Machu Picchu is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world, attracting millions of visitors each year. But how much does it cost to visit the ancient Incan city of Machu Picchu? From transportation to accommodations and entrance fees, this guide will help you budget for your trip to Machu Picchu.
How Much Does it Cost to Visit Machu Picchu?
Firstly, let’s talk about the different ways to reach Machu Picchu. The most popular route is taking the train from Cusco or Ollantaytambo to Aguas Calientes, the town at the base of the mountain where Machu Picchu is located. Alternatively, you can hike the Inca Trail or one of the other treks that lead to Machu Picchu. Each of these options has its own costs, so let’s break them down.
Taking the Train to Machu Picchu
If you’re not a fan of hiking or want to save time, taking the train is the way to go. There are two train companies that operate routes to Machu Picchu: Peru Rail and Inca Rail. The cost of a round-trip ticket varies depending on the time of year, the class of service you choose, and whether you want a one-way or round-trip ticket. In general, you can expect to pay anywhere from $130 to $170 for a round-trip ticket per person. For this option we recommend taking the 1 day tour to Machu Picchu with the Expedition train service from Ollantaytambo. Another tip is traveling during the low tourist season when many discounts on hotels and train tickets are available.
Check out our blog about the best time to go to Machu Picchu.
Hiking to Machu Picchu
If you’re up for a challenge and want to experience the Andean landscape up close, hiking to Machu Picchu is a great option. There are several trekking routes you can take, including the classic Inca Trail, the Salkantay Trek, and Huchuy Qosqo trek. The cost of a trek varies depending on the route, the length of the trip, and the level of service you want.
For example, a four-day Inca Trail trek can cost anywhere from $800 to $1,500 per person, depending on the tour company and level of service. This price typically covers everything including camping equipment. The Salkantay Trek, which is a less crowded alternative to the Inca Trail, can cost anywhere from $500 to $1,100 per person for a four-day trip.
Taking a Car to Machu Picchu
Taking a car to Machu Picchu is not as common as taking the train or hiking. And it is one of the cheapest ways to get to Machu Picchu from Cusco.
There are several tour companies that offer private car tours to Machu Picchu from Cusco. (If you want to take a tour company). The cost of a car tour varies depending on the type of vehicle you choose and the level of service you want.
In general, you can expect to pay anywhere from $150 to $200 per person for a group tour to Machu Picchu. This price typically includes transportation to and from Machu Picchu, a professional guide, and admission to the citadel. We do not recommend this option in the rainy season as it can be a bit risky. If you do it on your own it might be cheaper but you could lose a lot more time.
Other Costs to Consider
Let’s take a look at how costs break down for a trip to Machu Picchu.
If you’re traveling from Lima to Cusco, the fastest way to get to Cusco from Lima is by plain, besides the fact that it is the fastest way to travel you also will save a lot of time.
The cost of flights from Lima to Cusco varies depending on the time of year, but you can expect to pay anywhere from $120 to $150 per person for a round-trip ticket. It’s worth noting that flights to Cusco are generally more expensive than flights to Lima, so if you’re looking to save money, it may be worth flying into Lima and taking a bus to Cusco.
Accommodations are another significant cost when traveling to Machu Picchu. There are several options for accommodations in Cusco or Aguas Calientes, ranging from budget-friendly hostels to luxury hotels. On average, you can expect to pay anywhere from $50 to $180 per night for accommodations, depending on the type of lodging you choose.
If you’re looking to save money on accommodations, consider staying in a hostel. It is important to book your accommodations well in advance.
Transportation is another cost to consider when traveling to Machu Picchu. The most common ways to get to Machu Picchu are by train. The cost of the train varies depending on the type of train you choose and the time of year. On average, you can expect to pay anywhere from $60 to $120 per person for a one-way train ticket to Machu Picchu.
If you’re looking to save money on transportation, consider taking a bus to Hidroelectrica and then hiking the rest of the way to Machu Picchu.
If you’re planning a trip to Machu Picchu, you may be wondering about the cost of food. As a travel expert, I understand the importance of providing valuable information to travelers, so let’s dive into the topic of eating in Machu Picchu.
On average, a meal at a mid-range restaurant in Machu Picchu will cost you around $10 to $20 USD per person. This will typically include a main course, a drink, and perhaps a dessert. If you’re looking to save money, you can also find street food vendors and small cafes that offer meals for as little as $7 USD per person.
There are several types of entrance tickets available for Machu Picchu, including options for accessing only Machu Picchu or also including access to other nearby attractions such as Huayna Picchu Mountain and Machu Picchu Mountain. Prices for Machu Picchu ticket can vary if the ticket includes one of these 2 options.
It’s important to note that entrance tickets to Machu Picchu must be purchased in advance and are limited in number, so it’s recommended to book well in advance.
The cost of the Machu Picchu ticket is 152 Peruvian soles, while a Machu Picchu ticket plus the climb to Huayna Picchu or Machu Picchu mountain is 200 Peruvian soles.
The price for the Machu Picchu ticket does not vary depending on the season, low or high season.
Hiring a Local Guide
Hiring a local guide can be a great way to enhance your experience of Machu Picchu. They can provide valuable insights and historical context that you might miss on your own.
To find a local guide, you can either book through a tour operator in Cusco or reach out to independent guides directly.
On average, the cost of hiring a local guide for a guided tour of Machu Picchu can range from $30 to $50 USD per person. These prices may vary if the tour is in private service or a group service with other people.
As you can see, visiting Machu Picchu is not cheap as long as you choose the safest way like traveling by train or going with a tour company.
Whichever of the options mentioned above we recommend planning your trip to Machu Picchu well in advance and in the low season, that will help you save a lot of money.