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camino inca machu picchu

Regulations to do the Inca Trail

The Inca Trail is an ancient network of Inca trails of more than 30 thousand kilometers in length that linked territories such as Argentina, Chile, Bolivia, Ecuador and Colombia. The Inca Trail to Machu Picchu is one of the best-preserved routes in the entire road network, which is why the Peruvian government protects it through rules and regulations for its preservation and conservation, so there are rules to follow. This means that only authorized people can travel this route.


Why are there rules for the Inca Trail?

The Inca Trail is an intangible and universal asset recognized by the United Nations Organization UNESCO, therefore there are various regulations for its use for the following purposes in particular.

  • Protect and preserve the cultural and natural heritage of the Inca trail network.
  • Promote the sustainable use of the natural and cultural landscape.
  • Prevent and mitigate and/or Control the possible impacts of the cultural and natural heritage.
  • Promote the commitment of users to the conservation of the cultural and natural heritage of the Inca trail network.

What documents do I need to show?

As a foreign tourist you must bring the following:

  • The entrance tickets to the Inca trail.
  • Your updated passport.
  • Prohibitions for Tourists.

During the Inca Trail it is forbidden to carry the following:

  • Firearms.
  •  Knives.
  • Wildlife hunting implements such as nets, cages or traps.
  • Fuel or elements that can cause fires.
  • Drug or alcoholic beverages.
  • Domestic animals.
  • Picks or shovels.
  • Sound equipment (or any electronic item that disturbs the tranquility of the route).
  • Metal-tipped poles (only rubber-tipped poles are allowed).
  • Any type of transport such as bicycles.
  • Drones or professional filming implements.
  • Tourism agencies and their duties with the visitor
  • Tourism agencies must comply with the following agreements with the tourist:
  • The reservation and purchase of entrance tickets to the Inca Trail.
  • The reservation and purchase of entrance tickets to the Inca citadel of Machu Picchu.

How long can I stay on the Inca Trail?

To complete the Inca Trail, you have the possibility of doing it in 4 days and 3 nights (classic Inca Trail), also in its short version of 2 days 1 night. If you have more time you can do the Inca trail of 5 days and 4 nights.

How can I get these permissions?

The only way is to buy a tour with a travel agency. The Tourism Agency is the one that processes the permits together with the “Ministry”. Upon entering each camp, rangers will request identification to confirm that all visitors are staying with their respective groups. The Inca Trail refers to two routes: the 4 day Classic Inca Trail and the 2 day Short Inca Trail. Both cover part of the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu network known as the “qhapacñan”.

Who can walk the route?

The total number of people who can enter the Inca Trail is 500 people per day distributed as follows:

  • Groups cannot access more than 16 members.
  • Only 200 tourists can enter per day in groups of 16 members, who must have their respective documents, as well as entrance tickets to the Inca Trail.
  • The tourist guides must be accredited to carry out the Inca trail, they must also have the permits and training to guide this route.
  • Support staff such as assistants, cooks and more must also be accredited

Why choose a tourism agency?

The Inca Trail to Machu Picchu is one of the routes with the greatest demand in Peru, therefore the Peruvian government only accredits tourism agencies that comply with all the permits and requirements for its operation.
The tourism agencies are responsible for acquiring the permits (entry tickets) for the Inca Trail before the Ministry of Culture of Peru through the web platform.
Tourism agencies are also in charge of hiring support staff (guides, assistants, cooks and porters) and registering them in the records of the Ministry of Culture of Peru.
Tourism agencies must comply with some duties with the visitor, such as:

  • Tents and Matras.
  • First aid kit.
  • Oxygen balloon.
  • Propane gas stoves.
  • Portable radio communication equipment.
  • Plastic netting for camping.
  • Deposits for solid waste.
  • Tents for group use.
  • Rain ponchos for porters in case it is rainy season.
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