Everything about Machu Picchu!  Do I need to book a ticket in advance?  Our FAQEverything about Machu Picchu!  Do I need to book a ticket in advance?  Our FAQ

Everything about Machu Picchu! Do I need to book a ticket in advance? Our FAQ

Updated on 02/21/2024

What is Machu Picchu?

Machu Picchu is an ancient Inca citadel perched in the heights of the Peruvian Andes. Built in the 15th century and rediscovered in 1911, it is one of the most famous archaeological sites in the world.

How can I get to Machu Picchu?

The most common way to get to Machu Picchu is to take a train from Cusco or the nearby town of Ollantaytambo to Aguas Calientes, then take a bus to the archaeological site itself.

Can I go by car or bus to Machu Picchu?

No, there is no road to Machu Picchu. Access is via the village of Aguas Calientes, itself only accessible on foot or by train. For more details, see our article: How to get to Machu Picchu?

How to get from Aguas Calientes to Machu Pichu?

The village of Aguas Calientes does not have an access road. It is therefore only supplied by train.
There are no vehicles inside the village (taxi or other). Everything is done on foot. The only road connects the village and the Machu Picchu site.
There are only two ways to get from the village of Aguas Calientes to the entrance to the Machu Picchu site: on foot or by bus.

Prepare your visit to Machu Picchu

What are the different types of tickets to visit Machu Picchu?

There are five types of tickets to visit Machu Picchu:
"Machu Picchu Solo" Ticket
"Machu Picchu with Huayna Picchu" Ticket
"Machu Picchu with Montaña" Ticket
"Machu Picchu with Huchuy Picchu" Ticket
"Machu Picchu with Puente Inca" Ticket

Each ticket offers different experiences, including hikes and panoramic views.
To find out more: Entrances to Machu Picchu

What are Machu Picchu's opening hours?

Machu Picchu is open every day of the year from 6:00 AM to 5:00 PM.

However, it is requested to leave the site starting from 4:00 PM.

Should I book my ticket in advance?

Yes, it is highly recommended to book your ticket in advance, especially for tickets including hiking options like Huayna Picchu or Montaña.

Where can I buy the entrance ticket?

You can buy your entrance ticket online on the official Machu Picchu website or directly in Aguas Calientes. However, we do not recommend this last option, as it is very restrictive.

Is there a limited number of tickets available per day?

Yes, the number of tickets available per day is limited to preserve visitors' experience. It is recommended to book in advance.

Is the entrance ticket nominative? Do I need to present my ID or original passport?

Yes, the entrance ticket is nominative. You must present an ID or your original passport corresponding to the name on the ticket during your visit.

How to buy the student ticket?

Students can purchase their ticket with a discount by presenting a valid international student card at the time of purchase and during the visit.

Can I modify the entrance ticket data?

No, the entrance ticket data cannot be modified once purchased.

Can the entrance ticket time and date be changed?

No, the entrance ticket time and date are fixed and cannot be changed.

Can I request a refund for the entrance ticket?

No, the ticket has not been refundable for some time.

Do minors need an entrance ticket?

Yes, all visitors, including children and babies, must have an entrance ticket to access Machu Picchu.

What are the recommendations for my visit to Machu Picchu?

What is the best time to visit Machu Picchu?

Nestled at 2,430 meters above sea level, Machu Picchu lies on the border between the high Peruvian jungle and the Andes. Temperatures generally range from 12°C to 24°C, with warm and humid days followed by cooler nights. Machu Picchu's climate is mainly divided into two distinct seasons:

• Rainy season: From December to March, these months record the highest rainfall of the year. However, this period can start as early as October with some light showers.

• Dry season: From April to November, this season is the coolest. It offers sunny and bright days, ideal for exploring the site.

It is important to note that weather conditions can be changeable in this region. It is therefore recommended to be well prepared for any eventualities.

