Machu Picchu Site Museum

The Manuel Chávez Ballón museum is located between the roads that connect the town of Aguas Calientes with the archaeological site of Machu Picchu. There, the tourist will be able to see some objects found in the Inca city as well as an educational exhibition on the excavation process in the wonder of the world. The museum is a great option for tourists who want a cultural visit in Machupicchu.

What is it?

The Machu Picchu site museum 'Manuel Chávez Ballón' (in honor of the archaeologist who led the excavations in the Inca city between 1966 and 1971) exhibits pieces found in the Inca archaeological site as well as didactic panels of the staging process of the site inca. It has up to 7 showrooms and 8 sequences with photographic materials and panels.

Where is it located?

The museum is located in the town of Aguas Calientes, also known as Machupicchu town. It is located on the Hiram Bingham road, which connects the town with the Inca citadel.

How to get?

Most tourists arrive at the Machu Picchu site museum by walking approximately 2.8 kilometers from the town of Aguas Calientes. Another option, although more expensive, is to take one of the buses that take you to the museum in just 10 minutes.

A good option is to visit the museum, after the tour of Machu Picchu. For this, you must do a downhill walk for approximately 3 kilometers. It can also be reached by taking the buses that return to the tourists, after the visit to the Inca city.

Map of the route

What to see

History of the museum of Machu Picchu

The Machupicchu Site Museum was built in the 1970s on the initiative of the Peruvian archaeologist Manuel Chávez Ballón, who was in charge of the excavations at Machu Picchu between 1966 and 1971. An important part for this building was achieved thanks to the donation by Mrs. Anita Fernandini de Naranjo. Since its early years, the museum exhibits pieces found in the Inca city.

In 2002 the museum remodeling works were carried out as well as the organization of the museum's cultural material. In 2005 the second inauguration of the museum was held, which bears the name of Manuel Chávez Ballón, in honor of the 'father of Peruvian archeology'. Currently, the place has 7 rooms where ceramic pieces, tools, utensils and other Inca objects are exhibited, as well as photographs, panels and infographics.

The Botanical Garden

The botanical garden of Machupicchu is located a few steps from the site museum 'Manuel Chávez Ballón'. The place has diverse species of flowers and plants where the floripondios, the lilies, the palm trees, the lemon trees, the pisonay and, above all, the orchids, the most representative flower of Machu Picchu, stand out. Due to the abundance of flowers, the site is an observatory for various birds and especially butterflies. Occasionally you can see the 'tunki' or cock of the rocks, known as the national bird of Peru.

The cost of entering the botanical garden is included in the entrance ticket to the botanical garden of Machu Picchu.

How much is admission?

With the purchase of any entrance ticket to Machu Picchu, the tourist can enter the Machupicchu Site Museum (and the botanical garden) for free.

Another option is to directly purchase the entrance ticket to the museum whose cost is 22 Peruvian soles per tourist (7 US dollars approximately). Peruvian students and visitors pay only 11 Peruvian soles (approximately 4 US dollars). Children enter free.

Hours of Operation

The Manuel Chávez Ballón Site Museum is open to the public every day of the year from 8 in the morning until 4 in the afternoon.

Other museums in Cusco

Ingreso al museo de sitio de Machu Picchu
Museo de Sitio de Machu Picchu
Pieza lítica en el museo de Sitio de Machu Picchu
See more traveler pictures

More information

The purchase of the entrance ticket to the Machupicchu Site Museum can be done in person in Cusco (at the door of the museum) or online, through the website of the Ministry of Culture of Peru.

The Manuel Chávez Ballón museum offers free admission for everyone during its afternoon hours: from noon to 4 in the afternoon. They just have to approach the place and present their identity document or passport. This offer includes national or international tourists of all ages.

Some advices

An excellent idea for your visit to Machu Picchu is to visit the Inca archaeological site in the morning and, after descending (by bus or on foot), go to the 'Manuel Chávez Ballón' Site Museum. So you will have a complete cultural experience in Cusco. In addition, in the afternoon the entrance to the museum is totally free.

The town of Aguas Calientes is located 2,040 meters above sea level (6,692 feet elevation). At that altitude, symptoms of altitude sickness (fatigue, nausea, headache) are not frequent. If, before visiting Machu Picchu, you spend one or two days in the city of Cusco, your body will be used to the mountainous geography and you will not suffer from this disease.