How changes to entry tickets may affect your experience in Machu Picchu
Machu Picchu is open 365 days a year from 6 am to 5:30 pm daily. After reopening in March 2021, Machu Picchu capacity has been at 100% in 2023 and discussions are underway to decide if capacity can be increased. Entry tickets usually sell out every August. But in September and October of 2023, the sell out continued. (You can monitor ticket availability yourself by going to the offical Machu Picchu government website that I linked farther down.) Choose tickets for Machu Piccchu Llaqta, beginning each hour at 6am, with 2-3PM being the last entry window of the day. Our guides report that there is some wiggle room for entering after the 1 hour window on your ticket. But it's best not to push it.
Changes to Machu Picchu Entry Tickets:
- There are 4 one-way circuits. Two upper circuits are 1 and 2. Two lower circuits are 3 & 4. Upper circuit #2 is the longest and most thorough tour of the ancient city
- There are 4 hikes each of which is paired with a circuit.
- Each hike is combined with to 1 or 2 circuits. You don't get to choose the circuit and you can't mix and match the hikes and circuits.
- The entry time for each hike allows the visitor to enter Machu Picchu main gate one hour prior to the starting time for the hike. CLICK HERE to read about entry times.
There are 3 methods for purchasing entrance tickets to Machu Picchu
1) Buy your Machu Picchu tickets in person at the Machu Picchu office in Cusco. (This method should not be confused with the 1000 tickets per day available for sale in the town center of Aguas Calientes. The tickets in Aguas Calientes are sold only to the visitor who shows up in person. You don't know what tickets are available and there's no guarantee they will be available. It could take 2 days. Ask your hotel to more details.)
Pay with US dollars, Peruvian Soles or VISA credit card. If you pay in cash, bring exact amount to make it easy.
Machu Picchu Cusco Ticket office address: Av. De la Cultura Nº238 Condominio Huascar-Wanchaq
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Open: Monday to Saturday 07:00 – 18:30hrs (subject to change during holidays)
2) Buy Machu Picchu tickets online with VISA credit card. Once you generate a reservation code you have a 3 hour window to complete the payment. Go to the government website:
3) Book your trip to Machu Picchu with Adios Adventure Travel: (any major credit card)
This is the easiest option and we can provide train tickets, tour guides and bus tickets. Payment and a photo of each passport is required in advance.
Where is Huayna Picchu? (see satellite map)
Wayna Picchu and Huayna Picchu are the same thing. This is the little mountain you see behind the ruins. It takes about 2 hours to climb round trip. on terrain that is steep steps and short switchbacks to the top then return by the same path. If you have any doubt whether you can make it, you can always turn around any time. The summit is slanted boulders with spectacular 360 degree view when clear. There are 4 groups to choose from each morning. Your reservation cannot be changed, refunded or transferred. You have a window of up to 1 hour to sign in for the hike at your scheduled time. Then the entrance gate will close. Notice that the entrance to Machu Picchu Llaqta main gate is 1 hour before the starting time for your hike Click here to see comparison of Huayna Picchu Hike and Machu Picchu Mountain Hike (the other popular hike inside the citadel) If you're not sure you can do the Huayna Picchu hike, the best thing is to buy your ticket in advance and decide when you get there. There is no refund and tickets can't be transferred. You must show the passport you used to buy your ticket and sign in to enter. If you don't hike, your spot will go empty. Unfortunately, it's not possible any longer to wait until you're there and buy your tickets because they always sell out in advance.
Huayna (Wayna) Picchu is one of 4 hikes inside the park. Each of the 4 hike comes with entry to one of the 4 circuits. Visitors tour the circuit assigned with the hike. This means if you buy Wayna Picchu tickets you will tour on lower circuit #4. It is not possible to buy Huayna Picchu tickets separately and match it to the circuit you want.. Which means if you buy Machu Picchu Llaqta entrance tickets and later decide to do the hike to Huayna Picchu, you will have to buy new entrance tickets to Huayna Picchu. There's lots of changes to how entry tickets are being sold. CLICK HERE to get more detailed info.
What Time Can You Enter Machu Picchu with Inca Trail permits?
Inca Trail Hiking Permits include 1 entry to Machu Picchu on lower circuit 4. People who hike the easy 1-day Inca Trail as part of the 2-day Inca Trail Package Hike to Machu Picchu, will spend the night in Aguas Calientes and return to Machu Picchu for a guided tour on the second day. You can enter any time. The same applies to people who hike the 4 day Inca Trail as part of the 5-Day Inca Trail Package Hike to Machu Picchu. You will spend the night in Aguas Calientes and return to Machu Picchu for a guided tour on the 5th day. You can enter any time. Usually people enter pretty early in the morning because the travel time back to Cusco is 5 hours.