So, you’ve decided to take the plunge and visit Machu Picchu! Excellent. You’ll not be disappointed. There are few places where you can obtain Machu Picchu Entrance Tickets online. The most prominent is the Electronic Ticket reservation site provided by the Peruvian Ministry of Culture.
The first thing to appear is a pop-up with a message in Spanish recommending that you purchase your train tickets to Machu Picchu prior to booking Machu Picchu tickets. The reason for the warning is that even if you plan to hike the Inka Trail to Machu Picchu instead of taking the train, the only way to get back to the Sacred Valley or Cusco is by train. There is no bus service. Once you have purchased your train tickets from one of the rail companies operating trains to Aguas Calientes (Peru Rail, Inca Rail) then you can go ahead and reserve your Machu Picchu entrance tickets.
Train Tickets, Machu Picchu Entrance Tickets and Inka Trail Permits have limited availability and tickets for High Season (June-September) often sell-out months in advance. Therefore, we recommend careful cross-checking of the various booking sites to determine ticket availability before you go ahead and make any purchases. Note that if you wish to trek the Inka Trail, you can only purchase permits via agencies.
Types of Machu Picchu Entrance Tickets
There are several different types of Machu Picchu Entrance Tickets which can be purchased:
- Machu Picchu
- Machu Picchu + Huayna Picchu 1G (7-8am)
- Machu Picchu + Huayna Picchu 2G (10-11am)
- Machu Picchu + Montaña (7-8am)
- Machu Picchu + Montaña (9-10am)
Huayna Picchu is the prominent pointy peak which overlooks Machu Picchu. It is very popular and only 200 tickets are available for each ascent time: 7-8am and 9-10am. The ascent is approximately 360m. Tickets are only available for advance purchase, you can’t buy them on the spot.
Montaña refers to Mount Machu Picchu, a towering peak of 3082m which also overlooks Machu Picchu site. The trail features some 1600 steps and the round-trip takes approximately 2-3hrs for people in good physical condition. Only 800 tickets are available for Mount Machu Picchu distributed across the ascent times: 7-8am and 9-10am. Mount Machu Picchu is only accessible by purchasing in advance a special permit.
How to Purchase Machu Picchu Entrance Tickets Directly from the Government Website
Select which ticket combination you would like to purchase.
Select the date of your entrance to Machu Picchu.
Enter your name, age, sex, nationality and passport number. Confirm your email address and click “Reserve”.
You are then provided with a pop-up PDF of the booking form with Booking Code highlighted in top left corner. It states on the form that the reservation is valid for only 3hrs.
Banco de la Nacion Visa cardholders may pay online through their bank’s website. For all other online bookings, use the Visa site by clicking on “Payments”.
Enter your 16-digit Reservation Code.
A summary of the booking details is presented with additional information:
FOR HIGH SEASON: Upon entering the monument, you must present the Visa card used to purchase this ticket together with a valid state or government issued photo ID or passport. Failure to present them or if the photo on the ID does not appear to be the photo of the person presenting the tickets will result in denial of access. We remind you of fraudulent use of a Visa card or identity theft are criminal offenses that will be reported to corresponding authorities for prosecution.
A payment page will open asking you to enter Credit/Debit Card details. Note, as per official warning above, that the card used to make payment must be presented upon entry to Machu Picchu – therefore make sure you use your own card to purchase rather than have a friend or family member do so.
Note that the ticket reservation online is only valid for a maximum of 3 hours before ticket payment confirmation is required. Once you have your payment receipt, return to the Ministry of Culture Electronic Ticketing site and click on Check-In and enter your booking reference number to confirm your purchase of your Machu Picchu ticket. Make sure to print out copies of both the ticket reservation and the payment receipt so that you may present them upon entry to Machu Picchu.
If this process sounds intensive or you want to buy your Machu Picchu Entrance tickets before arriving in Cusco, there are alternatives. Why not contact a reputable travel agency in order to coordinate your Machu Picchu entrance tickets and train tickets? Not only are you spared the time-consuming process of checking and re-checking ticket availability, but the agency will help arrange your accommodations, train tickets, local flight tickets, Inka Trail permits and other myriad aspects. All the details which make a great trip easily combined into one booking by accessing a single source.