Hiking the Inca Trail in Peru

“Perfect if you want to hike the Inca Trail as part of an independent holiday, this fully supported trek provides excellent guides and guarantees fair conditions for porters.”

Highlights

Llactapata ruins | Huayllabamba village | Hiking along Inca steps | Saycamarca ruins | Wiñay Wayna | Approaching Machu Picchu through the Sun Gate

Description of Hiking the Inca Trail in Peru

This Inca Trail and Machu Picchu hiking holiday is fully supported both on the Trail and in Cusco and takes four days. Our expert Inca Trail guides lead daily treks, accompanied by our porters who help carry your personal bags and all the trekking kit. As a responsible tourism company, we do ensure that all our porters are treated fairly, in accordance with good international practices. And we support a porters’ community project in Cusco, giving a donation for every trekker we introduce to the Trail. The use of porters while trekking not only supports the community economically, but also leaves you free to enjoy the trek, which is a strenuous one but also a stunning one, the most breath-taking moment being when you finally catch sight of the Inca citadel at Machu Picchu.

When on the Trail itself, one of the most magnificent treks in the world, you will be astounded by the mountain scenery, cloud forest and sub tropical flora and fauna. As well as the Inca paving stones, stairways and ruins themselves, the greatest being Machu Picchu.

Please note that Inca Trail trek permits sell out very quickly in Peru, many months in advance especially for the peak season between May and September. So do please book with us early to avoid disappointment and we will sort out all the permits for you.

There is an option to extend this trip to five days, giving you time to spend a night in Aguas Calientes, otherwise known as Machu Picchu Pueblo, as it is so close to the famous site. It also translates as ‘hot springs’, another reason to spend an extra day here.

In Cusco, where you start your trekking holiday, you will meet Jesús Mejia, our long-term support guy. As you acclimatise, he will help you with a pre-trek briefing and orientation.

Price includes:

Transfer from Cusco hotel, bus to start of trek, entrance fees for trek, meals during trek, English language guide, tents, sleep mat, camping equipment, accommodation , food and fair wages for porters and cooks, bus from Machu Picchu ruins to Aguas Calientes, tourist train Aguas Calientes to Cusco, transfer to hotel in Cusco.

Not Included: Sleeping bags, meals while not on trek, hot springs, second entrance to Machu Picchu and bus fares.

Travel Team

If you'd like to chat about this holiday or need help finding one we're very happy to help. The Travel Team.

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Departure information

Daily departures throughout the year (closed in February) Please note: Hiking the Inca Trail should be booked 2 to 3 months in advance and at least 4 months in advance if you wish to trek between June and September inclusive, due to high demand.
Our top tip:
This tour takes you straight up to the Inca Trail. The more days you can spend acclimatising at altitude before departure, the easier you
Trip type:
Small group, max. 16 people. Min. age 12.
Activity level:
Challenging.
Accomm:
2-person tent with sleeping mat.
Solos:
Solo travellers welcome. Private tents available with surcharge.
Included:
Tents, guides, personal porter, Inca Trail permit, transfer from Cuzco. Sleeping bags not included but can be hired.
Meals:
All included. Vegetarian options available if booked in advance.
Vouchers
Accepted
Holiday type

Avoid disappointment - book your Inca Trail holiday in time

Over the last few years, the Peruvian government has imposed increasing restrictions on tourism on the Inca Trail in order to protect it from overuse.The aim is to minimise ecological impact and erosion, mainly by having limited access and improving the quality of the operators. There are now only a very limited number of trekking permits available - 500 per day (around 200 for travellers and the rest for staff) - and they are being issued on a first-come-first-served basis. In order to avoid disappointment we recommend booking well in advance (up to a minimum of 3 months in peak season), unless you are extremely flexible over your travel dates.

Responsible tourism

Hiking the Inca Trail in Peru

Carbon reduction

Your holiday will help support local people and conservation. We must also reduce CO2. Learn about the CO2 emissions of this holiday and how to reduce them.

Environment

For hiking the Inca Trail we buy fresh local produce. In preference we choose local over imported goods, encouraging the use of Andean products in our cooking. On our Inca Trail treks we minimize waste by using products with minimum packaging, leaving no litter and keeping all water sources clean, leaving camp-sites cleaner than we find them. Rubbish is carried out.

We are involved in the ongoing training of our trek staff. All our porters on hiking the Inca Trail carry a maximum 20kg load, and are provided with tents and food. We pay and treat our staff fairly. We support the Tourism Concern Porters Policy. We support Ninos childrens health care project in Cusco. We are happy to distribute your donations of much needed warm clothes and shoes to Peruvian children through this organization - please contact us for details of how you can help.

We actively support several community projects in Peru. We operate Hiking the Inca Trail together with a Cusco company, owned and managed locally. On the Inca Trail we employ local staff, who are paid fair wages. We provide insurance to all of our porters. Tented accommodation and meals are provided for trekking staff as well as foam mats and sleeping bags and rain ponchos. We have also provided them all with trekking shoes (although they may chose not to wear these). Our porters carry a maximum of 20kg.

