This is my first post on these forums and I'm sure you're all bored of Machu Picchu questions... Buuuut, I am having trouble, so I thought I'd ask..
I was wondering how easy it is to get a machu picchu permit at short notice? Everywhere online says to reserve well in advance, but I have no clue which month i'll be in Peru, let alone what days.
Is it possible to get one with a few days notice?
Thanks for reading, I hope to hear from you soon.
There's 2500 tickets available for Machu Picchu every day, which (last I heard) is plenty most days. (I might be completely out of date, here, though, and would appreciate if someone with more recent info corrects me if I'm wrong.) Just book it a few days before arriving. Same for the train journey "there" (to Aguas Calientes).
What is extremely limited are tickets for the 4 day "classic inca trail", which consists of 2.5 days of hiking, followed by a full day at Machu Picchu. Only 500 people a day are allowed on the inca trail (including guides and porters), which is the reason it's booked so far ahead. (During the high season of May through September, you really have to book 4-5 months in advance at the latest.) If you like to do a multi-day hike through that general region (even if not past the same stunning sequence of inca sites), there's various (cleverly marketed) "alternative inca trails", which consist of hiking, train/bus transport to Aguas Calientes, and then a visit to Machu Picchu; you can generally still book these as late as 2 weeks in advance (and you might be lucky and even do it a day or two in advance, though I wouldn't count on it).
FWIW, the inca trail is absolutely stunning, and (if you like hiking) worth taking a best guess on, and adjusting the rest of your trip while on the road to make it actually fit. I find the progression of ever more impressive inca sites gives you a really good impression of just how superlative Machu Picchu itself is.
edit: Actually, andean travel web, which I regard highly, recommends booking regular Machu Picchu tickets at least 5 days in advance, and expects that to increase over time. I defer to them.
[ Edit: Edited on 08-Jul-2013, at 13:03 by Sander ]
Thankyou so much for your time and super fast, detailed reply!