How Much Does It Cost To Hike the Inca Trail

by | Nov 30, 2023 | Inca Trail | 0 comments

Inca Trail Cost

How much does it cost to hike the Inca trail in Peru? The cost of the classic four-day/three-night Inca Trail trek can vary drastically, with prices ranging anywhere from US$650 to over $1300 per person. Generally, you can expect a decent standard group 8 trekkers experience on a budget of $650 to $750.

Be wary of pricing much lower than this range, as the quality of service, especially regarding porter treatment, may be compromised. On the other end of the range, prices nearing $2000 venture into the realm of luxury treks to inca trail, offering gourmet food, Massages, exceptional mattresses, and personalized attention. this last one is considered as a Glamping inca trail 4 to 5 Days.

RELATED: Best Time To visit Machu Picchu

Inca Trail Tours
Inca Trail To Machu Picchu

Inca Trail Cost Luxury Price

The recommended Inca Trail tour operators list showcases a price range of $650 to a whopping $3.000, (view Itinerary here) the latter being allocated for a luxury trek lasting 7 days and six nights, an extra 2 days longer than the standard duration. The question is is the Inca trail with it for that price?

Inca Trail Cost Tight Budget

Backpackers with a tight budget should aim for the $650 to $750 bracket, but if finances aren’t a constraining factor, consider opting for a company that treats its porters fairly and possibly splurge on a premium tour for a more luxurious experience.

The Inca Trail trek price typically includes the permit, entrance fee to Machu Picchu, round transportation from Cusco to Aguas Calientes and Machu Picchu, a bilingual guide (Spanish and English), porters, tents, and three meals a day.

REALTED: Is the Inca trail worth it?

The Cost of Hiking the Inca Trail: Trekking Companies Inclusions

Your biggest expense will likely be the fees charged by trekking companies. These fees cover services like Tour guides, Inca Trail porters, meals, and camping equipment.

Prices can range from a $600 budget Inca trail hike, 1200 regular price all-inclusive hiking tour to a $2,000 Luxury Hike Inca Trail. Depending on the company and the level of service. Remember, cheaper isn’t always better; quality and safety are worth paying for.

Inca Chiriasca Pass
Inca Trail Salkantay trek 7 days

How Cheap is Too Cheap for an Inca Trail Trek?

You might come across Inca Trail treks priced under $650, maybe even as low as $550. At first, these prices might seem like a solid deal, especially if they’re part of a seasonal promotion. However, if this is the standard cost a tour operator sets for the Inca trail. It’s advisable to proceed with caution. I generally do not recommend these cheaper treks for two key reasons:

  1. Quality of Service: At these lower prices, the level of service may not meet expectations. The quality of food and equipment may be barely average, and the guides’ standards might not be as high as with a slightly more expensive tour operator.
  2. Porter Treatment: There’s a worrying possibility that porters working in this price range could be underpaid and poorly treated, an ongoing problem on the Inca Trail. An Inca Trail trek below $700 especially rings alarm bells if the company doesn’t hire female porters or offers extra perks like cooking classes, free extra porters, hot showers, and other bonuses.

These Concerns along the Inca Trail are Not mere speculation

recent documentaries and reports by media outlets like Lonely Planet have highlighted these issues. Some particularly cheap treks might turn out okay, and there are likely newly licensed companies offering rock-bottom prices to attract their first clients. But this, too, is risky—you could end up dealing with an inexperienced operator among the 130+ licensed Inca Trail operators.

Considering these factors, and particularly the ongoing porter welfare issues, it’s worth paying an additional $150 or $200 for a more established and reputable company. The food will likely be better, professionalism will probably be higher—essential for a challenging four-day trek—and, importantly, the porter treatment will likely be fairer. After all, the Inca Trail is a unique experience for most people, and it’s worth paying a fair price (at least $690) for a reliable—and ethical—service.

COMPARE THE TRAILS: Which is harder Inca Trail or Kilimanjaro?

Does the Inca Trail Price Include Huayna Picchu and Machu Picchu Mountain Tickets?

While the Inca Trail price does include the entrance fees for visiting the iconic Machu Picchu, it’s important to note that it does not cover the costs of Huayna Picchu Mountain or Machu Picchu mountain tickets.

To hike any of these mountains following the guided tour of Machu Picchu, separate permits are required. These can be obtained either through your respective travel company or independently, through the official site of the Machu Picchu National Sanctuary. So, if you’re planning on adding these extra hikes to your itinerary, remember to account for these additional costs in your budget planning.

Permit Fees

The Peruvian government strictly controls access to the Inca Trail to preserve its integrity. You’ll need a permit, which costs about $120 and is often included in the trekking company fee. Solo hikers still need to hire a guide and buy a permit.

Food and Accommodation Expenses

Most trekking packages include meals during the trek. However, plan a budget for meals in Cusco before and after the trek. For accommodation, expect to pay around $20-$50 per night for budget-friendly options, and upwards of $100 for high-end hotels.

