Top Inca Trail Operators 2023

Trekking to Machu Picchu is often a once in a lifetime experience, so undoubtedly, you’ll want to make sure you choose the best Inca Trail tour operator for your adventure. One with a good reputation, that fits your budget, and that offers the style of trek you really want (simple or luxury, two-day or four-day, group tour or private).

The historically renowned Inca trail was built approximately 900 years ago by the Incas to connect their capital city of Cusco to the Sacred Citadel of Machu Picchu. Today, tourists begin their hike from Km 82, which is located along the railway leading to the town just south of Machu Picchu, Aguas Calientes. This challenging hike offers trekkers incredible Andean landscapes as they travel the total distance of 45km/26 miles. Understandably, access to the Inca Trail is extremely regulated by the Peruvian government. Entrance to the trail is restricted by a permit process and only 500 permits are issued per day – which on a typical day are used by 200 trekkers and 300 trekking staff made up of guides, chef’s and porters. Securing a permit is only possible through an approved tour operator and spaces are capped, so unsurprisingly, you’ll need to plan in advance!

If you are beginning your search for an Inca Trail tour operator, this blog is a good place to start. There are more than 190 licensed Inca Trail operators in Peru. We’ve pulled together this list which includes some of the most well-established and reputable Peru-based companies recommended through personal experience, and through friends and colleagues working within the Peruvian tourism industry, particularly in Cusco. We’ve also included companies that have had consistently positive reviews within other travel guides and websites such as Tripadvisor. 

We don’t claim that this is a definitive list; there are certainly other tour companies out there, both new and old, that probably deserve to be featured here – feel free to recommend a company in the comments section below so that we can take a look and feature next time. 

Our Recommendations for top Inca Trail Tour Operators, updated as of May 2022.

As well as the glowing recommendations that these companies have received, it’s also important to note that they are all based in Peru, so as well as the benefit of local guides with a wealth of knowledge and information, your money would also be helping the communities of Peru and sustaining the ecosystem. 

All these companies offer alternative treks to Machu Picchu, as well as various other tours around Cusco and beyond.

*** Inca Trail Permits are officially on sale for 2023 season!***

4.9 (2,207) by tripadvisor

80 trips to Inca Trail | Regional Expert Service level: top

  • Small intimate groups of 2 to 8 person
  • Guaranted and Secure Trips

SAM TRAVEL PERÚ is a family-owned Travel Company & Tour Operator located in Cusco, Peru that creates customized uniquely designed adventure treks and tours to untouched wilderness places, OFF THE BEATEN TRACK, in the High Andes Mountains of Peru. Our many years of experience is demonstrated in our excellent reviews!

4.9 (160) by tripadvisor

45 trips to Inca Trail | Regional Expert Service level: Standard

  • Small intimate groups of 2 to 8 person
  • Guaranted and Secure Trips

ORANGE NATION is Peruvian owned Travel Company that specializes in tour and trekking in Cusco Peru. They are experienced in offering small group personalized service for tours from the BREATHTAKING ANDES MOUNTAINS TO THE MAJESTIC MACHU PICCHU CITADEL. Making your experience beyond what even you could have dreamed!

4.9 (6) by tripadvisor

45 trips to Inca Trail | Regional Expert Service level: Standard

  • Small intimate groups of 2 to 8 person
  • Guaranted and Secure Trips

SPIDER TRAVEL PERU is an innovative adventure travel company in Cusco Peru that offers UNPARALLELED EXPERIENCES TO UNTOUCHED WILDERNESS AREAS. Our adventure treks and tours are specific and carefully designed to cater to budget and personal needs!

More Top Inca Trail Tour Companies to Consider

As noted earlier, there are plenty of Inca Trail operators out there, and although the list above was based on personal experience and the experience of those we know, the following recommendation has good reviews on TripAdvisor and they seem to know their stuff after having had a chat with them:

  • Cusco Native ($700): This Inca Trail tour operator is owned by Renato Auca, a Quechua-speaking Cusco native (hence the company name) who also happens to be the current Vice President of ASOORCIC, the primary organisation for Inca Trail guides and agents in Cusco.

As for non-Peruvian international Inca Trail operators, there are companies like G Adventures and Intrepid Travel that offer treks, typically as part of a larger package. These larger international tour operators often use local operators to actually run their treks.

Generally speaking, if you just want to book a trek along the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu, or any alternative route, it’s best to use a truly local company. But if you want a full travel package (for example, from Lima to Cusco to Machu Picchu and back again, all included), then a well-known international tour company might be worth considering — but it will be more expensive than traveling to Cusco independently and then using a local company.