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Machu Picchu Inca Trail FAQ´s

Machu Picchu Inca Trail FAQ´s


What are the registration procedures for the Inca Trail?

Contact us through our email, form, or phone.

Fill out the registration form we will send you, with the requested information. Please note that some information such as your hotel on the day of departure and your insurance may be provided later.

For any registration on the Inca Trail, add a scan of your passports.

Once we receive the registration form, we will send you an invoice with the chosen options and payment conditions.

Your registration will only be considered once we receive payment and will only be validated if there are available spots (Inca Trail, Machu Picchu and Huayna Picchu tickets).

In case of unavailability after receiving your payment, we can offer you an alternative date or another trip. If you refuse, we will refund the value of your stay (excluding payment fees).

For the reservation, it is absolutely necessary:

The exact date of your departure on the Inca Trail (there is no possibility of changing it after payment)

  • 100% payment (no refund possibility if the person does not come)
  • Full names of all participants
  • Passports number of all participants
  • Nationality of all participants
  • Date of birth of all participants

If the holder: Copy of the International Student Identity Card (ISIC). (Discount on the final price)

What are the possible reductions for the Inca Trail?

To benefit from the student discount, it is essential to have an ISIC student card, the only card that is taken into account for the Inca Trail. Other student cards are not considered for the discount.

ISIC cardholders must be between 17 and 26 years old at the time of travel.

Participants under the age of 16 must send a photocopy of their passport at the time of booking to benefit from a discount.

Your reservation for your stay will only be effective after receiving the full balance.

The passport used to make the reservation must be presented at the time of entry to the hiking trail, otherwise, entry may be denied. For this reason, we recommend that you send us a photocopy of the passports of each participant when making your reservation.

Can I do the Inca Trail alone, without an agency, if I’m self-employed?

No. A rule dating from January 2001 now prohibits independent travelers on the Inca Trail to protect it. Therefore, the entry of the latter must be acquired in advance, by an authorized tour operator of the competent authorities. It is this same authority that controls the proper application of the rules in force by travel agencies. It is not possible to buy a ticket at the access point of the trail.

So, is it crowded? Do we walk in a line?

Certainly, you won’t be alone… That said, the quota of 500 people includes about 200 porters, 50 cooks and guides, and 250 hikers, including about 50 who start the hike at kilometer 104 for only two days. Therefore, it is sometimes less crowded than some days on the Salkantay trek, for example.

I started too late, there are no more spots. What should I do?

Don’t worry, there are many other possibilities in Peru. The two main alternatives are the Lares trek and the Salkantay trek. All are different, you will surely find something that suits you.

Note that only the Inca Trail allows you to reach Machu Picchu directly on foot through the Sun Gate. All other possibilities, of course, go through the town of Aguas Calientes.

Why so many registration details? Why full payment?

We ask for many details for your registration. All these details are requested by the regulatory authorities of the Inca Trail. The spots are nominative and cannot be modified.

Who manages the Inca Trail?

The Inca Trail is part of Peru’s National Heritage, and access and conditions of the excursions are managed and regulated by the Ministry of Culture Cusco. Only they can grant access authorizations (see also the Regulations page). The Ministry of Culture Cusco also manages the campsites. They are responsible for maintaining the trail, campsites, and toilet facilities located in the middle of nowhere.

What are the characteristics of the trail and campsites?

The Inca Trail is a stone route built by the Incas 500 years ago to connect their villages scattered throughout the Tawantisuyo Empire. This protected archaeological site open to tourism goes from km 82 to Machu Picchu. It is located in the middle of the Andes and is not accessible by car or any means of transport. There is no infrastructure for electricity, water, or convenient toilet facilities along the trail and/or at the campsites, nor is there a cellular network. The toilet facilities at the campsites are not in good condition, so most trekkers prefer nature. Unfortunately, this is not the responsibility of the agencies, and we cannot do anything about it.

What departure dates do you offer?

We offer departures every day. On the availability calendar, we indicate the spaces available for each day. That calendar also allows you to choose the trek departure date.

What is the duration of the excursion?

The Inca Trail connects the city of Cuzco to the Citadel of Machu Picchu. The start of the excursion can be from the outskirts of the city (4-day trek) or, for those in a hurry or less athletic, from an intermediate point (2-day trek). It is worth mentioning that the Inca Trail can only be done in one direction: from Cuzco to Machu Picchu; the return is always done by motorized means (train and bus).

Who will participate in the trek with me?

Naturally, the excursion is done in a group (see distribution), which is why you will be part of a group with other hikers. Since it is impossible to know in advance (also due to confidentiality issues) who will be part of your group, it is impossible for us to answer accurately. Generally, it is a group of hikers of different nationalities and ages. The Ministry imposes strict rules on agencies, such as a limit of 40 people per group, of which a maximum of 16 hikers and a minimum of 2 guides; the rest are support staff (porters, cooks). We can summarize by saying that it is a small group of a maximum of 16 people. It should be noted that as much as possible (tourists without a fixed travel date, etc.), we try to group together in the same trek a maximum of people of the same nationality and age range.

What is the best time to do the excursion?

Peru is a very large country with many different climates, so it would be very difficult to define a good time to visit different places. However, we consider that the best season is from June to September. For the Inca Trail, the warmest season is from November to March, but it is also the rainy season. That’s why we think it is more enjoyable to do a sunny but cold trek than a warm but rainy one. For this reason, we recommend doing it preferably between May and October. It should be noted that the Inca Trail is open every day of the year except in February, which is the maintenance month. For more details, we advise you to visit the weather page.