As with all major tourist attractions, prices change over the years and the tendency is that prices increase. This is no exception for Machu Picchu. The INC (National Cultural Institute), which manages the affairs of Machu Picchu in 2012, implemented several different tickets for visiting different parts of the site. As we know this has created a lot of confusion and prices have changed ever since, following we would like to provide you with some more information about the Machu Picchu entrance fees for 2013.
National vs. International travellers
The INC distinguishes between local and foreign travellers when it comes to most entrance tickets in Peru and the same goes for Machu Picchu. As the Peruvian government wants to stimulate national and regional tourism, there are several groups that can take advantage of the lower prices for “local” travellers. The people who are expected to pay the local price are; Peruvian nationals with their Peruvian proof of identity, foreigners living in Peru (having a Carnet de Extranjeria) and Peruvian nationals living abroad but still having their Peruvian identity card. Finally the government, in order to increase tourism from neighboring countries, also accepts residents of the Andean Countries to make use of the local prices. These Andean Countries are; Bolivia, Ecuador and Colombia. All other travellers have to pay the full international price.
Machu Picchu entrance tickets for 2013
Before 2012 there was only one ticket for Machu Picchu in order to visit the whole site (including Huayna Picchu and Machu Picchu Mountain), only the museum had to be paid additionally. In order to organize the flux of visitors to the different parts of the site, in 2012 the INC created different tickets to visit different parts of the site. Especially as Huayna Picchu has become very popular, this has had an impact on the ancient constructions of this part of the site, they had to find a way to decrease the number of people climbing Huayna Picchu daily. Mainly for this reason the INC created 4 new tickets to Machu Picchu, all giving you access to different parts of the site. These 4 tickets are; Machu Picchu, Machu Picchu + Museum, Machu Picchu + Huayna Picchu and Machu Picchu + Machu Picchu Mountain. Following we will go over each of the tickets and their price.
This is the standard ticket giving you access to the main site of Machu Picchu. You can visit all parts of the site (agricultural area, residential area, religious area, temple of the sun, etc…) except the outer laying parts such as the Huayna and Machu Picchu Mountains. With this ticket you can also walk back partially to the Sun gate. The costs for this ticket is; US$26 for national and US$52 for international visitors.
Machu Picchu + Museum
This ticket gives you the same access as the former ticket but also includes the Machu Picchu Museum. Please be aware that the Machu Picchu museum is not located at the site or at the village of Aguas Calientes. The museum is located at the bridge that crosses over the river just before the climb to the site at about 1.5 kilometers from the town. Busses between Aguas Calientes and Machu Picchu can drop you off here. The costs for this ticket are US$35 for national and US$60 for international visitors.
Machu Picchu + Huayna Picchu
Since 2012 there has to be paid an additional fee to climb the impressive towering mountain behind Machu Picchu; Huayna Picchu. As they have limited the number of visitors to 400 daily they have divided this number over two groups, both in the morning. This tickets gives you entrance to the main site of Machu Picchu and the climb with one of the two groups. The first group departs at 7.00am and has till 9.00am more or less to complete the hike up and down. The second group departs at 10.00am and has till midday more or less to complete the climb. At the time you have booked you will have to be at the far end of the main site where you can sign in for the climb and show your ticket. The climb takes about 1 hour on the way up and 40 minutes on the way down. On top of the mountain you will find the Temple of the Moon as well as some other constructions on what one would think impossible places. Nevertheless the main attraction of this climb is the majestic view of the site from up here. The climb is steep and can be slippery at times so it is important to take it slow and respect the pace of the others. We mostly recommend the early group as this will not break up your visit to the site too much. On arrival at the site you can do the climb and the rest of the day you have to discover the site. Nevertheless in the rainy season it can be that with both groups, but especially with the early group visibility is not that great. As there are only 400 of these tickets available, these tickets do sell out for most of the year. Keep in mind that when buying the ticket you have to book for one of the two groups. The costs for this ticket are US$37 for national and US$61 for international visitors.
Machu Picchu + Machu Picchu Mountain
On the other side of the site one can find Machu Picchu Mountain which together with Huayna Picchu Mountain makes the saddle Machu Picchu itself is located in. Machu Picchu Mountain is a little higher than Huayna Picchu but the climb is less steep and slippery. There is an ancient Inca path running up this mountain and on the top there is a viewing point providing some magnificent views of the site. For photo buffs the pictures from this mountain may even be more impressive than the ones from Huayna Picchu Mountain. Much less popular than Huayna Picchu Mountain this mountain for now is more seen as a backup for Huayna Picchu but this could not be further from the truth. The climb itself is very nice and due to the fact that you will bump into less people along the way and on the top, this experience is definitely more than just a backup option. The Machu Picchu Mountain can be climbed from 7.00 till 11.00am. On the way down you will also come across the path to the Sun Gate from where the Inca Trail hikers have arrived to Machu Picchu in the morning. The costs for this ticket are US$33 for national and US$57 for international visitors.
As you can read above, things have not become easier or more transparent but with the number of visitors increasing every year, the INC had to take some measures to protect this amazing site and its importance to the Peruvian people. Finally we would also like to mention that the total number of visitors allowed daily to Machu Picchu is 2500 and that in 2012 during the high season this number was reached for a couple of days. Therefore, when travelling in the high season (June through September) or when looking to climb Huayna Picchu it is highly recommended to buy your tickets well in advance (the same goes for the train tickets).
Note; as all prices by the INC are expressed in Nuevos Soles, we have used US$1 = 2.5 Soles as exchange rate.
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