Machu Picchu tickets 2020 - the latest updates
Close to the New Year, one question that always comes up is; what about the Machu Picchu tickets for 2020? After the many changes the Ministry of Culture made to the Machu Picchu tickets 2018 and 2019, this year no other additional changes have been foreseen. The main change that will take place with the Machu Picchu tickets 2020 is that rules which had been articulated in the last couple of years, this year will be enforced slightly more. However, this being said, it has to be noted that the rigour with which these rules are applied do vary and for some rules do not have the measures in place to make sure these rules are being respected.
So what are the main things to keep in mind with regards to the Machu Picchu tickets for 2020?
Machu Picchu 2020 Entrance Times
Since 2019 visitors to machu Picchu have to purchase their ticket according to the time slot they would like to visit. The Machu Picchu entrance times start every hour from 6.00am (opening time of Machu Picchu) till 2.00pm (last slot) and visits are supposed to last for about 4 hours from the moment you enter Machu Picchu. Machu Picchu closes every day at 5.30pm so the last group will only have a 3.5hr visit. The main reason this change was implemented is to shorten the waiting times at the bus in Aguas Calientes taking you to the entrance. These buses now only take the people that have entrance tickets for the next hour. This means it is no longer necessary to queue for hours to get on the bus to Machu Picchu after you arrive at Aguas Calientes by train. It is not checked upon if you take longer than 4 hours for your Machu Picchu visit but it has been made more difficult to spend much more time at the site by using the mandatory Machu Picchu tour circuits.
Machu Picchu Tour Circuits
In earlier days one could visit Machu Picchu the way you wanted meaning you could walk around freely follow the direction of your choice. With the increased number of visitors and consequently more potential damage to this ancient lost city of the Incas, since 2019 three mandatory Machu Picchu tour circuits have been designed. These three circuits will allow you still see most parts of the site but you will have to plan your visit slightly as the circuits do not allow you to go back and only pass by each place once. The different circuits can also not be combined for most parts so you will have to choose one. Tour circuit 1 (orange line) is the most elaborated circuit but also the most demanding one as your visit starts with a climb to the Guardsman House. After this it is mostly all flat or downhill. Therefore for most new visitors to Machu Picchu this is the circuit to follow. Tour circuit 2 (red line) also covers most of the site but avoids the climb at the beginning (better for those with limited mobility), remaining more on the central flat part of the site. Doing this circuit does mean not getting to see the Guardsman House which is the place for the best pictures of Machu Picchu. Tour circuit 3 (yellow line) finally is a short visit of the central part of the site and covers the first part of circuit 2 and the last part of circuit 1.
So far so good; now, what happens if you would like to see one of the 5 additional parts of Machu Picchu that do not form part of any of the three circuits? These places are Huayna Picchu, Machu Picchu Mountain, the Sun Gate, Intihuatana or the Inca Bridge and can be found on the light blue lines. This is the point where some advance planning is necessary. First thing to keep in mind is that in order to cover these additional places during your Machu Picchu visit you will need to take circuit 1 which is the one that passes by all the additional parts of Machu Picchu one can visit. Circuit 2 also passes by some of these but we recommend taking circuit 1 for any of the side visits. Next is the order of these visits;
- The first additional visit you encounter on circuit 1 is the trip to the Sun Gate or Inti Punku. This is the place where the Inca Trail arrives to Machu Picchu and takes about 1 hour to get to. This can be visited during the whole day and no special ticket is needed. You will need approximately 2-3 hours for this side trip.
- The second possible side trip you come by is Machu Picchu Mountain. This is the alternative mountain for those not able to climb Huayna Picchu Mountain and provides amazing views of the site. The climb up takes about 1.5 hours and for this side trip a special entrance ticket is needed; Machu Picchu + Montaña ticket. There are two slots to climb Machu Picchu Mountain; 7.00am (200 people) and 9.00am (200 people). The mountain is not accessible for those not having one of the 400 tickets available or visits outside of the time slots indicated. Please count for about 3-4 hours for this additional climb.
- The next side visit is the Inca Bridge. The Inca Bridge is located about 20 minutes walking over flat terrain from the Guardsman House. This side trip will take about 1 hour in total and no additional ticket is needed.
- You now get to the central part of the site and here the famous Intihuatana Stone has also been made a side trip. The stone is located on a higher platform on Machu Picchu and can be visited from circuit 1 and 2 but only before 10.00am. After 10.00am people are no longer allowed to visit the stone. There is no additional ticket for this stone but keep in mind that lines can be long for this part. On average you should count for about 1 hour for this side trip.
- Huayna Picchu (Wayna Picchu) Mountain is the next optional place to visit in Machu Picchu. This is the famous granite mountain that appears in almost all famous Machu Picchu pictures and where one can find the Temple of the Moon on top. This extra hike is located on the far northern end of the site and can be accessed through circuit 1 and 2. This is by far the most famous extension to your Machu Picchu visit and with only 400 tickets available every day does sell out for most days of the year. The hike can only be done starting between 7.00 & 8.00am or starting between 10.00am & 11.00am. For each group there are 200 tickets and these must be bought with your entrance tickets; Machu Picchu + Huayna Picchu Mountain. For this additional visit you should count for about 4 hours in total.
- Finally there is an additional free circuit one can follow as part of circuit 1 & 2 which leads over the lower terraces at the foot of Machu Picchu. This is a short detour adding another 20 minutes to your visit.
After having passed by these possible additional visits you will be guided automatically to the exit of the site and have no possibility of (re)entering anymore to any of the other parts of the site. Therefore it is important to have clear how much time you can spend on Machu Picchu in order to choose the right circuit and not to spend too much or too little time at the different places to visit. Your Machu Picchu travel agent or guide will be able to help organize your visit if needed.
Mandatory Guides for Machu Picchu
Since 2019 and under pressure from the officially licenced guides for Machu Picchu, the Ministry of Culture also implemented the mandatory use of guides for any first time visit of Machu Picchu within a 12 month period. This means that officially all first time visitors have to be accompanied by a guide when entering the site. Nevertheless, even though being an official requirement this is not implemented at this time and people can still enter Machu Picchu without a guide. There is no information available on when this regulation would be enforced.
Where to buy your Machu Picchu 2020 Tickets
Tickets for Machu Picchu can be obtained through three different channels; you can purchase them through the travel agency you are using for Peru; you can get them at the physical offices of the INC (Instituto Nacional de Cultura) in Cusco or Aguas Calientes or you can get them online on Machu Picchu Tickets 2020 Official Site (http://www.machupicchu.gob.pe/). In contrast to other years, the INC finally also accepts credit card payments with other cards than Visa, nowadays Mastercard and Amex are also accepted.
Machu Picchu Entrance Prices
Prices for Machu Picchu tickets 2020 have remained the same as in 2019. Following you can find the prices for foreign visitors to Machu Picchu. Please keep in mind that children prices are only available from 8 years of age till 12 years of age. Children under 8 do not have to pay.
- Machu Picchu Tickets (adults); 152 Soles (approx. US$45)
- Machu Picchu Tickets (children up to 12 years); 70 Soles (approx. US$21)
- Machu Picchu and Huayna Picchu Tickets (adults); 200 Soles (approx. US$62)
- Machu Picchu and Huayna Picchu Tickets (children up to 12 years); 118 Soles (approx. US$35)
- Machu Picchu and Machu Picchu Mountain Tickets (adults); 200 Soles (approx. US$62)
- Machu Picchu and Machu Picchu Mountain Tickets (children up to 12 years); 118 Soles (approx. US$35)