There are 500 permits each day, from which approximately 200 are allocated to tourists and 300 to local staff such as Tour Guides, Porters and Cooks. Peruvian government is in charge of Inca Trail permit allocation. Click on the following Peruvian government link to check how many Inca Trail permits are still available: Ministerio de Cultura. You can choose your language clicking on flags on top of the page. Then go to the section “Consultas” (“Queries” in English version), select “Inca Trail” from the Archaeological Centre section, choose year and month when you like to do the trek. If the number of remaining permits is 0 (zero), it means all permits are sold out and you must choose another date. If all permits are sold out for a particular date, it means that NO travel agency is able to offer you a space!!! Travel agencies CANNOT purchase a block of permits in advance and sell them on a later date. There is NO “waiting list” either!! An Inca Trail permit can be only purchased against a specific name and passport number!! These details cannot be changed after the permit has been granted!!
Since June 2002, trekking independently on the Inca Trail has been prohibited! State regulations set that each trekker has to be accompanied by a professional Tour Guide! Although, trying to hire a private Tour Guide in advance is difficult since travel agencies are not interested in hiring out their Tour Guides. However, if you wait until you arrive to Cusco to arrange your Tour Guide, there is a very high probability that all Inca Trail permits will be already fully booked. If you have a good luck during a rainy low season and there is still an Inca Trail permit left, you will likely find the worst Tour Guides as the all professionals work for good travel agencies.
Let Inca Trail Machu take all this hassle out of hiking in Cusco. If we are advise enough time in advance, we arrange your Inca Trail for you!
However, if you like to get away from it all and trek on your own, then there are some excellent alternative treks to Machu Picchu such as Lares Valley Trek, Cachicata Trek, Salkantay 5 Days Trek and Salkantay 4 Day Trek.