Machu Picchu trip cost breakdown: plan your adventure with this budget guide

From visiting 5 different times, here is what I can share with you about Machu Picchu trip cost from doing all the different budget tiers.

You might wonder why I visit Machu Picchu regularly. Apart from my group tours, I simply just love Peru and I wanted to explore all the ways to get to Machu Picchu. There are many and all are distinct.

During my first visit, I was young and did it backpacking style. Which absolutely means I did everything manually and as cheaply as possible.

Back then, there weren’t also resources on the internet about Machu Picchu trip cost so I had to do everything on my own.

In the following years, my blog and my work have been invited to write about Machu Picchu so everything was sponsored in luxury hotels. I had the chance to get to know their prices and share it with the readers of this blog.

Whatever your budget is, here is my personal Machu Picchu trip cost: transportation, accommodation, tours, and more!

See also:

machu picchu
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💵 Total Machu Picchu trip cost

The total cost of your trip to Machu Picchu will vary depending on your budget and travel style. However, here is a general breakdown of the total cost for different budget levels:

Budget Machu Picchu trip cost: $500-$700 USD

  • Transportation: $100-$200
  • Accommodation: $200-$300
  • Entrance fees: $45
  • Food and drink: $100-$200
  • Other expenses (travel insurance, souvenirs, etc.): $50-$100

Mid-range Machu Picchu trip cost: $700-$1,000 USD

  • Transportation: $200-$300
  • Accommodation: $300-$500
  • Entrance fees: $45
  • Food and drink: $200-$300
  • Other expenses (travel insurance, souvenirs, etc.): $100-$200

Luxury Machu Picchu trip cost: $1,000 and up

  • Transportation: $300-$500
  • Accommodation: $500 and up
  • Entrance fees: $45
  • Food and drink: $300 and up
  • Other expenses (travel insurance, souvenirs, etc.): $200 and up

In the following Machu Picchu trip cost items, I will explain further what these costs include plus everything you need to know to prepare your Machu Picchu travel budget.

💵 Please assume that from here on out, all prices in this article are in US dollars (USD).

✈️ Transportation costs to Machu Picchu

To get to Machu Picchu, you have to go to the city of Cusco first. From there, you have to get to Aguas Calientes, the town where Machu Picchu is located.

Aguas Calientes is about 9 hours from Cusco but there are also trains that are faster (but more expensive).

Here are some of the transportation costs to get to Machu Picchu:

Prices of flights to Cusco

Wherever you are flying from, international flight prices to Cusco vary depending on your departure city and airline. Expect to pay around $1,000 USD for a round-trip flight from the United States or Canada.

If you are starting your trip from Lima to Machu Picchu, domestic flights are much cheaper, typically costing around $100-$200 USD for a round-trip ticket.

The airport that serves Cusco and Machu Picchu is Alejandro Velasco Astete International Airport (CUZ).

Train prices to Aguas Calientes

Once you are in Cusco, you can take the train to Machu Picchu but this is a more expensive option (but the fastest). This is a great option for those who don’t have a lot of time.

The Vistadome train is the most popular train option, offering panoramic views of the Sacred Valley. Round-trip tickets cost around $190-$230 USD.

The Expedition train is a more budget-friendly option, but it does not offer panoramic views. Round-trip tickets cost around $140-$160 USD.

Bus prices to Machu Picchu

machu picchu from lima

The public bus is the cheapest way to get to Machu Picchu from Cusco, costing around $12-$15 for a round-trip ticket. However, the buses can be crowded and uncomfortable.

You need to take a bus from Cusco to Central Hidroelectrica Machu Picchu. Hidroeléctrica is a small town located at the end of the train tracks to Aguas Calientes.

From Hidroeléctrica, you can walk to Aguas Calientes for about 2-3 hours, or take a train for about 45 minutes. It is a train station so you can just buy your tickets upon arrival.

There are a number of different bus companies that operate buses from Cusco to Aguas Calientes. You can book tickets online or at bus offices in Cusco.

Once you arrive in Aguas Calientes, you can take a bus or walk up to Machu Picchu. The bus ride takes around 25 minutes and costs $24 USD (2-way). The walk takes around 1 hour and 30 minutes (free).

Alternatively, you can also take private shuttles from Cusco but they are more expensive than the public bus. They do, however, offer a more comfortable and convenient journey.

Round-trip tickets for a shuttle service from Cusco cost around $50-$70 USD.

