Machu Picchu 247 articles
Guide for traveling alone
Click to rate article

Guide for traveling alone to Machu Picchu

Machu Picchu is a destination worth visiting with family, friends, as a couple, or even alone. It is one of the best tourist destinations in the world. Unlike other cities in Latin America, Cusco has a lot of security for the visitor. The landscapes, the history, the culture, everything is charming during the trip. Learn how to visit Machu Picchu safely and enjoy the best that the Wonder of the World has to offer.



Tourist observing the archaeological site of Machu Picchu
Tourist observing the archaeological site of Machu Picchu

Choose a tour or travel on your own?
Before making the trip to Machu Picchu, the tourist must choose between a visit with an all-inclusive tour or on their own, acquiring all the necessary tickets separately. For a trip alone, without any company, to the Inca citadel, the safest option is to hire an all-inclusive tour. This includes everything you need: hotel pick-up, full tourist transportation (including the train ride), professional guide, full entrance fees, and the return trip to the hotel door. Adventurous visitors, with more experience in other trips, may choose to visit on their own. In this case, the first step is to purchase the entrance to Machu Picchu online, as well as the train ticket. The availability of both services is limited and can be sold out two or three months in advance. The other services (bus and tour guide), as well as hotel or restaurant reservations, can be booked days or weeks in advance. In any case, Machu Picchu will offer pleasant memories and a beautiful experience.


Machu Picchu, the wonder of the modern world

In 2007 Machu Picchu was chosen as one of the new wonders of the modern world, according to a global vote organized by the New Open World Corporation. In addition, every year, the Inca Citadel and Cusco lead the lists of best tourist attractions in the world, as in the World Travel Awards, the best award in the world of travel.

Machu Picchu is located in the Andes Mountains of Cusco, Peru (South America). From the city of Lima, capital of the country there is a distance of 1,102 kilometers by road, although the vast majority of visitors arrive there by flight (1 hour trip).

Of course, the best tourist attraction in Cusco and Peru is Machu Picchu. However, this Andean region has many other tourist attractions, such as the Sacred Valley of the Incas, the 7 Colors Mountain, the Humantay Lagoon, Sacsayhuaman, Coricancha, and more.

Machu Picchu is located just over a hundred kilometers from the city of Cusco. Most people get there through a train ride through the beautiful landscapes of the Vilcanota valley, passing from high mountains to high jungle full of vegetation.

Statistics also indicate that most travelers do it as a family or couple. However, there are a good number of people who visit Machu Picchu alone. Cusco is one of the safest cities in Peru. The visit to the Inca citadel is an experience that one can enjoy with family, as a couple, with friends, or simply alone.

Ciudadela Inca de Machu Picchu
Machu Picchu Inca Citadel – Wonder of the World

The trip alone to Machu Picchu

The first step to travel alone to Machu Picchu is to choose between a visit with an all-inclusive tour or on your own. It is best to choose the first option for a person not used to sightseeing regularly. The second option is ideal for an adventurous visitor or one with some experience in sightseeing.

Most tours to Machu Picchu last 1 day and depart from the city of Cusco. This service includes pick up from the tourist’s hotel, tourist transportation by bus and tourist train (usually Expedition or The Voyager services of Peru Rail or Inca Rail), the final bus to the archaeological site from the town of Aguas Calientes, the entrance to Machu Picchu (recommended to choose the Machu Picchu Solo ticket), the tour guide service and the return by train and bus to the door of the hotel in Cusco.

Most tours do not include food but in the town of Aguas Calientes (also called Machu Picchu town because it is located only 10 kilometers from the archaeological site), there are many good tourist restaurants to choose from. The 1-day tour starts at 5 am on average. It ends at approximately 9 pm. Prices vary according to the tour agency you choose (range between 200 to 400 dollars per person).

If you wish to visit Machu Picchu on your own, the first and most important step is to buy the entrance ticket to the Inca city online. This can be purchased through the official website of the Ministry of Culture of Peru or the website of an authorized tourist agency. In any case, it is recommended to purchase the ticket two or three months in advance because availability is limited.

The most recommended tickets are ‘Machupicchu Solo’ or ‘Machupicchu with Inca Bridge’ because they allow you to do circuit 2, the most complete tour that includes the classic postcard photo. However, if the visitor wishes to add a little adventure to his visit, he can choose the tickets ‘Machupicchu with Huaynapicchu’, ‘Machupicchu with Mountain’, or ‘Machupicchu with Huchuypicchu’. These three tickets allow you to add to the tour, the hikes to the peaks of the mountains Huayna Picchu, Machu Picchu, and Huchuy Picchu, respectively.

