Do you want to buy Machu Picchu tickets? I did too. But the Machu Picchu website is very frustrating. I just finished booking my tickets last night. For something so popular, they do a really good job at making it very difficult to buy your tickets. Booking tickets ahead of time is a good idea. They sell 2500 Machu Picchu tickets per day and entrance to Huayna Picchu is limited to 400 tickets.
The hotel I booked, Tambo del Inka (Urubamba) has a company called Tikariy handle tour bookings and they quoted me $78 USD for Machupicchu and Huayna Picchu. You can book the same tickets yourself for S/.152 = ~ $55 USD. That’s a markup of $23 USD or ~ 42%. If you follow the steps below you can book it in just a couple of minutes and save the money for something else.
The trick – use the Spanish version
Open this site http://www.machupicchu.gob.pe/ (the official government website, not a travel agent) in two different browsers or windows. The site can be very slow and may not load a Mac (the site uses Adobe Flash). Set one of the browsers to English and the second to Spanish. The English version does not work, but you will just use it as a reference. The trick- you have to use the Spanish version to book your tickets (Maybe that’s why the travel agents think they can make so much extra money by booking the tickets because its such a pain!).
Trick part 2: I believe that fraudulent charges had caused them to put in some extra verification steps which you will see described below.
If you need tickets for children, click here to read how (in both Spanish and English). Kids under 7 years old are free while those between 8 and 17 get 50% off but you will have to buy those through a travel agency, in your hotel in Cusco or at their office.
Step 1) Create a Reservation (using the Spanish version)
Using the Spanish version of http://www.machupicchu.gob.pe/, choose Machu Picchu on the top left and select the type of ticket you want. I chose Machupicchu + Huaynapicchu 1G 7:00-8:00 am (the first group of the morning). Select the date you want. In the middle of the page “Extranjeros Adultos” (Foreign Adults), select the quantity by clicking the # under “Cantidad” (Quantity) for a price of 152.00. The discounted price of 91.00 below is for Peruvian’s and students. Choose the number of tickets you want then click “Paso 2″ (Step 2) at the bottom.
Enter your first name (“Nombres”) and last name (“Apellidos”), Male/Female, Country (for USA, enter ‘Estados Unidos’), Age, Type of Document, Document number. Click “Paso 3″ (Step 3) at the bottom.
Step 3) Generate a Reservation Number
Enter your address in the “Direccion” field. Click the check box next to “Acepto las condiciones” (Accept the conditions).
Copy the reservation number that pops up.
Step 4) Pay For Your Ticket (Visa cards only)
I checked with chase and they say you no longer need to self enroll in Verified by Visa. At point of sale for high risk transactions, the new Verified by Visa process will prompt you to enter CVV2, expiration date and last 4 digits of your Primary Customers Social Security Number (SSN). Enter the information requested and submit. Verified by Visa is available for most Visa cards from participating issuers. If you have concerns about Verified by Visa, please visit www.visa.com or call 800-654-9214.
Click “Pago” on the top menu bar. Enter your reservation number in the box and click “Pagar” to pay.
Enter your credit card information (there are English subtitles on this screen) and click “Pagar/Pay”. Only a VISA will work (I tried a Mastercard which didnt work then my Priority Club Chase Visa). I got a pop up message that I need to call Visa for extra security, but when I called them they said they didnt even see any attempts to charge my card. I just clicked continue and then the charge went through and they immediately saw the charge while I was on the phone.
You may get denied here. To fix this you can email their call center at firstname.lastname@example.org. They will tell you “Please contact Mr. Jose Chang the following email: email@example.com, or Ms. Aguayo Tarcila the following email: firstname.lastname@example.org”. When you email these two people they will ask for your name and booking code and maybe first/last 4 digits of the denied credit card (DONT EVER SEND YOUR ENTIRE CREDIT CARD VIA EMAIL TO ANYONE). Once they have your request, they can change something on their end to allow the booking to go through.
You may get denied here again – this time its probably your credit card issuer. Call your credit card issuer to see if they are blocking it. Try it again while you have them on the phone.
Step 5) Print your ticket
Go back to the main screen and click “check in”. Enter your reservation number in the box “Codiga de Reserva” and click the “Buscar” (Search) button. A pdf of your tickets will pop up. Save it (just in case, you’ve worked so hard to get this far) and print 2 copies (just in case!).
That’s it! Wasn’t that easy??
Thanks to PK who’s comments below helped figure out the problem!