One of my firend just warn me about the permit issued to be able to visit the machu pichu via the Inca Trail.
Does anyones of you knows how permit are given, and much are they and where it is available.
I'm planing to land in Peru in the 1st week of April. Do I need to get a permit beforehhand or they 'll just give me one when I'll book my trip?.
Thank you for anwsering
There's only 500 permits for hiking the (classic) inca trail per day. Of those, roughly 200 per day will be used by gringos, with the remaining 300 being used by porters and guides. You are not allowed to hike the inca trail independently, but must go with an official Peruvian inca trail tour operator. Companies which aren't on that list act like resellers, so basically make you pay more for the privilege of dealing with them rather than with the actual company with which you'll do the hike. When you book with a company, you have to give them your passport number, and they'll then take care of getting your permit. (Or actually, what happens is that they won't get your permit until their tour group has gotten to the desired size, or they see all other companies make a run on permits. This means that sometimes you can book with a tour company months in advance, and still end up not being able to hike on your desired date, as they were too slow with getting the permit.)
During shoulder and high season (May-September), permits sell out 2-3 months in advance. I don't know how bad things are in April, but I'd recommend still booking at least a month in advance if you want to be certain you can hike anywhere close to your desired date. (The only time you can really rock up and expect to find an empty slot within a week is during the rainy months of December/January.)
There's alternative treks in the general vicinity of Machu Picchu, which one way or another (usually involving a bus or train journey) deposit you at Machu Picchu on the final day, and are billed as alternative inca trails (by virtue of incorporating bits of pathways presumably also used by the incas, even if they don't follow the procession of temples and other significant inca sites which the classic inca trail passes). These alternative hikes are reportedly quite worth hiking in their own right, should be a bit cheaper, and can be booked just a few days in advance.
I don't know if you've heard, but permits have just got even trickier to get hold of - especially around April. This article says it all.
If I were you I would get in touch with various companies out there ASAP and see if they have any spaces left as they tend to block book. However people have had to book the Inca Trail 3-6 months in advance and it is always popular.
If you don't manage to get on it there are some fantastic alternatives though. My favourite two suggestions would be the Lares trek (building in popularity) and Choquequirao (another stunning Incan citadel. You can get the train from Cusco to Aguas Calientes & head up to Machu Picchu on the first bus of the day if you still want to see it. At least this way you'll have the trails practically to yourself and even walk through a few local villages where people still wear their traditional, colourful dress. Amazing.
I'm sure you'll have a fantastic time whatever you end up doing!