At the time of purchasing the entrance ticket, the visitor must choose the time of the visit. If you plan to make a one-day visit starting from Cusco, it is recommended to choose a time from 11 am, 12 pm, or 1 pm. This will allow you to board the train back to Cusco which departs at approximately 4 pm or 6 pm.

If you are planning a two-day visit with an overnight stay in the town of Aguas Calientes, you can choose a morning schedule (from 6 am, 7 am, or 8 am).

The second step is to purchase, also online, a train ticket to Machu Picchu online. This can be done on the website of one of the two companies available: Peru Rail or Inca Rail. Another option is to do it through the website of an authorized travel agency. Remember that your train schedule must correspond with your Machu Picchu visit schedule.

Once in Cusco, without the risk of losing availability, you can purchase the other services: the bus ticket, the tour guide service, hotel reservations, restaurants, etc. The other tours in Cusco can be purchased online or in Cusco without problems (except for the Inca Trail 4 days which must also be purchased online 4 or 5 months in advance).

Whichever way you want to know Machu Picchu. Remember that, if you travel alone, you can find many other tourists who also travel alone. Cusco and Machu Picchu are amazing tourist destinations where you can make many friends, whether they are foreigners or even local people.

Map to Machu Picchu from Cusco by train
Map to Machu Picchu from Cusco by train

Entrance tickets

These are the five types of entrance tickets to Machu Picchu that you can choose from. The most recommended option is highlighted if you are traveling alone.

  • Entrance to Machupicchu Only – Allows the visit to the Inca citadel and its main constructions through Circuit 1 or Circuit 2. It does not offer any additional trekking routes.
  • Entrance Machu Picchu with Huayna Picchu – Allows the visit to the Inca citadel through Circuit 4 through the lower part of Machu Picchu. Additionally, it allows you to hike almost 2 hours to the top of Huayna Picchu mountain.
  • Entrance Machu Picchu with Mountain – Allows the visit to the Inca citadel through circuit 3 by the lower part of Machu Picchu. Additionally, it allows you to hike for almost 2 hours and 30 minutes to the top of Machu Picchu mountain.
  • Entrance Machu Picchu with Huchuypicchu – Allows the visit to the Inca citadel through circuit 4 through the lower part of Machu Picchu. Additionally, it allows you to make the 40-minute hike to the top of the mountain Huchuy Picchu.
  • Entrance to Machu Picchu with Inca Bridge – Allows the visit to the Inca citadel and its main constructions through Circuit 1 or Circuit 2. Additionally, it allows you to make the 30-minute walk to the Inca Bridge.

Entrance prices to Machu Picchu

Know the prices of the entrance tickets to Machu Picchu:

Entrance Machupicchu Only
Entrance to Machu PicchuForeignersPeru, Colombia, Ecuador or Bolivia
Adults in general152 Peruvian soles64 Peruvian soles
University students77 Peruvian soles32 Peruvian soles
Under 18 years of age70 Peruvian soles32 Peruvian soles
Entrance Machu Picchu with Huayna Picchu
Entrance to Machu PicchuForeignersPeru, Colombia, Ecuador or Bolivia
Adults in general200 Peruvian soles112 Peruvian soles
University students125 Peruvian soles80 Peruvian soles
Under 18 years of age118 Peruvian soles80 Peruvian soles
Entrance Machu Picchu with Mountain
Entrance to Machu PicchuForeignersPeru, Colombia, Ecuador or Bolivia
Adults in general200 Peruvian soles112 Peruvian soles
University students125 Peruvian soles80 Peruvian soles
Under 18 years of age118 Peruvian soles80 Peruvian soles
Entrance Machu Picchu with Huchuy Picchu
Entrance to Machu PicchuForeignersPeru, Colombia, Ecuador or Bolivia
Adults in general200 Peruvian soles112 Peruvian soles
University students125 Peruvian soles80 Peruvian soles
Under 18 years of age118 Peruvian soles80 Peruvian soles
Entrance Machu Picchu with Inca Bridge
Entrance to Machu PicchuForeignersPeru, Colombia, Ecuador or Bolivia
Adults in general152 Peruvian soles64 Peruvian soles
University students77 Peruvian soles32 Peruvian soles
Under 18 years of age70 Peruvian soles32 Peruvian soles

Which schedule to choose?

