Inca Trail trekking permits have sold out incredibly quickly this year, and the trek is now sold out through the end of August. Permits are available on many start dates in September, but permit availability is limited until around September 19. October, November, and December still have good availability, except for the odd day in October. Click here to view more information on permit availability: Inca Trail Trek Permit Availability
What does this mean if you are heading to Peru this travel season? If you haven’t already booked an Inca Trail trek, you won’t be able to get a permit for the famous hike to Machu Picchu. Permits are issued to actual trekkers and are linked to their passport numbers, so once permits are sold out no outfitter can get you a permit for those dates. If you really want to trek the Inca Trail, there are still many permits available for Oct-Dec, or postpone your trip to next year and purchase it now.
Better yet, go ahead and go to Peru. There a number of fantastic alternative treks that go on Inca trails in the area, and all can be combined with a visit to Machu Picchu. All of these treks are less crowded than the Inca Trail, and local guides and others in the know claim many of them are much better treks than the famous Inca Trail to Machu Picchu. I have done the Inca Trail a few times, and while I enjoy it very much, I personally would prefer one of these off-the-beaten-path trips. They offer fantastic scenery, interesting culture, and Inca ruins, all far from the crowds of the Inca Trail itself.