Sights & Attractions in Machu Picchu and the Inca Trail
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Machu Picchu and the Inca Trail Sights
If you arrive without an admission ticket, you must purchase one in Aguas Calientes at the Instituto Nacional de Cultura Avenida Pachacutec s/n 084/211 - 196, 084/211 - 256 in Aguas Calientes S/126, S/63 children and students Open daily 5 am-10 pmNo credit cards) just off the Plaza de Armas. There is no ticket booth at the ruins' entrance. If you are with a tour, the tickets are most likely taken care of for you. The ticket office in Aguas Calientes opens at 5 am, but you might want to buy your ticket the night before if you want to get in the park right away; bus service begins at 5:30 am. The park is open from 6 am to 5:30 pm. Peruvian soles are the only form of payment. From the time you purchase the ticket, you have three days to enter the Inca city, however once you enter the citadel, the ticket is only valid for that day. You can't reuse it the next day, so if you arrive in the afternoon and visit the ruins, then stay the night and want to return to the ruins the next morning, you'll have to buy two tickets.
A snack bar is a few feet from where the buses deposit you at the gate to the ruins, and the Machu Picchu sanctuary lodge, the only hotel up there, has a S/100 lunch buffet open to the public. Bathrooms cost S/1, and toilet paper is provided. There are no bathrooms inside the ruins, but you may exit and reenter to use them.
It gets warm, and the ruins have little shade. Sunscreen, a hat, and water are musts. Officially, no food or drinks are permitted, but you can get away with a bottle of water. Large packs must be left at the entrance.
Catching the Bus
If you're a day-tripper, follow the crowd out of the rail station about two blocks to the Consettur Machu Picchu shuttle buses, which ferry you up a series of switchbacks to the ruins, a journey of 20 minutes. Bus tickets can be purchased in U.S. dollars or soles. Buy your $14 USD round-trip ticket ($7 USD for children) at a booth across from to the line of buses before boarding.
Buses leave Aguas Calientes for the ruins beginning at 5:30 am and continue more or less every 10 minutes with a big push in mid-morning as the trains arrive, until the historic site closes around 5:30 pm. If you're heading back to Cusco, take the bus back down at least an hour before your train departs. It's also possible to walk to and from the ruins to Aguas Calientes, but this hike will take you a good hour and a half either way.
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