*****IMPORTANT NOTES *****
NEED A PERMIT: In order to book your Inca Trail treks, the Peruvian authorities cap the number of Inca Trail trekking permits to 500 per day. Everyone entering the trail needs a permit including the trekker, guide, porters and other support staff. Permits often sell out several months in advance and you must book well ahead to secure your place.
When you fill in our booking form you must fill in alternative start dates that are possible for you to begin the trek and these have to be validated. If your preferred date is sold out we will use one of these alternative dates for your permit. Once we purchase your permit from the National Park office, you are 100% confirmed to start this day; this date cannot be changed. Permits are completely non-refundable or transferable, so please make sure the date you booked is a good date to start this adventure.
Your permit is linked to your name and passport number. If you change your passport after booking your Inca Trail trek permit or you plan to travel with a different passport, you MUST also bring the passport you used to book your permit, or you will not be able to trek the Inca Trail trek.
STUDENTS: If you booked your trek with your International Student Identity Card (ISIC) you must have this card and it must be valid for you to enter the trail. If you purchased a permit with the student discount and you do not bring your ISIC card or it is not valid at the time of your trek start they will not allow you to enter the trail. These are National Park rules.
HUAYNA PICCHU: Only 400 people can climb this mountain per day, so this ticket also needs to be booked in advanced. The price is $65 per person (read our Huaynapicchu sidebar about this cost). It is recommended to climb Huayna Picchu in the 10-11am time slot as otherwise you miss your guided tour. It is recommended to have this booked about 2 months in advance to secure your permit.
EXTRA NIGHT: If you want to stay longer at Machu Picchu then you can book an extra night at Aguas Calientes village. Just let us know that you plan to stay an extra night so we can organize your return train for the next day. You can either organize your accommodation by yourself or we can assist with making bookings. If you were thinking of going back to Machu Picchu the next day then you will have to buy a new entrance fee to Machu Picchu and the bus tickets for about $70.
RETURN TRAIN TO CUSCO: The return train is the Expedition train which departs either at 2:55, 4:20, 4:42 or 6:40 pm. The train that is booked depends on availability and is confirmed at your briefing. There is an option to upgrade your train to the Vistadome train, which is an extra $65 per person. Please let us know your preference at the time of booking. None of the trains go straight to Cusco, they run either to Ollantaytambo or Poroy but in either case we will transfer you back by bus to your hotel.
FOOD ON THE TREK: Definitely one of the highlights of the tour is the food. It is always fresh and most of it is organic. There is always a lot to eat and lots of options including vegetables, meat, chicken, fish and other types of protein and carbohydrates. Everyone sits down to eat together and we go out of our way to accommodate all dietary requirements including vegetarian options and any food allergies. We do not provide any alcoholic drinks on the trek but if you would like you can bring your own.
OUR EQUIPMENT: We provide 4 person tents for every 2 people, sleeping bags and foam mattresses for everyone. Our dining equipment includes a spacious dining tent, tables and chairs, plates and utensils. We do NOT supply walking sticks, but they can be rented from PumaPath. We bring an extra blanket for all our hikers for those especially cold nights. Just ask and your guide will provide you with this.
OUR GUIDES, COOK AND PORTERS: All of them are amazing, helpful, caring and great people to be around. Our guides speak excellent English and are patient and very informative. Our cooks provide amazing family-style food for you and our porters and you will be impressed with what they can whip up in the middle of the mountains! Your porters will carry everything for you which makes your trek as easy and comfortable as possible. Thanks to them you will finish your trek and have a great time. Our porters are called ´WE ARE PUMAS…´ on the Inca Trail.
We make sure that all our team are well looked after and we provide all the equipment that they need so that they can do the trek in as much comfort as possible.
FITNESS: The Inca Trail is certainly not easy but you do not need to be an athlete or a trekking expert to complete it. Fitness is naturally important but the Inca Trail is the kind of trek that anyone with a positive attitude and determination can do. Obviously the more fit you are the more you will enjoy the trail and the more chance you will have to take in the scenery and appreciate the Inca ruins dotted along the way. If you do not exercise regularly, it is advisable to do some extra walking or some kind of aerobic activity in the months leading up to your trip.
Many people worry whether or not they will be able to cope physically, but complete failure is rare and would usually only result from severe altitude sickness or a person lacking even a basic level of fitness. People of all ages (from teenagers to pensioners) complete the trek, and age itself is no barrier if you are positive minded and live an active lifestyle. Before departing for your tour, we recommend visiting your doctor who will be able to provide you with more information.
STORAGE DURING YOUR TREK: During the Inca Trail trek your main luggage will be stored in Cuzco and you will receive a small duffle bag at your Inca Trail briefing (briefings are normally set for the evening before you start the trek) to pack your clothes in for 3-4 days. Your team of porters will carry these bags together with the food and equipment for the trail. Please note that you will not have access to these items until the end of each day as the porters will always be ahead of the group. You should therefore bring a day pack in which you can carry personal belongings such as your camera, water and sun screen etc. By Peruvian law the duffle bag carried by the porters must not weigh more than 7kg (14pounds). You can either store the rest of your luggage at your hotel or you can leave it with us.