How to Buy Machu Picchu Tickets Online or in Person

0
How to Buy Machu Picchu Tickets and Hike the Mountains
I donate 5% of this blog’s revenue to the Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics, so you’re helping save the planet by clicking on any affiliate links or ads that may be on this page!

There’s an otherworldly mystique about Machu Picchu’s perfectly laid stones perched high in the mountains amongst the winding Urubamba River. There’s also a lot of confusion surrounding how to buy Machu Picchu tickets online or in person.

There are many scams online that will tempt you to input your credit card and passport information on the false promises of getting tickets, including the coveted Montaña Machu Picchu and Huayna Picchu admission tickets.

Each day, there is a maximum of 2,500 Machu Picchu ruins entrance tickets, 800 Machu Picchu Mountain tickets and just 400 Huayna Picchu tickets sold. The government controls ticket sales and it will not sell a single ticket over the designated amount, so be cognizant of time and purchase your tickets as early as possible.

Many of these one-off scamming websites try to peddle false tickets on the fears of you not being able to get in, so be wary of websites (especially unknown tour operators) that don’t quite look right. There are plenty of websites and in-person scams that aim to rip off travelers when they’re visiting these ancient Inca ruins, so finding a safe outlet is essential.

There are legitimate ways to buy Machu Picchu entrance tickets online in advance or in person in Cusco (where most people begin their train ride to the ruins) and Aguas Calientes (the small town at the base of Machu Picchu where you can find hostels, hotels and restaurants).

For you true ramblers making your way around the world and purchasing tickets on a whim, beware that the Huayna Picchu and Machu Picchu Mountain hikes will probably be sold out. They tend to sell out months in advance, especially Huayna Picchu. But these are the safest and most reliable ways to buy Machu Picchu tickets online and in person!

How to Buy Machu Picchu Tickets Online or in Person in Aguas Calientes or Cusco

1. Official Government Website

Buying Machu Picchu tickets online through the official government website allows you to get an official ticket months in advance, so you can plan your entire trip around getting tickets — and hiking the mountains if you choose to do so. Although many websites have been able to match the price of a ticket through the government website.

Both Huayna Picchu and Machu Picchu Mountain hikes sell out weeks and months in advance year-round, especially in the high season between June and September. This is by far the easiest and best way to secure a spot on one of these epic hikes.

The official website has a counter that tells you exactly how many tickets remain for the date and time you wish to enter. I’m not getting any commission if you buy through the government website, but I still strongly recommend buying through this site if you’re not traveling with a tour group.

Even if you’re a world rambler who goes places on a whim (kudos to you, my friend!), it’s still worth buying Machu Picchu tickets online even a few days in advance. That way you guarantee yourself a spot and aren’t stuck in Aguas Calientes waiting in line at the ticket booth at the crack of dawn every day.

The website is outdated, so I strongly recommend printing your ticket and confirmation screen, saving it as a PDF or taking a screenshot with your phone immediately after purchasing. I also suggest taking a copy of the ticket with you (via printing or saved on your phone). I bought tickets for two consecutive days and they asked to see a hard copy of my ticket on the second day. Thankfully, I had a copy in my backpack.

Buy Machu Picchu Tickets Through Government

2. Machu Picchu Cultural Centre in Aguas Calientes

Tickets into Machu Picchu here are designated as a last resort and should be designated for those travelers who are visiting on a whim and have time to kill. The Cultural Centre is basically at the base of Machu Picchu in Aguas Calientes, so you can buy your ticket and be at the top of the mountain within 30 to 45 minutes.

Don’t be alarmed if you visit during high season and the tickets are sold out, though. And no matter what time of year you visit, expect the Huayna Picchu and Machu Picchu Mountain hikes to be sold out as well. If you’re visiting on a whim and planning to get Machu Picchu tickets through this outlet, I strongly suggest you still go to the official government website to purchase your tickets. At the very least, it’ll give you a hard count of how many tickets are still available.

3. Ministry of Culture of Peru in Cusco

If you’re visiting Machu Picchu on a whim without tickets or hopping over in Cusco and decide you just can’t skip out on Machu Picchu during the trip, buying Machu Picchu tickets through the Ministry of Culture of Peru in Cusco will give you at least a few hours’ headstart on the tickets.

