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Trek the Inca Trail

A tour to the Inca Trail is a complete, once-in-a-lifetime travel experience, but the part you’re likely to cherish most is when you finally step through the Sun Gate and catch your first glimpse of the forgotten city of Machu Picchu. It’s not just an accomplishment; it’s a transformative moment — make the most of it with G Adventures.

Popular Inca Trail tours

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Why hike the Inca Trail with G Adventures?

Named the Best Inca Trail Tour Operator in Peru, we offer several award-winning trekking routes — including new lower-priced options — designed to help you challenge yourself with an experience unmatched by any other.

What we offer:

Award-Winning ToursAward-
Winning
Tours
Convenience
Safety
Supporting Local Communities

01Award-Winning Tours

  • Over 25 years of experience running award-winning tours in the Inca Trail region
  • Named the Best Inca Trail Tour Operator by the Regional Direction of Foreign Trade and Tourism of Cusco (RDFTTC) in Peru. This award recognizes outstanding service, safety, technical operations, and ethical business practices
  • We have an established set of protocols to best secure Inca Trail permits. Our Cusco-based team is on hand to book and collect your permit in person before your tour even begins
  • Lifetime Deposits?. The price may be the same, but what do other operators offer if you need to cancel? We have lifetime deposits, while many local operators have full cancellation fees

02Convenience

  • You’ll trek with a small group of like-minded travellers from around the world
  • Our cooks prepare three delicious meals that are perfect for a day of trekking, as well as snacks. We’re able to cater to dietary restrictions and allergies, just let us know when you book and we’ll plan ahead
  • We provide the tents which your porters will set up and take down for you
  • We have extra equipment available for you to rent for the trek
  • We take care of the details so all you really need to bring is a sleeping bag — actually you don’t, you can rent one from us!

03Safety

  • Our local operations team in Cusco and Lima are nearby and available 24/7 to help in case of emergency
  • Our trekking team is trained in First Aid and evacuation
  • We carry radios for emergency contact
  • Your guides will carry oxygen for emergency purposes
04

Supporting Local Communities

  • When you trek with G Adventures, you help employ more than 560 local guides, porters, cooks, drivers, and office staff — meaning you’re making a difference simply by travelling

Inca Trail tours review

Inca Trail photos from our travellers

Compare tours

A new way to trek the Inca Trail: at a lower price.

We now have even more great ways to discover the Inca Trail, with new lower-priced four and five day options in addition to our classic full seven day experience. Compare the trips below to find the one that’s right for you.

Trekking the Inca Trail: 4D/3NTrekking the Inca Trail: 5D/4N
The Inca Trail
Tour Length4 days and 3 nights5 days and 4 nights7 days and 6 nights
Acclimatization TimeNo additional time included within the tourOne day included to acclimatizeTwo days included to acclimatize
Which Day Do You Start the Trek?First day of tourSecond day of tourThird day of tour
NIghts at HotelNone includedOne night includedThree nights included
Machu Picchu Guided TourIncludedIncludedIncluded
Included Activities
No activities scheduled as part of the tour
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No activities scheduled as part of the tour
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  • Visit to the Ccaccacollo Women’s Weaving Co-op
  • Lunch at Parwa Community Restaurant
  • Visit to a local pottery making community where you’ll enjoy views of the Pisac ruins
  • Spend a night in Ollantaytambo in the Sacred Valley and get views of the ruins
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How to decide which one is right for you?

Time to acclimatize

Everyone needs time to acclimatize to the altitude before hiking the Inca Trail — even if you’re a regular at the gym. If you opt for a shorter tour, you’ll need to allow time beforehand to be physically ready. On our full seven-day tour, we offer you the chance to acclimatize while being immersed among local communities by visiting two G for Good projects and checking out some ruins.

