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Top Inca Trail Tour Operators 2022

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It’s a given that you’ll want to choose one of the best TOP Inca Trail tour operators for your trek to Machu Picchu in 2022. 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 Inca Trail hike to Machu Picchu is considered to be one of the most amazing hikes in the world! This historically renowned 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 start their hike from KM82, which is located along the railway leading to the town just south of Machu Picchu, Aguas Calientes. This challenging hike offers trekkers incredible vistas of the Andes 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. Everybody entering the trail, trekkers and trekking staff, needs a permit so they sell out quickly. A typical day on the trail consists of approximately 200 trekking tourists and 300 trekking staff made up of guides, chef’s and porters

If you are beginning your search for an Inca Trail tour operator, this list is a good place to start. There are more than 190 licensed Inca Trail operators in Peru. This list includes some of the most well-established and reputable Peru-based companies.

We have put together a list (below) featuring some of the best TOP Inca Trail operators based in Peru, based on a few different criteria. This includes personal experience with a number of companies (be it trekking, kayaking or other); recommendations from friends and colleagues working within the Peruvian tourism industry, especially in Cusco; and positive reviews in travel guides and travel websites, like TripAdvisor and travelers blogs.

We don’t claim that this is a definitive list; there are certainly other tour companies, both new and old, that probably deserve to be featured here but aren’t. You can recommend a company in the comments section below and we can add that one too.

The Best Top Inca Trail Tour Operators, based on information from 2022

The list takes a variety of recommendations into account including Machu Picchu tour companies that are featured regularly in the latest Peru travel guidebooks, review sites, travel forums, as well as some personal insight.

All of these companies are based in Peru, so the money you spend should stay in Peru. Besides being more sustainable, local companies have more updated information and usually have better guides too. 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 2022 season!
SAM Travel

SAM Travel Peru

SAM Travel Peru is a highly professional Tour & trekking company that focuses on both young and older travelers alike, making sure everyone makes it to their intended destination. A key feature offered by SAM Travel is small group sizes. They never exceed eight trekkers per group, unlike many operators who will happily reach the maximum group limit of 16 people. What’s more, the company’s Peruvian owner, Saul Alvarez, has been working along the Inca Trail since the age of 18, including as porter and a guide.


Orange Nation

Orange Nation Peru

For a while, this relatively new start-up company has been on my list of other Inca Trail tour operators to consider. The tour guides, porters and cooks have shares in the company, with people earning a fair amount for their level of contribution. The company has also had plenty of excellent reviews on TripAdvisor. Definitely one to consider.


Enigma Adventure

Enigma Adventure

Enigma Adventure offers group Inca Trail treks at a mid-range price, but they’re really known for their private luxury treks. These personalized treks can be more than double the price of budget 4 day/3 night treks to Machu Picchu, but you’ll be hiking in style with excellent service and gourmet food. Not for budget travelers, but worth considering if you want something a little more upscale (maybe for a honeymoon).


Sun Gate Tours

Sun Gate Tours

A Peruvian-owned Cusco-based tour operator founded in 2004, Sun Gate Tours ticks most if not all of the boxes for a solid and affordable Inca Trail option. No frills, perhaps, but it gets the job done in a reliable and conscientious way.


Wayki Trek

Wayki Trek

Wayki Trek was formed in 1998 by a group of experienced tour guides from different rural communities in the Cusco Region. A key feature offered by Wayki Trek is small group sizes. They never exceed eight trekkers per group, unlike many operators who will happily reach the maximum group limit of 16 people. So, plenty of local experience combined with small groups. What’s not to like?


More Top Inca Trail Tour Companies to Consider

As noted earlier, there are plenty of Inca Trail operators out there, some good, some bad, some in-between. Here are some more companies with a generally positive reputation:

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 package (for example, 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.

  • Joel Baumbaugh says:

    I have a quick question. I hiked south from Quito, Ecuador to Machu to Picchu in the early 70’s with a Ecuadorian friend. I’m older now and would probably like to utilize a tour service if I did it again. Is that still permitted or are only these short tours (as noted above) allowed now-a-days?

    1. Saúl Alvarez says:

      Hello Joel!

      The regulations have been changing a lot and now you are allowed to do only these short treks, specially on the Inca Trail but we still have other treks that can be done by yourself like the Lares trek and Choquequirao hike. Check it out some alternative trek:

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Hotel In Hollantaytambo

A scenic 10 m drive from Ollantaytambo, follow the river and the train tracks to the Veronica View Hotel. Along the way, watch across the river for the original terraces from Incan times! Arriving at the hotel, you will be greeted amid gardens of native flowers and orchids. Take in the stunning sight of the Veronica Mountain, covered with glaciers year-round. After you settle into your room, walk through the gardens to the pool and restaurant area. There is a steam sauna, dry sauna, spa, heated swimming pool and restaurant at your feet.

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