How do I get the permit?
We purchase your permit for you. At the time we confirm your participation on this Machu Picchu trip, we register your complete name and your passport number (as these appear on your trip application) with park authorities on the official trek permit. The trek permit is a legal document with specific restrictions limiting changes. You must bring this same passport with you on the trek. If for whatever reason you cannot bring the passport that is registered on the permit at the time of your original booking, or if you change your passport and cannot bring the original document, or if the information you originally supplied differs from what actually appears on your passport, park authorities may refuse access to the Inca Trail.
How far in advance should I book?
We suggest you book the trip as far in advance as possible to secure your permits, as soon as you are certain of your travel plans. The required permits to trek on the Inca Trail are limited to 500 people per day. This includes all guides, porters, cooks & support staff, which leaves about 250 available for trekkers. Permits sell out very fast, 5 to 6 months prior to departure during the busy season (Apr-Sep), and otherwise 4 months in advance.
If permits are sold out, can I get onto a wait-list?
No, there are no waitlists, cancellation policies, etc. Once permits are sold out, that's it. No person, no company worldwide will have permits; travel companies are not able to block or hold space, nor can you show up at the gate and purchase a permit. All permits are sold on a first-come/first-served basis, are non-negotiable, non-transferable, non-refundable.
However, we have several wonderful alternate treks available that do not require permits. Please consiider one of these as an alternative. You still go to Machu Picchu, and routes are much less-traveled than the Inca Trail. Our past travelers have loved these treks! (See paragraph below, "If permits are sold out, what options are there?)
What is included in the trek?
We include indicated meals, transport by train and bus, porterage of up to 10 kg personal gear, communal camp gear including tables and camp chairs, dining tent, spacious sleeping tents, Thermarest sleeping pad, water filter and other amenities.
The Machu Picchu Sanctuary Trail Fee $136 is figured separately, to be prepaid with trek cost, and is subject to change.
What is not included?
Personal trekking gear and sleeping bag; tips to guide and trek staff; city services; air Lima/Cuzco/Lima ($300-$375) depending on time of year and fares at the time of booking.
Must I bring my own sleeping bag and pad or can I rent from you?
You can bring your own sleeping bag if you like, or you can rent one from us for $48. We provide mummy-style, winter-weight synthetic-fill sleeping bags, with sheet liners. We launder the liners between each trek. Rental sleeping bags should be requested well in advance of your departure, and preferably at the time you confirm your trek with us. If you are taller than 6 feet, please request an extra-long bag. We supply Thermarest sleeping pads on all our treks at no extra cost.
I’m a single traveler. Do you charge a single supplement?
If you are traveling alone and are willing to share a tent, we will pair you with another trekker of the same gender and you pay no supplementary charge. If you prefer a tent to yourself, the surcharge is US$98.
How do I prepare for the high altitude?
So that you have sufficient time to acclimate prior to starting the Machu Picchu tour, we strongly recommend that you arrive in Cuzco or similar elevation for a minimum of two days prior to the trek. This is a 45-km/28-mile trek with a maximum elevation close to 4,200 m/14,000 ft.
If permits are sold out, what options do you have?
We offer several other treks (which either include visiting Machu Picchu or we can add it on) such as our Moonstone to Machu Picchu Trek, Ausangate Inn to Inn Trek, Salcantay Trek, Lodge to Lodge to Machu Picchu, and others. These are wonderful off-the-beaten-track trekking routes in remote beautiful Andes mountains. On our Moonstone to Machu Picchu Trek (5 days, weekly Sunday departures May-Oct) you arrive at Machu Picchu via the Train from Ollantaytambo in the Sacred Valley of the Incas. It's a wonderful alternate trek, with no permits required. Please look on the website at our other Peru treks for details.