If you are planning on hiking the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu in 2017, you need to be quick! Inca Trail Permits have virtually sold out for the entire year, with just a few spots remaining from 15th October to the end of December.
Inca Trail Permits are strictly limited to 500 per day, and they are issued on a first come, first served basis. That may sound like a lot, but when you consider that around 300 of those permits are allocated to porters and guides, there are just 200 available per day for travellers who dream of completing this iconic pilgrimage to the ancient citadel of Machu Picchu.
Due to the limited availability, it is not possible to hold, provisionally reserve, or amend the date on Inca Trail Permits, and so you need to confirm your travel dates before making any plans. The agent who books your permits will usually ask for a non-refundable deposit of around $200 per person to secure your spot on the famous Camino Inka, and they’ll need your passport details to confirm.
If your passport needs to be renewed after your Inca Trail Permit has been issued, it is possible to change the details with the Ministerio de Cultura, but your travel organiser may charge a fee to do this on your behalf, and you must be able to present both your old and new passports at the checkpoints throughout your Inca Trail expedition.
If the passport you used to purchase your Inca Trail permit is lost or damaged, and you do not have a copy, you should advise your travel agent and apply for a new passport immediately. If permits are still available for your chosen travel dates, you may be able to purchase a new one with your new passport number (at an additional cost), but if they are sold out, you could have a problem, as park authorities can refuse access if your passport and permit do not match.
Once you have secured your permit and booked your 5-Day Inca Trail Expedition, the only thing left to do is book your flights, shop for hiking gear, and start training for what will ultimately be the most challenging yet rewarding trip you are ever likely to take. Machu Picchu awaits you in all its glory!