Exploring the mesmerizing site of Machu Picchu is on the bucket list for many travelers, and for good reason.
Visiting the ancient ruins, however, can get costly if you don’t plan accordingly and well in advance. In general, the price tag for visiting Machu Picchu depends largely on the tour company, package (private tour vs shared tour) and guide you choose.
Below, you’ll find a breakdown of some of the general costs, as well as a list of recommended Machu Picchu tours.
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Average Daily Costs
While there are ways to do a tour to Machu Picchu cheaper (think: backpacking) or much more expensive, the costs below offer a reasonable estimate for a mid-budget trip to Machu Picchu.
Let’s take a look at how costs break down for a Machu Picchu adventure.
Although food is not allowed inside the site of Machu Picchu, there are plenty of options in the nearby city of Aguas Calientes, also known as Machu Picchu town.
With a steady stream of daily tourists, Machu Picchu town hosts a number of quality restaurants where you can taste traditional Peruvian cuisine, as well as indulge in classic Italian dishes and international favorites. Some of the best restaurants in Aguas Calientes include Mapacho Craft Beer & Peruvian Cuisine, Apu Inti, and El Mapi.
The prices will greatly vary depending on the type of establishment, but on average you can expect to spend anywhere from $6 to $22.
Apart from various restaurants, you can find some souvenirs, such as hats or ponchos, for your pictures at Machu Picchu.
- Machu Picchu Only – 159 Soles | $40
- Machu Picchu + Machu Picchu Mountain – 200 Soles | $53
- Machu Picchu + Huayna Picchu Mountain – 200 Soles | $53
Because there is a limited number of visitors allowed on the site per day, you will have to buy your entrance tickets well in advance.
You can see the available number of remaining slots and buy your ticket from the government site for Machu Picchu or you can get them from an authorized agent (e.g. a reputable tour company).
From Machu Picchu, you can opt for an additional hike to Huayna Picchu or Machu Picchu Mountain. Both hikes offer fantastic panoramic views of the site but differ in difficulty. To ensure an enjoyable experience, be sure you know the differences between Machu Picchu and Huayna Picchu before you book a ticket.
The question of how to get to Machu Picchu is an essential one for every traveler.
- Lima – Cusco plane ticket – 889 soles | $125
- Cusco – Ollantaytambo (roundtrip) – minivan 22 soles | $6* or taxi 230 soles | $60
*While cheaper, the minivan option is used primarily by experienced backpackers. To ensure safer and more reliable transportation, it’s recommended that you opt for a taxi ride instead.
- Ollantaytambo – Machu Picchu (roundtrip) – 530 soles | $140*
*The price depends on the train chosen.
The train to Machu Picchu will enchant you with beautiful views of the Sacred Valley.
- Shuttle Bus from Aguas Calientes to Machu Picchu (roundtrip) – 91 soles | $24
Your transportation costs will generally depend on where you’re starting your journey from. For most people, this starts by taking a plane from Lima to Cusco. There are several airlines that you can choose from, though, one of the more reliable ones is Latam.
The most common way to get to the archaeological site is by taking a bus from Aguas Calientes. Unless you arrive at Machu Picchu via the Sun Gate on the Inca Trail tour, you will need a roundtrip ticket.
It’s also worth knowing that the most popular way to reach Aguas Calientes is via train (Expedition and Vistadome) from Ollantaytambo. In general, we recommend Expedition for the way there and to return with Vistadome after lunch/early afternoon as it offers more comfort and on-board entertainment.
Hiring a Local Guide
- Hiring a local guide – $40 – $85
In an effort to preserve the ruins of Machu Picchu, travelers are only allowed to visit the site with a guide and follow a set route.
The guide is not included in the entrance price. Having a good guide will make and break your Machu Picchu experience, which is why this part is very important.
Two happy travelers with our Machu Picchu expert guide Pedro.
|Average budget for an adult||Price in USD|
|Lima – Cusco plane ticket||$ 125|
|Travel by taxi Cusco – Ollantaytambo (roundtrip)||$ 60|
|Train ticket from Ollantaytambo to Aguas Calientes (roundtrip)||$ 140|
|Bus ticket from Aguas Calientes to Machu Picchu (roundtrip)||$ 24|
|Entrance to Machu Picchu (site only)||$ 40|
|Machu Picchu guide||$ 70|
|Total cost:||$ 459|
Looking to make the most out of your adventure in Peru with as little hassle as possible? Joining a tour with a reputable company is a great way to learn more about Machu Picchu and explore its beautiful surroundings while avoiding hours of research on planning transport, logistics, and activities.
Before you go ahead and book a company, it’s a good idea to consider the size of the tour group, the itinerary, and the extras that they offer.
Benefits of Booking with Exploor Peru
A guided tour with Exploor Peru is a memorable and stress-free way to discover Machu Picchu with all the trip details already organized for you.
