Machu Picchu information: how to buy Machu Picchu tickets and more

Posted by Alexis Garcia on

The magical Machu Picchu is the Must-See when traveling to Peru. This is why I’d like to share some helpful Machu Picchu information and more with you, as visiting the Machu Picchu is not only the lost city (= the ruins), there is more to discover. Not too many know about the Huayna/Wayna Picchu, the mountain to the right of the lost city. A hike up that is steep, adrenaline-kicking, and thus, highly demanded under adventurer. With only 200 tickets per day and more than 4000 visitors to the Machu Picchu daily, imagine that those tickets are sold out quickly. Luckily there is an alternative, a hidden gem almost no one know about: the Machu Picchu Mountain with the Sun Gate. Let’s talk more about those three spots and

  • how to buy Machu Picchu tickets
  • what’s the difference between those places,
  • what to do in case it’s sold out and
  • when to get your tickets?

 

How to buy Machu Picchu tickets

The official website of the government offers Machu Picchu information and the possibility to check for the availability as well as to purchase your desired tickets in case you want to plan the entire tour yourself. Important: it can be complicated and frustrating as you have to consider and buy several additional tickets next to the Machu Picchu entrance and the need to find your own guide. This is the reason why experience gurus prepare no-need-to-worry-about-planning packages that include all of it and save you a lot of time and potential disappointments.

Considering the entrance tickets, there are several: The normal ticket for the Machu Picchu, the Huayna Picchu and the Mountain Machu Picchu. Finally, there is the Sun Gate. That’s a little bit confusing, right? So below I’d like to help you understand the difference and what you have to pay for those tickets in case you manage it on your own:

 

Ticket

Price

Schedule

Capacity

Machu Picchu

Adult: 70$

Student (>25): 41$

Children (8-17): 41$

Morning shift:
6am - 12am Afternoon shift:
12am - 17:30pm

2500 per day, per shift

Machu Picchu + Huayna Picchu

Adult: 86$

Student (>25): 57$

Children (8-17): 57$

First Group:
7am - 8am Second Group:
10am - 11am

400 people per day, divided into 200 per shift

Machu Picchu + Mountain Machu Picchu

Adult: 86$

Student (>25): 57$

Children (8-17): 57$

First Group:
7am - 8am Second Group:
9am - 10am

800 people per day, divided into 400 people per shift

Machu Picchu + Museum

Adult: 77$

Student (>25): 45$

Children (8-17): 45$

Morning shift:
6am - 12am Afternoon shift:
12am - 17:30pm Museums hours:
9am - 16:30pm

2500 per day, per shift

Sungate

Free - included in the Machu Picchu Ticket

Morning shift:
6am - 12am Afternoon shift:
12am - 17:30pm

2500 per day, per shift

 

Where are those places located

Machu Picchu information: how to buy Machu Picchu tickets

Locations of the 4 spots

 

1) Sungate (Inti Punku)    

2) Machu Picchu Mountain

3) Machu Picchu

4) Huayna Picchu Mountain

 

Quick details about the locations and tickets

Machu Picchu:

This ticket is necessary to enter the main attraction, the ruins of the so-called lost city (Intiwatana Temple of the Three Windows, Sun Temple, Temple of the Condor, Main Plaza, Agricultural Zone). Further, you have access to the Sun Gate I’ll describe at the end.

 Machu Picchu information: how to buy Machu Picchu tickets 2

View over the lost city up to the Huayna Picchu

 

Machu Picchu + Huayna Picchu:

Huayna Picchu is the mountain that you see in the background of most famous Machu Picchu pictures, the mountain in the back of the ruins.

Now I need your attention: This ticket must be booked months ahead as there are only 200 tickets per day. In case you consider getting tickets for the time between May to August (high season in Cusco), it’s recommendable to get your tickets in January or even before.

The Huayna Picchu is famous for its way up, by climbing the zigzag paths and steep stairways that are carved in the mountain, recommendable for those who don’t have problems with heights and have a physically fit condition.

Climbing up will take around 1.5 - 2 hours, depending on how much pictures you want to take of the breathtaking view and also gives you the possibility to see the Temple of the Moon. Once at the top you will look over the lost city and down to the Urubamba River. A precious and highly demanded lookout.

Machu Picchu information how to buy Machu Picchu tickets 4

On top of the Huayna Picchu with a look over the lost city

 

Machu Picchu + Machu Picchu Mountain:

The Machu Picchu Mountain is with 10,111 feet (3,082 meters) higher than the Huayna Picchu with 8,923 feet (2,720 meters) altitude and located on the opposite side from the Huayna Picchu. Considering the difficulty, this hike is easier than the Huayna Picchu as it is less steep and thus easier to access. Anyway, you’ll still find a lot of narrow staircases. The hike will take you 2 - 3 hours after you’ve enjoyed your guided tour through the lost city. From the top, you’ll look over the lost city and the Huayna Picchu in the back. An incredible view but not that popular with tickets not sold out too many times. Worth it? I’d rather give the hidden gem I’ll mention in a bit a try.

 Machu Picchu information how to buy Machu Picchu tickets 5

On the way to the top of the Machu Picchu Mountain

 

Machu Picchu + Museum

This ticket will give you access to the Manuel Chávez Ballón museum that is located downstairs, close to the village Aguas Calientes. What awaits you here are insights on the archaeological methods while Hiram Bingham discovered the Machu Picchu and the Inca building. Next to it, there is a small botanical garden.

Machu Picchu information: how to buy Machu Picchu tickets 5

An artifact of the exploration of the lost city

 

The hidden gem - the Sun Gate

The Sun Gate, also called the Inti Punku, can be accessed with the normal Machu Picchu ticket and doesn’t require a guide or additional ticket, so it’s free to come here. It was once the Main Entrance to the Machu Picchu and is crossed by those who hike the Inca Trail. I can highly recommend this place, as the view is astonishing and the hike up, which is less difficult and dangerous than all the others, takes only 1 hour. When to do it? After your guided tour through the lost city that takes around 1.5 hours. How to get there? Ask your guide and he will tell and show you how to get to the entrance. Once at the entrance of the path, you can’t miss it as there are only one path and signs around.

Most important is, that there are only a few travelers that know about this hidden gem spot. So there are only a few other travelers with you when you’ll enjoy the view over the valley, the mountains and finally, the lost city.

Machu Picchu information - how to buy Machu Picchu tickets 6

Entrance to the Sun Gate looking back to the lost city and Huayna Picchu.

 

Conclusion

I would recommend you to hike the Huayna Picchu or the Machu Picchu Mountain in case you’re not afraid of heights and are fit. In case you are fit and not afraid of heights that there are no more tickets left, the Sun Gate is the perfect alternative, for you and all the other travelers who want to see something different and breathtaking next to the actual ruins of the lost city. As you have the time when you visit the Machu Picchu, you should take the chance and visit one of those spots. Based on traveler feedback we created an unforgettable Machu Picchu experience to enjoy and learn about the magical history of the Inca, the spirits of the mountains, the relation between human and nature, and how Hiram Bingham came across.


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