Inca Trail Regulations
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Inca Trail to Machu Picchu

Trekking Regulations 2005
The Inca Trail is the most popular organized camping and trekking destination in South America. By the year 2000 as many as 1500 people a day were leaving Cusco to hike on the trail for an almost unrestricted trek across a fragile nature and archaeological environment.

In 2001 the Peruvian government initiated restrictions to camp on the Inca Trail.

For 2005 these regulations have been greatly increased. Importantly, the number of people allowed to start the hike each day has been limited. And, reservations to enter the Inca Trail are now mandatory.

A non-refundable entrance fee for the Inca Trail and Machu Picchu ruins payment MUST be submitted to the Peruvian government office, UGM, AT LEAST 30 DAYS prior to your trip date.

The Inca Trail is governed by three government groups. The National Institute of Culture (INC) is responsible for the archaeological sites and their conservation. The Ministerio de Agricultura (INRENA-Instituto Nacional del Recursos Naturales) protects the Natural Historic Sanctuary of Machu Picchu (SHM). The Unidad de Gestion Machupicchu – UGM, complements the regulations of both groups and administers the Inca trail.

The responsibility of the Administration department is to ensure the correct number of people and correct conditions under which groups of tourists are allowed to enter the Inca Trail. There is a maximum of 500 people per day including tourists, guides, porters and cooks allowed on the Inca Trail. The UGM also is responsible for issuing the companies with operating permits and also approving each and every Inca Trail application.

These current regulations apply to the 4-day and the 5-day trek from km82/km88 and to the 2-day trek from km108.

  1. Individuals can no longer trek independently.
  2. Reservations: All names, ages and passports information must be submitted along with the entrance fee 30 days prior to departure.
  3. The number of trekkers, porters and guides entering the trail on any one given day has been regulated to 500 people, less than one-third of the number of people who were on a daily trek during 2000.
  4. Trekking company operating the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu must have a government license. This operational license has been granted to about 55 companies (2004).
  5. All $50 Inca trail tickets and $10 porter tickets must be bought in Cusco. None are available en-route. The entrance fees for the 4-day trail and Machu Picchu are now US$50 for adults and US$25 for students in possession of an International Student Identity Card (ISIC). The entrance fees for the 2-day trek starting at km108 are US$25 for adults and US$15 for students. Entrance fees for trekking staff such as porters and cooks is a required US$10. (all are included in our PeruPeru World Class Inca Trail Trek pricing)
  6. The maximum load that a porter can carry has been limited to 20kg. All porters now have their packs weighed by government officials prior to starting the trek.
  7. Only professionally qualified guides can lead groups on the Inca Trail. Each guide must have a license to work on the Inca Trail. The ratio of guides to trekkers is set at one guide for the first 10 passengers, a second guide is required for passengers 11 – 16.
The rail company operating the train between Aguas Calientes and Cusco has prohibited tourists from traveling on the local train. The minimum return tourist fare from Aguas Calientes to Cusco is now US$35.

1. No damage or theft of any archaeological artifacts or ruins.
2. No damage to flora (especially the orchids) permitted.
3. No open fires (including burning toilet paper).
4. No smoking except in official campsites.
5. No litter.
6. No pointed ski poles permitted (Protecting plastic covers must be used).
7. Camping is only permitted at official campsites.
8. Some public toilets are provided on route. These buildings may not be used for cooking, sleeping or washing utensils in.
9. No firearms, axes, machetes, bows & arrows or hedging hooks are permitted.
10. No trapping of wild animals is permitted.
11. No stimulant, psychedelic or any other illegal drugs are permitted.
12. No loud sound systems.
13. No pets or exotic animals.
14. No pick axes or shovels.
15. No walking sticks of native or endangered species wood.
16. Trekking is only permitted between the hours of 0530 to 1900.
17. The National police are responsible for implementing the laws of the land.

Reservations for the Inca Trail:
Due to restrictions in the number of persons allowed on the Inca Trail it is best advised to make a reservation well in advance. We will submit your name, age, nationality and passport number to the Unidad Gestion Machu Picchu (UGM). The UGM is the government authority responsible for granting entrance tickets for the trail. Upon your arrival in Cusco you must submit a photocopy of your passport for forwarding to the UGM. This photocopy must be signed in blue.

1. Only registered porters may be used. These must produce forms of ID, character references, non-criminal declaration and a certificate of health to the INC. They must also attend a Porter awareness course, soon to be renewable annually.
2. No porter may carry more then 20Kg of cargo plus 5Kg of personal gear.
3. All porters must be informed of Inca trail regulations and abide by them.
Return train tickets must be purchased by the company for the porters.

1. Only registered guides may be used. These should have a degree from any Official and authorized university or institute in Cusco (National University of Cusco, Instituto Superior Tecnologico "Tupac Amaru", Universidad Particular "Andina" o Instituto de Estudios Superiores "Antonio Lorena"). They are educated in the National park rules, First aid especially altitude, hypothermia and travellers sickness.
2. The guide is responsible for the safety and well being of all his passengers.

1. All companies must supply a Fist aid kit and Oxygen.
2. All companies are responsible for ensuring all guides, porters and passengers are aware of the regulations and abide by them.
3. All Companies must use a registered cook, head porter and porters with each group.
4. All Companies must produce evidence that all waste (human or otherwise) is removed from the trail.
5. All Companies licensed to operate the Inca trail must be registered in Cusco and initially accredited by MITINCI – Ministry of Tourism.
6. They are subject to annual inspections by the local CENFOTUR (Centro de Estudios en Formacion Turística).
7. All companies must provide the exact equipment listed in the guide lines. These include camping toilets, Porters tents, dining tent, gas cookers, exact numbers of cutlery, lanterns etc.
8. Companies are responsible that reservation and trekker details are correct.

Add Inca Trail into Your Trip Planner.
Or Call 1-800-771-3100.

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