The thing that makes travel stressful is the possibility that somebody’s going to pull the rug out from under you. You get everything organized, reservations made, tickets paid for, but then, just when you’re about to achieve your objective, somebody steps forward and says, “actually you can’t go in because of [insert BS excuse here].”
In the age of the internet, you always have to be a little nervous that you’re dealing with outdated, or completely inaccurate information (don’t base all your travel plans on a popular Facebook meme).
Last year as I was planning to take my wife and kids to Peru, I went to buy entry tickets to Machu Picchu. Down at the bottom I saw a notice that said “children under 8 don’t pay.”
Although that notice should be “good enough,” I’ve spent enough time in Peru to have developed a certain skepticism about everything. However, the standard rules of Peru don’t necessarily apply to Cusco which really has become a very kind and tourist accommodating place. There have been a few times when I was haggling on the borders of Ecuador or Chile and had people kind of try to fudge the system and get me to pay for something I wasn’t required to have, but that hasn’t been the case in Cusco.
I was almost tempted to buy tickets for my kids, after all it’s a long trip to Machu Picchu and I didn’t want some unscrupulous or over zealous ticket guardian turn me away just because he/she wanted to stiff me, or worse, didn’t know the rules.
However, I’m happy to report that there were absolutely no issues whatsoever entering Machu Picchu with my two little girls. You are still required to bring a passport to the entry gate to show their age, but they let us in without any problem.
Sure, if you’re still freaking out, you can go ahead and purchase tickets for everyone, but I can personally attest it’s fine to enter Machu Picchu without tickets for those under 8…at least until they change the law. For updates, keep your eye on the official Machu Picchu ticket page.