Updated on June 7, 2018
Do you want to buy Machu Picchu tickets? I did too.
Thousands of people have successfully booked their Machu Picchu tickets by following my instructions. I created these instructions after I almost ripped out my hair trying to book my tickets! You can also now book children tickets online too – I've added the instructions below.
The Machu Picchu website is very frustrating. I just finished booking my tickets last night. For something so popular, they do a really good job at making it very difficult to buy your tickets. Booking tickets ahead of time is a good idea to make sure you are not disappointed when you arrive. Peru and UNESCO have an agreement to sell a maximum of 2,500 Machu Picchu tickets per day and entrance to Huayna Picchu is limited to only 400 tickets.
The hotel I booked, Tambo del Inka (Urubamba) has a company called Tikariy handle tour bookings and they quoted me $78 USD for Machupicchu and Huayna Picchu. You can book the same tickets yourself for S/.152 = ~ $55 USD. That's a markup of $23 USD or ~ 42%. If you follow the steps below you can book it in just a couple of minutes and save the money for something else.
BOOKING A TICKET ONLINE
STEP 1: CREATE A RESERVATION (USING THE SPANISH VERSION)
- Go to the official government website: http://www.machupicchu.gob.pe/. This will be much cheaper than a travel agent. If you get an error about “Flash”, try using Internet Explorer or any other browsers you have.
- The English version does not work (Update 1/16/2017 – looks like the English version works now, I was able to use the English version to make a reservation all the way up until I stopped at the credit card entry screen). If the English version does not work, use the Spanish version by clicking the Spanish flag in the top right corner (it should default to Spanish).
- Choose Machu Picchu on the top left and select the type of ticket you want. I selected Machupicchu + Huaynapicchu 1G 7:00-8:00 am because I also wanted to climb Huaynapicchu in the first time slot so I could be the first to the top for that day. The weather will likely be cooler in the first slot. During the 2nd slot, you may encounter late finishers from the 1st slot and you may have clearer views but it depends on the weather. If you don't want the extra hiking, just choose Machu Picchu.
- Select your date.
- Select the quantity of adult tickets by clicking the “0” under “Cantidad” (Quantity) in the section “Extranjeros Adultos” (Foreign Adults). The discounted price of is for Peruvian's and students.
- Click “Paso 2” (Step 2) at the bottom. The number of tickets available is 176 in this example (see the black box on the top left).
STEP 2: ENTER YOUR PERSONAL INFORMATION
- Enter your first name (“Nombres”) and last name (“Apellidos”), Male/Female, Country (for USA, enter ‘Estados Unidos'), Age, Type of Document, Document number. Here you can enter a passport or drivers license #.
- Click “Paso 3” (Step 3) at the bottom.
STEP 3: GENERATE A RESERVATION NUMBER
- Enter your email address in the “Correo” field.
- Click the 2 check boxes “La informacion proporcionada es correcta” (the info you provided is correct) and “He leido y acepto los Terminos y Condiciones (you read and accept the terms and conditions)
- Copy the reservation number that pops up – which will also be visible on the order form behind the pop up.
- The reservation # will also be visible on the order form behind the pop up. Copy the number as it will disappear!
STEP 4: PAY FOR YOUR TICKETS (VISA CARDS ONLY)
I checked with Chase and they say you no longer need to self enroll in Verified by Visa. For high risk transactions, the new Verified by Visa process will prompt you to enter CVV2, expiration date and last 4 digits of your Primary Customers Social Security Number (SSN). Enter the information requested and submit. Verified by Visa is available for most Visa cards from participating issuers. If you have concerns about Verified by Visa, please visit www.visa.com or call 800-654-9214.
- Click “Pagos” on the top menu bar.
- Enter your reservation number in the box and click “Pagar” to pay.
- Review the total price S/. 200.00 and an additional admin fee of S/. 8.06 (a little over $2 USD).
- Click ENVIAR.
