how much does it cost for the inca trail? i just checked thru the internet, its USD320 for 4 days. but my friend went there in 2000, just cost USD100 for 4 days coz he doenst book thru the internet, rather just visit the local tour office.
so how much should I expect for this?
It depends on the time of year you are thinking of travelling - June to October falls under high season, so prices are sometimes a little more... Also if going in the high season you need to make sure you book at least 3-4 months in advance as bookings fill up very quickly! There is a 500 person limit per day on the Trail, and only half of this is tourists, the other half is guides, porters, cooks.
High season you should expect to pay anything between $260-$340 - it all depends on the company and the quality of service of course! I did my Trail through company called Pachamama Explorers and paid $280 in August. I can recommend their service for this amount.
Your friend did the Trail a long time ago - sure the prices were much lower then!! Don´t think you would find $100 for the trail anywhere!...
I'm doing it in this Nov. I'm just thinking if I could get an agent after arriving in Cuzco to see if its cheaper.
did u book ur trip in advace as well?
As has been said, things are different now since 5 years ago. The trail is much more regulated then before. If you want to do the Trail in november, you must think about to book right now, and there is higly possible than you couldn't find a place at this date.
When I were in Cuzco the tourism agencies offered alternative trips to people who weren't booked but being in Cuzco felt tempted to do the trip. These offers used to be cheaper than the Inka trail himself (but seemed to be as good, just less known) Most of the agencies were honest and promoted them as alternative routes, but I saw a few who tried to cheat people selling these routes as the original Inka Trail, be aware.
Nat: I did book in advance because I was aware I was travelling in the high season and heard many stories about people losing out on their desired dates because they did not know how the system works,etc.
You might find cheaper when in Cusco, but for peace of mind and not having to scout around from agency to agency I think it is best to book ahead.
I didn't do the Inca Trail as I thought that it was too touristy. My parents, on the other hand, did it and loved it!
As for booking, when I was there (last spring) they had jsut started new regualations about the trail. At that time, many of the people I spoke to had trouble booking a trip less than three weeks in advance. I don't know if that is still a problem.
Instead of the Inca Trail, we did the Ausangate Trek. We took 7 days and other than the last day we only saw two other white people. The trek starts in Tinki (Spelling??) which is about 6 hours by bus from Cusco. Our guide/company was FANTASTIC!! If you're interested contact them at firstname.lastname@example.org. I can;t remember exactly what we paid but it was cheaper than the Inca Trail and the owner of the company paid the guide in front of us to show he paid him what he said we would. I highly recommend this hike and this company!