Adventure Peru Path has to elaborate on a few new Inca Trail FAQs to help our clients understand all the new regulations for the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu, see below for our full list of Inca Trail FAQs:
Inca Trail FAQs
WHAT ARE INCA TRAIL FAQs?
This is a list of Inca Trail FAQs to MACHUPICCHU, accompanied by comprehensive answers prepared by our local tour guides.
WHAT IS THE INCA TRAIL?
The Inca Trail is the name of the route that partially follows the course of an old Inca path leading to Machu Picchu citadel. Normally this trek begins at Km 82 or Km 88 on the railway between Cuzco and Machu Picchu.
HOW LONG IS THE INCA TRAIL?
This trail is about 46 KM. Inca Trail Peru Path suggests to hikers to start the trail from Km 82 to Classic 4 Days Inca Trail to Machu Picchu and enjoy more scenery on the first day.
HOW HARD IS THE INCA TRAIL?
Generally this trek is strenuous, but there is no glacier walking or rock-climbing involved, so you don’t need to be experienced hiker or to be prepared technically to book this amazing trek.
The difficulty comes largely from the repeated steep ascents and descents, and from the high altitude. On the second day the climb to the first pass takes from 3000m (9750ft) to 4200m (13650ft) in a relatively short space, followed by a descent to 3600m (11700ft). After the second day – second pass at 3640m (11830ft) the trail become easier to Machu Picchu ruin.
THE INCA TRAIL PRICE INCLUDES PORTERS, WHAT WILL THEY CARRY?
Some Inca Trail FAQs concerning porters. Yes, the trek price includes porters. They carry the food, the cooking gear, the tents, the mattresses, and they personal items.
The trek price includes a personal porter to help you to carry your personal items no more than 6 kg.
CAN I HIRE A PORTER TO CARRY MY PERSONAL ITEMS OR LUGGAGE ON THE INCA TRAIL? If you’re fit and accustomed to hiking with a heavy backpack, you can do the trek
without help from a Porter. If you like to walk comfortably without a backpack and especially if you like to take pictures or you like to bring extra personal things Adventure Peru Path recommends you to hire a personal Porter to help you with your backpack along the Inca Trail.
The Porter will carry maximum20 kilograms according the new regulation of the Inca Trail ( The government authorities that control access to the Inca Trail). We recommend bringing your own daypack to carry some essential things (camera, rain jacket, bottle of water, snack, etc) because the porter will not be waiting or walking next to you when he is carrying your backpack. Normally they go fast from the last campsite to the next campsite to set up your tent, mattress and sleeping bag.
To hire a personal porter in the Inca Trail Trek is really good idea in case you don’t like to carry a heavy backpack.
IS IT RECOMMENDED TO BRING TREKKING POLES ON THE INCA TRAIL?
The trekking poles are accepted only if they have rubber covers. According the new regulation all hikers are obligated to use rubber covers if their trekking poles are with metal spikes, this is to conserve the trail and to not damage the stone paving along the INCA TRAIL. Adventure Peru Path allows you to rent a pair of trekking poles for $15 USD per trip. Also you can buy bamboo poles from the local people of Ollantaytambo or in the check point of the Classic 4 Days Inca Trail, each hand made poles cost around $3 USD.
HOW MUCH DOES IT COST TO HIRE A PERSONAL PORTER FOR THE Inca Trail?
They can be hired for $30 USD per day or $120 USD for 4 days. The hire cost includes his transportation, entrance fees, meals and camping gear.
If you like to hire a Porter notify us at booking time and we will guarantee this service.
CAN I WALK ALONG ON THE INCA TRAIL WITHOUT A GUIDE?
More common Inca Trail FAQs. No, it is prohibited do this trekking tour by yourself. According the new regulations it is mandatory to join a tour group through local trekking operator like PERU PATH who will organize the trekking according to your dates requested. The local tour operator is responsible to organize the authorized local guide, cooks, registered porters, entrance fees, camping equipment and the campsite will be coordinated by the UGM (The government authorities that control access to the inca trail).
HOW FIT DO I NEED TO BE TO TREK THE INCATRAIL?
The more fit you are, the more you will enjoy it. The less fit you are, the less you’ll enjoy it. If you’re extremely unfit, you may even fail to enjoy it to the point of collapsing in a lifeless heap somewhere along the way and having to be buried on the spot by your more fit companions.
If you want to prepare yourself, hiking is obviously the most appropriate activity, but anything that builds stamina such as running or swimming is also useful.
