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Inca Trail Booking Policies to Machu Picchu 2023

Home / Travel Blog / Inca Trail Booking Policies to Machu Picchu 2023
Inca Trail Booking Policies to Machu Picchu 2023

The Inca Trail is widely recognized as one of the most sought-after treks globally, and consequently, its availability is limited. To ensure a successful hike along the Inca Trail, it is imperative to make reservations well in advance. The availability of the Inca Trail is influenced by various factors, including the time of year, the size of your group, and the number of spaces regulated by the Peruvian government.


In 2023, only 500 trekking permits will be issued daily for Inca Trail treks. Additionally, Inca Trail permits are mandatory for all members of your travel team, including porters, cooks, and guides. Therefore, it is crucial to book your Inca Trail adventure in advance. Due to the multiple requirements that must be met, there is no fixed timeline for booking and securing an Inca Trail to Machu Picchu entrance ticket.


The optimal time to embark on the Inca Trail is during the dry season, which spans from May to September. However, this period is also the busiest time of the year, making it essential to reserve your trip as early as possible.


Booking policies for the Inca Trail in Peru can vary slightly depending on the tour operator you choose, but there are some common policies and guidelines that most operators adhere to. It's essential to book your Inca Trail trek well in advance, as there are limited permits available, and they can sell out quickly, especially during the high tourist season. Here are some typical booking policies:


Book Online your Inca Trail ASAP with tour operator company. There are two types of companies that will try and sell you an Inca trail package: registered tour operators and middle men, otherwise known as endosars. The registered tour operators are a small quantity that run, sell, and operate their own Inca Trail Tours. 


Inca Trail Policies 2023


All operators will ask you for a deposit which is generally NON-REFUNDABLE. It is non-refundable simply because the MINISTERIO DE CULTURA does not give back the agencies any money when a passenger cancels or changes a date. The operator then has to re-apply for a new permit if passengers change dates. Inca Trail Tour Operators have different Payment methods.


There is no such thing as a WAITLIST/CANCELLATION LIST. If any agency/operator tells you that they can do this, they are simply not telling the truth and are operating illegally! Its as simple as if a passenger cancels their space is not given to anybody else - period!


Apart from the deposit, you will be required to give your current passport details of all the persons travelling with you on the Inca Trail. You will need to give the follow personal details:

  • Family Name and Full Name
  • Passport Number
  • Date of birthday
  • Nationality 

If this information is not supplied no agency can take out permits for you/others. The important part of this information is that you give the same passport details that you will be travelling with to Peru. There are various check points on the trail and they will check the agency documentation against your passport; if its does not match you will not be allowed entrance! If you are renewing your passport, you need to keep 2 photocopies of your old passport that you are going to hand in for renewal and you can apply with this information as long as you bring the photocopies with you or if you are able to keep your old passport, then travel with your old & new passport.

  • Inca Trail availability: Well, its very easy, just go to the Inca Trail Available. On the drop-down menu select the month you want to do the trek in and you will see how many spaces are still available. The trail is regulated to 500 persons per day. Support staff like guides and porters are also included into this allowance, so really only half of the 500 is for tourists. The high season generally runs from MAY TO SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER. Each year it varies, but you are advised that if you are travelling in the high season that you need to start booking your permits at least 5 months in advance. Book Inca Trail early!.
  • Inca Trail Students? If you are a student with a valid ISIC (international students card) then you are entitled to a discount. Again this may vary from tour operators, but should be around U$ 30 discount! In order to claim this discount you need to provide the agency with a scanned in copy of your card and travel with the card on the trail. If you do not have your card with you on the trail you will be obliged to pay the full fare.
  • Personal porters: The tour operator that you book with will ask you if you want the help of a personal porter to carry your extra luggage. This is a good idea if you are not used to hiking. It helps you enjoy the trail more! Rates.. You can then walk with just your daypack carrying whatever you need for the day like sunblock, rain jacket, camera, snacks, etc. Keep it light!

