Machu Picchu is the dream destination of all travellers comming to Peru, but when it comes up to buy the ticket that will allow them, to visit this Wonder of the World, many do not know which one to choose, as there are many different options, schedules and too much information that can result really confusing.
That’s why here, we’ll provide you with the exact details you need to know before purchasing your ticket to see this amazing bucket-list attraction.
First of all, you have to know that there are 3 different Machu Picchu tickets, each with it’s own schedules, entry times and visiting times:
- Machu Picchu Sanctuary (alone)
- Machu Picchu Sanctuary + Huayna Picchu Mountain
- Machu Picchu Sanctuary + Machu Picchu Mountain
Please, do not get baffled about the mountain having the same name as the sanctuary, as they are not the same place. For ease, here an image to differentiate each place:
Before explaining all the schedules the Mapi tickets have, you must know the following important info:
– Aguas Calientes (also called Machu Picchu Pueblo) is the town where you’ll pick the bus to go up to the Mapi Sanctuary main entrance. The town is located in the valley below Mapi, close by the Vilcanota River.
– To visit Mapi Sanctuary the accompaniment of a professional guide is mandatory, but to do the Mapi Mountain or Huayna Picchu Mountain hikes it’s not.
– The bus ride from Aguas Calientes town to Machu Picchu Sanctuary’s main entrance takes around 25-30 minutes.
– Each mountain’s main entrance (Huayna Picchu Mountain and Machu Picchu Mountain), and check-in stand, is located inside the Mapi Sanctuary.
– From Mapi’s main entrance to Huayna Picchu’s main entrance is 15-20 min. walking approx. (depends on your pace) and from Mapi’s main entrance to Mapi Mountain’s main entrance is 20-30 min. walking approx. (depends on your pace).
– Restrooms are outside the sanctuary and there’s a fee to use them. Bring small local coins with you to make the payment.
– The only tickets which permit a re-entry to the sanctuary are the ones that include a mountain. With the regular Mapi tickets, a re-entry is not possible.
– Near Mapi’s main entrance there’s only one place to have something to eat: The Snack-Bar. You could bring some snacks (fruit, energy bar, cookies, dry fruit), but just as long as you eat them discretely and store the wrappers.
– You should bring to Mapi a reusable water bottle or camelback, as plastic bottles are now prohibited in the Sanctuary. Also banned are: plastic bags, plastic straws, styrofoam boxes and food. Below is an image of other extra items forbidden to bring to Mapi.
Below you’ll find each ticket’s timetable info on a chart. For ease, we’ve highlighted on each, the best ticket/schedule we recommend you should buy.
We recommend to buy the tickets of 12:00 PM or 1:00 PM schedules, as there’s less people visiting Mapi during the afternoon. This way you can enjoy the sanctuary with fewer travellers around.
Keep in mind that with this ticket, besides visiting the sanctuary, you can also do any of these two small hikes:
– Inti Punku (Sun Gate) = Takes around 2 hours approx. (depends on your pace).
– Inka Bridge = Takes around 1 hour approx. (depends on your pace). It’s the easiest hike in Mapi, in our opinion.
Here an example (with approximated times) of how you can take full advantage of your day using the highlighted ticket which, in our opinion, is the best option when visiting the Sanctuary plus Machu Picchu Mountain:
6:30 AM – Pick the Bus. If you go on high season, be at the bus station 30-40 minutes before. If you go on low season, be at the bus station 15-20 minutes before.
7:00 AM – Enter the Sanctuary and start your hike to Machu Picchu Mountain (at 7:30 AM approx.). It will take around 5hrs (depends on your pace and experience in hiking).
12:00 PM – Finish your hike and start your tour. Due to the time restriction, you’ll have 2.5hrs approx. for this visit.
3:00 PM – Finish your tour and head out.
In our opinion, this ticket allows you to seize your time better, and see both places, without being rushed. Although you might be tired from the hike before doing the tour, you’d be gaining 30 min. approx. to rest a bit.
Here an example (with approximated times) of how you can take full advantage of your day using the highlighted ticket which, in our opinion, is the best option when visiting the Sanctuary plus Huayna Picchu Mountain:
7:30 AM – Pick the Bus. If you go on high season, be at the bus station 30-40 minutes before. If you go on low season, be at the bus station 15-20 minutes before.
8:00 AM – Enter the Sanctuary and start your tour. The usual tour lasts 2hrs, but it could last up to 3hrs, depending on your pace and interest.
11:00 AM – Start your hike to Huayna Picchu Mountain. It will take around 3hrs (depends on your pace and experience in hiking).
2:00 PM – Finish your hike and head out.
In our opinion, this ticket allows you to seize your time better, and see both places, without being rushed. Besides, walking round the Mapi citadel will be like a warm-up before doing the Huayna Picchu mountain hike.
As you can see, after going through the details of all the tickets, due to the restriction hours, there’s almost no time for visitors to have a pause, between the mountain hike and the walk around the sanctuary, to catch a breath and/or go out to eat something. So, if you wish to have a more leisure experience, we suggest you to reserve one day to visit the sanctuary and another for the mountain hike but, keep in mind you’d have to buy two different tickets for different dates (one Mapi ticket and one Mapi + Mountain ticket) and two different bus rides for different dates.
There are many different factors to decide which is the ticket that fits better your trip itinerary, like: train schedule, where you’ll spend the night, how many days you have available, hike experience, etc.
If you want to avoid all this hassle, do not worry that we are here to help and we’d be more than happy to assist you planning your Peru trip and maximize your time in Machu Picchu. We’ll help you choose the best hours, tickets and train schedules, buy the tickets for you and give you a great tour of Machu Picchu. If you are interested, do not hesitate on contacting us at: email@example.com