WHAT ABOUT ALTITUDE ALONG THE INCATRAIL?
The inca trail is high enough that some people do have problems with the altitude on the second day (Huarmy Wañusca Pass or Woman Dead Pass), this is the highest pass along the Inca Trail (4215m – 13650 ft).
Being short of breath is relatively common. On the other hand, severe dizziness, loss of coordination and concentration, severely irregular breathing, and death from pulmonary or cerebral edema are generally regarded as more serious symptoms of mountain sickness.
If you, or someone with you, does start to show any of the symptoms of severe mountain sickness – severe breathlessness, noisy breathing, blue lips, frothing at the mouth, confusion or unconsciousness – you should descend to a lower altitude as quickly as possible and seek medical advice.
The best to do is to spend minimum 2 or more nights in Cusco before start the Classic 4 Days Inca Trail. Half or full day hikes around Cusco will help you so much with adjusting. One of the most common Inca Trail FAQs is about altitude and acclimating.
WHEN IS THE BEST TIME OF YEAR TO GO?
We recommend doing the inca trail Trek during the dry season, this is between May to November. Even the dry season is possible to get some rain on the Inca trail. We recommended bringing your rain gear if you plan to walk the Inca Trail.
The rainy season in the Inca trail to Machupicchu region is from December to May. There is likely to be heavy rain for two to three hours every afternoon, as well as the possibility of light showers that continue over a longer period. Walking conditions are difficult, and streams may become impossible to cross.
Average weather conditions in Cusco and on the Inca Trail:
DRY SEASON APRIL – NOVEMBER
Day temperature 20ºC – 25ºC – Night temperature -1ºC – 7ºC
WET SEASON DECEMBER – MARCH
Day temperature 17ºC – 22ºC – Night temperature 4ºC – 7ºC
Note that just as anywhere else in the world, these are general forcasts. You could have a dry day in December, and you could possibley get rained on in July. Also that there’s a wide variation in temperature, dependent on altitude and time of day. For more information about the weather conditions in Cusco and all over Peru check the official weather website; SENAMI
HOW FAR IN ADVANCE I NEED TO BOOK THIS TREK?
Adventure Peru Path strongly recommends you book your permit(s) as far in advance as possible. Normally the recommendation for making the trek booking is between 4 or 3 months prior to your arrival. After you plan your vacation and you know the dates of your arrival to Cusco don’t hesitate to book the permits.
The UGM (The government authorities that control access to the inca trail) has strictly limited the number of people permitted on the inca trail during 2008 (500 people per day).
WHAT ABOUT NEW REGULATION FOR THE INCA TRAIL?
Inca Trail FAQs about new government regulations. The growing concern about overuse of the Inca Trail leading to erosion has led the Peruvian government to place a limit on the number of people who may hike this trail per season, and to sharply limit the companies that can provide guides. As a result, advance booking is mandatory, and this need to done 4 or 3 months in advance.
A maximum of 500 people per day, including guides and porters, are permitted to trek the Inca Trail every day. As a result, the high season sells out very quickly.
The new regulations reportedly came into force on 1st January 2001. Among other things, they increase the fee for walking the Trail, limit the number of walkers, and make it mandatory to go as part of a guided group
According to the Resolution #002-2004-UGM-CD, published in El Peruano on Nov 12, 2004, modifying chapter III of the Inca Trail Regulation which refers to inca trail space bookings, the permits will only be guaranteed by the governmental institutions when providing full names, nationalities and passport numbers of passengers, and when having paid the full amount of passengers and staff (cook and team of porters) entrance fees.
WHEN WILL THE INCA TRAIL BE CLOSED?
The Inca Trail is closed every February to clean and maintenance the trail, the toilets, the campsites and the bridges along the Inca Route.
IS IT DANGEROUS TO WALK ON THE INCA TRAIL?
A lot of common Inca Trail FAQs concern safety while trekking. The Inca Trail trek is a safe route for hikers. There are no reports about robberies along the trail and today this trail is monitored by the local authorities who care for the campsites, the hikers, the porters and the other camp staff.
Along the way are government camp staffs check all the hikers and guides, and all of them are equipped with radios to report any injury, loss, accident or emergency with any visitors.
WHAT IS THE MAXIMUM GROUP SIZE FOR HIKING THE INCA TRAIL?
PERU PATHs groups are no more than 12 people (maximum), of course this doesn´t include the tour guides, the porters and cooks (camp staff).
Some days we employ two guides when there are 12 participants in the group. In case the group is small with 6 or 8 participants we employ just one tour guide to lead you along the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu.