A Breakdown of Additional Inca Trail Hike Expenses

Your total Inca Trail cost will rise slightly when you figure in a few extras. These might include:

  • An extra porter (this could be anywhere between $150 and $180)
  • Tips for porters, guides, and cooks (refer to this Inca Trail tipping guide for more details)
  • A tent of your own, rather than sharing (this could be around $50 to $60)
  • Equipment rental if required, such as walking poles, a backpack, and other trekking gear (cost varies)
  • Snacks, souvenirs, and anything else you might buy along the Inca Trail or at Machu Picchu
  • Machu Picchu mountain tickets ($70) if you book personally $55 remember we pay our staff for this procedure.
  • Huayna Picchu mountain tickets ($70) same

Remember, these are additional costs that aren’t typically included in the standard Inca Trail package and may vary depending on your personal preferences and requirements.

Be sure to account for these when drawing up your budget for the trek.

The Short Inca Trail Cost

The short Inca trail hike, a popular option for travelers who prefer a condensed experience, spans over two days and one night, covering a total distance of 12km or 9 miles. This tour, which can be completed in approximately seven hours, often includes a hotel stay in Aguas Calientes town.

On the second day, travelers revisit Machu Picchu for a guided tour. Some tour operators offer an upgrade for a more immersive experience, swapping the hotel stay with a camping night and an outdoor cookout. The cost of the short Inca trail tour typically falls between $500 and $600 per person for group tours with a hotel stay included, and it can range from $700 to $900 for private tours that opt for camping.

This tour price is inclusive of the Machu Picchu pass, train and bus tickets, meals, and accommodation. Despite the shorter duration, the cost is comparable to the classic Inca tour due to the high operational expenses associated with the train and hotel services that your travel company employs.

2 Days Hike to Machu Picchu
Short Inca Trail to Machu Picchu With Hotel

How Much Costs of Alternative Inca Trail Hikes

if you are wondering How much does it cost to hike the alternative inca trail hike to Machu Picchu here some recommendations. If the Inca Trail tickets are sold out, or if you’re looking for an off-the-beaten-path experience, several alternative treks offer a different perspective of the Incan civilization’s grandeur.

One major alternative is the Salkantay Trek. The classic version of this hike typically costs between $450 and $600. For a combination of the Salkantay Trek and the Inca Trail, expect to pay between $900 and $1300.

Another option is the Lares Trek. Costing between $650 and $850, while the Inca Quarry Trek ranges between $650 and $750. For those seeking a more extended and in-depth experience, the Choquequirao Trek is an excellent choice, but it comes at a slightly higher cost, ranging between $1200 and $1600.

All these hikes include Machu Picchu tickets, meals, tour guides, porters, and camping gear, similar to the Inca Trail tours. It’s crucial to note that these prices may vary depending on the travel company, season, and group size. Remember to budget accordingly and choose the hike that best aligns with your preferences and requirements.

Salkantay Trekking Tour 5 Days
Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu Best Alternative Trek to Machu Picchu

Machu Picchu By Train Tour Costs

For those who prefer not to hike, there is an alternative way to experience the majesty of Machu Picchu: by train. Many local tour companies based in Cusco offer this very option. Typically, these tours span one or two days, providing a comfortable and scenic journey to the historic site.

Prices for this experience hover between $400 and $600, contingent on the service level you choose. If you opt for a luxurious stay in a high-end hotel or decide to embark on one of the more expensive trains alluded to earlier. The cost will be at the upper end of this range. Remember that this price is a worthy investment for the convenience, comfort, and unique perspective this train journey offers to Machu Picchu.

Inca Jungle Tour Costs

The Inca Jungle Tour offers a multi-activity journey to Machu Picchu via an alternative route often referred to as the ‘back door’. This action-packed adventure combines downhill mountain biking, white water river rafting in the Urubamba River, and several days of hiking.

The adventure begins on the road connecting Cusco to Quillabamba, the second-largest city in the Cusco region and part of the Amazon basin. The white-water rafting segment is offered on the Urubamba River, while the hiking component happens on the trajectory from Santa Maria to Hidroelectrica and ultimately Machu Picchu.

Numerous companies promote this tour, both online and within Cusco. It’s crucial to select a provider with an impeccable safety record given the nature of the activities involved. The average cost for the Inca Jungle Tour ranges between $250 and $400.

This price fluctuates depending on various factors, including the tour operator chosen and the specific inclusions in the package. Remember, this experience offers an exhilarating blend of adventure and history, and the price reflects the unique combination of activities and destinations included in the itinerary.

Solo vs. Guided Tours

While going solo may seem cheaper, remember that you still need to hire a Tour operator and get a permit. Plus, arranging logistics can be challenging. Guided tours offer the advantage of bundled services and ease of planning. visit aou site and find out our Inca trail prices and discounts.

Tips, Tricks, and Essential Information

  1. Best Time to Go: The dry season (May-September) is the best time for the hike. Avoid the rainy season (November-April) when the trail can be slippery and visibility poor.
  2. Early Booking: Permits sell out quickly, especially during the peak season. Book at least six months in advance to secure your spot.
  3. Budgeting: Aim to save an additional 10-15% of your total trip cost for unforeseen expenses.
  4. Safety First: Don’t skimp on safety to save money. Choose a reputable trekking company with positive reviews and proper safety measures.

Conclusion

Remember, Hiking Costs for the Inca Trail in Peru is depend what are your requirements, Remember is a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Plan wisely, budget accordingly, and get ready for an unforgettable adventure!

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Cesar Conde

Cesar Conde

Position: Tour Leaders & Digital Creator

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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