Machu Picchu Historical Sanctuary

Cuzco & the Sacred Valley

For many travelers to Peru, a visit to the lost Inca city of Machu Picchu is the whole purpose of their trip. With its awe-inspiring location, it is the best-known and most spectacular archaeological site on the continent. Despite being swamped by tourists from June to September, it still retains an air of grandeur and mystery. Entrance tickets, valid for a morning or afternoon turn, often sell out: buy them in advance in Cuzco.

Check for changes in online purchasing: it is possible to use debit cards, but only for adult entry (to the ruins, Wayna Picchu and Cerro Machu Picchu). Student and child admission cannot be purchased online and valid student ID is required. In addition, there 400 paid spots for hiking Wayna Picchu and Mt Machu Picchu.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Cuzco & the Sacred Valley attractions

1. Royal Tomb

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Below the Temple of the Sun, this almost hidden, natural rock cave was carefully carved by Inca stonemasons. Its use is highly debated; though known as…

2. Temple of the Sun

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Just above and to the left of the ceremonial baths is Machu Picchu’s only round building, a curved and tapering tower of exceptional stonework. This…

3. Ceremonial Baths

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If you head straight into the ruins from the main entry gate, you pass through extensive terracing to a beautiful series of 16 connected ceremonial baths…

4. Sacred Plaza

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Climbing the stairs above the ceremonial baths, there is a flat area of jumbled rocks, once used as a quarry. Turn right at the top of the stairs and walk…

5. Prison Group

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At the lower end of this area is the Prison Group, a labyrinthine complex of cells, niches and passageways, positioned both under and above the ground.

6. Temple of the Condor

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This ‘temple’ is named for a carving of the head of a condor with rock outcrops as outstretched wings. It is considered the centerpiece of the Prison…

8. Temple of the Three Windows


Important buildings flank the remaining three sides of the Sacred Plaza. The Temple of the Three Windows features huge trapezoidal windows that give the…