The Inca Trail

The Inca Trail to Machu Picchu is generally believed to be one of the best hikes the world has to offer. It is also one of the most approachable, as you do not need any particular skill to be able to complete. Some good health and fitness will help you get from the trailhead to the end, Machu Picchu. 

Compared to other famous hikes, its rather short - but along the way you enjoy a mixture of incredible ruins, snow capped mountain peaks, beautiful waterfalls and luscious jungle. At the end of the trail you will walk through the Sun Gate for your first site of Machu Picchu, where you will see the ruins from above at its most beautiful.

The government has sanctioned a small portion of the thousands of miles of Inca Trail preserved for this hike. The classic most popular route is 26 miles and takes 4 days. You can do this same route at a slower pace for a 5 day trek. There is a longer version for those trying to make it more challenging - a 7 day trek that combines the Salkantay pass with the Inca Trail. And there is a short 2 day version which is really just one day hiking and the second day is spent at Machu Picchu. No matter which route you choose, you will need a PERMIT to do the trek. 

The Process!

In order to hike the Inca Trail you need a PERMIT, which can only be purchased by an INCA TRAIL TOUR OPERATOR, like Alpaca Expeditions. We purchase this permit on your behalf once you make your booking. We need your full details and deposit in order for us to secure your.

The Ministry of Culture of Peru controls all permits. They have now separated the permits for the 4, 5 and 7 day treks from the shorter 2 day trek. For the longer treks, there are 500 permits per day and EVERYONE needs a permit, including crew, so permits sell out very fast. You only need a permit for your start date of the trek (for the 7 day trek this would be for day 4). The government shares how many permits are still available in real time, which we share on our Inca Trail availability page.

Permit

When you book your tour with us, we will request your details:

  1. Full name as written in your passport
  2. Passport Number,
  3. Dates of Birth,
  4. Nationality and
  5. Gender.

Our office will use these details, along with your requested Trek START Date to book the permit. Once booked, we can not change any of these details other than your passport number (if you get a new passport we will need copies of the old and new passport page to change the number on the permit).

When you enter the Inca Trail, the park rangers will check the permit with your passport and they must match. If they do not, they will not allow entry onto the trail. If any of these details change, for example your last name, you will need to bring the passport you used to book the trip with you to enter the trail - it does not need to be valid...just match. Remember to bring your valid passport to enter the country.

IMPORTANT 

  • We can not change Dates of the Trek or Names on the Permit once booked.
  • You can not transfer your permit to someone else if you no longer can go and you can not swap start dates if the date booked no longer works.
  • We would need to book a new permit in both of these cases...as long as permits are available.
  • We can not book a permit without your details or DEPOSIT. 

TreksDistance HikedMax. ElevationMin. ElevationFitness LevelDifficulty
Inca Trail 4 Day28 miles/45 kms13,779 ft/4200 mts6,725 ft/2050 mtsAverageModerate
Inca Trail 5 Day28 miles/45 kms13,779 ft/4200 mts6,725 ft/2050 mtsAverageModerate
Inca Trail 2 Day with Camping9.3 miles/15 kms8,923 ft/2720 mts6,233 ft/1900 mtsAverageEasy to Moderate
Inca Trail 2 Day with Hotel6.8 miles/11 kms8,923 ft/2720 mts6,889 ft/2100 mtsAverageEasy to Moderate
Salkantay & Inca Trail Expedition 7D/6N46.7 miles/75 kms17,060 ft/5200 mts9,842 ft/3000 mtsFitDifficult

The Journey is the Destination

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