Just about every visitor to Peru is going to need to buy Machu Picchu entrance tickets. But with a government website that rarely works, and tickets not available for general sale at the entrance to Machu Picchu, just how do you secure your tickets.
One topic that I see time and time again on popular travel forums is the questions of ‘How to Buy Machu Picchu Entrance Tickets’. If you are travelling to Peru independently, then buying entrance tickets to Machu Picchu is going to be an essential requirement for your trip.
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Peru is a country full of bureaucracy and paperwork, and achieving the simplest of tasks can often be time consuming and frustrating (try getting married). Unfortunately, buying entrance tickets to Machu Picchu is not too dissimilar. So what options are available?
Official Government Website for Machu Picchu Ticket Sales
The Dirección Regional de Cultural (DRC) is the official source of entrance tickets to Machu Picchu. They have a website http://www.machupicchu.gob.pe which is both in Spanish, English, Portuguese and Italian. However, you will find as your use the website only a few pages are in your chosen language.
After the page loads, the first thing that you notice is that there is an advisory notice, saying that Visa Credit Card payments are currently not working (as of today’s date March 14, 2013). Therefore, advanced bookings online from your home country are not possible.
Buying Tickets through the Banco de la Nación o Agente MultiRed
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If you can figure out how to use the DRC website, then you can generate an online reservation for Machu Picchu Entrance tickets. Work through steps 1 – 3 towards the bottom of the page, filling in your credentials as you go. On step 3, once you have ticked to agree to the Terms and Conditions, you can generate a pre-reservation document. You then need to pay in cash or with a credit card at the Banco de la Nación (Avenida El Sol) or at one of the many agents of the bank called MultiRed Agentes. Be warned that you are likely to queue at the Banco de la Nación for 30 – 60 minutes. For both types of payment methods you will need to provide a valid form of identification. Once you have paid, you need to return to the DRC website, enter the section called ‘Check-in’ and enter your reservation number. Once done your Machu Picchu entrance tickets will be generated, and then you simply need to print them off.
Buying Machu Picchu Entrance Tickets at the Official DRC Offices
If you prefer face to face contact, then you can buy Machu Picchu entrance tickets at the official offices of the DRC. There are two offices: one in Cusco located on Avenida La Cultura 238, Condominio Huáscar, and one just located of the main plaza in Aguas Calientes. The one in Cusco is located a 15 minutes’ walk from Plaza de Armas on the outskirts of the colonial centre. Although the area might look a little run down, it is a safe area for you to walk around. Get your hotel or hostel to pin point the location on a map, as the actual building is not very obvious. For both DRC offices in Cusco and Aguas Calientes avoid arriving at lunch time, as they may be closed.
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DRC Cusco Office
Av. La Cultura N°238 Condominio Huáscar. Monday – Saturday, 8.00 am – 4.00pm.
DRC Aguas Calientes Office
Av. Pachacutec (just off the main plaza). Monday – Sunday, 5.00am – 10.00pm.
Buy Machu Picchu Entrance Tickets with TheOnlyPeruGuide
TheOnlyPeruGuide in association with Totally Latin America S.A. can purchase Machu Picchu (and Huayna Picchu) entrance tickets on your behalf. Simply fill in our booking document on our official Machu Picchu tickets website, once completed we will send you a request for payment through our secure online payments system (we accept Visa and MasterCard Payments). We will go ahead and buy the tickets (usually within 24 hours), and send them to you in electronic form by email.