WHAT ABOUT WILD ANIMALS ALONG THE INCA TRAIL?
These are Inca Trail FAQs concerning animals you may encounter. The Inca Trail is part of Inca Trail National Park, so this trip is has a lot of possibilities for encountering wild animals. The Inca Trail is home to an enormous variety of bird species, calculated at more than 400, such as the cock-of-the-rocks (Inca Trail), which is considered Peru’s national bird. The area also features brightly-colored orchids and tree-born ferns, considered to be treasures of the sanctuary.
MACHU PICCHU is home to some striking species of animals such as the cock-of-the-rocks (Peru’s national bird) and the spectacled bear, the only bear species in South America. The area is also inhabited by the rare dwarf deer called sachacabra and the Huemal deer, plus more than 300 bird species. The area boasts a large variety of flora species, with some 200 species of orchids.
If you are bird watcher ADVENTURE PERU PATH recommends you to request and to book a special trek taking 5 or 6 days and our specially trained tour guide can show you the most remote places along the trail to see the wild life.
IS THE INCA TRAIL CROWDED?
Since 2004 when the new regulation begin to restrict 500 hikers per day, the trail looks more clear and less erosion is happening. Even in the high or low tourist season there will always will be 500 people hiking along the Inca Trail.
Normally there are large groups including tourist, guides, porters and cooks, but not more than 25 groups each day.
ARE THERE ANY FACILITIES TO USE TOILETS ALONG THE INCA TRAIL?
Another one of the famous Inca Trail FAQs. Yes, there are many toilets along the Inca Trail clearly marked. But we still recommend bringing your own toilet paper, etc.
CAN WE FIND SPOTS ALONG THE INCA TRAIL TO BUY WATER?
No, there are not shops all along the way, but you can buy water in the campsites (day 1, day 3, day 4). On the second day it is not possible to buy water. Another option to get water is with our PERU PATH cook, he will offer boiled water at every breakfast, and dinner time. The last option is to bring your purification tablets (Micropur is recommended) to get water from the mountain spring. Every 2 hours you will pass the springs.
IS THERE STUDENT DISCOUNT FOR THE INCA TRAIL PERMITS?
Yes, there is discount ONLY if the students show the valid International Student Card (ISIC). If you are student you will get $43 USD as discount.
Adult price $95 USD
Student price $53 USD (Previous student’s card presentation via e-mail and physically at check point of the trail)
Other student cards are not accepted by the park authority or at booking time. You most bring your student valid card and valid passport for the Inca Trail, without two documents or expired passport or student card you can’t do the Inca Trail, please note this last recommendation.
I AM TRAVELING SOLO CAN I HAVE MY OWN TENT ON THE INCA TRAIL?
Yes, we can provide a double capacity tent to be used as single tent for additional $30 USD for entire trek (4 days Classic Inca Trail). If you like to save some money you can decide to share the tent with another person of same sex.
See the quality of our camping gear. SEE ON HOME PAGE OUR EQUIPMENT
DO YOU OFFER A PLACE TO STORE MY LUGGAGES THAT I DO NOT NEED TO TAKE ON THE INCA TRAIL?
Another one of PERU PATHs Inca Trail FAQs. Yes, you can store your luggage in our local office in Cusco. Also you can store your stuff in your hotel, normally each hotel offer this service without charge. We recommend the second option because will be more easy when you return to Cusco after the Inca Trail.
I DON’T HAVE A PASSPORT CAN I BOOK THE TREK?
No, if you don’t have passport we can’t accept you any reservation for the Inca Trail because to buy your permits we need a photocopy o f your passport. We recommend getting first your passport and then making your booking for the permit.
CAN I TRANSFER MY PERMIT TO OTHER PEOPLE OR CHANGE THE DATE OF THE TREK?
This is one of the most important Inca Trail FAQs. No, this is impossible because the permit is valid just for one date and for one person, you can’t transfer to another person.
We can’t refund the deposit (50%) you did to book the permit. If you like to change dates of the trekking you will need to make another deposit and we will book another permit ONLY if there are permits available.
MY PASSPORT IS EXPIRED; CAN I MAKE THE TREK BOOKING?
Yes, you can make your booking with the old passport only if you plan to get a new one before coming. To do the trek you need to bring both passports to show the park authorities before you begin on the Inca Trail.
WHAT IS PROHIBITED ON THE INCA TRAIL?
