Inca Trail Availability Online
INCA TRAIL AVAILABILITY SPACES
The information shown on this website shows the real-time availability of Inca Trail trek permits by INC (Instituto Nacional de Cultura). The trek permits are required for the classic Inca Trail 4 days , the shorter Inca Trail 2 days and the Salkantay / Inca Trail trek 7 days. Alternative treks such as Lares Valley, Ausangate, Choquequirao, and the Inca Trail via Santa Teresa do not require trek permits. The government issues a maximum of 500 trek permits for each day. Since trekking staff are also included within this limit of 500 persons this means that, on average, about 200 trek permits are allocated to tourists and about 300 allocated to guides, cooks and porters.
The inca Trail Availability and Permits: 2022 – 2023
*This information is provided courtesy of the Regional Directorate of Culture of Cusco.
How to use this data base: First you will realise that the information given on the above mentioned website is in Spanish! The data base is mainly used by the trekking agencies in Cusco to decide when they need to close their groups and buy the trek permits. However you don’t need to know much Spanish in order to check how many trek permits are still available on the date that you want to do the trek.
Please, notice that: The Inca Trail is closed in February for maintenance; so this month is not available.
The availability applies to the Inca Trail itself and not to our Agency. Any Agency you choose will have the same availability. Therefore, it is useless to contact another Agency if the date you want is not available.
A large number of available spaces does not mean at all that “there is still time”. Some agencies group their requests together and it is not unusual to see 30 spaces go away in only 5 minutes.
Availability is controlled by the Peruvian National Institut of Culture. Only they are able to manage and authorize the access to the Inca Trail.
According to the current regulations (Resolution nº 02-2003-UGM-CD), the access to the Inca Trail is limited to 500 people per day, including the personnel. For this reason, the number of available spaces on this page corresponds to spaces for trekkers, that is to say 40% of the total number (60% approximately is for the Trek personnel).
According to the same regulations, reservations can only be made up for the current season (from March to January).
For the next season, it is possible to pre-reserve the Trek by making first a 50% down payment and paying the 50% balance to be paid either direct at our office or your hotel..
For practical reasons, it is not possible to make reservations less than 72 hours before the departure of the Trek or with 4 spaces or less available.
BOOKING THE INCA TRAIL HIKE
We try to make booking as easy as possible. We need a booking form that is completed and includes all details for the entire party on one form please, and then a $250 deposit per person. The deposits can be paid separately, as long as we have one booking form that we can use to track payments. Once we have all deposits and details, we will then book your permits. When permits are in our hands, we will send you your invoice and confirmation that everything is 100% set. All start dates, once confirmed, are guaranteed.
PERMITS FOR THE INCA TRAIL HIKE
Only licensed Inca Trail tour operators, like Us, can obtain permits from the government. Once your permit is secured, the name and start date can not be changed, under any circumstance. The only information the government permits us to change is the passport numbers.
One of the most frequent questions we hear from hikers is, “Do you need a permit to trek to Machu Picchu?” On the list of necessities every traveler needs to remember when making travel arrangements, one of the most important – but also one of the most unexciting and often overlooked – is obtaining permits to hike the Classic Inca Trail to Machu Picchu route!
Because the Peruvian government protects the historic landmark for its natural and historical significance, only 500 individuals are allowed on the Classic Inca Trail hike each day from Kilometer 82. Around 300 of these will be porters, guides and other staff, which leaves room for 200 trekkers that can join the trail per day.
Due to the worldwide popularity of this trek, permits must be purchased before you leave for Peru – sometimes many months before a trip commences! These permits for Inca Trail reservations used to go on sale in January of each year. However, for the 2022 season, permits went on sale in October 2021. It is important to note that in past years, once on sales permits for April and May have sold out entirely in just a few days, and in some years permits for June, July, and August have sold out as early as mid-February. So, it pays to plan and choose your dates at least six to nine months in advance.
If traveling in a group, it is essential that your group or party reserves Inca Trail permits in a contiguous ‘block’ at the same time. In our experience, we have seen several instances of a group or a family unit not doing this despite warnings. As a result, some of these parties have not been able to hike the Trail together as a group. Even a few minutes or hours can make a difference!
Please also note that the permitting system is carefully structured to prevent people and organizations from abusing it. Travel companies and tour operators cannot buy Inca Trail hike permits in bulk to resell at a later date. In order to obtain a permit, you will need to provide a full name, date of birth, passport details (passport number, country of issue, date of issue, and expiration date) and the dates you want to trek the Trail. Once the application for a permit is submitted, it typically takes anywhere from 24 to 72 hours to get a response from the Peruvian permit authority (through the Peruvian Ministry of Culture). This means that until a successful confirmation is received, you should not book flights to or hotels in Peru. Also, be aware that you will be required to pay a security deposit when initially booking the permit. If the permit is not secured for any reason, this deposit can be refunded. When a permit is successfully secured and paid, the deposit is no longer refundable.
Another critical thing to know is that after a permit is secured, you cannot change travel dates. If you can no longer go on the trek as scheduled for whatever reason, you will forfeit your deposit and the permit will go unused. Unfortunately, you can not transfer your Inca Trail permit to a friend or family member.
If you get a new passport after securing a permit, you must contact your tour operator to resubmit the new identification information to the Peruvian permitting authority. Please ensure that the passport you bring with you to Peru matches the permit’s details – otherwise, you will not be allowed to begin your Inca Trail tour! If you changed your passport, it would be wise to bring both the old and new passports to Peru. There are multiple permit checks performed along the way, and the agents are thorough!
REQUIRED DOCUMENTATION FOR THE INCA TRAIL HIKE TO MACHU PICCHU
To hike the fantastic Inca Trail 4 days, you need to bring your personal identification documents. The names in the permits must match the information in your documents. Therefore, make sure you provide accurate information to the agency you are booking the tour with. If the information is not accurate, you won’t be able to do the Inca Trail hike:
Valid original Passport
Student card (if you want a discount)
You must bring with you any of these personal documents that you used at the moment of booking. Otherwise, you won’t be able to do the Inca Trail 4 days. Make sure you have your personal documents with you all the time. Put them in a safe place before and during the inca trail hike.
Note: If you have updated your passport some days prior the trek, you have to let the agency know and ask them to update the new information. If possible, bring both the old and new passports. You should also send a copy of both the old and new passports to the agency.
INCA TRAIL TO MACHU PICCHU DISCOUNTS
Certainly, There is a small discount that the Culture Ministry gives to minors or students who have a valid student card. A student card is considered valid if it shows the following features:
Name of the university
Expiration date, which has to be the year that the student visits Machu Picchu (NOT a year early or later to the visit date)
Note: To apply for the students discount, you shouldn’t be over 25 years old.
UPDATING PASSPORT NUMBERS
The government will only allow us to change passport numbers if we have a copy of the new passport and old passport. If you no longer have your old passport, any government issue ID will be accepted, as long as the name is the same. Also, make sure your passport does not expire six months or less from your trip.