During the peak months of July and August from 1996 to 2001 as
many as 1500 people were starting the trek everyday (about 1000
tourists and 500 porters) . There were no regulations and many
trekkers camped wherever they wanted, using the ruins as toilets
and discarding rubbish along the trail. The Inca Trail was
starting to receive a lot of negative press and UNESCO
threatened to remove its status as a World Heritage Site. In
order to protect the site the Peruvian government introduced new
Inca Trail Regulations in 2002. These regulations restrict the
number of trekkers and prevent trekkers from doing the trail
In 2005 the number of people permitted to start the Inca trail
has been strictly limited to 500 persons per day. This figure is
made up of about 200 tourists and 300 porters. The Peruvian
authorities should be praised for their progressive stance on
successfully protecting the Inca Trail for future generations,
we only wish they would do the same for Machu Picchu itself
which currently has no restrictions on the numbers allowed to
enter the ruins. However trekkers visiting Machu Picchu from the
Inca Trail arrive very early at sunrise and get to see Machu
Picchu at its best, well before the hundreds of day-trippers
arrive by train at midday.
The Inca Trail is part of the Machu Picchu Sanctuary, a
protected area managed by the Peru National Institute of Natural
All visitors must obey park regulations prohibiting littering,
cutting or damaging trees, removing or damaging stones of ruins
and the Trail, removing plants, killing animals, lighting open
fires or camping in the archeological sites (only authorized
campsites can be used).
The following procedures must be followed:
of entrance fees:
- The only valid document granting the right to walk the Inca
Trails Network - the Machupicchu Historical Sanctuary Network
RED or SHM - is the ticket issued by the Instituto Nacional the
Cultura. This ticket is personal, non-transferable and includes
the entrance fee to Machu Picchu.
- Under no circumstances, payment for the use of the RED will be
accepted at its registry and entry control points.
- Payment for the right to use the RED must be made a minimum of
thirty (30) days before beginning the trip and the acquisition
must be made under your name.
- The reimbursement of payment for the right to use the RED is
not possible under any circumstance.
- Reservations will be made in the offices of the Departmental
Headquarters of the Instituto Nacional de Cultura in Cusco,
receiving confirmation with corresponding reservation code.
Note: Reservations will be subject to the daily capacity emitted
by the UGM (500 people, including guides, porters, helpers and
visitors), therefore we recommend you to reserve your place far
- The entrance permits can be bought even 360 days before the
- To buy the entrance permits, you must provide full names,
passport numbers, ages and nationalities of all those going on
the trip, to the relevant authorities. The traveler must send
this information and documents to us from his or her home
- Wrong information on travelers will result in the
non-acceptance of their entrance permits, and no reimbursement
of fees will be made in this case.
- Only people with a valid International Student Identification
Card will be considered as a student, entitling them to a
discount on the RED entrance fee.
Inca Trail Tips