Machu Picchu trip cost: transportation

The total cost of transportation to Machu Picchu will vary depending on your travel choices. However, you can expect to pay around $500-$1,000 USD for round-trip flights, train tickets, and bus tickets.

Here is a breakdown of the total cost of transportation for different budget levels:

  • Budget trip: $500-$600 USD
  • Mid-range trip: $600-$700 USD
  • Luxury trip: $700-$1,000 USD

🛏️ Machu Picchu Accommodation Costs

Machu Picchu Hotels
Photo: Sanctuary Lodge, Belmond

Once in Aguas Calientes, you have to stay the night and climb or take the bus to Machu Picchu the next day, around 5:30 AM.

Here are some highly-rated hotels in Aguas Calientes, Peru, near Machu Picchu, with their prices for a 1-night stay:

  • Vista Machu Picchu ($32 USD per night): 3-star hotel with mountain views, an outdoor pool, and breakfast included
  • Gringo Bill’s ($72 USD per night): 3-star hotel with colorful rooms, an organic restaurant, an outdoor pool, and a hot tub
  • Inkaterra Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel  ($513 USD per night): 5-star luxury hotel with two refined restaurants and a spa
  • El MaPi by Inkaterra ($220 USD per night): 4-star rustic and elegant hotel with modern bedrooms, a café, a bar, a tranquil spa, and breakfast included

👉🏽 See also: 15 best hotels in Aguas Calientes from $35 USD

Please note that these prices are just estimates and may vary depending on the time of year you travel and other factors.

It is always best to book your accommodation in advance, especially if you are traveling during the peak season.

Machu Picchu trip cost: accommodation

Expect to pay around $35 USD per night for a budget-friendly hotel, $105 USD per night for a mid-range hotel, and $300 USD and up per night for a luxury hotel.

🎟️ Machu Picchu ticket cost

The Machu Picchu entrance ticket allows you to enter the Machu Picchu Archaeological Park and explore the ruins at your own pace. It costs $45 USD.

The Huayna Picchu hike ticket costs $80 USD. This ticket allows you to hike to the top of Huayna Picchu, a mountain located next to Machu Picchu that offers even more impressive views.

Machu Picchu Mountain hike ticket allows you to hike to the top of Machu Picchu Mountain for stunning views of the ruins and the surrounding mountains. This costs $80 USD.

Where to buy Machu Picchu tickets

Tickets to Machu Picchu are already included if you are booking tours from Cusco.

If you are doing Machu Picchu on your own, you can buy tickets to Machu Picchu and the mountains online or in person. If booking online, you can buy it here.

If you are buying in person, you can go to the Machu Picchu Cultural Center in Cusco or the Ministry of Culture office in Aguas Calientes.

Since demand for Machu Picchu is high, in-person purchase is a more difficult way to buy your Machu Picchu tickets.

Here are some tips for buying tickets to Machu Picchu and the mountains:

  • Book your tickets as early as possible, especially if you are traveling during the peak season.
  • Be sure to purchase your tickets from a reputable source. There are many scams associated with the sale of Machu Picchu tickets.
  • When purchasing your tickets online, be sure to have your passport information and credit card information ready.
  • When purchasing your tickets in person, be sure to bring your passport.

🧭 Tour costs to Machu Picchu

Tour prices to Machu Picchu vary depending on the type of tour, the length of the tour, and the time of year you travel.

However, you can expect to pay around $500-700 USD for a budget tour, $700-1,000 USD for a mid-range tour, and $1,000 USD and up for a luxury tour.

Budget tours typically include transportation to and from Machu Picchu, accommodation in Aguas Calientes, and a guided tour of the Machu Picchu ruins.

Mid-range tours typically include all of the above, plus additional amenities such as meals, a private guide, and entrance fees to other attractions in the area.

Luxury tours typically include all of the above, plus even more luxurious amenities such as transportation in a private vehicle, accommodation in a luxury hotel, and access to exclusive areas of Machu Picchu.

Here are some prices for specific Machu Picchu tours with itinerary:

✅ Other Machu Picchu Trip Costs

Food and drink prices in Aguas Calientes can be higher than in other parts of Peru.

You can expect to pay around $10-20 USD per meal for a budget-friendly restaurant, and $20-30 USD per meal for a mid-range restaurant.

If you are on a tight budget, you can save money by cooking your own meals or buying food from street vendors.

If you are interested in learning more about Machu Picchu, you can hire a guide to take you on a tour.

Guide prices vary depending on the length and complexity of the tour, but you can expect to pay around $50-100 USD for a full-day tour per group.