It is not uncommon for clouds to pass through the site. Therefore, it can become cloudy and clear quite quickly. Be patient!

Is one day enough to explore Machu Picchu?

Yes, one day is enough to visit the ancient citadel of Machu Picchu. The guided tour lasts approximately 2.5 hours.
Moreover, if you do additional hikes, your stay can be extended by 2 to 3 hours.

Is Machu Picchu closed during the rainy season?

No, Machu Picchu is open every day of the year, even on holidays.
It is the Inca Trail that is closed every year during the month of February for renovation.

Do I need good physical condition to visit Machu Picchu?

No, the circuit of the Inca citadel presents no challenge. It is not necessary to have good physical condition to explore the sanctuary.
Additional ascents (see below) are much more physical.

What are the rules to follow during my visit to Machu Picchu?

It is important to respect the park rules, including not leaving the marked trails, not touching ancient structures, and not bringing food or alcoholic beverages.

Restrictions on the site:
Drones are banned from the sanctuary
Tripods, large umbrellas, selfie sticks are not allowed
Professional cameras are not allowed
Only small backpacks are allowed in the archaeological site
To date, you can visit the site without a guide
The duration of stay is not controlled

Can I spend the night at Machu Picchu?

No, it is not possible to spend the night on the site itself, but there are accommodation options in Aguas Calientes, the town located at the foot of Machu Picchu.

How long does the visit last?

The average duration of the visit is about 2 to 4 hours. The duration of stay on the site is not controlled.

The site is divided into sectors, and it is not possible to go back.

Several circuits are possible depending on the entrance ticket.

How many times can one enter the monument?

Visitors are allowed to enter only once with their entrance ticket.

So, multiple entrance tickets are needed if you wish to extend your visit,

Are there toilets inside the monument?

No, toilets are available at the entrance of the site only.

Once inside the site, there are no toilets.

Is it possible to enter the monument with backpacks?

Yes, it is allowed to enter with backpacks, but please note that they may be subject to security checks at the entrance.

There is no indication of backpack size, but if you have an overly large backpack, you will be asked to leave it in storage at the entrance. The lockers are free.

Is the monument accessible to wheelchair users?

Yes, the monument has facilities to accommodate wheelchair users, but some areas may be difficult to access due to the mountainous terrain.

Is the monument accessible to pets?

No, pets are not allowed inside the monument, except for certified assistance animals.

What are Huayna Picchu and Machu Picchu mountains?

Difficulty level: which one is more difficult?

The Huayna Picchu trail (2720m) is shorter but requires more effort. The journey takes about 3 hours (round trip). The path is also steep and quite dizzying, and sometimes you have to hold onto safety cables to maintain balance. This route is not recommended for people with vertigo because the view is steep from Huayna Picchu.

Positive elevation gain: +320 m
Duration of the walk: 2h30 (round trip)

For the Montaña Machu Picchu (3082m), you should plan for a hiking time of 2 to 3 hours round trip. However, the trail is less difficult and less steep than the Huayna Picchu. It is possible to make stops along the way, but it is important to consider that this ascent involves a constant uphill climb, requiring a certain level of physical fitness. It is wiser to choose the Montaña when traveling with children.

Positive elevation gain: +682 m
Hiking duration: 3 hours and 30 minutes (round trip)

There are several schedules for these two ascents. We recommend staying overnight in the village of Aguas Calientes.

Can both ascents be done in the same day?

No, according to the latest entry rules, this would be very difficult. Furthermore, it would be a tiring day!

Does Machu Picchu offer guide or audio guide services?

Yes, official guide services are available at the entrance of Machu Picchu for those who wish to explore the site with detailed explanations. There are no audio guides available. While a guided tour is not mandatory, we highly recommend it for a better understanding of the significance of this sacred site.

We hope these answers have been helpful in planning your visit to Machu Picchu! Feel free to contact us if you have any further questions.

See our trips with Machu Picchu here: The most beautiful trips to Peru

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