Inca Trail Rules

Inca Trail Policies 2024

The Inca Trail in Peru is a world-renowned trekking route that leads to the ancient archaeological site of Machu Picchu. To protect the trail, the environment, and the experience of visitors, there are specific rules and regulations that trekkers must adhere to. These rules help ensure the preservation of the trail and the safety of hikers. While regulations may change over time, as of my last update in September 2021, here are some common rules for the Inca Trail:

  • Permit Requirements: To hike the Inca Trail, you must obtain a permit through a licensed tour operator. Independent hiking is not allowed. Permits are limited and should be secured well in advance.
  • Guided Tours: All trekkers must be part of a guided tour group with a licensed guide. The guide will provide information about the trail, history, and regulations, ensuring a safe and educational experience.
  • Stay on the Trail: It's crucial to stay on the designated path and not stray from the trail. The Inca Trail is a fragile ecosystem, and off-path hiking can damage the environment.
  • No Littering: Leave No Trace principles apply on the Inca Trail. Pack out all your trash and dispose of it properly. Do not litter along the trail or at campsites.
  • Respect for Archaeological Sites: Do not touch, lean on, or climb on the archaeological ruins along the trail. These structures are delicate and need protection.
  • Porter Regulations: If you hire porters to carry your gear, make sure they are treated fairly and are not overloaded. Porters have weight limits for the loads they can carry, and these limits should be respected.
  • No Smoking or Fires: Smoking and open fires are not allowed on the Inca Trail due to the risk of forest fires.
  • Toilet Facilities: Use the provided toilet facilities at campsites and follow proper waste disposal procedures. Do not defecate in the open or near water sources.
  • Respect Other Hikers: Maintain a respectful and considerate attitude toward fellow hikers. Keep noise levels down, especially in the early morning and evening.
  • Altitude Acclimatization: Be prepared for the high altitude of the trail. It's recommended to spend time acclimatizing in Cusco before starting the trek to reduce the risk of altitude sickness.
  • Health and Safety: Follow safety guidelines and instructions from your guide. Be prepared for various weather conditions and dress appropriately.
  • No Drones: Drones are not allowed on the Inca Trail or at Machu Picchu due to safety and environmental concerns.

It's essential to stay updated with the most current regulations and guidelines for the Inca Trail, as they may change over time. Your inca trail tour operator and guide should provide you with the specific rules and expectations for your trek. Respecting these rules not only ensures the protection of the trail and its surroundings but also enhances the experience for all visitors and helps preserve this iconic trek for future generations.


Inca Trail Policies to Machu Picchu


What is the procedure for obtaining an Inca Trail permit?

Please refer to the calendar link here to ascertain availability, following which you may proceed by clicking on the "book now" button. Kindly furnish your personal details and specify the type of service required, along with the number of passengers accompanying you on your journey. Additionally, you may opt to include supplementary services such as Huayna Picchu tickets, Machu Picchu Mountain tickets, and the option to upgrade your train tickets.


What is the rationale behind imposing regulations on the Inca Trail?

The regulation of the Inca Trail leading to Machu Picchu has been undertaken by authoritative bodies of the Peruvian State, including DIRCETUR, the Ministry of Culture, and SERNANP.


The primary aim of this regulation is to foster and facilitate the preservation of the Cultural and Natural Heritage of Machu Picchu, by regulating the tourist usage of the Inca Trail, mitigating the adverse effects of visitors on the trail, and ensuring the safety of hikers.


Who travels the route? What are your duties?

In its entirety, the Inca Trail is traversed by a total of 500 individuals on a daily basis. These individuals are categorized as follows:

  • Visitors - These are tourists who enter the trail in groups of no more than 16 individuals, with a total of 200 visitors per day.
  • Guides - The official tour guides are responsible for leading each group of tourists. In the event that the group is sizeable, consisting of a maximum of 16 tourists, two guides may be assigned.
  • Support Staff - To ensure that the tourists are able to complete their journey without any hindrances, support personnel such as cooks and porters are necessary. The support staff and guides combined make up a total of 300 individuals who enter the trail each day.

Best Tours in Peru

If you want to visit Machu Picchu, we recommend you to book your Machu Picchu entrance tickets in advance, so you will enjoy your Vacation in Machu Picchu without any problem.



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