Purchase travel insurance when traveling to Machu Picchu (from $40 USD). Travel insurance can protect you in the event of lost luggage, flight cancellations, and medical emergencies.

Lastly, there are many souvenir shops in Aguas Calientes where you can buy souvenirs to remember your trip.

Souvenir prices vary depending on the item, but you can expect to pay around $5-10 USD for a small souvenir and $20-30 USD for a larger souvenir.

💲 Money-saving tips for your trip to Machu Picchu

To lower your Machu Picchu trip cost, here are some golden tips for saving money on a trip to Machu Picchu:

Local group discount rates

Consider joining a group of locals for a shared experience. Some tour operators offer discounts to groups where Peruvians are the majority.

The exchange offers you an authentic insight into Peruvian perspectives while potentially lowering costs.

Buy round-trip train tickets

While many consider just one-way tickets to Aguas Calientes (especially trekkers), purchasing a round-trip ticket can be cheaper. Some operators offer significant discounts on return journeys, especially if returning the same day.

Cusco Tourist Tickets (Boleto Turístico)

Although Machu Picchu isn’t included, if you’re also exploring the Sacred Valley or other ruins near Cusco, this bundled ticket can save you significantly over individual ticket purchases.

It’s ideal for the history enthusiasts looking to maximize their Inca experience.

Last-Minute Deals on Treks

While risky in the high season, off-peak periods may offer last-minute discounts on treks like the Inca Trail. Some companies reduce prices to fill up any remaining spots.

Set menus in Aguas Calientes

Restaurants in Aguas Calientes can be pricey. Instead of ordering à la carte, opt for “menu del día” (menu of the day) — a fixed-price lunch offering soup, a main course, and a drink. It’s more economical and still filling.

Bring your snacks and water

Aguas Calientes has higher prices due to its isolation. Save by purchasing snacks, water, and other essentials in Cusco. Carrying a refillable water bottle and a portable filter also cuts costs and reduces plastic use.

Utilize multi-city flights

Instead of round-trip flights to Lima, book multi-city tickets. For instance, fly into Lima and out of Cusco. This avoids backtracking and might yield flight deals depending on your destination.

Camp outside Aguas Calientes

While there are cheap hostels in Aguas Calientes, a more adventurous way to save is by camping. Some spots outside the town allow for camping. Just ensure you’re in permitted areas.

Currency exchange in Cusco

Avoid exchanging money in Aguas Calientes where rates are less favorable. Cusco’s main square offers numerous exchange shops with competitive rates. Always inspect and count your money before leaving the counter.

Reuse your Machu Picchu entry ticket

If you’re a student or researcher and plan to stay for a few days, approach the Machu Picchu management.

They sometimes allow re-entry on subsequent days using the same ticket for academic purposes. This isn’t widely advertised and depends on current policies, but it’s worth an inquiry.

⁉️ FAQ: Machu Picchu Trip Cost

The cost varies widely based on factors such as travel style, accommodation, and activities chosen. On average, budget travelers might spend $500-$1,000 USD for a few days, while luxury travelers can spend upwards of $3,000 USD or more.

The most affordable way is to take a bus from Cusco to Hidroeléctrica and then walk along the train tracks to Aguas Calientes. From there, you can hike or take a bus to Machu Picchu.

Machu Picchu ticket prices range from $45-$75 USD, depending on the type of ticket (basic entry, Huayna Picchu, or Machu Picchu Mountain access).

A group guided tour costs around $10-$15 USD per person. Private guides can range from $50-$100 USD or more depending on the group size and guide’s expertise.

There are many different types of Machu Picchu tours available, ranging from budget tours to luxury tours.

  • Regular Entry Tour: Just the archaeological site.
  • Huayna Picchu Tour: Includes access to the young peak behind Machu Picchu for panoramic views.
  • Machu Picchu Mountain Tour: Another mountain trek offering different views.
  • Inca Trail Tours: Multi-day treks leading to Machu Picchu.
  • Sunrise or Sunset Tours: Focus on experiencing the site during these times.

Tours range from $25 USD for a basic group tour to over $1,000 USD for luxury or multi-day trek experiences. Costs depend on inclusions like transportation, guides, and meals.

Trisha Velarmino (43)

Trisha Velarmino is the Global Editor-in-Chief of the Insider Media Group operating in Europe, Asia, and North America. She lived in Peru for 1.5 years and has helped thousands of expats, digital nomads, and solo travelers easily visit Peru. Trisha has traveled Peru extensively from North to South.

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