machu pichu--is advance booking necessary

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1. Posted by KIER (Budding Member 16 posts) 12y Star this if you like it!

I keep reading that you need to book ur inca trail tour several months in advance.
Is this true, and if so how far in advance should I be booking.
I plan on doing it around the month of June.


2. Posted by BowenH1 (Budding Member 30 posts) 12y Star this if you like it!

Hi again Kier,

You have a few options with Macchu Picchu.

1. Book the Inca Trail. You'll need to do it 3 months in advance, which ties you in to a date. 4 days 3 nights.
This will cost approx 520 dollars US. (£325)

2. Book Salkantay trek. You can book this trek through a local company when you arrive in Cusco. It's a 4/5 day trek (you can choose), which takes you on an alternative route to Macchu Picchu.
This will cost approx 200 dollars US. (£125)

3. Book the jungle trek. Once again, bookable in Cusco the day before you depart. 4 days, white water rafting, biking, and trekking to Macchu Picchu.
If i remember rightly, this was a similar cost to Salkantay (200 US).

There isn't a right or wrong thing to do, in my opinion.

I chose to do number 2, Salkantay trek. It took us up to Salkantay mountain, through jungle, every type of weather imaginable, to Aguas Calientes (the tourist town just beneath MP). On day 5 we climbed MP.
I chose it because had no idea when i would be in Cusco - so i had no date to tie me in. Also, the money issue was important, and i liked the fact that i could barter in Cusco with prices etc.


3. Posted by Sander (Moderator 5925 posts) 12y Star this if you like it!

For June, which is the start of the high season, booking the inca trail three months in advance will barely get you the very last remaining tickets, with no choice whatsoever for which day to go on; better to do it by mid February at the latest. The big benefit of hiking the classic inca trail over any of the alternative trails is that it takes you past a procession of ever more impressive inca sites, most of which can only be seen on this one hike. And having had your mind blown away by the awesomeness of Winay Wayna, you can then really appreciate how totally superlative Machu Picchu itself is.

Also, just in case: Note that you can of course get to Machu Picchu itself without hiking any of the trails at all; there's a train to Aguas Calientes, from where you can take the bus or hike the last bit to Machu Picchu itself. This can be booked when you arrive in Cuzco, although a day or two in advance could still be advisable.

4. Posted by KIER (Budding Member 16 posts) 12y Star this if you like it!

Cheers thanks for the advice, think ill book one of the alternative treks. Dont want to be too tied down to any dates.