Before the trek

On our shortest tour option, the trek starts the morning of the first day. So you will need to arrive before the hike starts and book a hotel. The Inca Trail is a demanding trek, you can’t arrive the night before and expect to be properly acclimatized in time. Make sure you’ve allowed enough time to prepare yourself so you can enjoy the Trail to its fullest.

We can help with the details

Need help booking your whole trip? You can book your flights to and from Lima through us as well as any other international flights. We can also help you book a place to stay before and after the trek.

Our porters

Porters: the unsung heroes of the Inca Trail.

The trek to Machu Picchu is an inspiring journey — not just for the sights but the people you meet along the way. You’ll spend plenty of time getting to know your fellow travellers, but you’ll also have the chance to connect with our skilled porters. They take great pride in making sure your group has everything you need on your adventure, but they’re also eager to share their culture, history, and traditions with you. Our porters do all they can to help you enjoy your experience to the fullest, so we hope you reach the end of the trail thinking of them as friends. G Adventures is committed to treating all of our employees, including our porters, fairly and ethically. Below, get to know some of our porters in their own words.

Porters Frequently Asked Questions

Yes! We’ll provide you with a large stuff sac where you can place 6kg of your personal items (including your sleeping bag and mattress). Our skilled porters will carry these bags while you hike the Inca Trail. Your other personal items will be stored safely at our hotel in Cuzco. All you need to carry is a daypack containing the things you’ll need during the day like water, camera, sunscreen, or anything else that’s over the 6kg allowance.

Our porters can each carry a maximum of 20kg. Our groups travel with electronic weights to ensure no porter is carrying more than this.

Our porters are provided with sleeping bags and foam mattresses to use while they accompany travellers along the trek. They are also provided with their own tents. In some national parks, there are dedicated sleeping shelters that porters may choose to use. G Adventures pays the necessary fees for porters to use these shelters.

Since porters usually trek much faster, and carry much more gear, they have different energy requirements and therefore eat different meals than our passengers, and sometimes at different times of day as well. G Adventures provides porters with larger meal portions, and meals that are higher in carbohydrates, in accordance with their needs.

Porters are third-party contractors, and are already well-trained and experienced trekkers. G Adventures also organizes a full-day training session every February, before trekking season opens.

Porters are an integral part of the Inca Trail experience. G Adventures provides porters with equipment to ensure a safe, comfortable hike, including a back protector, rain poncho, sun hat, proper footwear, a head lamp, and a rain jacket. Equipment is checked regularly, and we frequently solicit feedback from our porters on how to improve the backpacks they are provided for carrying gear. G Adventures provides medical insurance for our porters, and in the unlikely event that a porter falls ill or becomes injured, they are immediately removed from the tour and assisted in seeking medical attention.

Tipping is at your discretion, but is always appreciated. If you enjoyed the service you enjoyed from your guides and porters, we suggest tipping between $6-8 dollars a day.

Frequently Asked Questions

The Inca Trail is considered a moderate hike; however, there are a lot of staircases to climb, and the altitude can also affect the body. We recommend renting a wooden walking stick as it helps with your balance and reduces stress on the knees.

That all depends on how you choose to get there, as there are four different options of trails. If you take the Inca Trail, you will trek about six to nine hours each day for the first three days and about two hours on your final approach to Machu Picchu. The Lares and Salkantay treks are only three days, but you will trek 10 hours on the second day of each. The route along Choquequirao offers the option of even more trekking, averaging 5-8 hours a day.

Make sure you pack your comfortable hiking boots, because it is estimated you’ll be walking six to nine hours for each of the first three days and about two hours on the last day if you take the Inca Trail.

The trek begins at 2,800m (9,186 ft). The highest point you’ll reach on the trek is approximately 4,200m (13,780ft). You’ll also sleep at 3,600m (11,811 ft) for at least one night.

It’s impossible to predict who will be affected by the altitude as your ability to adapt can vary from person to person. (We do recommend you undertake the trek in a good state of physical fitness.) Most of our travellers have no problem, as long as they take the time to acclimatize properly. We recommend spending at least one full day in Cusco (3,249m [10,659 ft] above sea level) and drinking plenty of water.