This is a government building in Cusco that sells Machu Picchu entrance tickets, as well as Montaña Machu Picchu and Huayna Picchu admission tickets via cash or credit card. Since it’s a government facility, regular hours are observed, so it’s closed every night, Sundays and major holidays.

4. Tour Company

If you’ve decided to purchase a tour, kudos to you for being less cheap than I am and for putting the trip planning in someone else’s hands. You’re going to enjoy the trek that much more with an experienced planner creating your days!

If you’ve purchased your package through a legitimate company (I really hope, for everyone’s sake, you did) they should’ve already bought entry tickets for you. You should already be set and ready to sit back and enjoy the trip.

However, if I were you, I’d still get a copy of your ticket just in case the tour operator is sick that day and doesn’t show or something else happens to where the tour operator is unable to make it. This way, you’ll at least have your tickets on hand and be able to get into the ruins.

Buy Machu Picchu Ruins Only Ticket

When Do Machu Picchu Tickets Become Available?

The Peruvian government only allows you to get Machu Picchu tickets within the same calendar year. Come December, they allow you to buy tickets for January of the following calendar year. And in January, they allow you to buy tickets for that calendar year. 

So if you wish to buy a ticket for January 2021, you may be able purchase one in December 2020. But if you want to buy a ticket for, let’s say, February or November of 2021, you’ll need to wait until January 2021 to buy your ticket. So if you’re planning to go, I suggest buying your tickets the first week of January to secure one of the coveted dual Machu Picchu and Huayna Picchu admission tickets.

It’s always best to buy your Machu Picchu tickets as far in advance as you possibly can. High season is June to September and tickets sell out pretty quickly during those time periods.

How to Buy Huayna Picchu Tickets and Machu Picchu Mountain Tickets

If you plan to hike Huayna Picchu or Machu Picchu Mountain, I highly suggest you book online as soon as possible to secure a spot! I bought my entry tickets two weeks in advance — for Memorial Day weekend in May and Huayna Picchu was already sold out for both days. (Not smart on my part to allow only two weeks advance purchase on a holiday weekend, but I booked the trip on a whim while sitting in my office cubicle needing a quick getaway.)

Luckily, I got one of the last remaining spots to hike Machu Picchu Mountain with the second day’s entry ticket! (the first day was already sold out!?!?!? ) It was well worth every step (even with a 15-plus pound backpack on my back)!

You have three Machu Picchu entrance tickets to choose from. Each will get you entry into the spectacular Machu Picchu ruins, but the last two get you a few extra perks and allow you to hike one of the incredible mountains that overlook the ruins.

1. Machu Picchu Tickets for Ruins Only

This ticket allows you to enter the Machu Picchu ruins and nothing else (no hikes included). You’re allowed to enter at one the nine designated times and you’re allotted just four hours to navigate the ruins and see everything you’d like.

The designated entry and exit times are as follows (you must enter between the entry times and exit between the designated exit times):

  1. Enter between 6 a.m. and 7 a.m. & exit between 10 a.m. and 11 a.m
  2. Enter between 7 a.m. and 8 a.m. & exit between 11 a.m. and noon
  3. Enter between 8 a.m. and 9 a.m. & exit between noon and 1 p.m
  4. Enter between 9 a.m. and 10 a.m. & exit between 1 p.m. and 2 p.m.
  5. Enter between 10 a.m. and 11 a.m. & exit between 2 p.m. and 3 p.m.
  6. Enter between 11 a.m. and noon & exit between 3 p.m. and 4 p.m.
  7. Enter between noon and 1 p.m. & exit between 4 p.m. and 5 p.m.
  8. Enter between 1 p.m. and 2 p.m. & exit before 5:30 p.m.
  9. Enter between 2 p.m. & 3 p.m. & exit before 5:30 p.m.

