All companies operating the the Short Inca Trail to Machu Picchu must be registered and have a special Inca Trail operators license. This license is issued annually each January. There are like 150 licensed operators (2019). Many of these companies, however, may only operate a trek a couple of times a month during the high season and these treks are mainly private groups for overseas tour companies. Great care has to be taken when choosing a tour operator since many companies have great looking websites but operate out of a bedroom on the outskirts of Cusco!! There are really only a handful of reliable tour operators that offer the Inca Trail trek with fixed-date departures throughout the year. When making a trek booking you will be asked to pay a deposit of about 40 % to 50%. This is needed by the company to buy your trek permit and reserve your train tickets. Always ensure that this deposit is paid to a company account and not to an account in the name of one of the employees. Below are well established and highly recommended recommended in at least one major guidebook so you shouldn’t have any problems. Many accept payment of the deposit by credit card or PayPal to their company account. For added security try to avoid wiring money to individuals working for these companies and ask for their company account details. Beware of “too good to be true” trek prices.
The information given in this website is given in good faith and the authors cannot be responsible for the services provided by the individual companies.
The following trekking companies have received consistently good reviews:
Licensed Short Inca Trail to Machu Picchu Tour Operators 2018 / 2019 (recommended)
SAM Travel www.samtravelperu.com
Small family run trekking business specializing only in the Short Inca Trail to Machu Picchu & 4-day Inca Trail to Machu Picchu. Fixed departures EVERYDAY as long there is a minimum of hikers throughout the the year, except on February (Inca Trail its closed). Good treatment of their team. Consistently highly recommended so book well in advance in order to guarantee the permits.
Orange Nation www.orange-nation.com
New and small company ofering a wide selection of treks including the 2-day Inca Trail, 4-day Inca Trail, alternative treks to Machu Picchu and day trips by train to Machu Picchu. They also offer short all-inclusive package tours.