As we wanted to travel free, not having a set schedule, deciding our own path, we have not booked anything far in advance. This can be stressful and nerve reckoning.
For Machu Picchu as it is a major attraction it’s better to book the train and tickets in advance if you want a special time to enter.
There are two different types of trains that run from Ollantaytambo (Expedition) or Cusco (Vistadome). The cheaper option is the Expedition and the more pricer is Vistadome.
We would advise you to stay in Ollantaytambo and take the expedition train in the morning.
Ollantaytambo is a little village located in the sacred valley surrounded by mountains and Inca ruins.
From Ollantaytambo the train will take you to Aguas Calientes. You can then hike up to the ruins site or take the bus which is 12$ per person one way.
If you have booked Montaña or Huayna Picchu you should take the bus as both are quite tiring.
How/Where to book tickets for Machu Picchu:
You can book tickets online at the official government website but there has been reports of issues with paying by card. In this case, you will have to call the helpline.
If you are already in Peru you can reserve tickets on the government website and go to a Banco de la Nación branch but be aware the tickets are only reserved for 6 hours.
Another option is the official store located at: Boletos a Machu Picchu Official, Casa Garcilaso, Calle Garcilaso, Cusco 08000 in Cusco where you can pick and pay your tickets.
- Machu Picchu is only the ruins site
- Machu Picchu + Huaynapicchu is the ruins site and a 45mins hike up Huaynapicchu mountain from where you can take the famous Machu Picchu pictures
- Machu Picchu + Machu Picchu montaña is the ruins site and a 1-1/30 hour hike up another close by mountain from where you will have a breathtaking view over the ruins and the surrounding valleys
Tip: if you want a specific time for the train or a special type of ticket for the site we advise you to book both in advance as especially during the season these are in high demand and quickly sold out