Machu Picchu |  <i>Drew Collins</i> Heading up to Warmihuañusca pass on the Inca Trail |  <i>Nigel Leadbitter</i> Valleys and hills on the Inca trail, Peru |  <i>Sarah Higgins</i> Trekkers on the Inca Trail, Peru |  <i>Sarah Higgins</i>

Your guide to getting 2019 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 2019.

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. Last season, the May and June Inca Trail permits sold out within a week and hundreds of people who wanted to trek the classic Inca Trail with us in 2018 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 a week of its release in 2018. 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 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.

2019 Inca Trail permit release dates

Month of Travel in 2019 Sale date
January Monday, 1 October 2018
March Tuesday, 2 October 2018
April Wednesday, 3 October 2018
May 1-15 Thursday, 4 October 2018
May 16-31 Friday, 5 October 2018
June Tuesday, 9 October 2018
July Wednesday, 10 October 2018
August Thursday, 11 October 2018
September Thursday, 11 October 2018
October Thursday, 11 October 2018
November Thursday, 11 October 2018
December Thursday, 11 October 2018

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.

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