While alternative hikes will provide opportunities for last minute treks to Machu Picchu; hiking on the Classic Inca Trail. Whether it’s two days, four days or more, it requires a reservation in advance to get a space on this hike.
If you arrive in Cusco with the idea of finding a Inca Trail permits, there is a high probability that you will be deeply disappointed when you do not find any space.
Who controls the permits?
An office called the Regional Office of Culture Cusco, is responsible for issuing Inca Trail permits. In case you did not know, only 500 people can get the permits to travel the Inca Trail every day; of these 500 people, only 200 will end up entering the Inca City of Machu Picchu; the other 300 people, belong to the support team that is needed during the trek; guides, porters and cooks.
How far in advance should I book the Inca Trail?
It is only allowed the entry of 500 people, on any day to the Inca Trail; around 200 of these go to tourists, the rest go to guides, porters and other trekking personnel. If you think it sounds limited, it’s true.
How can I buy permits for the Inca Trail?
In reality you can travel the Inca Trail; however, the entity in charge of the Inca Trail revenues only allows tourism operators to buy the Inca Trail permits to Machu Picchu.
What information is needed to reserve permits for the Inca Trail?
To buy the Inca Trail permits, you must provide your full name, passport number (current), sex and date of birth. All the information provided to reserve the Inca Trail must be exact; Any error in the passport number or the name could cause them to prevent you from entering the Inca Trail. “If after reserving the Inca Trail (6 months before) change your passport, you must bring both passports with you, the old and the new.”
How to check the available income to the Inca Trail?
You can see the Inca Trail permits available on the “Ministry of Culture” page and on many other pages; however, it is best that this be verified by the Agency with which you contract The Inca Trail to Machu Picchu, since the amount of available income may vary between the time you check availability and choose the travel agency. Contact us if you wish to enter Machu Picchu by the Inca Trail.
As you can see, the main problem is not “how to get the permits of the Inca Trail”, but rather “when to reserve them”; since you do not book your Inca Trail permits in advance, you will have to enter Machu Picchu by train.