These are the recommended schedules if you visit Machu Picchu on your own:

  • Entrance Machupicchu Only

    • For a 1 day trip from Cusco: Schedule 5 (entrance between 10 am and 11 am).
    • For a trip of more days with an overnight stay in Aguas Calientes: Schedule 1 (check-in between 6 am and 7 am).
  • Entrance to Machu Picchu with Huayna Picchu

    • For a 1 day trip from Cusco: Schedule 4 (entrance between 10 am and 11 am).
    • For a trip of more days with an overnight stay in Aguas Calientes: Schedule 1 (check-in between 7 am and 8 am).
  • Entrance Machu Picchu with Mountain

    • For a 1 day trip from Cusco: Schedule 2 (entrance between 9 am and 10 am).
    • For a trip of more days with an overnight stay in Aguas Calientes: Schedule 1 (entrance between 7 am and 8 am).
  • Entrance to Machu Picchu with Huchuypicchu

    • For a 1 day trip from Cusco: Schedule 5 (entrance between 11 am and 12 am).
    • For a trip of more days with an overnight stay in Aguas Calientes: Schedule 1 (entrance between 7 am and 8 am).
  • Entrance to Machu Picchu with Inca Bridge

    • For a 1 day trip from Cusco: Schedule 5 (entrance between 11 am and 12 am).
    • For a trip of more days with an overnight stay in Aguas Calientes: Schedule 1 (entrance between 7 am and 8 am).

Safety when visiting Machu Picchu alone

Cusco is one of the safest cities in Peru. This is especially in the historic center where most tourist hotels are located and where tourists make their excursions. At all hours of the day there are police patrols.


Tips for the tour alone Machu Picchu

If you visit Machu Picchu alone, it is recommended to hire a tour guide in group service. The cost varies between 8 to 10 dollars per person. The guide service is not mandatory but highly recommended because in the archaeological site there are no legends or descriptions of the historic buildings.

If you visit only Machu Picchu, choose Circuit 2, the most recommended because it includes the classic postcard photo and the visit to the main Inca constructions. Take advantage of the guide’s company to get excellent pictures.

The people of Cusco are very friendly and always willing to help tourists. Do not miss the opportunity to strike up a conversation with a Cusqueño or Cusqueña. Also, during the trip, it is very easy to make friends from all over the world.

Tourist Guide in Machu Picchu
Tourist Guide in Machu Picchu

Questions and answers about the tour alone Machu Picchu

  • Which ticket to choose if I travel to Machu Picchu alone?

    The Entrance ‘Machupicchu Only’ is the most recommended.

  • What time should I choose if I travel to Machu Picchu alone?

    If you visit Machu Picchu in one day from Cusco, the schedule of 10, 11, or 12 am. If you visit in two or more days with an overnight stay in Aguas Calientes, the 6 am or 7 am schedule.

  • Which circuit should I choose if I travel to Machu Picchu alone?

    Circuit 2 in Machu Picchu is the most recommended because it includes the classic photo and the most complete tour.

  • When is the best time of the year to visit Machu Picchu alone?

    The dry season of May, June, July, or August is the best time of the year to visit Machu Picchu.

  • Is Machu Picchu and Cusco dangerous if I travel alone?

    No, Cusco is one of the safest cities in Peru, especially in the historic center where most tourists stay.

  • Which train ticket to Machu Picchu should I choose if I am traveling alone?

    Peru Rail’s Expedition or Inca Rail’s The Voyager train services are the most recommended.

  • Which tour agency to choose for a tour to Machu Picchu alone?

    Choose the tour agency that offers all services: pick up, transportation, entrance fees, guide, and return to Cusco. Prices vary according to the quality of the service.

  • How to get a tour guide in Machu Picchu if I travel alone?

    At the gate of Machu Picchu, you can get guides. It is recommended to choose the group service that costs between 8 to 10 dollars per visitor.

  • How to travel alone to Machu Picchu very cheap?

    Choose the alternative route by Hidroeléctrica. The cost of the trip is approximately 30 dollars round trip. With this route, it is necessary a 6-hour trip to Hidroeléctrica and then a 2-hour hike to Aguas Calientes where you must spend the night before visiting Machu Picchu the next day.

  • How long does the train ride to Machu Picchu take?

    The train trip from Cusco to Aguas Calientes (Machupicchu village) takes approximately 4 hours. If you leave from Ollantaytambo station, which has more daily departures, it takes 1 hour 45 minutes.

Advice from people who have been there

Machu Picchu

Kate W.By: Kate W.

“Excellent trip“

“I traveled to Peru to visit Machu Picchu and I didn't want to go back. Everything is excellent, the restaurants, the food, the hotels, the warmth of the people, everything. I would come back without a doubt.“

 

By Ticket Machu Picchu – Last updated, April 29, 2024