Hiking the Inca Trail

“Perfect if you want to hike the Inca Trail as part of an independent vacation, 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

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 travelers 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
Vacation type

Avoid disappointment - book your Inca Trail vacation 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 travelers 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

Responsible tourism: Hiking the Inca Trail

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 vacation 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, vacation programmes.

We are now also financially supporting the UK registered charity Amantani which is running boarding houses for children in the remote Andean region around Cusco. It is very much in keeping with our ethos of small scale, targetted help which is educational & sustainabale.

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

Reviews of Hiking the Inca Trail

You can trust Responsible Travel reviews because, unlike many other schemes, reviews can ONLY be written by people who we have verified have been on the vacations.

I am reborn! Simply the best vacation I have ever been on
Some great stories to tell the grandchildren. Would recommend to a friend
Very enjoyable
It was OK
A bit disappointing really

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 vacation 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 vacations 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

Reviewed on 16 Sep 2009 by

The entire trail was amazing. As hard as it is to believe I enjoyed the trail more than Machu Picchu itself. It was amazing to be on the trail, felt like you were there by yourself. Read full review

Reviewed on 24 Jan 2009 by

Five-stars. The trail made the sight of Machu Picchu at the end much more rewarding. We had a really good mix of people -- from 9 year-old to 82 year-old, Asians, Europeans and Latin Americans -- we all made it to Machu Picchu! Read full review

Reviewed on 08 Nov 2009 by

The most memorable part was finally reaching the sun gate on the last day of the trek and seeing machu picchu for the first time... Read full review

Reviewed on 17 Sep 2009 by

As I reached the top of Intipata Inca site & caught my first glimpse of Machu Picchu with the sunrise hitting the Andean Mountains in the background, one true memorable experience I will never forget. Read full review

Reviewed on 06 Jun 2009 by

The walking was the most memorable part. Read full review

Reviewed on 14 Apr 2009 by

Great trip. Was a good 6months of planning but entirely worth it. Cusco is a great city and can easily spend 3-4 days there. Hard going to Lima after Cusco as Lima is just one big big city of people, Cusco very quaint. Read full review

Reviewed on 10 Jul 2008 by

Day two was memorable because it’s very tough - you have to climb about 1200 metres (quite steep) but the feeling and views when you get to the top are fantastic. Read full review

Reviewed on 16 Sep 2008 by

The views were amazing, hiking in the dark to get to Macchu Picchu early morning was great and the spectacle of the ruins viewed from the sun gate definitely made the hike worth it! Read full review

Reviewed on 07 Jul 2008 by

We booked the Inca trail via responsible travel. It was as expected brilliant! Amazing sites, great knowledgeable guide, safe and well organised. Read full review

Reviewed on 23 Apr 2008 by

The Inca Trail itself was amazing, it was incredibly fascinating to learn more about the Inca culture, and see some of their stone craftsmanship. Read full review

Reviewed on 07 Apr 2008 by

Great time, unforgettable. Inca Trial - Peru was the most memorable part. Read full review

Reviewed on 08 Nov 2007 by

10/10. Organisation was superb, the advice and help prior to the trip was top notch, and the whole experience from booking to vacation was extremely good. Read full review

Reviewed on 15 Jun 2007 by

Fantastic... The most memorable part of your vacation was hiking for 4 days in a beautiful country. Read full review

Reviewed on 26 May 2007 by

We absolutely loved our trip to Peru. I have to say that the hike on the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu was our favorite. It was so unique and very beautiful. We loved our guide and the group we were hiking with. Machu Picchu was amazing. Read full review

Reviewed on 06 Nov 2007 by

Coming up from the last steps to see Machu Picchu laid out like a jewel in front of me. For the scenery and accomplishment of the trip, it was spectacular. Read full review

Reviewed on 05 Jul 2007 by

The end of the trek arriving at Machu Pichu has to be at the top of course, but I really liked the end of the third day, where we visited the ruins of Waynewayna next to the campsite. Truly impressive Read full review

Reviewed on 20 Jun 2007 by

Absolutely fantastic... Watching the sun rise over Machu Picchu having trekked four days to get there was the most memorable part! Read full review

Reviewed on 04 Jun 2007 by

The amazing views - ranging from snow capped mountains to cloud jungle and of course the ruins. The food was suprisingly very good. Read full review

Reviewed on 02 Jun 2007 by

The most memorable part of the trip was meeting all the children and native farmers we passed on the way who were so pleased and intrigued to see us. Read full review

Reviewed on 27 Apr 2007 by

The cloud forest and the flowers. The race to the sun gate was a bit unnecessary, but fun non-the-less. Read full review

Reviewed on 30 Jul 2007 by

The hike itself was amazing Read full review

Reviewed on 31 Oct 2006 by

The most exciting part of the vacation was the trek to Machu Picchu... We used local guides and porters, and there were stringent rules while hiking the Inca Trail. Read full review

Reviewed on 28 Apr 2006 by

The most memorable part of the vacation was the variety of the country - jungle, high mountains, desert and the kindness of the people. Read full review

Reviewed on 12 Dec 2006 by

Walking through the Sun gate and seeing Machu Picchu spread across the opposite hill in the morning sun was an overwhelming experience. Also the views into the valleys from the high passes were breath-taking. Read full review

Reviewed on 08 Jul 2006 by

The most exciting part was watching the shooting stars and Venus whilst waiting in the dark at the entrance to the Macchu Picchu gate at 0500am. Reaching Macchu Picchu at 0700 to watch the sunrise was exciting. Read full review

Reviewed on 18 May 2006 by

The most exciting part of this vacation was finally making it to the top of the first pass on the second day and seeing the view. Seeing Macchu Pichu just before the clouds rolled in after sunrise! Read full review

Reviewed on 06 Apr 2006 by

The most memorable part was arriving at Machu picchu. Read full review

Reviewed on 01 Jun 2005 by

Had a fantastic vacation - all arrangements went superbly - quality of accommodation and food much better than anticipated - very good value for money. The most memorable part was seeing condors flying over Colca Canyon. Read full review

Reviewed on 01 Aug 2005 by

Great fun, an extremely trying trek and you get the chance to sample typical Peruvian dishes and see many typical Peruvian towns and farms you would never have had the chance to see...Macchu Picchu also – it is a great feeling after 4 hard days trekking to reach such a stunning site. Read full review

Reviewed on 16 May 2005 by

I enjoyed everything very much. The third hiking day was the most beautiful. It was my favourite day. Overall, however, the trek was fantastic – the crew, the food, the equipment, the schedules. I cannot complain about a thing. Read full review

Reviewed on 23 Mar 2005 by

The most memorable part of the vacation was seeing a toucan flying through the trees of the cloud forest while we walked along a quiet part of the trail. Read full review

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