Machu Picchu tickets can not be purchased at the entrance of the Machu Picchu ruins. You must purchase your Machu Picchu tickets online from an official Ministry of Culture ticket agency like this website or from them directly at their website machupicchu.gob.pe.
Step 1: Choose the type of Machu Picchu ticket
Your first step is to decide what type of Machu Picchu entrance ticket you want. Visit the Machu Pichu ticket price list and decide what type of ticket you would like. There are basically 2 types of tickets.
Montaña 9am + Machu Picchu Citadel, Sun Gate & Inca Bridge from 06h00-12h00
Step 2: Machu Picchu ticket availability
Machu Picchu tickets sell out in advance, specially ticket to climb Huaynapicchu or during peak season July and August, even Machu Picchu entrance tickets sell out. So please make sure you check the availability of Machu Picchu tickets prior to making your purchase.
Hiring a guide to visit Machu Picchu is now mandatory for the Citadel portion of your visit. Hiking Huaynapicchu mountain or Machu Picchu mountain can be done on your own without a guide. You can join a guided tour group or hire a private guide. It is best to hire a guide in advance specially if you are hiking Huaynapicchu or Machu Picchu mountain because these require the guide to coordinate meeting you typically after your hike to these mountains.
Official Machu Picchu ticket office in Cusco
In Cusco, tickets can be bought at the Ministerio de Cultura which is open Mon-Sat, 7AM-8PM. The address is Casa Garcilaso on Calle Garcilaso S/N, just before the Plaza Regocijo and near the Chocolate museum. You must bring your passport and either a credit card or cash in Peruvian Soles to purchase tickets. There are long lines to purchase tickets specially during peak season months. Buying machu picchu tickets online is recommended so you don't waste your precious vacation time. The only time you will be required to go in person to the Ministry of Culture is if you bought your Machu Picchu tickets directly from the Ministry of Culture site and you want to make a change of date or transfer your ticket to another person. No refunds are allowed.
Official Machu Picchu ticket office in Aguas Calientes
In Aguas Calientes, tickets can be bought at the Ministry of Culture located in Av. Pachacutec (just off the main square), and hours are Mon-Sun, 5AM-10PM. You must bring your passport and cash to purchase tickets. No credit cards are accepted here. The ATMs in Aguas Calientes charge higher fees, so try to withdraw extra cash beforehand if you're able. The office is small and there is usually long lines until 1pm. From 1pm after, there is hardly no lines.
official machu picchu website, government site, machupicchu.gob.pe, ministerio cultura