TOP 5 INCA TRAIL TOUR OPERATORS 2023
Choosing a top-rated Hiking Tour Company is essential for your 2023-2024 Inca Trail trek to Machu Picchu.
Looking for a reliable and affordable tour operator for your trek to Machu Picchu in 2023 – 2024? We’ve done the research and compiled a list of top-rated Inca Trail hiking companies that cater to your needs, budget, and preferred trek style (simple or luxury, two-day or four-day, group tour or private).
The Inca Trail hike to Machu Picchu is considered one of the world’s most awe-inspiring hikes! Built by the Incas about 900 years ago, this historically significant trail connected their capital city of Cusco to the sacred citadel of Machu Picchu. Nowadays, tourists begin their hike from KM82, located along the railway leading to the town south of Machu Picchu, Aguas Calientes.
This challenging trek covers 45km/26 miles and offers trekkers breathtaking views of the Andes. Due to the trail’s significance, access to the Inca Trail is strictly regulated by the Peruvian government. A permit is required to enter the trail, and only 500 permits are issued per day. Both trekkers and trekking staff require permits, and they sell out quickly. Typically, there are around 200 trekking tourists and 300 trekking staff, including guides, chefs, and porters, on the trail each day.
Complete guide about Inca Trail operators, for a beginner
If you’re a beginner searching for an Inca Trail tour operator, our list is a great starting point. With over 220 licensed Inca Trail operators in Peru, we’ve narrowed it down to some of the most reputable companies based on personal experience, recommendations from industry colleagues in Cusco, and positive reviews in travel guides and websites like TripAdvisor and travel blogs.
While we can’t claim this list is definitive, it includes some of the best TOP-rated hiking companies in Peru. If you know of a great company that isn’t featured, feel free to recommend them in the comments section below, and we’ll add them to the list.
The Best Top Inca Trail Tour Operators, based on information from 2024
This list of Machu Picchu tour companies has been carefully curated based on a variety of sources, including top-rated mentions in Peru travel guidebooks, reviews from popular travel websites and forums, and personal insights.
All of the companies included in this list are based in Peru, ensuring that your tourism money remains within the country. Additionally, choosing a local company can provide a more sustainable and responsible travel experience. It also accesses to up-to-date information and knowledgeable guides. Each of these companies also offers a variety of alternative treks to Machu Picchu and other tours throughout the Cusco region and beyond.
*** Inca Trail Permits are officially on Sale for the 2023 season!
Apple Travel Peru
One newer company on the list of Inca Trail tour operators to consider is a start-up with a unique approach. The tour guides, porters, and cooks all have shares in the company, ensuring everyone is invested in providing top-quality service. Additionally, employees earn a fair wage for their level of contribution. This company has received many excellent reviews on TripAdvisor, making it a solid option to consider.
SPIDER TRAVEL PERU
SPIDER TRAVEL PERU is a recently established and innovative adventure travel company that specializes in operating the Inca Trail. The company offers unique and unparalleled experiences in unexplored and unspoiled wilderness areas. Its adventure treks are meticulously designed to cater to all possible options that its clients might desire. SPIDER TRAVEL PERU is committed to sharing the breathtaking landscapes of the Andes and the rich history and culture of the Inca people. Make sure to consider the many options offered by this company.
SAM Travel Peru
SAM Travel Peru is a professional tour and trekking company. It caters to both young and older travelers, ensuring that everyone reaches their intended destination. One of the key features of SAM Travel is that they offer small group sizes. The group is of a maximum of eight trekkers per group. This is in contrast to many other operators who often reach the maximum group limit of 16 people. The company is owned by a Peruvian named Saul Alvarez. He has been working on the Inca Trail since the age of 18. He started as a porter and then as a guide. SAM Travel Peru has received many 5-star reviews from satisfied customers.
Orange Nation Peru
This up-and-coming Inca Trail tour operator is definitely worth considering. Despite being a relatively new company, they have garnered plenty of excellent reviews on TripAdvisor. The unique aspect of this company is the tour guides, porters, and cooks. They all have shares in the company and receive a fair amount of compensation for their level of contribution. If you’re looking for an ethical and sustainable tour operator that values its employees, this company is definitely worth considering.
Glamping Peru Treks
Glamping Peru Treks specializes in providing luxury and comfortable treks and tours off the beaten track. They offer high-quality accommodations, food, and services. If you want a luxury hotel experience while trekking or touring, this company may be the best option for you. They work with their service operators to create personalized luxury treks or tours that cater to your preferences. The average group size is 2 to 4 persons, with a maximum of 8 people. If you value your privacy, you can ask for a private tour
More Top Inca Trail Hiking Tour Companies to Consider
As previously mentioned, the Inca Trail tour operator market can be overwhelming but fear not, we’ve got some more recommendations for you!
- Apple Travel Peru (NANCY ROCA): runs by Nancy Roca, is a top-rated operator with great feedback on travel forums and TripAdvisor. Although their prices are on the higher side, they limit their Inca Trail groups to a maximum of eight trekkers. This is worth it for the personalized experience.
- SAM Corporations ($700): If you’re looking for a 100% Peruvian family-owned business with a commitment to sustainability, SAM Corporations is an excellent choice. They offer exclusive, high-quality treks with experienced staff and guides who are regularly trained in responsible tourism principles.
While it’s generally recommended to use a truly local company for booking a trek along the Inca Trail or any alternative route, international tour operators like SAM Corporations and Intrepid Travel can also offer treks as part of larger packages. So, if you’re looking for a full travel package from Lima to Cusco to Machu Picchu and back, a well-known international tour company could be a good option to consider.
How to know if a Hiking Tour Company is good?
It is important to thoroughly research and review the different Inca Trail operators before booking your trip. TripAdvisor can be a useful tool for reading reviews and gaining insight into the type of service each company offers. Keep in mind that each operator may lead a different size of the group, which can affect the price of their services.
It is worth noting that while all travel agencies may offer the Inca Trail, not all of them have the necessary permits to operate on the trail. It is not advisable to book with an agency that does not have permission, as they will likely pass their passengers off to other companies with permits.