Clean burning fuel is used to cook the meals on Hiking the Inca Trail and porters carry gas stoves and butane bottles. We use biodegradable detergents when washing the cooking and eating utensils. If any part of our tour or trek is operated by another company, we try to ensure that high standards are maintained.

We are continuing to undertake community projects such as clothing and school equipment donations. Each year we donate some money to the communities our Inca Trail porters come from.

Currently we donate in the region of USD$1000 at the start of each school year. We ask the community what is most needed and usually we are asked to provide materials (books, pencils, paper etc.) for the children and the local school.

Most of the porters are farmers and cannot afford to pay for all of the materials their kids require for school. By hiking the Inca Trail you are directly helping the families and communities of your porters.

Also, since 2006 we have been able to support the Huchuy Yachaq community project in the marginalised neighbourhood of Hermanos Ayar, on the outskirts of Cusco, with the help of everybody who has travelled with us. We donate USD $3000 a year to this community project.

The project has been set up by volunteer social workers and teachers to provide much needed social and educational support to the children and families of this neighbourhood. Children are encouraged to attend study and games sessions held each afternoon and participate in holiday projects. Our contributions so far have paid for educational books and games, tables and chairs, improvements to the structure of the basic community owned building and the addition of functioning toilets, materials for the children to take to school, school books, holiday programmes.

And we are planting trees as part of a reforestation project in Peru.

17 Reviews of Hiking the Inca Trail in Peru

4 out of 5 stars
SHOW
3
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2

Reviewed on 12 Apr 2017 by

We walked the Inca trail and not knowing how we would do at altitude it was a pleasant surprise to feel fine. A great experience. Read full review

Reviewed on 04 Jun 2016 by

The staggering scenery throughout the trek, and the sense of achievement reaching the tops of passes, especially to look at Machu Picchu. Read full review

Reviewed on 05 Aug 2015 by

Great fun and an amazing experience. Thank you to our brilliant guide, the incredibly athletic and dedicated porters and to the guys in the UK who organised the trip for us; everything was perfect. Read full review

Reviewed on 16 Oct 2015 by

The most memorable part of the trek was on Day 2 where we hit the highest point of the trail at 4,732m! Read full review

Reviewed on 27 Sep 2015 by

This was the chance of a lifetime and we grabbed it with both hands! A fantastic experience and I cannot recommend it enough! Read full review

Reviewed on 05 Aug 2015 by

Great! Great tour guide, great chef. Happy days! Read full review

Reviewed on 06 Oct 2014 by

As well as the great trekking and superb scenery, the strong point of this trek is that it visits villages in the highlands of Peru and shows something of the way of life of local communities. One of our guides came from a village that we walked through, and we saw people in traditional (but everyday) costume herding llamas and alpacas in the mountains. Read full review

Reviewed on 14 Sep 2014 by

Great experience. Lots of exercise! Beautiful views and sites throughout. The guide, camp chef, and porters work really hard to make the trip enjoyable. Read full review

Reviewed on 26 May 2013 by

The most memorable part was trekking to 4215 meters high along the Inca Trail and watching the sunrise over Machu Picchu while at the Sungate. Read full review

Reviewed on 09 Dec 2013 by

Although I thoroughly enjoyed the trek itself, the experience was overshadowed by the dealings with the tour company in the lead up to the trek. Dealing with this tour company, this was an extremely stressful experience... We were very lucky that despite the stress, the contracted guide was amazing meaning we had an extremely enjoyable experience Read full review

Reviewed on 20 Jul 2012 by

As we came out of our dinner tent on the second night we all gasped, I saw what was the most beautiful sight I have ever seen...5* I really cannot rate anything higher - we were seriously impressed by everything! Read full review

Reviewed on 03 Jan 2012 by

Amazon, Colca Canyon, Lake Titicaca and of course the Inca Trail were all amazing places...The country and people are amazing, the scenery breath taking Read full review

Reviewed on 03 May 2011 by

The Inca Trail and Machu Picchu are a great holiday experience - if you are into walking, fantastic scenery and don't mind roughing things for a few nights. Read full review

Reviewed on 21 Nov 2010 by

Excellent! Doing the Inca Trail was a spiritual experience. Our guide, Wilo went out of his way to point out orchids, great photography spots and had fantastic knowledge of the history of the area. Read full review

Reviewed on 21 Oct 2010 by

The third day of the Inca Trail was probably the most memorable - incredible scenery, knowing that you had done the hard bit - and still have Machu Picchu to look forward to! Read full review

Reviewed on 12 Apr 2010 by

Despite the rain and the fog, I am glad I went. It was very good. Read full review

Reviewed on 24 Jun 2010 by

Poor, there was a strike which was out of the holidays control but the help and information and flexability of decisions that needed to be made were not completed in the best interests of me. Read full review

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