Before you book your flights…

One look and you’re hooked. It only took about 500 years but in July, 2007 the quite literally breathtaking Incan marvel of Machu Picchu was finally recognized as one of the seven “new” wonders of the world. Despite multiple flight connections, lengthy train journeys and all but guaranteed altitude sickness, it became an instant tourism hit thanks in part to enviable photos. Business is booming. To protect the centuries old icon and improve guest experience, strict new ticketing rules for Machu Picchu have been put into place in 2019 in addition to the 2017 rules. If you don’t plan ahead, you may miss it entirely…

New Rules For Machu Picchu Citadel Visitors

Getting to Machu Picchu isn’t cheap, nor is staying anywhere near it; so if you’re going, you want to enjoy the perfect experience. To do so, more advanced planning is required. Effective January 1st, 2019 the UNESCO World Heritage site launched a new ticketing system designed to prevent overcrowding and access abuse. Unpredictable wait times created a decline in visitor satisfaction and to tackle all issues, visitors must now purchase entry tickets in advance, for specific dates and even more specific times with a time limit too. You’ll also need a guide, if it’s your first time.

Machu Picchu Ticket Booking Process

Here’s how it works. Before booking flights, you’d be smart to check current availability for your desired dates, which you can do here on the official ticket website. Adult tickets are roughly $45 U.S. Dollars per person ($150 PEN). Students or children are about half. Once you find availability, your ticket will allow a one hour window on the desired day, based on the entry time you select. If you book an 8AM ticket, it won’t be valid for entry after 9AM. Once inside the park, there’s a 4 hour time limit and no matter what time you book, everyone gets booted at 5:30PM.

Plan Trains, Hotels And Hikes With Safe Timing

Unless you’re staying near the entrance to the Citadel, train journeys, shuttles or hikes to the entrance can be seriously time consuming. A hike from Aguas Calientes or other popular starting points can take over two hours, which is important to note for someone considering a 7AM ticket reservation! Be sure to plan appropriately and view available train schedules to ensure an on time arrival to the Citadel. If you miss your slot, you may be completely out of luck. On the bright side, as of today, there are still tickets available for today so depending on dates you may be able to quickly purchase new tickets in the nick of time.