If you are looking to trek the Inca Trail you must obtain an Inca Trail permit which needs to be booked before you travel by a tour operator. If you turn up in Cusco hoping to trek the Inca Trail without reserving a permit in advance then you will be sorely disappointed. Without a permit, you can’t trek. All of our Inca Trail trips include your Inca Trail permit. The Peruvian authorities cap the number of Inca Trail permits to 500 per day and this includes permits for the guides and porters, therefore it is important to secure your permit as far in advance as possible.
Some of our most popular Inca Trail tours:
Once you make a reservation with us, we go ahead and arrange this for you with our local operators in Peru. In order to do this we need your passport information (a scanned copy) and it is essential that the information you provide is correct. This must be the passport you will be travelling at the time of the trek and must be valid for at least 6 months after your tour ends. Please note that once your Inca Trail permit is confirmed NO amendments can be made to it.
Inca Trail permits are limited to 500 per day. This 500 takes into account everyone who will be on the trail everyday – so it isn’t just tourists, but all the vital support staff that go with them including porters, guides and cooks. So taking that into account it works out to be an average 200 trekkers and 300 support staff per day. Once the limit of 500 has been met, no more Inca Trail permits are issued and the trail is essentially closed off for that day.
As far in advance as possible! As with anything, the further in advance you book something the more likely you are to get it. Inca Trail permits are no different. We recommend booking your Inca Trail tour at least 4 months in advance.
Weather wise the best time to trek the Inca Trail is between May and September with the peak season for trekking the Inca Trail being between June and August. May to September are the driest months, although it can be quite cold in the evenings – so pack some warm clothes and a good sleeping bag. The Inca Trail is open 11 months of the year and is closed only in February. February is when the Inca Trail has a spring clean, it attracts tens of thousands of visitors each year so it needs some time to be cleaned up and preserved.
Don’t panic! All of our Inca Trail tours are on request until the Inca Trail permit is obtained. Once you have confirmation from us that an Inca Trail permit is available for you then you can go ahead and book your fights. If for any reason we are unsuccessful in obtaining an Inca Trail permit then you can either choose a different departure date or alternatively take the Lares Trek which does not require permits. The Lares Trek is an incredible scenic, off the beaten track hike through the Andes, taking you to Machu Pichu without the crowds of the Inca Trail.