Kondor Path Tours

Inca Trail Machu Picchu Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Inca Trail?

The “Inca Trail” you have read about on the internet is a specific hiking route in Peru that starts in the Sacred Valley, goes through Inti-Punku (Sun Gate), and then reaches the famous ruins of Machu Picchu.

There are many Inca trails in Peru, and the ancient Inca civilization established the Andes mountains hundreds of years ago. But there is only one official trek on the “Camino del Inca.” This is the ONLY trek that allows visitors to enter the Machu Picchu National Park on foot.

All other treks include a visit to the Inca city of Machu Picchu and then a rest in the town of Machu Picchu.

How has COVID-19 affected the availability of permits to make the Inca Trail?

Availability was limited in early 2021, but all Inca Trail permits are available at total capacity for Inca Trail treks from 2022. Contact us now to make your reservation.

Can anyone buy permits and make the Inca Trail on their own?

No. Access to the Inca Trail is controlled by licensed tour operators who employ licensed Peruvian tour guides to accompany hikers from Cusco to the starting point of the Inca Trail until you reach Machu Picchu, National Park.

Kondor Path Tours guides will accompany you to Aguas Calientes and back to Cusco, depending on your itinerary. A licensed Peruvian tour guide must accompany all hikers.

Will our walk be private?

Kondor Path Tours’ treks have always been in private service. We will continue to organize private tours and hikes, but in 2022 we will also offer Open Walks and Small Group Trips. Click here to see availability.

Is there an age limit to make the Inca Trail?

There is no official age limit to make the Inca Trail. People of all ages can do the 4-day trek or the 2-day Inca Trail.

The 4-Day Inca Trail is much more challenging than the short version of the Inca Trail. Both hikes require permits that must be purchased through a licensed tour operator. Permits are included in the cost. People cannot buy their permits to make the Inca Trail.

The 4-Day Inca Trail has a total length of 26 miles/41 KM (also known as the Classic Inca Trail) and includes three nights of camping. Permits can be viewed on the official government website.

Permits usually run out many months in advance. The highest point is Dead Woman’s Pass (approximately 14,000 ft/4,260 m).

The 2-Day Short Inca Trail is 7.5 miles/12 KM long, also known as the short or easy 1-day Inca Trail trek.

The highest altitude is 8,800 feet/2,730 m. Permits are required, and availability can be seen on the Machu Picchu government website. Permits are rarely sold out and can be purchased last minute, at least 05 days in advance, before you plan to start the hike. Includes 01 hotel night in Aguas Calientes

Can these hikes be included in our travel package to Peru?

YEAH! We can add these hikes to any itinerary.

The 4-Day Inca Trail can be combined with hotels, time to acclimatize, guided tours, and activities in the Sacred Valley—a classic 9-day excursion on the Inca Trail.

The 2-day Inca Trail can be combined with hotels, where you will have time to acclimatize, guided tours, and day hikes in the Sacred Valley—a 7-day vacation walking in Machu Picchu.

Why are permits required?

The Inca Trail is the only trek that leads to the Machu Picchu National Park, so permits are required for both the 2-day and the 4-day trek.

Permits are required to control access to the Machu Picchu National Park and limit the daily number of people on the trails.

Licensed tour operators will obtain your permits for you. Note: Permits are on a first-come, first-served basis.

Can anyone make the Inca Trail?

Anyone can make the Inca Trail if they are physically fit enough to carry a small backpack and hike in the Peruvian Andes at high altitudes.

The 4-Day Inca Trail is divided into specific distances for each day, and we will spend the night in a designated camp each night.

The walking distance is the same for everyone, and the Peruvian government and the operators determine the choice of camps. You can walk at your own pace as long as you have the physical ability to complete the allotted distance for each day.

Can the 4-day tour be completed in less time?

No, the 4-day tour (Camino Inca de 4 Dias) must be completed in 4 days, just like the 1-day tour must be completed in 1 day. The Inca trail begins in the Sacred Valley and is one way. You cannot do the Inca Trail in reverse, starting from Machu Picchu.

Is the porter service included in the cost of the 4-day tours?

Yes, the porter service is included in the cost of the 4-day tours provided by Kondor Path Tours.

The porters carry all the cooking equipment, the tents, and up to 5.5 kg of your personal belongings, including the sleeping bag and mat.

The level of service offered by Kondor Path Tours is pleasing to our walkers: 2 porters for each hiker, small groups, Therma-Rest mats, and high-quality meals prepared by a specialized chef on the trail.

Are permits required to make the Inca Trail?

Yes, permits are required for each tour and must be obtained through a licensed operator. You cannot make the Classic Inca Trail on your own.

Permits cannot be changed, refunded, transferred, or canceled. Your spot will be empty if you don’t show up for your walk. Permits for the 4-day tour often sell out months in advance.

Is there an age limit for hikers?

There is no age limit for hikers. Here’s a parental checklist to help you decide if your kids should do the hike.

Are there more accessible hikes available?

Yeah! In the Sacred Valley, leisurely walks, including a support vehicle, can be adapted to your needs. No permits are needed, and can be arranged on the go.

What are the essential things to know about the Inca Trail treks and how to prepare?

  • Variations in cost: All operators have exact fixed costs, such as permits, tickets, buses, and trains. Variations in rates are due to the number of porters provided, the salaries of the porters and guides, the size of the groups, and taxes.
  • The difficulty of the hiking trail: The path is not difficult, although it has steep slopes, irregular stone steps, and rough cobblestone paths. If you are inexperienced, you can also do it. However, the altitude, the rugged terrain, and the lack of oxygen can make the hike difficult.
  • Insufficient time to acclimatize: The Inca trail route does not include time to acclimatize, so you must acclimatize for at least 02 days in the city of Cusco or take a tour of the sacred valley. If you are over 50 years old, you must have an adaptation to the climate for more than two days.
  • Adequate preparation: To make the hike, you do not need luxury or modern equipment, but you must have adequate footwear to avoid the discomfort of the walk, a resistant backpack suitable for the shape of your body, with a limit of 24 liters for women and 28 liters for men. You can contact a Kondor Path Tours travel specialist for additional advice.
  • Fitness: If you have not done a multi-day walk in the last eight months, it is recommended that you test your endurance by doing weighted walks close to home. Once you start the hike, you are committed. The guides are trained to handle health issues or injuries but will not allow you to start the trek if they feel you are not in good physical shape.

What is needed to make a reservation, and when should it be made?

  • Dates: You choose the dates. You can opt for a private walk or join a small group. We will check if permits are available (minimum of 02 people).
  • Confirm Availability: Contact our US office by phone or email to ask questions or confirm availability.
  • Passports: Each person’s passport is needed. Scan or photograph your passport and send it by email.
  • Payment: Call our office in Cusco to process the payment of the 30% deposit with any major credit card.

Who definitely should not make the Inca Trail?

  • People with difficulty walking, either on flat surfaces or on slopes.
  • People over the age of 70, unless they are dedicated hikers at their place of residence.
  • People with chronic illnesses that affect their mobility or activity level.
  • Pregnant women, since there are no medical services available near the road.
  • Remember, if you have questions or need more information, you can contact our office in Cusco at +51 991 391 255

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