Inca Trail availability and Permits
We are conscious that the most popular treks of Peru also have limited availability and it is important to book an Inca Trail permit in the earliest stages of planning your trip to Peru, so if you are interested in hiking the Inca trail we suggest booking as soon as possible as well as a few months in advance. The following Inca Trail permits, reservations and availability information should help you prepare for your trip to have the best experience in Peru.
Inca Trail Permits
- Peru’s Ministry of Culture and Natural Sanctuary, which administers sites of archaeological importance such as the Inca Trail and others, caps the total number of permits for the trail at 500 people per day. Everyone who gets into the Inca Trail – hikers, guides, or porters – must have one of these 500 permits previously booked. The limit also applies to any part of the Inca Trail, be it the Inca trail 7 days, the Inca trail 6 days, the Inca trail 5 days, the Inca trail 4 days, the Inca trail 3 days, the shorter Inca trail 2 days, the Inca trail 1 day or the 8-day Inca Trail hike that joins up from Salkantay to meet the classic Inca trail of 4 days.
- Of the 500 available permits, only approximately 200 go to trekkers or visitors. The remaining permits go to support staff, including guides, cooks, and porters who help to enjoy better the adventure to the Inca trail. This again is in compliance with Inca Trail regulations, which seek to limit the size of trekking groups and ease the loads of porters who carry all the trekking/camping gear.
- The permits are available for every day of the year (337 days a year), except the entire month of February, during which the classic Inca trail is closed for maintenance/preserving and repairs. In the Andes, February also happens to be the rainiest month of the rainy season in all the year, and the closure of the trail spares trekkers from walking and camping in wet, muddy, and slippery conditions.
- Only official licensed tour operators like Peru Path Corporation may purchase permits. At the time of purchase, tour operators must have the full name and passport information of trekkers/hikers. The Inca trail permits are not transferrable or refundable, nor can the start date be changed after purchase. For the same reason, there is no waiting list. Once they are sold, Inca Trail permits may not return to the market, even in the case of cancellation. But you can contact us if you are looking for a place in a trek to Machu Picchu.
- At any entrance to the Inca Trail, all trekkers must present an original passport to check against the information on the permit.
- Note that if your passport information changes between the time of purchase and the start date, the tour operator may be able to update the information with a minimum of 15-days advance notice. If the information is not corrected, trekkers must pay a $15 fee at the time of entrance to the Inca Trail, a process which may result in delays.
- Inca trail Availability & the Permits for the high season months of May, June, July, and August sell out quickly. If you’re planning your trip to Peru and an Inca Trail hike experience for the high season, it is important to book 6 months in advance in order to secure your exact dates.
- In the shoulder season months of April, May, and September, it is necessary to book 3 months in advance. For other dates (March; October through January), 6 to 8 weeks should be a sufficient window but still for specific times like new year and Christmas make sure you book in advance, but allow a wider margin if your Peru travel dates are set in stone.
When to make Inca trail reservations
- In the unusual case of last minute bookings, the Inca Trail Office requires all reservation information at least 4 days in advance to make sure you get a spot, still an official tour operator need to finish with all the papers 72 hours in advance.
There are 2 seasons in the Andes: dry and rainy season.
- The dry season extends from May to October. Rain is unusual, especially in July and August.
Days are quite warm, but night temperatures plummet to around freezing.
- The rainy season begins in November and continues through April. It is impossible to predict daily weather patterns because the weather change too fast, but trekkers can expect rain at some point in the day.
- Rain events range from short torrential bursts to drizzle that lasts for hours and hours even days. Cloud cover results in slightly warmer temperaturas at night.
- We recommend to wear Appropriate trekking gear, including rain-resistant boots, jacket or plastic poncho, and daypack cover, will make a rainy season trek more enjoyable for you.