Hiking the Inca Trail is popular all year round (except for February when it’s closed), however May to September is considered the high season. This means that permits can be sold out six to eight months in advance. However, if permits are not available, there is an option to do the Lares Trek, which still takes you to Machu Picchu.

It can get chilly due to the altitude. During the Andean winter (May – September) the temperature can drop below zero at night, and can fluctuate quickly during the day. It can be cool during the summer months too, so we suggest bringing thermal underwear and a warm sleeping bag.

The best clothing for trekking is either wool or synthetic materials in layers, as they are quick-drying and can keep heat in better. It’s best to bring a base-layer, mid-layer like a light fleece jacket, and a jacket that is windproof and waterproof. Having different layers to choose from will also prepare you for sudden changes in weather Mother Nature throws your way.

Reaching Machu Picchu depends on the campsite assigned to your group on the third night. However, many groups will reach the Sun Gate at around 6:00am. You’ll have plenty of time to soak in the ruins thanks to a two-hour guided tour and some free time to explore until noon as permitted by Machu Picchu regulations.

After you’ve taken in all the beauty of Machu Picchu, your group will travel by bus to Aguas Calientes and then catch a train back to Ollantaytambo, where you’ll take a bus back to Cusco.

Yes! We’ll provide you with a large duffel bag where you can place 6kg of your personal items (including your sleeping bag). Our skilled porters will carry these bags while you hike the Inca Trail. Your other personal items will be stored safely at your hotel or at our office in Cusco where your pre-trek briefing takes place. All you need to carry is a daypack containing the things you’ll need during the day like water, camera, sunscreen, or anything else that’s over the 6kg allowance.

Sleeping bags are not provided, so we recommend bringing a compact three-season sleeping bag. You can also rent a sleeping bag in Cusco. We provide our travellers with foam mats, self-inflating mats are available for rent at the trek briefing.

We use three-man tents to accommodate two people. There are a few places on the trail where permanent (but very rustic) toilet facilities exist your crew will also set up portable toilet tents for G travellers.

Our cooks prepare excellent high-quality meals that are perfect for a day of trekking. The menu usually includes: pasta, rice, chicken, fresh fruit and vegetables, oatmeal, and eggs. If you’re a vegetarian, no problem! We’re able to cater to your needs. If you have any dietary restrictions or allergies, please let us know when you book.

Bottled water can be purchased on day one and on the evening of day three of the trek. However, we discourage trekkers from purchasing bottles as it increases the amount of waste. Instead, we strongly recommend bringing a refillable water bottle, as boiled water will be provided with every meal.

Yes, as long as it is not a metal-tipped walking stick, as they are not permitted on the trail. You can rent a wooden walking stick from us as well along with additional equipment like sleeping bags and air mattresses.

Inca Trail permits

What you need to know about Inca Trail permits.

Yes. And we can help you get one. In 2002, Inca Trail regulations were introduced to protect the site and the surrounding ecosystem. These regulations restrict the number of annual visitors and prevent undocumented trekkers from hiking the Trail and not giving the area the appropriate respect. There are a limited number of permits available, so be sure to book soon.

You must have a permit to hike the Inca Trail and there are only a limited number of permits available. The sooner you book, the better.

G Adventures has been running trips here over 25 years and, as the world’s largest Inca Trail operator, we have an established set of protocols to best secure permits. Our Cusco-based team is on hand to book and collect your permit in person before your tour even begins.

Only tour operators like G Adventures can acquire permits. All operators are subject to thorough annual inspections by the government agencies that govern the Inca Trail.

When you book your trip with us, you’ll need to have your passport you will be travelling with ready. Please note that your permit dates will be fixed and it’s not transferable.

Hiking Guide

Your guide to hiking the Inca Trail and exploring Machu Picchu
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