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How Much Does Hiking the Inca Trail Cost in 2023 and 2024?

The cost to hike the Inca Trail varies depending on various factors such as the travel season, the type of service required, and the duration of the hike. Typically, a 4-day hike can cost between $750 to $1460 per person in 2024, not including additional costs such as transportation, permits, and meals. It is recommended to book your hike well in advance to secure the best deals.

In Actulity The classic four-day/three-night Inca Trail trek can cost anywhere from US$650 to over $1300 per person. Generally speaking, the sweet spot for a standard group trek on a budget is somewhere between $650 and $750.

The sheer number of trekking organizations offering Inca Trail hikes and the wide range of prices to hike the Inca Trail are likely the first things that jumped out at you as you researched the Inca Trail.

Here, I’ll break down the costs of hiking the Inca Trail and recommend reputable tour operators to work with.

A government permit is required for any company to lead tourists along the Inca Trail. Only Peruvian companies with an office in Cusco are eligible to apply for and get trekking licenses.

Tours of the Inca Trail are often contracted out to local operators by international tourist agencies and adventure and trekking outfits.

Let’s take a look at the varying Inca Trail prices charged by local trekking firms in Cusco before I go into the benefits and disadvantages of working with international businesses further on in this piece.

Local Tour Operators for Hiking

In and around Cusco, you’ll find about two-hundred legitimate trekking agencies.

So, competition is high, which prompts some businesses to seek out ways to set themselves apart by providing superior service or products, while others compete to offer the lowest prices possible.

The latter scenario is the norm. That’s why it can be challenging to find a high-quality, reasonably cost Inca Trail tour.

The price of a four-day Inca Trail trip with a local operator can range from around US$550 (the low end) to over US$1,500 (the high end). The price for a two-day, one-night trek down the Inca Trail can be as low as $400 and as much as $2,000, depending on the season.

Inca Trail Hike Machu Picchu

Several reasons contribute to the pricing differentials:

Whether the trek is private or open, the size of the group, the quality of the operator, whether or not pre- and post-trip lodgings are provided, and the quality of the hotels provided all have a role.

Inca Trail Hike Cost to Machu Picchu

Low-cost service providers

In most cases, a group of operators will work together to make the trip affordable. This is due to the fact that in order to break even, a group size of 16 trekkers is required. The usual 4-day Inca Trail walk with a cheap operator costs US$550 or less.

The company you’ve booked with may provide adequate service, but they’re probably skimping somewhere, whether it’s on the wages they’re paying their porters or the quality of the food or service they provide.

You can’t be sure of getting great service for that low of a price, and you’ll be lumped in with a lot of other people (at least 12-16 trekkers).

Inca Trail Trek Cost

Dependable mid-range operators

Reliable and good local tour guides usually charge between US$650 and US$900 per person for a 4D/3N Inca Trail trek. The short Inca Trail costs between US$450 and US$600 per person.

At this price, the service will normally require joining a group of 8-12 trekkers and include the following:

From Aguas Calientes, you’ll take a train back to Ollantaytambo and then a bus back to your hotel in Cusco. Some tour companies book a direct train back to Cusco, so you may need to take a taxi (which costs less than US$10) to get to your hotel.

On the other hand, the quality of your excursion will be the same whether you book through a general travel agency or a business that specializes in adventure travel.

Booking through a travel agent gives you the assurance that you are dealing with a legitimate business.

The Inca Trail could be part of a larger tour that they are planning for you. As a result, booking through a travel agency can save you money compared to making all of your arrangements separately.

When using a travel agency, you can expect to pay the following price for the Inca Trail:

Inca Trail Hike Price

Breakdown of Inca Trail Cost According to Tour Operators and Trekking Companies

If you missed some of the trekking prices I quoted above, here’s a handy table to help you make sense of what local and international companies are likely to charge for the Inca Trail: 

Company

Trek Type

Group Size

Services

Cost

Cheap Operators

4D/3N Inca Trail

~12-16 trekkers

– Camping rentals               – Overnight stays in hostels or with locals

~$550 and lower

Mid-Range Operators

4D/3N Inca Trail

~8-12 trekkers

– Hotel pick-up

– Machu Picchu entrance tickets

– Camping equipment

– Meals

– Guide and porters

– Bus and train tickets to and from Machu Picchu to Aguas Calientes, Ollyantambo and Cusco

~$600-900

Luxury operators

4D/3N Inca Trail

~2-5 trekkers

– Private tents

– Portable toilets

– Private chef

~$1200-$1500

International Travel Companies

4D/3N Inca Trail

7D/6N Inca Trail

~2-8 trekkers

– Customised tour packages

– Hotel stays in Cusco and Aguas Calientes 

~$900-$2000

Tour Agents

4D/3N Inca Trail

7D/6N Inca Trail

~2-6 trekkers

– Organised itinerary

– Good reputation

– Tour discounts

~$1200-$2500

Conclusion

The above should give you a good idea of what to expect to pay for an Inca Trail trip and how much money you will need to do it.

In order to secure one of the coveted spots along the Inca Trail, planning must begin well in advance.

In our experience, the best Inca Trail excursions are provided by adventure and trekking experts who ‘run’ a local on-the-ground staff. You can use our recommendation service should you want aid in selecting a specialist adventure travel and trekking firm that isn’t a tour agent.