Entrance Tickets to Machu Picchu
In order to enter Machu Picchu, an entrance ticket must be purchased. If you are hiking the Inca Trail, this ticket will be included with your package. Otherwise it should be purchased in advance via the official website: www.MachuPicchu.gob.pe
The site is unfortunately prone to crashing so a little patience will be required. As of July 25, 2011 new controls were put into place and there is now a daily limit of 2500 people. It is technically permissible to buy entrance tickets in Aguas Calientes (they are NOT sold at all up at Machu Picchu itself) but apart from the months of February and March, it is not advised to wait until arriving to Aguas Calientes, as all tickets frequently sell out in advance.
After arriving to the homepage,in the upper left hand corner, under “Lugas a Visitar”, select Machu Picchu. Under “Seleccione a Ruta” choose “Cuidad Inka Mapi” (the rather confusing name they have chosen to use for the basic Machu Picchu entrance. “Ciudad Inka MAPI” translates as ‘Inca City Machu Picchu’ Machu Picchu is commonly abbreviated as MAPI)
This is the standard entrance ticket to Machu Picchu. If you just want to visit Machu Picchu without climbing any nearby mountains or visiting the Machu Picchu museum (which most people don’t have time for anyway) then this is the ticket for you.
The cost for an adult (except for citizens of Peru, Bolivia, Columbia & Ecuador) is s/126. (Peruvian soles)
National Category (includes visitors from Peru, Bolivia, Colombia & Ecuador), cost is s/64.
Tickets are half price for Students with a valid ISIC card and children under 18 years old. Children under 7 years old don’t pay at all. They are very strict with student ID’s and will only accept official ISIC cards, not just your school issued ID.
Other entrance options include the Huayna Picchu entrances, denoted here as “Mapi Huayna”. There are two different time slots for doing the Huayna Picchu hike – 7 to 8am, or the later one at 10 to 11pm. There is a higher cost if you choose either of the Huayna Picchu entrances (s/150 soles instead of s/126). Finally, there is an option called “Mapi montana” which is if you wish to climb Machu Picchu mountain. The “Machu Picchu y museo” option should just be ignored altogether. Be advised that if you do try to buy tickets in the Aguas Calientes ticket office, they do not accept credit cards or US dollars.
It is highly advised to buy tickets in advance via the website as described above. If it is not working, try again after fifteen minutes. Also, try using it in the early morning or late evening hours. Many people report trouble with credit card processing, try using a different card if one repeatedly fails.
It is also possible to buy your ticket from one of the many travel agencies in Cusco that offer this service. The typical fee is a s/30 ($10) surcharge on top of your ticket but the charge varies widely amongst the agencies, so pay attention to the details when negotiating and get everything in writing first. This is the best way if something is not working with the online option described above – which is frequently the case.
The last option is to go yourself to the INC offices in Cusco, on the Avenue de Cultura, #238. This is the physical location where Machu Picchu entrance tickets are sold. They are open from8 or 9am to 5pm everyday except Sundays as well as the numerous national holidays. The hours appear to vary somewhat. It is not a desirable option as the line tends to be long and slow moving, and begins forming as early as 2a.m. by travel agency employees. It is, however, possible to buy your tickets here if you are willing to wait and you will pay no extra fees