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Inca Trail to Machu Picchu 2023


Inca Trail to Machu Picchu is one of the most visited Inca sites by travelers from all over the world and many of them come to do the Inca Trail. Regulations restrict the number of people allowed to enter the Inca Trail to 500 per day.

Of these 500 spaces for the Inca Trail, only about 200 are hikers, as the rest of the places are reserved for guides, cooks and porters. To do this trek the company must have the respective permits (operating licenses are issued annually) and those trekking companies also need to have an office in Peru.

Machu Picchu Tours Peru
Machu Picchu Tours Peru

Due to the limited number of these spaces, it is often difficult to get them and they are easily sold out in the high season (June – August), that is why we recommend making your reservation well in advance and only then booking the rest of your trip to Peru (flights, other tours, hotels, etc.).

Frequently asked questions about the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu

Our travelers ask us many questions about the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu, about the physical difficulty, how to reserve a space, alternative treks to the Machu Picchu Inca Trail, and the weather during the Inca Trail Machu Picchu; here you can find answers to these frequently asked questions by travelers. This information is made according to the long experience of our leading guides and we have updated it according to the latest regulations.

Machu picchu inca Trail
Machu picchu inca Trail – Inca Trail to Machu Picchu

What is the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu?

This is known as the route that is done on foot, this route is done following an ancient Machu Picchu Inca trail that is known as the «Qhapaq Nan», until you reach the lost city of the Incas, Machu Picchu. The route begins at the so-called «kilometer 82» of the railway, between Cusco and Machu Picchu culminating at the Sun Gate or Intipunku, the main entrance to Machu Picchu.

How many kilometers are covered on the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu?

This ancient trail has a distance of 43 kilometers or 26.12 miles. And during the day you will walk between 5 to 8 hours the first three days and approximately 2 hours on the last day. The hours of walking and the distance covered may vary according to the physical condition of each hiker.

Can I do the Inca Trail alone or on my own?

«NO», This is an ancestral route and requires professionals and agencies accredited by the Regional Directorate of Culture of Cusco, knowledgeable and experienced in the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu. In addition, it is necessary to carefully follow the route so as not to damage the environment and not to carry out actions that could damage this beautiful trail.

Tour to Machu Picchu
Tour to Machu Picchu

What should I bring for the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu?

To do this route you should prepare yourself with warm clothes and clothes for the heat; also consider that the shoes for the hike should be adequate and preferably you should have worn them before to avoid damaging your feet, a waterproof poncho, a towel, flashlight, cap, mosquito repellent, sunscreen, toothbrush, rain cover for your backpack, toilet paper. The backpack should not be too heavy and suitable for hiking. Additionally you should bring a sleeping bag for the 3 nights of the tour.

Is there electricity on the Machu Picchu Inca Trail?

During the first two days we will not be able to find a place to charge batteries; already on the third day at the Wiñay Wayna camp (the afternoon of the 3rd day) there is a possibility to connect your electrical devices, but NOT in the previous camps because there is no electricity.

Machu picchu Tours Peru
Machu picchu Tours Peru – Machu Picchu Inca Trail

If you carry electronic devices it is necessary to charge them in advance and bring extra batteries, we are sure you will not want to miss any opportunity to take many photos and videos along the Inca Trail route.

What are the most important attractions I will see on the Inca Trail?

Mountains and imposing snow-capped peaks, such as La Veronica (5800 m.a.s.l.), Sahuasiray and Chicon.
Streams, waterfalls and Andean landscapes that the route offers.

Inca sites such as Qente, Torontoy, Patallacta, RunkuRakay, Sayacmarka, Puyhupatamarka, Wiñaywayna, IntiPunku and Machu Picchu.

In this area, there are about 425 species of fauna, including hummingbirds, cock of the rock, as well as the famous spectacled bear or well known as Andean bears, tarucas, foxes, deer and a variety of butterflies of different colors.

Peru Machu Picchu Tour
Peru Machu Picchu Tour

There is a great variety of fauna, including orchids (500 varieties), grasslands, begonias (Begoniaceae family, a plant that has leaves in the shape of a bundle), and multiple cultivation areas.

Are there toilets on the Inca Trail?

Toilets have improved a lot in the last 3 years, so during the tour you will find toilets with running water at each of the campsites along the Inca Trail.

Does the Inca Trail tour include the visit to Machu Picchu?

Yes, the visit to Machu Picchu is included.

Why is the Inca Trail route closed in February?