Machu Picchu Price for Ruins Only

  • Foreign Adults: $65 per day
  • Foreign Students (25 and under): $39 per day
  • Foreign Children (17 and under): $39 per day

Buy Machu Picchu Ruins Only Ticket

2. Machu Picchu and Huayna Picchu Admission Ticket

The Huayna Picchu ticket gets you entry into the Machu Picchu ruins and the Huayna Picchu hike, which is the smaller, omre popular mountain that overlooks the ruins to the north side. Only 400 people are allowed to buy this combo ticket per day, so buy yours as soon as possible to secure your spot!

If you buy tickets to Huayna Picchu, you must enter Machu Picchu and begin hiking Huayna at one of the designated times. You must be on time for this one and cannot show up late! Huayna Picchu entry times are as follows:

  1. Enter Machu Picchu between 6 a.m. and 7 a.m. & begin hiking Huayna Picchu between 7 a.m. and 8 a.m.
  2. Enter Machu Picchu between 7 a.m. and 8 a.m. & begin hiking Huayna Picchu between 8 a.m. and 9 a.m.
  3. Enter Machu Picchu between 10:30 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. & begin hiking Huayna Picchu between 10:30 a.m. and 11:30 a.m.

As you can tell, the third option is the tightest turnaround time. If you choose this option, get to the gates of Machu Picchu around 9:30 a.m. because there will be a line.

Huayna Picchu Entrance Fee

  • Foreign Adults: $80 per day
  • Foreign Students (25 and under): $54 per day
  • Foreign Children (17 and under): $54 per day

Buy Machu Picchu + Huayna Picchu Ticket

3. Machu Picchu and Machu Picchu Mountain Tickets

This ticket gets you entry into the Machu Picchu ruins and Machu Picchu Mountain, which is a 10,000-foot mountain overlooking the ruins  to the south. Only 800 people per day are allowed to buy this combo ticket, so buy yours ASAP to avoid missing out on this amazing experience!

Huayna Picchu entry times are as follows:

  1. Enter Machu Picchu between 6 a.m. and 7 a.m. & begin hiking Machu Picchu Mountain between 7 a.m. and 8 a.m.
  2. Enter Machu Picchu between 7 a.m. and 8 a.m. & begin hiking Machu Picchu Mountain between 7 a.m. and 8 a.m.
  3. Enter Machu Picchu between 8 a.m. and 9 a.m. & begin hiking Machu Picchu Mountain between 9 a.m. and 10 a.m.

Machu Picchu Mountain Entrance Fee

  • Foreign Adults: $80 per day
  • Foreign Students (25 and under): $54 per day
  • Foreign Children (17 and under): $54 per day

Buy Machu Picchu + Machu Picchu Mountain Ticket

If you plan to buy one of the Machu Picchu hike tickets, get there early to make sure you’re able to climb the mountain. I opted for the 8 a.m. to 9 a.m. entry time for Machu Picchu Mountain, hiked from Aguas Calientes instead of taking the bus, waited in ruins entry line for quite some time, then made my way to the Machu Picchu Mountain hike just 15 minutes before entry closed.

They were already getting ready to close up shop for the day. I can’t stress enough that you must be on time if you’re hiking one of the two mountains! Now let’s get into the nitty-gritty of hiking each mountain.

Can I Buy Machu Picchu Tickets in Cusco?

Yes, you can buy Machu Picchu tickets in Cusco at the Ministry of Culture of Peru in Cusco. So if you’re a traveler who’s passing through without entry tickets, buying them here is your best bet if you don’t want to buy them online. However, I strongly recommend buying Machu Picchu tickets, including Huayna Picchu tickets and Machu Picchu Mountain tickets before you visit.

Buy Machu Picchu Ruins Only Ticket

Buy Machu Picchu + Huayna Picchu Ticket

Buy Machu Picchu + Machu Picchu Mountain Ticket


START PLANNING YOUR NEXT TRIP TODAY!
Flights:
Use Skyscanner to search nearly every available flight around the world with a click of a button.
Accommodations:
Use Booking.com and Hotels.com to find the best — and cheapest — hostels and hotels around the world!
Traveling Abroad?
Check out the TravelInsurance.com marketplace to get the best travel insurance at the most affordable price!

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here