Inca Trail Regulations

In an effort to preserve and protect the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu, the Peruvian governing bodies have taken drastic measures in the past few years to limit the amount of people hiking the Trail. As of March 2004, no more than 500 people (including support staff) per day are allowed on the Inca Trail and this number is strictly adhered to.

As Sustainable Tourism is constantly at the forefront of our business philosophy, G Adventures is happy to work within the framework of these regulations in order to properly protect the Inca Trail and Machu Picchu. Our company policies regarding the Inca Trail are put in place in order to guarantee an excellent passenger experience and also as a way to directly address these issues and make sure that this information is clear and understood.

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 are not held on the Trail and all permits to trek must be bought as far as possible in advance with complete and correct passport information, to which no modifications can be made. Any attempts at modifications result in a loss of the permit and any money paid.

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 embarking on your adventure to Peru.

Inca Trail Booking Policies

Inca Trail

Inca Trail February Closure

In order to maintain and clean the traditional Inca trail, the government will close this route during month of February. G Adventures fully supports the government's decision to close the trail in order to preserve and protect such a sacred place full of rich history and culture. The Inca trail draws thousands of people from around the world each year and therefore the trail needs to be properly maintained and allowed time to regenerate. This closure will affect all trips in which the Inca trip portion of the tour starts on or after February 1st up to and including February 28th. As an alternative, we will be hiking the Lares Trek.

For more information about the benefits of hiking the Lares Trek, please refer to our Lares Trek FAQ.

Lares Trek

If you are hiking the Lares Trek you will start your hike on the same itinerary day scheduled for the Inca Trail. Please note that the actual itinerary may vary slightly depending on the time of year.

To this day these trails are the main routes into the remote villages throughout the Lares Valley. For this reason the Lares trek has much more interaction with the direct descendents of the Incas, than the traditional Inca Trail. The past and present are intertwined here however traditional life has not changed much since Inca times. This along with some of the most spectacular views will make your trek a truly unforgettable experience.

On Day 1, depart Ollantaytambo, passing through Calca the capital of the Sacred Valley, and head for Kiswarani where we will have lunch and begin the trek. In this small village, we will meet our local crew of Alpacas, Llamas, Herders, Horses, and Horsemen who will help us pack our gear. Our Guide and Cook will also be taking care of us throughout the trek.

The first day we will climb to the Kiswarani Pass (4400m +/-) where the flora will consist of Puna Grasses, Lichens, all supported by the high lakes of the area. After reaching the pass and taking in the views we will then descend to Kunkani where we will set up camp in the local village consisting of mainly traditional adobe huts under grass roofs. On Day 2 we climb up to Kunkani Pass and then continue to the Ipsayqocha pass (4500 meters +/-) where we will then descend to our second campsite with the same name.

As we descend on the third day to our destination Patacancha, you will pass through various micro-climates, suddenly realizing how different every hour has been. Throughout your trek you will have climbed 3 passes, trekked through High Puna (Grasslands), over Rocky Peaks, then down into woodlands, finally into the lush Urubamba Valley. If we are lucky we will have had the good fortune to see Wild Fox, Chinchillas, Eagles and possibly Condors. From our destination of the trek Patacancha, we will have our final lunch prepared by our cook and travel back to Ollantaytambo in order to catch the train to Aguas Calientes. Located approximately two hours away, a good shower and a good night's sleep awaits us. The final morning we get up early and catch the bus up to our long awaited destination and archaeological site of Machu Picchu where we will finish with a tour of the site and free time to explore on your own.