Inca Trail trek & Tours FAQs - The Inca trail is the most legendary hike in Latin America, often rated in the top 5 treks in the world and a life changing experience. Trekking the Inca Trail through the Sacred Valley to Machu Picchu can be difficult though magnificent. In 26 miles (43km) it integrates charming mountain surroundings, profuse and delightful cloud forests, semitropical jungle, and naturally, a beautiful combination of Inca paving stones, ruins and tunnels and of course the final destination, the cryptic Machu Picchu, the “Lost City of the Incas”.
Usually before you book, you will have a lot of questions about the trek. The most popular question is if it is possible to do the Inca Trail without the Inca Trail tour operator and the reply, it is not possible. because, if you want to do the Inca Trail, all tour operators will require you to get your Inca Trail permits. We recommend you to visit our website and find your reply.
YES! It is recommended that you make a reservation and pay for your entrance fee well in advance. Bookings should be done:
Best time to hike the Inca Trail for you
Book in advance
|Inca Trail on December, January, March||1 month in advance|
|Inca Trail on May, June, July||5 month in advance|
|Inca Trail on August, September, October||6 month in advance|
|Inca Trail on November||5 month in advance|
In February, the Inca Trail trek is closed but you can do the alternative treks or visit by train. The number of Inca Trail permits is limited to 500 per day (about 200 tourists 100 Guides and 200 Porter trekking staff). This includes the 2 and 4 day Inca Trail treks as well as the Salkantay Trek 7 day.
You can find the availabilty of Inca Trail permits on Ministerio de Cultura or contact with staff..
Since June 2002 trekking independently on the Inca Trail has been prohibited. The regulations state that each trekker must be accompanied by a professionally qualified guide. The Sernarp and Ministerio de Cultura Decentralizada is the regulatory body responsible for controlling access to Machu Picchu and the Inca Trail. The Inca Trail Trekking Companies must meet certain basic requirements proving that they have professional guides, cook, porters, camping equipment, radio communications and emergency first aid including oxygen. Their license is renewed each year and the list of authorized guides and agencies appears in the official website Ministerio de Cultura
No, you need to carry a original passpot with the name you used during your booking to enter the Inca Trail.
The best time to hike the Inca trail is between May and September when the weather is adequately dry and mainly sunny, though June, July and August (the high season) are very cold. No matter what time of year the nights get very cold so bring a good quality warm sleeping bag (we provide one) Thermarest mattress and layer your clothes.
The classic Inca trail, though there are alternative options as well.
Over 250 species of orchids have been recorded in the Machu Picchu historic sanctuary, as well as many rare birds, animals, reptiles, along with various species that are on the edge of extinction.
To successfully complete the trek, a moderate level of physical condition is needed regardless of age. It is vital that you have adjusted to the altitude before attempting the Inca trail. The maximum height along sea level on the way is at 4200m; we strongly advise you to spend 2 days in Cusco beforehand; it would be an ideal time to check out the nearby ruins of Sacsayhuaman and the Sacred Valley of the Incas.
The Inca Trail is 42 kms (26 miles) long. Campsites along the trek are assigned by the Ministerio de Cultura Descentralizada and for this reason it is difficult to determine the distance to be covered in a day but expect to walk 6 to 9 hours per day.
The trek is considered a moderate.
The First day, there are a lot of Inca staircases to walk up and down,
The Second day, it is difficult day, you will up from 3700 m to 4220 m. (Warmiwañusca high pass)
The Third day, it is easy day, you will walk down to the Subtropical zone
The Last day, you will require to wake up early, and you will walk up and down to Machu Picchu
We recommend the rental of a wooden walking stick locally from our office in Cusco as it will help with your balance and reduce the load on your knees.
Yes! If you do not want to hike, please advise us at the time of booking. If you choose wouldn't like to hike the trail you can spend two nights in Cuzco and then you can take the train to the town of Aguas Calientes for the third night. On the fouth day, you will meet with your group at Machu Picchu.
Our tents are of the brand Doite designated for 4 seasons. We provide with 3 person capacity tents; however, just 2 trek participants use it! In this way, we provide you more space and comfort. In case of a single traveller, we provide with a 2 person capacity tent. After each trek, we carefully check our tents and fix them if necessary
Yes, it is included the sleeping bag and Thermarest mattress
Only 500 people per day are allowed to enter to the Inca trail Trek so during the High Season you will see the same amount of people than during the low season unless all 500 permits have not been sold out.
Yes, It is popular all year and we recommend to book in advance.
Hiking pants and T-shirts are recommended during the day, complemented by sweaters, fleeces and waterproof jackets. It is very convenient to have light raingear available in the daypack (rain poncho or jacket and/or rain pants) as the weather changes easily and rains can suddenly occur. At night, warm clothing is required, down jackets can be useful, otherwise a fleece and a jacket. During the third day (if sunny) and in Machupicchu, convertible hiking pants are useful, as can be switched into shorts if necessary. Machupicchu has a warm climate, getting only cold at night. The rest of necessary implements are included in the “What we recommend that you bring” list.
The Porters to carry all camping equipement and meas during 4 days hike to Machu Picchu, if you would like the extra porter to carry your personal belonging, you can be hired separately for between $130 for the 4 day trek to Machu Picchu. Porters, cooks and guides also need an Inca Trail permit in order to enter to the Inca trail. Generally speaking if all the group have been pleased with the service then try to ensure that:
The guide $20
The cook $10
Assistant guide about $15
Each porter takes home an extra $6
A typical group of 4 persons with 7 porters (7 x 9 = $72), 1 cook ($10), 1 guide ($25), and 1 assistant ($15), which works out at a tip of about $9 per person. If you have employed a personal porter then you will have to pay his tip yourself. Remember the above figures are just a guide line. If the food that the cook served up was inedible and you couldn't understand what the guide was talking about then don't tip them. They'll soon get the message and hopefully improve their services. Don't, however, take you dissatisfaction out on the porters who were probably working hard throughout the trek.