As with most popular tourist attractions, every year in January it is the waiting time for the new entrance prices and regulations changes for the New Year. The same is true for the famous Lost City of the Incas; Machu Picchu.
Receiving around 2 million visitors a year (still a far way away from cities such as Paris and Rome with over 60 million visitors yearly); Machu Picchu is one of the major attractions in South America and this will very unlikely change over the coming years. Following I will try to give an overview of the things to keep in mind when thinking about visiting this enigmatic city in the clouds.
Same as last year there are 2500 tickets available daily for Machu Picchu and this includes the 500 people that come from the Inca Trail as well. As the Inca Trail spaces sell out for most of the year, the actual number of entrance tickets available is 2000 per day.
2000 people a day may seem a lot of tickets available but taking into consideration that almost all visitors to Peru come to Machu Picchu this number is not that large. Therefore it should not be a surprise that from last year on, the entrance tickets for many of the days in the high season (June through August) got completely sold out and that there were quite some visitors that ended up in Cusco or Machu Picchu without an entrance ticket to the site. Therefore when visiting Machu Picchu during these months, it is highly recommended to buy your tickets well in advance.
For these entrance tickets there are several different combinations, all allowing you access to one or another part of the site. The main ticket is the normal Machu Picchu entrance ticket. This ticket gives you access to the main parts of the site such as the agricultural sector, the religious sector and the urban sector. These are also the parts of the site that are mostly visited with a guide and make up the larger part of the site. The main Machu Picchu sectors are the most important part of the site and therefore included in all Machu Picchu tickets.
The second ticket gives you access to the main parts of Machu Picchu and the Machu Picchu museum. The museum is not located at the site itself but at the foot of the mountain at the start of the drive up to Machu Picchu. The museum can be visited on foot (about 20 minutes walking from Aguas Calientes) or the bus to Machu Picchu can drop you off here on return after your visit and you can walk back to Aguas Calientes.
The third ticket as any other ticket gives you access to Machu Picchu but also includes the famous climb to Huayna Picchu. Huayna Picchu is the towering mountain that is located behind the site and holds some impressive constructions on the top that even today people do not grasp how it was possible to build. The climb up the mountain takes about 1-2 hours and coming down about half of this. Before the mountain was open all day but because of the impact the number of visitors had on this part of the site, this got limited to 400 spaces daily two years ago. These 400 spaces are further divided into two timeslots; 7.00AM and 10.00AM. This means that at each of these times 200 people can make it to the top of Huayna Picchu to awe at the amazing views from here. As this is quite a popular climb it has to be mentioned that the 400 spaces for this climb sell out the whole year round.
Finally due to the popularity of the Huayna Picchu climb and to give visitors that were not lucky enough to get a Huayna Picchu ticket an alternative great experience there is a fourth ticket; Machu Picchu & Machu Picchu Mountain. Machu Picchu Mountain is the mountain opposite from Huayna Picchu Mountain (Huayna means young in Quechua meanwhile Machu means old – Picchu means peak). This mountain is a little higher but the climb is not as steep as the other one. On route you can see some smaller Inca remnants and on the top you will have an amazing view of the site including Huayna Picchu – actually it from here that the most famous pictures from Machu Picchu have been taken and not from Huayna Picchu Mountain. For the Machu Picchu Mountain climb the number visitors allowed daily is set at 400 as well and this climb can be done between 7.00 and 11.00AM.
When it comes to the prices for tickets there is some good news for 2014. It appears that the governing body decided to maintain and even lower some of the prices with a couple of cents. There have also been rumors over the fact that for 2014 there would no longer be different prices for national and international visitors but in the end it looks that these differences for good or bad that they are will also stay in place. Below you can find both prices for national and international visitors.
Another rumor which looks not to take effect this year is that the governing organization is looking to split the visits up in different slots for the entire site and this way trying to organize the visits a little better when it comes to visiting times. Most visitors (some days up to 75%) visit Machu Picchu in the morning meanwhile in the afternoon you sometimes even feel that the site is abandoned. The idea would be to make the entrance fee for the afternoon cheaper than for the mornings. One thing that can be said to the defense of this plan is that the sunrise at Machu Picchu is often overrated as for a large part of the year the sunrise will be limited by the clouds of the early morning and the other part the sun is not in the right angle to provide you with a direct sunrise. Therefore I do feel that visiting Machu Picchu later in the day is something that is often neglected meanwhile it has many features. In any case; for the moment this plan has not been implemented and so far we do not know if it will ever take effect.
Prices Machu Picchu 2014
Following you can find an overview of the latest prices for the different Machu Picchu tickets for 2014. For the US Dollar price we have taken an average exchange rate of US$1 = Sol (S./) 2.50.
Machu Picchu tickets;
- Foreigners; S/. 126 or US$50
- Peruvians or residents; S/. 64 or US$26
Machu Picchu & Museo Tickets;
- Foreigners; S/. 148 or US$59
- Peruvians or residents; S/. 86 or US$35
Machu Picchu & Huayna Picchu Tickets;
- Foreigners; S/. 150 or US$60
- Peruvians or residents; S/. 90 or US$37
Machu Picchu & Montaña Tickets;
- Foreigners; S/. 140 or US$56
- Peruvians or residents; S/. 80 or US$33