So you’ve made your decision! You’ve finally caved into your insatiable wanderlust and booked your flight to Peru. Great choice! Prepare to be blown away by mystical mountains, ancient ruins, delicious, colourful foods and local Andean culture. Now it’s time to think about your Machu Picchu tickets.
Your trip to Peru wouldn’t be complete without a trip to Machu Picchu. While being extremely touristy it would be downright silly to refuse to see it for that reason. I’m personally not drawn to touristy places -I’m an off the beaten track kinda girl but Machu Picchu is just unmissable.
You will have to buy your Machu Picchu entrance ticket in advance of your visit. This is because the Peruvian Government controls the numbers of daily visitors (2,500 max) for conservation reasons. Due to this, you’ll have to plan your trip to a certain degree and decide on a date somewhat in advance. You can buy your ticket online, which I think is the easiest way or you can visit the Ministero de Cultura office in Cusco or Machu Picchu Cultural Centre in Aguas Calientes. Make sure to bring your passport with you when you book the tickets, as well as on the day of your visit. If you have a child with you, you’ll need to bring their passport on the day too in order to prove their age. In high season (June to September) tickets sell out so I would recommend buying them online as early as possible.
Once you’ve decided the day of your visit you’ll have to choose a ticket type.
There are four different tickets to choose from – a general entrance ticket and three others that give you entrance into the site as well as an added ‘attraction’. It’s difficult to choose which one to buy if you don’t yet know anything about Machu Picchu. This is the struggle I had when going which is why I’ve listed them all for you. You’ll be able to see that each ticket has a visiting schedule and you will have to decide on a rough time to visit. This avoids overcrowding in certain locations. All prices are from 2019.
Machu Picchu Main grounds only.
As suggested, this tickets grants you entrance to the ruins as well as the chance to hike to Intipunku and the Inca Bridge.
Schedule: 1st Schedule 6am-8am, 2nd Schedule 9am-11am and 3rd Schedule 12pm-2pm.
Price: Adult – 70 USD, Student/Child – 41 USD
Unless you are seriously strapped for cash, I wouldn’t recommend getting just the entrance ticket- you’ll miss out on some glorious hiking and otherworldly views.
Machu Picchu main grounds + Huayna Picchu.
Do you know that one picture that you always see of Machu Picchu, that same viewpoint over and over? Well if you look at that again you’ll notice a very steep, egg-shaped mountain right behind the ruins. That is Huayna Picchu. Apart from the entrance to Huayna Picchu and the main grounds with this ticket you can also see the Temple of the Moon. This is a small, cliff-side temple which you pass coming down the back of the giant peak.
Schedule: 1st Schedule – 7-8am (with admission to Machu Picchu starting at 6 am). 2nd Schedule – 7-8am (with admission to Machu Picchu starting at 7 am). 3rd Schedule- 10.30-11.30am (with admission to Machu Picchu starting at 8 am)
Note that there are only 400 tickets a day and you may need to reserve your ticket 2-3 months in advance.
Price: Adult – 86 USD, Student/Child – 57 USD
This is the ticket I bought and I’m so glad I did. The climb is steep and challenging and its a little slow going at this altitude so you do need some stamina. The views from the top are stupefying and give you a completely different perspective of the ruins that I know I hadn’t seen before. I was completely in awe of everything the entire hike. This ticket is perfect for the more adventurous who want to see Machu Picchu from a different angle and get a workout at the same time.
Note: This hike isn’t recommended if you have a fear of heights or have serious vertigo or any heart condition. I can see why- it was incredibly steep in places and at one point I descended down a free-standing ladder.
Machu Picchu main grounds + Mountain
This ticket includes your entrance to the ruins and your hike/entrance to Machu Picchu mountain.
Schedule: 1st Schedule – 7-8am (with admission to Machu Picchu starting at 6 am). 2nd Schedule – 7-8am (with admission to Machu Picchu starting at 7 am). 3rd Schedule – 9-10am (with admission to Machu Picchu starting at 8 am)
Note that there are only 800 tickets a day.
Price: Adult – 86 USD, Student/Child – 57 USD
Machu Picchu Mountain is located behind the ruins, on the opposite side to Huayna Picchu. While also being a bit of a touch climb it’s much less steep and gives awe-inspiring views over the surrounding mountains and valleys and the ruins themselves. This ticket is perfect for people who want to hike but want better views of this side of the grounds.
Machu Picchu main grounds + Museum
This ticket includes entry to the ruins, as well as the hike to Intipunku and entrance to the Machu Picchu Museum.
Schedules: 1st Schedule 6am-8am, 2nd Schedule 9am-11am and 3rd Schedule 12pm-2pm
Price: Adult – 77USD, Student/Child – 45 USD
While having not visited the museum personally I have been told that it is ’nothing special’ by a few people. However, it does have a few interesting pieces in it that came from the site. Note that the museum is actually located at the bottom of the mountain that Machu Picchu is sitting on, on the road back to Aguas Calientes. You’ll have to either get the bus or walk down.
Now that you have decided on your ticket type it’s time to book. All tickets are purchased from the official Ministerio de Cultura website and the website can be navigated in Spanish and English.
Click here to book your tickets.
The website is very easy to use. Start by selecting your ticket type and time schedule you’d like to visit. Then enter your personal information EXACTLY HOW IT APPEARS IN YOUR PASSPORT, and buy your ticket.
Once you have done that you’ll receive an e-mail confirmation with a reservation code. You’ll need this code to ‘Check-in’ and access your tickets.
Go back to the Ministero de Cultura website and click ‘Check-in’ on the selection menu on the left side. Enter your reservation code and that’s it. It’s advised to print off the ticket.
Heading to Cusco? Check out my guide here.
If you have any questions or queries then please comment below. I would love to help you out.