Is Machu Picchu Worth It?

Machu Picchu, top of every traveler’s bucket list. People come from all over the world, spend thousands of dollars, travel for days, and wait in line, just to see this amazing wonder of the world. But is Machu Picchu Worth It?

Machu Picchu is definitely worth visiting, but it requires a big investment of time, money, and energy. Indeed, traveling to Machu Picchu takes one more than one day, costs around $300 person, and can be hard because of altitude sickness.

Is a day trip to Machu Picchu worth it?

Machu Picchu is usually visited in one day because you cannot visit it on your own. Basically, you can’t drive to Machu Picchu, so you will need to get on a bus and then follow a loop in the ruins. The loop is only a few hours long, so you can do the visit in one day. However, you cannot do the whole trip in one day because Machu Picchu is a remote place. So, is a day trip to Machu Picchu worth it?

A day trip to Machu Picchu is not worth it because you physically can’t take a train to Aguas Calientes, take the bus to Machu Picchu, and visit the ruins in one day.

Indeed, heading to Machu Picchu is not easy at all. Let’s assume that you come from the United States for example you first need to drive to your local airport, take a plane to Lima, and take another flight to Cusco. Then, you need to get to Aguas Calientes by train. This is the closest town to Machu Picchu. The drive is 3 hours long. Finally, you need to get on a 25-minute bus from Aguas Calientes to Machu Picchu.

As you can see in the previous paragraph, it usually takes more than one day to visit Machu Picchu. It is impossible to do all of this in one day, especially because you should get to Machu Picchu as early as possible!

machu picchu under fog makes it less worth it
You should visit Machu Picchu as early as possible because there will be fewer tourists and also because some mist can form during the day, making the views less impressive. This is something to consider when visiting Machu Picchu: you can get unlucky and not see it! Credits to Alan Hurt Jr.

Is the experience itself worth it?

Since visiting Machu Picchu in one day is not possible, the best is to visit other cities in Peru, and only head to Machu Picchu and go back home. But is the detour to Machu Picchu worth your time? Is the experience itself worth it?

According to Thirst Lounge Travels and Cody Buffinton, visiting Machu Picchu is worth it. They are travel vloggers who work by traveling the world. The issue is that they sometimes get paid to give good reviews about places to attract tourists. So, I first made sure that there was no direct sponsoring behind those videos.

The first video will show you all the transportation needed to get to Machu Picchu. It’s a good way to visualize what it will be like traveling to Machu Picchu.

Credits to Thirst Lounge Travels

As you just saw in the video, they tried different things even in Aguas Calientes. Now the following video is a bit different: it focuses way more on Machu Picchu itself. It really explains the way the tour works. So you should also watch it to understand what to expect.

Credits to Cody Buffinton

Is Machu Picchu worth your money?

In order to know if Machu Picchu is worth it or not, we need to talk about money. Can you afford the trip to this wonder of the world? Well, this is what we are going to see right now. So, is Machu Picchu worth your money?

The entrance fee to Machu Picchu is $60 per person. You also need to take the transportation and accommodation fees into account: around $240 per person. This means that it costs around $300 per person to visit Machu Picchu.

Now to have an idea to know whether Machu Picchu is worth your money or not, the best is to compare it with other mythical places on Earth. For instance, Petra is also one of the Seven Wonders of the World, and it costs around $170 to visit it. So it costs almost twice as much visiting Machu Picchu than visiting Petra!

How much does it cost to visit Machu Picchu?

Now if you want to look at the detailed maths behind those numbers, here they are. So, we need to take into account several things and make some assumptions. First, we should not take into account the flight tickets to Cusco, because they will be different for everyone. However, once you land in Cusco, it is the same story for everyone. So, we need to add up the train ticket price, the hotel room, the bus ride to Machu Picchu, and the entrance fee.

First, the train. From Cusco to Aguas Calientes, a round-trip ticket for one person costs between $140 and $950. This is because there are three different options. Let’s assume that you do not want to spend a lot of money on transportation and that you choose the cheapest option

Train optionsPrice (USD)
Luxury train ‘Hiram Bingham’$950
Credits to for this price table

Then, you arrive in Aguas Calientes after a 3-hour long train drive. You can’t visit Machu Picchu today. You need to sleep in a hotel. Then, the next morning, you need to take a bus as early as possible (as you can see in the videos) to Machu Picchu. I was able to find a hotel room for $70 for one night. Then, a bus ticket to Machu Picchu from Aguas Calientes costs $24 for an adult for a round-trip. Finally, the entrance fee is $60 per person. Let’s add up all the numbers!

Type of expenseAmount (USD)
Train ticket from Cusco to Aguas Calientes$140
Hotel room for one night in Aguas Calientes$70
Bus ticket from Aguas Calientes to Machu Picchu$24
Entrance fee to Machu Picchu$60
Table explaining how much it costs to visit Machu Picchu for one person

Now that you know what it costs to visit Machu Picchu, you are the only one who can tell whether you can afford it or not!

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