Inca Trail 11 articles
Getting income to the Inca Trail
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How to get income from the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu?

Every year thousands of people visit Machu Picchu. However, few tourists arrive there through the Inca Trail. This 4-day hike is considered one of the best hiking trails in the world. Unlike other walks in Peru and the world, it is in a protected area so availability and tickets are limited.

Entrance fees to the Inca Trail are purchased online through authorized tourism agencies. Remember that due to high demand, the purchase is made 6 months in advance. Otherwise you will not find availability.

What is the Inca Trail?

  • The Inca Trail is a part of the route used by the Incas to get from Cusco to Machu Picchu. This road network built by the Incas is called: the Qhapaq Ñan.
  • Today it is used as one of the best hiking trails on the planet. It is a 4-day and 3-night hike until arriving at Machu Picchu, in the same way as the Incas did hundreds of years ago.
  • The route is surrounded by high Andean landscapes and tropical forests. In addition, other Inca archeological sites are visited such as: Runkurakay, Wiñaywayna, Llactapata, Sayacmarca, Phuyupatamarca and more.
  • The walk has a moderate difficulty. The highest point is the Abra Warmiwañusca, 4,200 meters from the sea (13,779 ft).
Inca Trail to Machu Picchu
The spectacular Inca Trail to Machu Picchu

How do you enter the Inca Trail?

  • The Regional Directorate of Culture Cusco is the entity responsible for issuing revenue for the Inca Trail.
  • Only 500 people can enter the Inca Trail each day. Of that total, only 200 are tourists. The other 300 people are the support team during the walk: guides, porters, cooks, etc.
  • The entity in charge only allows tourism operators to offer income to the Inca Trail. That is, you can only travel this route through a tour organized by a tourism agency.
  • Due to the large number of tourists who wish to travel the Inca Trail, the tour must be purchased online approximately 6 months in advance.

How to buy permits for the Inca Trail?

To buy a tour to the Inca Trail you must follow the following steps:

  • Enter the website of a tourism agency that offers a tour to the Inca Trail.
  • Check the availability of income to the Inca Trail for the date you wish to visit. The purchase must be made 6 months in advance.
  • If you found availability, make the reservation by completing the reservation form with your personal data.
  • Making the online payment of the tour to the Inca Trail through credit cards or debit cards : Visa, MasterCard, American Express, Diners Club, etc.
  • Verify personal data and travel to Cusco before the date of the Inca Trail tour.

What does a tour to the Inca Trail include?

A tour to the Inca Trail includes the following:

  • Transportation by bus from Cusco to the starting point of the walk.
  • Tour guide.
  • Entrance to the Inca Trail.
  • Cooks (feeding breakfast, lunch and dinner).
  • Porters
  • Camping equipment (tents, mats, oxygen kit, canes, etc.).
  • Entrance to the Inca City of Machu Picchu.

What data is needed to buy permits for the Inca Trail?

  • To purchase the Inca Trail permits, you must provide your full name, valid passport number and date of birth.
  • All the information you provide to reserve the Inca Trail must be accurate. Some error (in the passport number, for example) must be corrected.

How to check the income available to the Inca Trail?

  • The tourism agencies that offer the Inca Trail tour show a calendar of income availability.
  • You can also see the availability on the official sales page of the ‘Ministry of Culture of Peru’.
  • The visitor must verify that there are still spaces available for the Inca Trail tour.
  • If you don’t find availability for one date, look for another. Unfortunately, there are many people who also want to do the Inca Trail.

To buy your tour to the Inca Trail you just have to enter the website of the tourism agency you prefer. After checking the availability you only have to complete your personal data, make the online payment and travel to Cusco for the day of the tour.

Questions and answers about the Inca Trail tickets

  • Can I get income to the Inca Trail once in Cusco?

    No. Unfortunately, the low availability and high demand for revenue to the Inca Trail prevent getting a tour unless purchased online up to 6 months in advance.

  • Can I do the Inca Trail on my own?

    No. The route along the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu is an area protected by the Peruvian State. That is why it is not allowed to transit freely unless it is within a tour organized by a tourism agency.

  • Is it safe to pay the Inca Trail online?

    The tourism agency with which you buy your tour to the Inca Trail must have security certificates online. You should also verify that you have your own place in Cusco as well as easy communication routes.

  • How much does an entrance to the Inca Trail cost?

    The price of a tour to the Inca Trail varies according to the tourism agency and the quality of service it offers. On average the cost of the tour is US $ 600 per tourist.

  • Are there discounts to the price of the Inca Trail?

    Most tourism agencies offer the Inca Trail tour with discounts for minors and university students.

  • With which tourism agency to buy my tour to the Inca Trail?

    Choose the tourism agency that meets the needs you are looking for on your Inca Trail tour. Also verify that you have all the necessary security certificates as well as good references in the online forums: TripAdvisor, for example.

Advice from people who have been there

The Inca Trail

Juan Felipe DBy: Juan Felipe D

“Spectacular road“

“This way of reaching Machu Picchu is incredibly amazing, we were surrounded by nature, mountains and jungle; is one of those things you have to do for less once in a lifetime.“


By Ticket Machu Picchu – Last updated, December 12, 2019