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Machu Picchu Costs – Best Hacks From Transport To Souvenirs

Alison Macallister

Machu Picchu is not just another overhyped tourist trap. There is a reason why thousands of people flock here each day. The ancient architecture and location of this site are well worth parting with your hard-earned cash.

Take the first step to turning this dream destination into reality. It’s time to work out the cost of a trip to Machu Picchu.

While some of the best things in life may be free, visiting Machu Picchu isn’t one of them. It is worth doing a bit of research beforehand to avoid any unwanted financial surprises.

In this article, I will break down the expenses involved in visiting Machu Picchu. I’ve included information for booking with a company as well as for a D.I.Y. trip.

This will make it easier when preparing to visit these world-famous Incan ruins and calculating Machu Picchu costs.

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Cost To Visit Machu Picchu

Your biggest expense for visiting Machu Picchu is going to be your air ticket to Peru. Your airfare is going to take a large chunk of your holiday savings. How much exactly will depend on which country you fly in from.

Once you have taken flights into account, you need to consider the logistics around getting to the site itself.

Machu Picchu's popularity continues to increase, especially with its status as one of the Seven Wonders of The World. This, in turn, drives up the prices of transport accommodation and tickets.

If you want to save money, consider booking a trip to Machu Picchu in the off-peak season. Most travellers visit Cusco and Machu Picchu in June-August; in these months, demand is at its highest with tours and hotel prices being the most expensive.

See more on hotel prices in Cusco

That’s why I recommend booking during the quieter tourist months of April or October. You can find better deals and enjoy off-season discounts.

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machu picchu costs

Machu Picchu Cost With A Tour Agency

If you book through a Machu Picchu tour agency, you will pay between $250-$400 (1000-2000 soles) for a full Machu Picchu day trip. This price should include transport to the station in Ollantaytambo as well as a return train ticket. You can upgrade to a luxury train to Machu Picchu at an extra cost.

See more on luxury tour options for visiting Machu Picchu

Please Note: Make sure that return bus tickets from Aguas Calientes are included in your tour package. You won't have time to walk up and down the stairs on a 1-day Machu Picchu trip.

Meals are usually included, but it depends on the tour company. Budget group tours often exclude lunch to save money. There is a restaurant outside Machu Picchu, but it is rather expensive.

Before you make a booking, be sure to ask the tour operator exactly what is included in your tour package.


Cost Of Visiting Machu Picchu On Your Own

The lowest you can budget for a Machu Picchu day trip is about $180 (700 soles).

This Machu Picchu cost usually involves:

  • A bus ticket to Ollantaytambo
  • A train ticket to Machu Picchu
  • Basic entrance to Machu Picchu plus the return trip

See more on costs of permits and availability for visiting Machu Picchu. 

Please Note: Taking the bus all the way to Hidroeléctrica and the train to Aguas Calientes will not save you much money. Plus, it will add on about 10 hours of travel time to your journey, which is definitely not worth it.

Below is a Machu Picchu cost breakdown for general entry ticket prices and other important tour info:

  • Machu Picchu Only - $60 (235 soles)
  • Machu Picchu and Inca Bridge / Huchuy Picchu - $78 (300 soles)
  • Machu Picchu plus Machu Picchu Mountain - $78 (300 soles)

There are discounts for students and children, and for visitors who are residents in Colombia, Ecuador and Bolivia.

Transport costs from Cusco to Aguas Calientes

Transport Type

Cost (One Way)


Cusco-Hidroeléctrica (Bus)

60 soles ($15)

7.5 hours

Cusco-Ollantaytambo (Bus)

35 soles ($8)

2 hours

Cusco-Hidroeléctrica (Car)

400 soles ($100)

6 hours

Cusco-Ollantaytambo (Car)

60 soles ($15)

1.5 hours

Ollantaytambo-Aguas Calientes (Train)

200-400 soles ($54-$95)

1 hour and 45 minutes

Hidroeléctrica-Aguas Calientes (Train)

120 soles ($30)

40 minutes

Aguas Calientes-Machu Picchu (Bus)

50 soles ($12)

20 minutes

As you can see in the table above, you have a few options for getting to Machu Picchu.

You can make your way to Ollantaytambo (by bus or car). From here, you can take the train to Aguas Calientes and then catch a bus to Machu Picchu.

Alternatively, you can go all the way to Hidroeléctrica by bus or private transfer. From here, you can walk the 10km / 6 miles to Aguas Calientes. Another option is to take the train with Peru Rail from Hidroeléctrica to Aguas Calientes.

There is also an option to walk up to Machu Picchu from Aguas Calientes. This will save you money and is worth considering. I would consider this travel option if you are fairly fit and have the time. The stairs take approximately 1.5 hours up and 1 hour down.


Other Expenses

Transportation aside, there are still a few more Machu Picchu costs to consider and budget for ahead of time:


(Aguas Calientes)



Dormitory Rooms: 

30 soles ($8)


25-60 soles ($5-$10)


200-400 soles ($60-$100)

4-Star Hotels: 

800 soles ($200)

Machu Picchu: 

60- 120 soles ($15-$30)

Alpaca Products:

100-800 soles ($30-$200)


25-300 soles ($5-$75)


40-600 soles ($10-$150)

Chocolate, Coffee and Pisco:

25-200 soles ($5-$50)

Please Note: The above souvenir prices are general estimates for Lima, Cusco and Machu Picchu combined. Buying souvenirs at Machu Picchu is 100% optional. I guarantee that you can find the same things at the Cusco Markets for much cheaper prices.

Cheapest Way To Visit Machu Picchu

Generally speaking, it costs travelers about $150 and up to visit Machu Picchu. It actually works out cheaper to include an overnight stay in Aguas Calientes. This option is for travelers with more time and who enjoy walking.

On the first day, take the bus from Cusco to Hidroeléctrica. You will then walk beside the rails to Aguas Calientes. The 10km (6 miles) pathway is all flat and quite scenic. In Aguas Calientes, you have many accommodation options to choose from.

The next day, get up before the sun and walk up the stairs to Machu Picchu. Aim to leave your hostel around 5am as it takes 1.5-2 hours on foot to reach the entrance gate. Make your booking beforehand to ensure you get an early entrance ticket (6 am-7 am).

machu picchu cta

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Start planning your Machu Picchu hiking holiday.

You will have time to spend a few hours exploring the ruins. Afterwards, you will need to retrace your steps down and back to Hidroeléctrica. Most buses return to Cusco at 2 pm.

This is a more tiring option, but saves you around $80 (300 soles) on train and bus tickets. Accommodation in Aguas Calientes starts from $8 (30 soles) per person. You will also need to budget for your meals and snacks.

Alison Macallister

With a degree in Nature Conservation and experience working with wildlife including the Big 5, Alison works as a guide for a 5-star reserve. She enjoys sharing her passion for all things nature-related. She enjoys hiking, horseriding, 4x4 driving and kayaking.

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