Looking at getting to Peru in September this year and whilst I originally planned on booking the Inca Trail when I arrived, I have been told recently that I need to book this well in advance - upto three months ahead? - Is this the case??
I read a thread a while back by someone in Peru who tried to book the Inka trail and she said she counld not because it was already booked through August.
So if you want to do it in Sept., I'd recommend you do so ASAP.
You can look at http://www.perutrek.biz/ for availability (almost at the bottom of the page).
how do i go about booking? i don't understand what the site means. Also, how much does it cost?
Thanks a lot!
Dom and Laura XxX
YES, book ahead. I'm in Cusco, Inca Trail HQ, and have met many travelers leaving, disappointed, not getting to go. That said, you should know there are six "Inca Trails." The first is the Classic Trail that is 4 days, 3 nights, and goes through lots of ruins on the way.
The other five start at different locations, are anywhere from 3d/2n to 6d/5n and the prices are nearly half that of the Classic Trail (which runs from US$280 on up).
Most of the Inca Trail agencies have web pages, a simple search will come up with loads. Good luck, and book ahead, don't be disappointed.
Like Joshua said, you must book ahead of time (it isnt like the old times), sometimes you need 2 to 4 months advance notice, depending on the time of year. The prices for what I hear are between $250 to $350, depending on the quality of the agency.
I have heard good things about SAS Travel from more than one person. Ck out this thread. Good luck!
I'm in Aguas Calientes, finished the four-day "Classic" Inka Trail yesterday with SAS. While a bit pricier than most (base price $320) the tents, guides and food are excellent.
I decided to splurge and spend a night in Aguas Calientes at the SAS hostel, called Hostal Viajeros. US$35 is a BIG splurge in Peru, and the hostel is NOT worth it. There is nothing particularly wrong with it, but there is nothing particularly special either (except the location I suppose, it IS in Aguas Calientes). It is a basic 25 soles hostel, I'd highly suggest shopping around on your own for something cheaper, or if you really want to splurge, spend your money one something worth it.
The Trail is wonderful, happy trekking.
I just read on http://www.raingod.com/angus/Gallery/Photos/SouthAmerica/Peru/IncaTrail/IncaTrailFAQ.html
2.10 How much does it cost?
Prices have risen recently as the result of new regulations. The fee for walking the Trail is currently US$50 (US$25 for students and children), which includes entry to Machu Picchu. Entry only to Machu Picchu costs US$20 (US$10 for students).
If you go with a guided tour run by a local company, you should expect to pay a minimum of around US$120 for guides, porters etc. Lonely Planet suggests that the cheapest tour operators should be avoided, and that it is worth paying more (closer to US$200) to go with professional, responsible operators. Packages that also include visits to other sites, accomodation, etc. will cost more.
Other costs will include, of course, transportation, accommodation, equipment, food, clothing, etc. How much you spend on these will depend where you are and what you want.
So does this mean that you can just pay to walk the trail or what? It seems to be saying that but also that you need to be in the company of a guide in the next bit. What do people know?
Thanks a lot
Dom and Laura XxX
Responding to Dom and Laura's info, this looks dated to me. To do the "Classic Inca Trail," you MUST go with a guide, there is no option to do otherwise. The prices likewise, look low and very last year.
The other trails I mentioned in my June 8 response can be done on your own or with a guide, which will significantly change the price of the trek.
I recently learned some new info about day trips to Machu Picchu.
If you want to do a day trip to Machu Picchu instead of a trek (or because you didn't book in advance, this is what you can expect to pay:
Train to/from Cusco, $US60
Bus to/from Aguas Calientes, $US12 (you can walk, but you might miss the train back to Cusco or not have much time at the ruin)
Entry to Machu Picchu, $US20.
You can see that a day trip would cost, minimum, $US92.
Finally, if climbing Huyapichu is something you really want to do (that's the big mountain you always see in the background of classic Machu Picchu photos,) you must start the trek (1.5 hours return) by 1 p.m. They won't let you start after that.
Hope this helps, let me know if you have any specific questions, I'm fresh off the trail.
I did the Short inca trail with PACHAMAMA EXPLORERS. I receive a correct treatment when I hired the Short Inca trail vía email. When we arrived to Cuzco we went to the travel agency and they told us all the excursion details, they didn’t tell us about some land sliding that happened two weeks ago and that changed substantially the Inka trail route. In addition to this, they didn’t tell us that we would not arrive to Machu Picchu through the Sun Gate (Intipunku). Instead of walking six hours we walked for one hour and a half near the Urubamba river, we arrived to some ruins and then we crossed the river and walked for another hour and a half by the railway until we arrived at Aguas Calientes. When we made our discharges at the travel agency first we were told that they didn’t know that despite that the guide knew this information and told us that, and after that they said that they have forgotten to tell us.