To make sure you get the most out of your Peruvian adventure, our guided tours enable you to:
- Have an expert team of local guides to support you every step of the way
- Travel with professional drivers with all the necessary licenses
- Avoid waiting in long lines thanks to optimized itineraries
- Travel in small-groups or private tours
- Gain insider knowledge and uncover hidden gems
- Get great value for a quality experience
If you don’t believe us, feel free to check what past travelers say about their experience with us on TripAdvisor.
A happy couple discovering the Machu Picchu ruins with us.
Exploor Peru Tours
We offer a number of exciting guided tours to Machu Picchu.
You can go for a day tour or – if you have some more time to explore – a multi-day tour featuring some of the best sites in the area. Prices start at $369, however, discounts are available for those traveling in groups of more than 2 people.
Machu Picchu Day Tour
The day tour to Machu Picchu is ideal for anyone who is short on time but still wants to have an unforgettable experience at the lost city of the Incas.
The private Machu Picchu day tour includes:
- Free airport pickup or drop-off
- All transfers in a private car
- Round trip train and shuttle bus tickets
- Entrance tickets to Machu Picchu + private tour of the site
- Licensed English-speaking expert guide
In addition, you can pick your train option, as well as choose to visit Huayna Picchu or Machu Picchu mountain.
In this picture, you can see where the hikes to Huayna Picchu and Machu Picchu Mountain lead. The woman is standing on top of Machu Picchu Mountain.
Machu Picchu Multi-Day Tours
Depending on the multi-day tour to Machu Picchu you opt for, you’ll have the option of taking on various activities such as visiting a traditional textile center, exploring a rainbow mountain, and discovering the best parts of Cusco.
The highlight of these tours is reaching the majestic sight of Machu Picchu. It is an early start, but it ensures that you avoid the hoards of tourist buses.
Here’s a quick summary of the extras that you get with each tour:
The Maras Salt mines is one of the most popular places in the Sacred Valley.
Highlights: Sacred Valley, Machu Picchu
Day 1: You’ll be picked up at your hotel in Cusco and head out for an adventure in the Sacred Valley. There, you’ll be able to visit a traditional textile center, the archaeological site of Moray, the Maras Salt Mines, Ollantaytambo and a traditional Chicheria.
Day 2: You can start your trip to Machu Picchu from either Cusco or Aguas Calientes.
If you’re starting from Cusco, you’ll be picked up from your hotel and head to the Ollantaytambo train station where you’ll take the train to Aguas Calientes.
If you’re starting in Aguas Calientes, you will be picked up from there.
Note: You can choose your preferred entrance time but keep in mind that an early start is required if you wish to climb Huayna Picchu or Machu Picchu Mountain.
In our multi-day tours, you can choose whether you’d like to visit Palccoyo or Vinicunca Rainbow Mountain.
Highlights: Sacred Valley, Machu Picchu, Rainbow Mountain
Day 1 and Day 2 include the same activities as those of the 2-day Machu Picchu tour.
Day 3: On your third day, you’ll get the chance to explore a mesmerizing rainbow mountain. You can choose to visit Palccoyo or Vinicunca Mountain. Palccoyo offers 3 rainbow mountains and is not crowded at all, whereas Vinicunca is a more difficult hike that tends to get very crowded. As we start both tours very early, you’ll be able to reach both mountains before the large tourist group arrive.
The Humantay Lake is a hidden gem nestled between two mountains at 4200 m.
Highlights: Sacred Valley, Machu Picchu, Rainbow Mountain, Humantay Lake
Day 1, Day 2, and Day 3 include the same activities as those of the 3-day Machu Picchu tour.
Day 4: You will be picked up at your hotel in Cusco early in the morning and head off to the beautiful Humantay Lake, a turquoise glaciar lake located at 14,000 ft in front of snow-capped mountains.
The 5-day tour that also includes the must-visit sites of Cusco is the most complete tour you can do in Cusco.
Highlights: Cusco City Tour, Sacred Valley, Machu Picchu, Rainbow Mountain, Humantay Lake
Day 1: The 5-day tour to Machu Picchu starts off with a Cusco city tour. You will get to visit some of Cusco’s hidden gems, as well as the city’s most remarkable cultural and archaeological sites such as Saqayhuaman, the San Blas neighborhood and Qoricancha.
Day 2: Visit the Sacred Valley
Day 3: Explore Machu Picchu
Day 4: Hike up rainbow mountain (Vinicunca or Palccoyo)
Day 5: Visit the turquoise waters of the Humantay Lake
Ready for Your Trip to Machu Picchu?
Organizing a trip on your own can be a troublesome task. Working out the logistics, looking up activities, and organizing tours independently can take up a lot of time and, more often than not, prove quite costly.
If you’re looking to take the hassle out of planning and worrying about the logistics of your trip to Machu Picchu, signing up for a tour with experts can make a world of difference.
Want to make sure you’ve got everything covered before you head out? Here are 10 things to know before visiting Machu Picchu.