Are there Toilets On the Inca Trail?

by | Nov 29, 2023 | Inca Trail | 0 comments

Portable Toilets

If you like your modern plumbing and you’re the sort of person who needs to be prepared for everything, finding out what the toilet situation is like on the Inca Trail is good to know.

It is not a well-documented topic and a few of our travelers always want to know the answer before they depart on their Inca trail trek.

So we created this article to deal specifically with the Inca Trail toilets situation and what to expect during your trek. 

RELATED: How hard is the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu?

1. Rest Stops and Inca Trail Toilet Facilities: What to Expect

The Inca Trail isn’t just a walk in the park – it’s a strenuous hike that requires preparation and awareness. Along the trail, there are several designated rest stops where you can take a breath, enjoy the scenery, and yes, use the restroom. But remember, these are basic facilities – think pit toilets, not porcelain thrones.

Campsites along the trail also have toilet facilities. While they’re more comfortable than the trailside restrooms, they’re still quite basic. It’s recommended to bring your own toilet paper and hand sanitizer. Also, be ready for a small fee for using these facilities ( this applies only on the first day) – usually around 1 Sol (less than $1).

toilets Inca trail
Inca Trail Squash Toilets

2. Tips For the Inca Trek

Here are a few tips to make your trek more comfortable:

  • Stay hydrated: Carry enough water and refill at the campsites.
  • Pack light: Only carry what you need.
  • Wear good hiking shoes: The trail can be rocky and uneven inca trail stairs.
  • Bring essential toiletries: Toilet paper, hand sanitizer, and wet wipes can be a lifesaver.

RELATED: Hike the Short Inca Trail to Machu Picchu

3. Protecting the Environment: Minimizing Your Impact

One of the most important aspects of trekking the Inca Trail is respecting the environment. Improper waste disposal can have a significant impact on the trail and surrounding ecosystems. Here’s how you can minimize your footprint:

  • Use the designated restrooms: Always use the facilities provided, even if it’s a little out of the way.
  • Pack it out: If you have to use personal tissues or wipes, make sure to pack them out with you. Don’t leave any trash behind.
  • Be mindful of water sources: Don’t contaminate water sources by washing dishes or clothes in them.

4. How to Recycle Along the Inca Trail Toilets

Toilet Paper

One important thing to keep in mind is that flushing toilet paper is not allowed anywhere in Peru, including the Inca Trail. Instead, you’ll find a bin next to the toilet for disposing of used toilet paper. It may seem unusual to Westerners, but this is the local custom in Peru.

Now, here’s a heads-up: when you enter an Inca trail toilet, be prepared for a slightly stronger smell. But don’t worry, it’s just part of the experience! Most Inca Trail toilets do not provide toilet paper, so it’s crucial to bring your own. Don’t forget to pack it before you hit the trail!

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Inca Trail Toilet Locations

Along the Inca Trail, you’ll find intermittent toilet blocks cleverly hidden from view. While they may not be abundant, fear not! If nature calls and you can’t wait, there’s always the option of finding a discreet spot behind a bush. Most campsites are equipped with some form of toilet facility for your convenience.

Depending on the route you choose, the toilet you’ll use might even be part of a local house near the campsite. And don’t worry about lunchtime breaks – your guide will make sure to stop near a toilet block.

Inca Trail toilets
Toilets of the Inca trail

5. Inca Trail Toilet Conditions

Despite the challenging toilet conditions, there are steps you can take to ensure a less unpleasant experience.

First: pack a small toilet kit with essentials such as hand sanitizer, toilet paper, and wet wipes.

Second: always wear your hiking boots when using the facilities to avoid unwanted messes. Where possible, try to use the toilets at the beginning of each day, as they are generally cleaner.

It’s also worthwhile to bring a headlamp for those late-night trips, as most facilities lack lighting. Remember, while the state of the toilets may be a downside, it is part of the authentic trail experience and shouldn’t deter you from the adventure.

6. How Do We Manage Our Inca Trail Portable Toilets?

As a Tour Leader in Peru, we believe the best option on the Inca Trail is to hire a tour company that provides a portable toilet all the way up. These are known as ‘toilet tents’.

Although not as common, this is probably one of the most important things We would recommend when deciding on what tour operator to use. You’ll probably have to book with a Western operator and it may cost slightly more, but it’s definitely worth it! The toilet tent is carried up by our porters.

These portable Inca Trail toilets are clean and only used by our group. You’ll be able to sit on a toilet drum within the privacy of a tent, and if there are any issues, our operator will fix them immediately.

Biodegradable Ecologic Toilet Inca Trail
Our Toilets on the Inca trail

7. What you can do to help keep the toilets clean

How can you help maintenance staffers keep the toilets in working order when you visit the national parks mainly the Inca trail?

Respect the Inca trail facilities and keep in mind that people have to clean them every day.

Make an effort to keep the toilets of the Inca trail clean and respect the fact that they have to clean the toilets. And if a lot more people are using them, that’s a lot more work.

There’s no way to say this delicately, but officials at Machu Pichcu Sanctuary and Inca Trail sometimes have dealt with waste not going where it needs to go.

Sometimes people who are hiking the park from other parts of the world aren’t used to seeing the European-style, sit-down toilets present in the park.

At Inca Trail, some people don’t want their body to touch the toilet seat, rangers said. Some will stand on the toilet seat, or even do their business in the corner, they said.

When people come in and just trash them and don’t use them like they’re supposed to, it’s really discouraging.

To combat this Problem

Inca Trail rangers have installed signs instructing people how to use the toilets, and asking them not to stand on the seat.

There also have been several squat toilets installed in the park to accommodate people from other cultures.

Inca Trail Rangers also have added instructive signs at toilets, and they are considering adding more squat toilets.

Some Rangers said those new changes haven’t eliminated the problem, but they have helped.

Some of my close Rangers Friends: I just really want to make sure that the visitors have the best experience they can,” he said. We’re doing all we can to really make sure that visitors have a good experience while hiking and visiting our wonderful national parks in Peru.


Trekking the Inca Trail is a once-in-a-lifetime experience, but it’s crucial to do so responsibly. By being prepared and respecting the environment, you’ll not only have a more enjoyable trek, but you’ll also help preserve this incredible trail for future generations.

So, are you ready to take on the Inca Trail? With these tips, you’ll be well-prepared for your adventure. Happy trekking!


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Cesar Conde

I’m Cesar Conde, owner of Tour Leaders Peru & Travel Advisor and my other side job is Nomadic Digital. I share my own amazing Tour Experiences, travel stories, guides, and itineraries for travelers like you and me!


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