How to buy tickets for Machu Picchu

This article highlights all you need to know to guarantee entrance Peru’s world famous site. Recent changes to government policy have capped visitor numbers to Machu Picchu, so be sure you don’t miss out!

Peru’s appeal on the up

When I set up my first travel company in Lima 25 years ago, buying an entrance ticket to enter Machu Picchu was very straightforward.

There were far fewer visitors and almost no queues. I remember how easy it was to book rooms in hotels there too.

Now this has all changed. Visitor numbers to this fabulous destination have continued to increase year on year and Peru has never looked back.

Machu Picchu – essential Peru

Needless to say, if you are planning a trip to Peru, I am sure Machu Picchu is at the top of your ‘To Do’ list.

But there’s one problem – lots of other people agree with you! Which is why the government of Peru have had to cap total visitor numbers in order to help maintain the beauty of its premium attraction.

Visitor numbers at Machu Picchu have now been capped at 2,500 per day.

To avoid disappointment, it’s therefore vital to book your Machu Picchu entrance tickets well in advance.

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Low and high season

· Low season at Machu Picchu runs from October-May

· High season at Machu Picchu runs from June-September

If you’re intending to visit Machu Picchu in low season, it should not present too much of a problem. But it’s still advisable to book as far in advance as practical.

However, if you’re hoping to visit Machu Picchu during high season – i.e. between the months of June, July, August and September – you should plan well in advance due to high demand.

Price and type of tickets

There are basically four different entrance ticket options.

1) Standard Machu Picchu

Cost per person: approx. US$ 43

2) Standard Machu Picchu + visit to Museum – “Manuel Chavel Ballon”

Cost per person: approx. US$ 50

N.B. the museum is not located in the site itself, but close to the village of Aguas Calientes, on the road from Aguas Calientes to Machu Picchu, by the River Vicanote.

3) Machu Picchu + Hike up Huayna Picchu

Cost per person: approx. US$ 51

N.B. There are just two times in the morning you can do the hike: 7am and 11am. Only 400 people can do this per day, divided between the two times.

4) Machu Picchu + Hike up Machu Picchu Mountain

Cost per person: approx. US$ 48

N.B. There are just two times in the morning you can do the hike: 7am and 11am. Only 400 people can do this per day, divided between the two times.

Top tip: Please note that the hikes to Huayna Picchu and Machu Picchu Mountain are both highly recommended. Each take around 2 hours, and you are rewarded with breathtaking views.

Research your Machu Picchu tickets

The official Government website is: www.machupicchu.gob.pe

This site enables you to monitor availability of entrances for each month of the year.

Head to www.machupicchu.gob.pe, select ‘queries’ from the top menu bar, and then choose the month you’re planning to visit Machu Picchu. The calendar will then show the remaining number of tickets that are available.

As you now know, total daily entrances have been capped at 2,500. So if availability during the month you’re hoping to visit Machu Picchu drops below 500, then I would advice that you do not delay in purchasing.

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How to book your Machu Picchu tickets

As mentioned, you are free to book and purchase your tickets through the official government website, www.machupicchu.gob.pe.

A word of warning though – the government site is regrettably not always reliable or that easy to follow. So my advice would be to book through an agent.

If you prefer to book your Machu Picchu entrance tickets in this way, I would recommend www.tucanoperu.com

Want to know anything else about Machu Picchu or Peru?

For all other advice, queries, trip planning or tour bookings – for Machu Picchu or elsewhere in Peru – just drop me a line via stuart@travelperu.co.uk

I’ve been living and working in Peru for over 25 years and would be delighted to give you the benefit of my experience.

I look forward to hearing from you!


I hope this information on Peru has been useful. If you need any further details just email me via stuart@travelperu.co.uk

Many thanks,

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www.travelperu.co.uk – 25 years of passion, experience and knowledge


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