You need to buy Machu Picchu entrance tickets in advance. Machu Picchu tickets are not sold at the entrance gate and are limited to 2500 per day, with entrance to Huayna Picchu and Montana Machu Picchu each being further sub limited to 400. Only Visa cards are accepted. The website says “credit card may be asked at the gate” but no one asks.
Tickets are sold via www.machupicchu.gob.pe. Website is not converted to English properly. At some steps you may have some language related problems and fail to buy the ticket. Thats why ignore the English version and go with Spanish version as it works properly. You may use google translate to understand what is written. Only VISA cards accepted due to fraud problems occurred in the past.
We strongly recommend to stay overnight in Aguas Calientes before reaching up to Machu Picchu. Aguas Calientes is a nice place to spend some time. Nice restaurants around. Next day you can catch the bus earlier and visit Machu Picchu all day.
I followed the below path to reach Machu Picchu.
1- Lima – Cusco (By plane)
2- Cusco Airport – Train Station in Cusco (Taxi from the airport)
3- Train Station in Cusco – Aguas Calientes (By train)
3- Aguas Calientes – Machu Picchu (By Bus)
If you are planning to go Machu Picchu from Aguas Calientes by bus, get there early. Buses start driving up around 5:30am. You may get your bus ticket previous night in Aguas Calientes. Next day you can go to the bus station a bit early. Don’t forget ! First come first served at the station. You will still see lots of people around 05:30.
Cusco is a lovely place where you should definitely spend a day or two.
Watch out for Altitude Sickness. It is a pathological effect of high altitude on humans, caused by acute exposure to low partial pressure of oxygen at high altitude. It commonly occurs above 2,400 meters. If you travelling from a low altitude location like Rio de Janeiro, it is NOT recommended to fly a location above 2400 meters. The general rule of thumb is to not ascend more than 300 meters (1,000 ft) per day to sleep. We did more of this altitude and had headache for several days. It can lead to coma or death on some people. Some pills may help to kill this pain . But it didn’t help us Descending to lower altitudes is the only solution. Here are the altitudes of some locations. Consider while planning your trip.
Height of Cities in Peru
Lima 5080 (ft) 1550 (meters)
Cusco 10800 (ft) 3300 (meters)
Ollantaytambo (ft) 9150 2790 (meters)
Machu Picchu (ft) 8040 2450 (meters)
Puno 12420 (ft) 3860 (meters)
Arequipa 7740 (ft) 2380 (meters)
Lake Titicaca 12420 (ft) 3860 (meters)
Don’t forget to bring your passport as it is mandatory to show along with your printed ticket at the entrance. Also don’t forget to stamp your passport in Machu Picchu. I forgot