For the latest on Inca Trail Permit availability, click here: Inca Trail Permits
In order to trek any portion of the Inca trail to Machu Picchu, you will need a permit issued by the Government of Peru. There are only 500 permits available for any trek departure date. Of these, about 300 are allocated to guides, porters, and cooks; this leaves 200 available for travelers. The permit is issued for the day you start your trek, and is valid for your entire trek. Due to the popularity of the trek, these permits sell out extremely quickly, especially in the busiest months of June, July, August, and September.
Inca Trail permits must be purchased in person in Cusco, and are issued on a first come-first served basis. When a permit is issued a passenger’s passport number must be attached to the permit, so that only that person can use the permit, and a non-refundable permit fee must be paid. The permit is not transferable to another passenger.
When you request an Inca Trail trek from one of our providers, we ask our providers immediately about permit availability. Once we know about permit availability, we will let you know that the trek is available for you. However, please note that we cannot reserve Inca Trail permits; they are only reserved when actually purchased with a nonrefundable fee. If there are sufficient permits the traveler must put down a $400 deposit per trekker so the permits can be bought immediately. If permits are sold out before the operator can purchase the new permits, your deposit is refunded. However, if you cancel your trek at any time ahead of departure, at least $200 of this deposit is not refundable (varies by travel provider).
We will let you know as soon as we can whether or not your permits were purchased. If there are 200 or more permits available when a traveler requests a trip, the chances of purchasing a permit are very good. However, if there are around 50 or fewer permits remaining, your chances are very slim. Detour cannot promise or guarantee anyone permits until they are purchased by the provider.
There are alternative routes to Machu Picchu, however, that are slightly more off the beaten track, and that don’t require permits, meaning you can still do one of these treks even when Inca Trail permits are sold out – check the alternatives here.