when you want to hike the Inca trail. Then and there it is actually required to book your tickets with one of the few accredited tour companies. It is not possible to hike the trail on your own.
(the other reason would be, if you really cannot find your way through the rather crappy official website).
A detailed guide to buying Machu Picchu tickets. Updated in 2016, you will find all the information you need to secure your tickets for the unique Inca ruins. When and where to buy, etc. Click for more