The Inca Trail is by far the most popular trek in South America, perhaps the world. It would be wonderful if everyone who desired to hike the Inca Trail was able to get a permit, but alas that is too good to be true. First things first. Below are the links for the March and January 2018 real time permit availability for the Inca Trail. As soon as March – December 2018 permits go on sale we will post those links. The Inca Trail is closed in February.
This is real time Inca Trail to Machu Picchu availability from the Peruvian Government website. If it is shown as sold out then it is sold out for every trekking company (this availability is not specific to our company). There is no waitlist for cancellations, and permits are non-refundable and non-transferable once purchased. These are Peruvian government regulations.
The Classic Inca Trail has sold out faster this year than ever before and there is every indication that this trend will continue. Therefore, you really can´t book early enough. We are accepting bookings for 2019. Those bookings will be at 2018 prices. If you know your travel dates and you want to do the Inca Trail it is essential to book as soon as you can. Just as an example, by the end of March this year permits were sold out through mid-September.
So why are the permits limited? Also, 500 permits a day sounds like quite a lot, right? So how do they sell out so fast? Regarding the 500 permits, only 200 are for trekkers. The remainder are for porters, chefs and guides.
The reason the permits are limited is for the protection of this incredible site. In 2000 there was a joint effort of the Peruvian government and the board of UNESCO world heritage sites to put together a comprehensive plan for protection and preservation of the Inca Trail and Machu Picchu. The reason that initiative was started was because there was concern about erosion of the Trail due to overuse.
The regulations have worked. Think about this: Machu Picchu is at a minimum 522 years old. Machu Picchu was built around 1450, at the height of the Inca Empire. The construction of Machu Picchu appears to date from the period of the two great Incas, Pachacutec Inca Yupanqui (1438–71) and Tupac Inca Yupanqui (1472–93). The Inca Trail roads are even older than that. When you hike the Trail you will be blown away by the original Inca road construction and how well they are preserved.
Now that I have sung the praises of the Inca Trail, I want to tell you that the so called, “alternative treks” are truly incredible. They are not consolation prizes for those that can´t get Inca Trail permits. You can see all of our alternative treks under the “Alternative Trek” heading. Our signature trek, that we designed ourselves, is the 4 day, 3 night Ancascocha Trek to Machu Picchu. We have former trekkers that we can connect you with that will tell you how unbelievable this trek is. Many of them have said things such as, “We were fortunate that the Inca Trail was sold out because we can´t imagine any trek being better than this.” So all is not lost if permits are sold out for your chosen travel dates!!
We are going to provide you an Adventure Beyond Imagination no matter what trek you do with us. That isn´t just a cliché saying…we mean it. Once you trek with us, you will understand exactly what we are talking about!