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Organizing the trip to Machu Picchu
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How to organize a trip to Machu Picchu at the last minute?

Machu Picchu is one of the most important tourist destinations in the world. It is advisable to organize your visit to the Wonder of the World in advance to avoid unpleasant surprises. However, it is also possible to visit the Inca Citadel at the last minute. Here are some recommendations for traveling to Cusco and Machu Picchu at the last minute.

trip to Machu Picchu at the last minute
These are the steps to follow if you want to organize your trip to Machu Picchu at the last minute

Buy the Machu Picchu Ticket

The first big step to organizing a trip to Machu Picchu either at the last minute or well in advance is to book the Machu Picchu Ticket. There are 5 types of tickets. All of them allow entrance to the Inca Citadel of Machu Picchu. This is the availability:

When booking at the last minute there will certainly be no availability for the Machu Picchu + Huayna Picchu Ticket. The other 4 types of tickets can still be purchased. However, in the high tourist season (March to October) this becomes more difficult.

The easiest and fastest way to get a ticket to Machu Picchu is to do it online. Although it is also possible to buy it in the city of Cusco, this is not the most advisable. Especially in high season, where it is unlikely to get tickets at the last minute. In the desperation of not having a ticket once in Peru, beware of scams. The safest thing to do is to book your tickets in advance, even if it is just a few days before your trip to the Inca Citadel.

As with the Machu Picchu + Huayna Picchu ticket, it is not possible to get Inca Trail entrance tickets at the last minute. These must be booked months in advance, especially for the high tourist season.

Get the train ticket

Once you have purchased the Machu Picchu ticket you must also book the train ticket to the district of Aguas Calientes or Machu Picchu Pueblo. Train tickets are as much in demand as the entrance to the Inca Citadel. That is why it is advisable to purchase them at the same time as the entrance to the Wonder of the World according to the date of entry. In high tourist season, train tickets must be booked in advance through the web or be purchased immediately upon arrival in Cusco.

In case there is no availability for a train ticket but a ticket to Machu Picchu you have to enter through the alternative route of Santa Maria. This is longer, cheaper, and full of adventures. It starts with a 5-hour bus ride from Cusco to the town of Santa Maria. Then another vehicle will take you to the Hidroelectrica station in about 30 minutes. Finally, you will hike an average of 2 hours to the town of Aguas Calientes.

Purchase your train ticket
Immediately after purchasing your Machu Picchu ticket purchase your train ticket.

Arrange hotel and other services

Like the Machu Picchu ticket and train tickets, you must arrange tourist services such as hotels and itineraries. Of course, this can also be done once in the city of Cusco, however, this is more difficult in the high tourist season. At the last minute, it is still possible to get the availability of the hotel or itinerary of the visitor’s preference.

During the high tourist season, finding hotels once in Cusco can cause hotel prices to increase. This is also true for the travel itinerary. There are hotels of all quality and prices. Another option is to find a hotel in the Sacred Valley of the Incas, one of the most beautiful places in the region.

What to bring?

When traveling to Machu Picchu at the last minute it is common to forget the most important items. Here is the list of the necessary things to bring to the Inca Citadel.

  • Passport or identity card.
  • Ticket to Machu Picchu, train, plane, etc.
  • Credit card, debit card, or enough money.
  • Camera.
  • Warm clothes.
  • Hat or cap.
  • Sun block lotion.
  • Personal hygiene items.


  • In general, last-minute trips to Machu Picchu are of few days. The minimum number of days necessary to visit the Wonder of the World is 2. However, it is better to enjoy 4 or 5 days to get to know better what Cusco offers to the visitor.

  • Usually, last-minute trips to Machu Picchu are made by adventurous people who do not like to plan. It is possible to do so. However, in high season, it is advisable to take the necessary precautions and reservations.

  • The rainy season (October to March) coincides with the low tourist season. It is advisable to make last minute trips to Machu Picchu at that time of the year. Services have greater availability and prices are also reduced.

Advice from people who have been there

Machu Picchu

Mair G.By: Mair G.

“I don't know if there are words for this experience“

“Despite not having any plan or tour paid or anticipated and going totally in hippie mode to know Machu Picchu, it was the best thing I have ever experienced. In itself not only for Machu Picchu, Cusco in general is a fairy tale. I have never been in such an impressive place, never in my life. I would surely come back, even though I don't like to repeat destinations already visited.“


By Ticket Machu Picchu – Last updated, April 17, 2024