The Secret to Hiking the Inca Trail when Permits are Sold Out
Most people are now aware that if you want to hike the 4-day Inca Trail to Machu Picchu, you need to book your hike with a licensed operator at least 6 months before you travel. Even after the covid pandemic, we are seeing permits sell out in advance.
First Step. Check Permit Availability
The first thing to do is find out if permits are available for your travel dates. Visit the Machu Picchu government website or send an email to our US office. We'll be glad to check for you. There is no cost.
If Inca Trail permits are sold out. What are your options?
Like most tour operators, we still get requests for 4-day Inca Trail permits sometimes less than 2 months before travel. If you have the flexibility to shift your hiking dates a little, permits may be available. For some people, booking anything 6 months in advance is just not possible. Work, family and financial obligations make it difficult to confirm reservations that far in advance. People don't want to risk losing their deposit payments by cancelling when life throws curve balls at you. If you haven't heard, Inca Trail permits are 100% non-refundable. So we came up with an idea of mixing hikes to create our "5 Day Inca Trail Combo Trek."
The Secret. What is the 5-Day Inca Trail Combo Trek?
Our co-founder, Vidal Jaquehua, designed this legitimate solution for people who want to enjoy a multi-day hike combined with the thrill of hiking over the Sungate and descending the Inca Trail into the magnificent ruins of Machu Picchu. This is the very same Sungate and trail that's part of the 4-day Inca Trail. One of the best kept secrets about the Peruvian government permit system is that in 2016 for the first time ever, they separated permits for 4-Day Inca Trail hike, from the 2-day Inca Trail hike. And to add to the list of super top-secret benefits, the government added another 250 permits per day to the permit pool for the 2-day hike. That means all 500 of the original hiking permits went into the pool for the 4-day hike. Butnow there is a separate pool of 250 permits for the 2-day hike, which do not sell out as quickly as the 4-day permits. (the 2-day Inca Trail hike is also known as the "easy 1-Day Inca Trail hike" and sometimes the "Short Inca Trail hike."
Why It Works
This is a great hack when 4-Day Inca Trail permits are sold out:
- You can make reservations anytime.
- We can combine the 1-day Inca Trail hike with multi-day treks like Cachicaata Trek or Lares Valley
- Availability of 2-Day Inca Trail permits have been increased by 250 per day
- Hikers get to enjoy the thrill of hiking from the Sungate into the Machu Picchu National Park
- You only need a minimum of 2 people
- We handle all the logistics from pickup at your hotel in Cusco until you return from your trip to Machu Picchu
- Convenience. You can choose any dates as long as permits are available for the 2-day hike
Second Step. Choose the route you want
We combine a 3-Day Cachicaata Trek or the 3-Day Lares Valley Trek with 2-day Inca Trail hike. The way it's set up, the 2-day permit allows you to hike 1 day on the Inca Trail and re-enter Machu Picchu the next day using the same permit. We combine that with the 3-day hike of your choice and you have a 5 day trip which includes 2 nights camping and 2 nights in hotels. And if you want to trim back to a 4-day itinerary, it can be done. We can arrange for you to take a late train back to Cusco on Day 4, the same day as the Inca Trail hike to Machu Picchu. (note: although permits for 2-day Inca Trail rarely sell out, it is possible. We will confirm availability before you book your hike)
How Much Does It Cost?
The cost for the entire 5 day trip will depend on how many people are in your group. Keep in mind this is a customized private hike. For minimum of 4 people, the cost starts at $1192 USD pp. For 2 people, the cost is $1292 USD each. The standard for all our hikes include comfort upgrades: small groups, 2 porters per hiker, therma-rest mattresses, trained trail cook, wholesome meals and the most amazing guides!
How to make your reservation. Here's what we need to know:
- the date you want to begin your 5-day hike so we can verify permit availability
- the route you want. Either Cachiccata or Lares Valley
- how many people are in your group and their ages (we only need 2 people to set up a hike)
- 30% non-refundable deposit
- email copy of your valid passport. Let us know if you plan to renew when you make your booking.
In case you're wondering, there is a way to combine the Salkantay Trek with 2-Day Inca Trail. The logistics are not ideal. But it can be done. Just ask.
Contact Adios Adventure Travel US office for more information.