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Travelers to Machu Picchu, Beware: The Sale of Inca Trail Permits for 2018 Starts Today

Peru Hiking
by Miguel Angel Gongora Meza Oct 5, 2017

The sale of Inca Trail permits for 2018 starts today, October 5th, 2017.

The 2017 hiking season on the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu is far from over, but the sale of permits for the 2018 season starts four months earlier than previous years. Up until January 2017, permits for the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu used to go on sale on January 6th of every year; however, the Peruvian government agency in charge of the management of Machu Picchu has made some changes to the system of reservations by granting credentials for all tour operators leading tours to the Inca trail much earlier than previous years.

Inca Trail permits can be obtained only through a certified travel operator. Note that travelers cannot access the Inca Trail without a permit and a tour guide.

Almost 192,000 people walk the 43 kilometers or 25 miles of the famous Inca Trail to Machu Picchu every year. Only 500 permits per day are put for sale for the classic Inca Trail, which is shared by porters, guides, and tourists.

In addition to the 500 permits a day released for the classic Inca Trail, INRENA (the management of the Natural Sanctuary of Machu Picchu) added another 300 permits for the short Inca Trail, which is a day hike along a stretch of the final part of the classic Inca Trail.

This year, permits for May, June, and July 2017 were sold out in a few hours.

These changes in the booking system mean two things:

  • People planning to travel to Peru and hike the Inca Trail will not have to wait until January to make their reservations for their Inca Trail 2018 hike.
  • Securing a spot for the most desired months, such as May, June, and July (the most competitive months for obtaining a permit) will be more difficult due to these changes. You’ll need to plan your trek many months in advance, i.e. right now! There is no longer room for spontaneity.

If Peru is in your travel plans for the summer of 2018 and the Inca Trail is something you wish to hike, make your reservation as soon as possible.

We trust that people will choose a conscientious travel operator that ensures that locals and mother Earth are treated in a respectful manner.

Here is the list of the days when the permits go on sale as determined by INRENA:

  • October 5th, 2017: Permits to trek from January 1st to January 31st, 2018
  • October 6th, 2017: Permits to trek from March 1st to March 31st, 2018
  • October 9th, 2017: Permits to trek from April 1st to April 30th, 2018
  • October 10th, 2017: Permits to trek from May 1st to May 15th, 2018
  • October 11th, 2017: Permits to trek from May 15th to May 31st, 2018
  • October 12th, 2017: Permits to trek from June 1st to June 15th, 2018
  • October 13th, 2017: Permits to trek from June 15th to June 30th, 2018
  • October 16th, 2017: Permits to trek from July 1st to July 15th, 2018
  • October 17th, 2017: Permits to trek from August 1st December 2018

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