If you’re itching to take on the Inca Trail and visit Machu Picchu during your time in Peru, then you may have heard about the need to secure those all important permits. In this post, we’ll answer your questions regarding just how it works so that you’ll be prepared for your adventure of a lifetime.
1. What is an Inca Trail Permit?
For a number of years now, the Peruvian government has had to issue a yearly limited number of passes (also known as permits) due to increased tourism. This means any individual choosing to trek the Inca Trail, no matter how long it may be for will be required to have one and must present their passport in person upon arrival at the UNESCO site. Please note that you will also need to ensure you show the same passport that you owned when booking the Inca Trail as the details on your permit will need to match that of what is in your passport at the time of booking. If you have a passport that is due to expire prior to travelling, please ensure to get this renewed before you book.
2. When are the 2020 permits released and how many?
The Peruvian Government limits the release of permits to around 500 per day (including porters!) which are issued on a first-come-first-served basis so it’s important to get in there quick. Permits for 2020 are set to be released on the below dates:
- January 2020 permits will be released on the 1st October 2019
- March 2020 permits will be released on the 2nd October 2019
- April 2020 permits will be released on the 3rd October 2019
- 1st – 15th May 2020 permits will be released on the 4th October (this is the most popular time!)
- 16th – 31st May 2020 permits will be released on the 9th October 2019
- 1st – 15 June 2020 permits will be released on the 10th October 2019
- 16th June – 30th June 2020 permits will be released on the 11th October 2019
- July 2020 permits will be released on the 14th October 2019
- August to December 2020 permits will be released on the 15th October 2019.
*Accurate as of the 27th September 2019.
3. When do I need to book my Inca Trail permit?
The sooner you can book the better as a limited number of permits are released by the government per year. As a result, we advise booking at least 6 months ahead of travelling to Peru. Don’t worry about booking for a date that hasn’t released permits yet – you can secure your Tucan Travel group tour today and we will arrange the permits as soon as they are available!
4. How long has Tucan Travel been trekking the Inca Trail?
We pride ourselves on our expert knowledge of running tours in South America including Peru for over 31 years. That’s 31 years of taking travellers on the Inca Trail!
5. How do I book my permit?
Inca Trail permits at the moment cannot be obtained by individuals as the Peruvian Government only enables licensed tour operators to acquire permits. All Tucan Travel tours that include the Inca Trail will include the cost of the permit which will be secured for you once your tour has been confirmed.
6. Do all of your group tours in Peru include the Inca Trail?
Not all of our group tours include the Inca Trail, some include the option to take the one day trek or the train to Machu Picchu. If you are unsure please speak to an Adventure Specialist.
7. What information do you I need to give to Tucan Travel to purchase a tour that includes the Inca Trail?
We will require the information that is mentioned in your passport, including:
- Full name
- Passport Number
- Date of passport expiry
8. Are the cost of permits refundable if I skip the Inca Trail?
If you cancel or are unable to do the Inca Trail permits are non-refundable.
9. What should I pack for the Inca Trail?
Glad you asked! We have a blog that breaks down all the essentials you will need for conquering the Inca Trail here.
10. When is the best time to hike the Inca Trail?
The high season for visiting Peru and trekking the Inca Trail is from April to October where the weather is generally dry. June to August is normally the most crowded time so if you want to trek during these months then you need to book your permit as soon as they are released. February is the only month that is off limits – the trail shuts down for maintenance during this time.
You can view Tucan Travel’s range of Peru tours here
Emma is on the marketing team at Tucan Travel. She has travelled solo and on group tours through Europe, Southeast Asia and Australasia.