In this month maintenance activities, conservation, cleaning, treatment of deteriorated roads, repair of terraces, maintenance of camping areas, cutting of vegetation, and everything necessary to open the Inca Trail on the first day of March is carried out.
In addition, it is closed due to the heavy rains, in order to protect the integrity of the visitors, guides, and porters.

Machu Picchu Peru
Machu Picchu Peru

How far in advance should you book Machu Picchu?

We always recommend booking your space for the Machu Picchu Inca Trail well in advance (it is suggested at least 6 months in advance), since there are limited spaces for the Inca Trail due to the high demand, only 500 people are allowed to enter, including travelers, porters, and guides.

Will we carry our own luggage while on Inca Trail?

You don’t need to carry all your belongings on your own during the hike, we have a full team of porters who will carry all tents, camping equipment, food and water.

You will be carrying your own backpack with most necessary stuff for the day on the trek. Porters will carry all camping gear but you have to take the sleeping bag and the mattress by yourself. Remember that the sleeping bag and the mattress are not included in this tour so you can rent them.

In case you want to hike with as little luggage as possible, you can hire an extra porter. Extra porters can take up to 12 kg of your personal belongings, which are not needed during the hike. Extra porters will carry your luggage until the last camping site on the fourth day and they will return the sleeping bag and the mattress if rented. Then you will have to carry your backpack from the last camping site to the entrance of Machu Picchu. There is a storage where you can leave the things you will not need during the guided tour for a very cheap price.

We advise leaving the things you won’t use during the Inca Trail in a hotel in Cusco.

How cold can get on the Inca Trail?

Because of high altitude temperatures can change quickly and radical. It can get pretty cold during the nights. In winter (May-September) temperature may drop below 0°C/32°F. So be prepared for cold too, its highly advisable get locally made gloves and a hat for the cold nights.

Where we will sleep during the Inca Trail?

We will provide tents which will be set up for you every night at the campsite by our porters.

Also every trekker is provided with a bowl of hot water and a hot beverage every morning.

What about sleeping bags?

A compact three-season sleeping bag is recommended.  It’s also possible to rent a sleeping bag in Cuzco. They are clean, warm and cost approximately USD$15 (for the three nights). You may also bring a sleeping bag liner or sheet. Foam mats are provided however some travelers also bring their own self-inflating mat.  Sleeping bags are not included.


Inca Trail FAQs: We recommend bringing water healthy and recyclable bottles

Inca Trail FAQs: We recommend bringing recyclable water bottles


Will water be provided?

You can buy extra water for yourself on the trail. We provide boiled water every morning, at lunch and in the evening after dinner. We recommend you bring a refillable water bottle to reduce the amount of garbage.

What type of food is provided on the Inca Trail?

Our cooks will prepare meals for you during the trek. You can expect pasta, rice, chicken, fresh fruits and vegetables, for breakfast a variety of oat meals eggs and bread. Vegetarian option is available, please request it on your reservation.

Should I tip guides and porters?

Tipping isn’t obligatory, but important. This is actually more a kind of custom, so today everyone (drivers, cooks, porters and, guides) will not tell you, but expect to be rewarded. EVERYBODY is important: You can do so according to the quality of service you get and considering the differences of work effort everybody does.


it is important to make your reservations for the Inca Trail in advance

It is important to make your reservations for the Inca Trail in advance


When is the most common time to hike the Inca Trail?

It is possible to hike the trail any time of the year, except February when it closes for maintenance, however from April to October is considered as high season. This means that permits for Inca Trail can be sold out months in advance, so it is important to plan ahead and book your ticket with a certified tour operator like TOUR IN PERU as soon as possible.
Haven´t found available permits? Then, book the Short 2-day Inca Trail version which covers the last part of the classic trail and combine it with other beautiful sites in Cusco.

Can anyone go on the Inca Trail?

Everyone who are older than 12 years old, having at least moderate level of fitness and health and valid passport can attend the Inca Trail.

You must provide this information to get an Inca Trail Permit.

  •  Full name (exactly as it appears on the passport)
  •  Date of Birth
  •  Nationality
  •  Passport Number
  •  Date of Passport Expiry – Must be valid for the dates of your travel experience!

Any attempts at modifications will result in a loss of the permit and any money paid.

So what about you? You probably have some more FAQs or Frequently Asked questions out there. Don’t be shy! Please, contact our travel experts and let us know about them and we’ll do our best to include them in this page. We’d love to learn how the TOUR IN PERU team can help you in your next 2020 travel adventures. We´re here!

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