The Inca Trail is part of the MACHU PICCHU Sanctuary, a protected area of 32,592 hectares, managed by the National Institute of Natural Resources, INRENA. Every visitor must obey park regulations prohibiting littering, cutting or damaging trees, removing or damaging stones of ruins and the Trail, removing plants, killing animals, lighting open fires or camping in the archeological sites (Only authorized campsites can be used).
ARE THERE ARE AVAILABLE SHOWERS ALONG THE INCA TRAIL TREK TO MACHU PICHU?
There are only cold showers at each camp site between the first and third day. Only on the third night at Wiñay Wayna will there be available a hot shower with extra $2.50 USD per person. (ASK TO YOUR GUIDE TO MAKE SURE BECAUSE THIS CHANGE)
WHAT TO BRING ON THE Inca Trail:
Inca Trail FAQs concerning what to bring:
Original passport to be showed in the park control of the trail (day 1).
Original and valid International Student Card (ISIC), only if you booked the trek as student.
Hiking boots (waterproof), sneakers is welcome to but for the rainy is not enough comfortable.
Sleeping bag -15ºC (this can be hired in our office for $5 USD per day with previous notification at booking time).
Long pants or slacks.
Long-sleeved shirts to prevent you from the sunburn.
Sweaters and a jacket (something warm for the night).
Rain wear or poncho for the rainy season December – April, but during the dry season can be raining too.
Camera with extra batteries.
Bottle of water, along the trail you can purchase a bottle of water for few coins more. Also you can bring purification tablets (Micropur can be bought in local pharmacies in Cusco).
Snack (dried fruits, chocolates, etc).
Insect repellent to protect you from mosquitoes along the Inca Trail.
Hat and sun block to protect you from the sun.
Personal toilet items.
Flashlight or headlamp and batteries.
First Aid kit (Band-Aids, cotton, bandages, alcohol, aspirin, tablets for stomach troubles, medicines to avoid altitude sickness).
Backpack of 50 liters or more to carry your personal items including your sleeping bag.
Day pack is good to bring to carry your camera, water, rain jacket. Only if you hire a personal porter to help you with the big pack.
Plenty of complete change of clothing (only if you hire a personal porters to help you to carry up to 12kg).
A change of underwear.
Gloves, scarf and wool socks.
Toiletries, towel and toilet paper.
Swimsuit (On the last day there is possibilities to swim on the hot spring of Aguas Calientes – only if time permit).
Optional: Trekking Poles with rubber covers (No damage the Inca Trail), without rubber covers you CAN’T use them.
Optional: Binoculars if you like to appreciate birds along the Inca route.
Optional: GPS to map the campsites, the ruins and the Inca Trail.
HOW CAN I BOOK MY SPACE FOR THE Inca Trail TO Inca Trail?
After you have read the Inca Trail FAQs and accept the terms and conditions you will be ready to make reservation of your permit to hike the Inca Trail The first step is to contact us via email at email@example.com, and then we will contact and send to you the BOOKING FORM attached via e-mail.
This BOOKING FORM need to be downloading, fill up and then send to us via e-mail and then we will confirm your spaces as soon as possible according availability of permits.
HOW CAN I PAY FOR THE TREK, DO I NEED TO MAKE A DEPOSIT?
Inca Trail FAQs concerning payment and deposit: You will need to pay a trek deposit of 50% per person. The deposit can be paid by bank transfer to our bank account, Western Union money transfer, or you can use your email account registered in www.paypal.com to make your first payment for Inca Trail. After we receive the first payment (30%) we will guarantee the booking of the permits according your date requested.
The final balance of the trek needs to be paid in CUSCO. One day before the date of trek you need to come our office in Cusco to arrange the final payment in cash (US dollars or local currency), the travelers checks are welcoming but we will charge you 5%. After the first deposit we will send you a payment and tour confirmation via e-mail and you will need to print it and safe until the meeting day in Cusco. The meeting normally happens at 7pm one day before the trek leave from Cusco.
IS THERE ARE AVAILABILITY PERMITS FOR THE INCA TRAIL?
To be sure to find a permit for a 2 or 4 day trek on the Inca Trail according to your dates requested go onto the official government website and check for yourself if you can still find available permits.
The website is mentioned below: http://machupicchu.gob.pe/
After check yourself the availability permits for the Inca Trail, make contact with us as soon as possible and to book your permit after you send to us the BOOKING FORM and the first payment of 30%.
See some excellent alternate treks to Machu Picchu on our website if the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu is totally booked.
If we did not cover your Inca Trail questions on our Inca Trail FAQs page please feel free to contact us at anytime and we would love to assist you with anything you may need.