Breathtaking views across Machu Picchu Inner sanctuaries of Machu Picchu |  <i>Chris Gooley</i> Valleys and hills on the Inca trail, Peru |  <i>Sarah Higgins</i> Views of the Inca ruins of Moray, Peru |  <i>Karina Merkel</i> Group Photo before the trek to Machu Picchu |  <i>Michelle Worthley</i> Trekkers resting beside Wiñay Wayna |  <i>Michelle Worthley</i>
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Your guide to getting 2020 Inca Trail Permits

What you need to know about the most sought-after trail permits

Planning to walk the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu next year? Inca Trail permits will be released from 1 October, so it's a good idea to book your Inca Trail trek now to ensure you don't miss out in 2020.

Forget about last minute bookings on the Inca Trail during the peak season, with only 500 permits available per day – for trekkers and crew, they get snapped up quickly. The 2020 Inca Trail trekking season extends from March until December, but last season, permits for the most popular dates in May, June and August sold out within days (some, just hours!) and those who wanted to trek the classic Inca Trail with us in 2019 left it too late and missed out. 

The main thing you need to know about Inca Trail Permits is that they are in very low supply and there is a very high demand for them each year. Here's a quick guide to everything else you need to know about getting your Inca Trail permits.

Why do I need a permit to trek the Inca Trail?

The Inca Trail is one of the world’s most popular adventure travel experiences. To help protect the trail from its over-popularity a permit system was introduced to limit the number of people on the trail to 500 a day. The ‘500 people a day’ doesn’t just include trekkers, it also includes cooks, porters and guides. Do the math and you’ll quickly understand why you need to book your Inca Trail trip very early.

Where do I get an Inca Trail permit from?

Only approved tour operators, like World Expeditions, can obtain an Inca Trail permit. As part of our all-inclusive trip pricing, the cost of the permit is already included in the tour cost. 

Which months are the hardest to get a permit?

The most popular time to hike the Inca Trail is between May and August, with permits for May and June selling out within days – sometimes hours – once released. So, if you have your heart set on doing the classic 4-day trek, or joining a section of the legendary trail to Machu Picchu, be sure to book well in advance to get a permit for your desired travel dates. 

When should I book my Inca Trail trek?

At least 6-8 months in advance. The earlier you book the better the chance of securing a permit. World Expeditions has over 30 years experience offering high quality, fully-supported walking tours in Peru. Don't leave your Inca Trail walk to chance, join us on one of the greatest short treks in the world.

2020 Inca Trail permit release dates

Month of Travel in 2020 Release date
January Tuesday, 1 October 2019
March Wednesday, 2 October 2019
April Thursday, 3 October 2019
May 1-15 Friday, 4 October 2019
May 16-31 Wednesday, 9 October 2019
June 1-15
Thursday, 10 October 2019
June 16-30
Friday, 11 October 2019
July Monday, 14 October 2019
August to December
Tuesday, 15 October 2019

Can I trek to Machu Picchu without a permit?

If you want to avoid the popular trail and discover lesser-trekked routes, there are other options that trek through lush valleys, alpine lakes and snow-capped peaks before reaching stunning views of Machu Picchu. Our Salcantay Treks to Machu Picchu take travellers on a wilder route; or visit more varied trails away from the crowds, which take you to other spectacular Inca Ruin sites, such as Choquequirao on the Inca Rivers Trek. Find out more in this article.

Video inspiration

Responsible Travel has been at the heart of World Expeditions ever since our inception over 40 years ago. It really is the element of our company that drives most of our decisions whether it’s operating in the field or employing staff, we’re always thinking about what we can give back.   From selecting our campsites, ensuring a Leave No Trace policy, removing litter through our 10 Pieces Litter Collection initiative, supporting our porters and mule drivers and giving back to local communities through our Community Project Travel program, World Expeditions is committed to true sustainable travel. Learn more at

The Salcantay trek to Machu Picchu is giving the Inca Trail a run for its money with its spectacular close up views of Mount Salcantay and challenging yet rewarding hike over the Salcantay Pass (4640m). The trail has far less trekkers than its famous friend and does not require the same, and often sold out, trekking permits.   Witness the awe-inspiring beauty of the Salcantay, high in the mystical Andes Mountains, a sight which often evokes a deep emotional connection between you and your natural surroundings.   Learn more at Imagine the feeling staring down the century old ruins of the Inca Empire and thinking just for a second that our two cultures mightn't have been that different.   World Expeditions took Nick Saxon, singer/songwriter and National Geographic Adventure World Traveller to Peru in South America to see the magnificent Machu Picchu AND YOU - can see it for your self too. The Sacred Valley connects Cusco to the Amazon and Machu Picchu. The area has many ancient archaeological Inca sites to discover. Spectacular highlights also include the local markets, the Inca cities of Ollantaytambo and Pisac as well as rafting the Urubamba River.   Learn more at

More information

Walking the Inca Trail: FAQs

Machu Picchu treks: Salcantay vs Inca Trail

Peru made easy: First-timer tips

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