- Enter your credit card information (there are English subtitles on this screen)
- Click “Pagar/Pay”. Only a VISA will work (I tried a Mastercard first, which didnt work. It worked when I used my Priority Club Chase Visa). **It has been reported that Wells Fargo cards don't work.
- I got a pop up message that I need to call Visa for extra security, but when I called them, they said they didnt even see any attempts to charge my card. I just clicked continue and then the charge went through and they immediately saw the charge while I was on the phone.
You may get denied here. To fix this you can email their call center at email@example.com. They will likely tell you to contact one or more of the following people:
- Jose Chang – firstname.lastname@example.org
- Aguayo Tarcila – email@example.com
- Giuliana Caceres – firstname.lastname@example.org
- Karina Aguirre– email@example.com
- Augusto Cier –
When you email them they will ask for your name and booking code and maybe first/last 4 digits of the denied credit card (NEVER SEND YOUR ENTIRE CREDIT CARD VIA EMAIL TO ANYONE, ITS NOT SAFE). Once they have your request, they can change something on their end to allow the booking to go through.
You may get denied here AGAIN! – this time its probably your credit card issuer. Call your credit card issuer to see if they are blocking it. Try it again while you have them on the phone.
STEP 5: PRINT YOUR TICKET
- You are almost done! Go back to the main screen and click “check in”.
- Enter your reservation number in the box “Codiga de Reserva” and click the “Buscar” (Search) button.
- A PDF of your tickets will pop up.
- Save it (just in case, you've worked so hard to get this far) and print 2 copies (just in case!).
|Type of Ticket||Foreigners||Locals||Daily Limit|
|Machu Picchu||s/152 (~$45)||s/64||2,500|
|Machu Picchu + Huaynapicchu||s/200 (~$60)||s/112||400|
|Machu Picchu + Machu Picchu Mountain||s/200 (~$60)||s/112||400|
|Machu Picchu + Vespertino (evening visit)||s/200 (~$60)||s/100||1,000|
|*Locals = Andean Community = visitors from Peru, Bolivia, Colombia, and Ecuador. Prices as of 1/2017|
CHILDREN & STUDENT TICKETS
**UPDATE: According to reader Ravi Bansal, you can now purchase 1/2 price tickets for kids and students online. Search (Control-F) the comments for Ravi Bansal, or follow these instructions which I've cleaned up. READ ALL 4 BULLETS BEFORE YOU START!
- Step 1: Go to http://www.machupicchu.gob.pe and make a reservation for everyone as an adult. Children pay from 8 years old.
- Step 2: Copy your reservation number (see instructions above how to get one), but DO NOT PAY YET! Prepare an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and you will need to include a) the reservation number and a copy or scan of your children's passport and/or students card. They will verify and change your reservation with 1/2 price rate for children and students.
- Step 3: They should answer within 15 minutes.
- Open Hours: You should make your reservation during their operating hours otherwise your reservation expires after 3 hours. Here are their hours (for June) 3:00 pm to 7:30 pm from Monday to Saturday. This is local Cusco time which you can check here https://time.is/Cusco.
Kid's Tickets: click here to read how (in both Spanish and English). Kids under 7 years old are free while those between 8 and 17 get 50% off but you will have to buy those through a travel agency, in your hotel in Cusco or at their office.
Student Tickets: students get 50% off the adult ticket prices, but you cannot book your tickets online. Follow these instructions.
Now you can get back to planning the rest of your Peru trip.
Find out how we took a 16-day trip to Peru almost for free: Read my trip report here
TICKET CANCELLATIONS AND REFUNDS
Sometimes plans change and you might want wonder how to cancel or get a refund for your Machu Picchu tickets. Unfortunately, tickets are generally not refundable according to the terms and conditions.
There are a couple of cases where you CAN get a refund
- Get a refund if they close the Machu Picchu site.
- If “because of health conditions or a general strike in the region”, you can change the name and date with a 10% penalty. So, you can then book yourself in the future or give/sell it to a friend.
- You can change your name and date due to other reasons for a 10% to 30% penalty depending on how far in advance you do it.
- Bullet 4 suggests you cannot get a refund or change the date or name.