In an effort to preserve and protect the classic Inca Trail to Machu Picchu, the Peruvian government limits the number of people hiking the trail. No more than 500 people (including support staff) per day are allowed on the classic Inca Trail and this number is strictly adhered to. In addition to this, the trail is closed during the month of February for cleaning and maintenance. This closure affects all trips which begin the Inca Trail portion of their itinerary on or after 1 February and before 28 February inclusive.
As Sustainable Tourism is constantly at the forefront of our business philosophy, Intrepid Travel is happy to work within the framework of these regulations in order to properly protect the Inca Trail and Machu Picchu.
The rules and regulations controlling the Inca Trail and Machu Picchu are continually changing and it is important to be aware of the issues detailed in this document before bookings and embarking on your adventure to Peru.
Current inca trail regulations
As stated above, no more than 500 people per day are allowed to start the classic Inca Trail trek. This number includes all support staff (ie. porters, cooks and guides) and is very tightly controlled. Once this limit of 500 people is reached, the trail is effectively closed off for the day and no further bookings can be made. Reservations can't be made on the classic Inca Trail and all permits to trek must be bought as far in advance as possible (particularly if you are planning to travel between the months of May and August). To purchase your permit, Intrepid requires your complete and correct passport information, to which no modifications can be made. For travellers holding two passports, details must be provided from the passport you will be travelling on. Any attempts at modifications result in the loss of the permit and all money paid.
In order to confirm a booking, we require a deposit and the following travellers information:
- Full name (exactly as it appears on the passport)
- Date of birth
- Passport number
- Date of passport expiry & place of issue
Upon receiving confirmation of your booking, Intrepid will attempt to purchase the Inca Trail permit. In the event that we are unable to secure permits, the following options will be offered:
- Hike the Inca Quarry Trail (view the itinerary) through the Sacred Valley, a fascinating and challenging trip. This option also includes visiting Machu Picchu. This trek takes in much of the Inca's most sacred and important countryside and many monuments. All transportation, accommodation, guide services etc. is included.
- Spend two nights in Cuzco, travel by train for a night in Aguas Calientes, and visit Machu Picchu.
- Change to an alternative departure or trip
- Cancel without penalty
Please note that as Inca Trail permits are non-refundable and non-transferable, any date change to confirmed trips which includes the classic Inca Trail will incur cancellation penalties.
If the classic Inca Trail portion of your chosen trip falls in February the Inca Quarry Trail will be booked automatically.
Should you choose not to hike at all, please let us know in writing at the time of booking so alternative arrangements can be made. Without this prior notice, local fees may apply.
If changes to the current government policy affect our ability to provide access to the advertised itinerary including the classic Inca Trail, we will endeavour to provide travellers with the best options and customer service available. Please also see clause 17 in our terms and conditions concerning our responsibilities.