But with more than 190 officially-licensed Inca Trail tour operators out there, deciding which one to choose is no easy task.
Here, then, I’ve put together a list featuring some of the best Inca Trail operators based in Peru, based on a few different criteria. This includes interviews we have made with some porters of the Inca trail, personal experience with a number of the companies (be it trekking, kayaking or other outdoor activities); recommendations from friends and colleagues working within the Peruvian tourism industry, especially in Cusco; and positive reviews in travel guides and travel websites, including — cautiously — websites with user-generated content (think TripAdvisor).
I don’t claim that this is a definitive list; indeed, I have updated this list for 2023, and some tour operators have been removed from this list due to our disagreement with their labor practices, even tho they might rank well elsewhere. There are certainly other new and old tour companies that probably deserve to be featured here but aren’t (feel free to recommend a company in the comments section below, and I might add them to this page). But the trek operators listed here are among Peru’s most established, respected, and reliable.
An important note about porter welfare: Conditions for porters working along the Inca Trail and other routes are still an issue, and the most recent porter strike in Cusco took place in June 2019. It’s an ongoing problem, so before you choose any Inca Trail tour operator, it’s good to know about worker rights for porters. The tour operators featured here should all abide by these standards, but it’s good to know about porter rights nonetheless.
The Best Inca Trail Tour Operators in 2023
The following Inca Trail tour operators are listed in order of price — not comparative quality — from the least expensive to the most luxurious options. Unless otherwise stated, the rates are for the classic four-day/three-night Inca Trail trek (group tour). Prices can change quickly, especially at the start of the year, but I’ll try to keep these updates as often as possible.
All of these companies are based in Peru, so the money you spend should stay in Peru, and all offer alternative treks to Machu Picchu and various other tours around Cusco and beyond.
Valencia Travel Cusco
Valencia Travel Cusco is a highly professional trek and tour company that focuses on young and older travelers, making sure everyone makes it to their destination. I trekked to Machu Picchu with Valencia in 2015 — via the alternative Huchuy Qosqo trail — and it was a great experience: Excellent food, a knowledgeable guide, and enthusiastic porters. And a few glasses of chicha along the way.
Inca Trail: $676
Evolution Treks Peru
If ethical practices are high on your list when you’re looking for an Inca Trail tour operator, then consider Evolution Treks. It’s an interesting option thanks to the company’s structure and philosophy, which is based on the Andean concept of AINY, or reciprocity. Tour guides, porters, and cooks have shares in the company, with people earning a fair amount for their level of contribution. This ethical stance has attracted attention from some of the best travel-related media outlets in the world, such as BBC Travel, Lonely Planet, Fodor’s travel, and National Geographic, who featured an article about Evolution’s pioneering use of female porters. One of their female porters also wrote a post for me here at New Peruvian: Uphill and Down: A Female Porter’s Life on the Inca Trail. They offer ethical tours and small groups. What’s not to like?
Inca Trail: $790
Llama Path is another Inca Trail operator with a solid reputation. Its owner, Jose Gongora, had plenty of experience working as an Inca Trail porter before founding Llama Path in 2003. Porter’s welfare is understandably a priority, along with a positive and fun outlook that this particular agency exudes.
Inca Trail: $750
Photo Tours Peru
Photo Tours Peru’s owner Flavio Huamani has been a photographer and tour guide for over two decades. He is now leading tailor-made tours on the Inca trail and elsewhere for those passionate about photography and newbies who want to improve their photographic skills. An excellent alternative to what is normally offered out there.
Inca Trail: $750
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.
Inca Trail: $750 per person with nine or more trekkers, with a sliding scale depending on group size rising to $1,810 for one person
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. Definitely one to consider.
Inca Trail: $960
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 are more than double the price of typical 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 chic (maybe for a honeymoon).
Inca Trail: $825 (or around $1,720 per person for private treks, depending on group size)
Explorandes is justifiably proud of its pioneer status: In 1975, it became the first adventure company to operate commercial treks along the Inca Trail and to Choquequirao. It now runs tours and treks all over Peru, including a popular 5 day/4 night Inca Trail trek to Machu Picchu. This is one day longer than the standard trek offered by most other agencies, giving you more time for exploration and avoiding the worst crowds along the trail. I’ve been kayaking with Explorandes on Lake Titicaca and on Lake Piuray, and can vouch for their professionalism and high levels of service.
Inca Trail (5 day/4 night): $1,250 for fixed group departures, $1,200 per person for private groups
Amazonas Explorer is British-owned but Cusco-based, with more than 30 years of experience in Peru’s high-end trek and tour market. Like Explorandes, Amazonas Explorer adds an extra day onto its standard Inca Trail trek, ensuring that you have much of the trail to yourself by leaving later than the trekking hordes. You’ll also have more time to explore the Inca sites along the trail.
Inca Trail (5 days/4 nights): $1,759
More Inca Trail Tour Companies to Consider
The following Inca Trail tour operators are on my watch list, so I might as well share them here, too. These are companies that look good from the research I’ve done, but I don’t quite have enough info from varying sources to give them a full recommendation. If and when I do, I’ll bump them up to the main section.
- Inti Sun Trek: ($790): Good price, good feedback in forums and on TripAdvisor, and a maximum of eight trekkers per Inca Trail group. Sounds promising.
- Cusco Native ($750): This Inca Trail tour operator is owned by Renato Auca Fuentes, a Quechua-speaking Cusco native (hence the company name) who also happens to be the current Vice President of ASOORCIC, the primary organization for Inca Trail guides and agents in Cusco. I don’t have any trekking experience with the company, but I have been in contact with them and they definitely seem like a good option. Good reviews on TripAdvisor, too.
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.
Main Inca Trail photo by Lisa Weichel, flickr.com.
Tony, Thanks for this article. We are booking with Evolution treks Peru for our tour in October. It is a bit difficult to choose an operator when all of them offer the same. Evolution seems a bit more expensive but I think it makes sense that their prices are higher prices due to their ethical practices. We checked 4 operators, they all claim to have good ethical practices, but only Evolution has consistent reviews of their ethical work around women and porters. We are keeping our fingers crossed.
Tony. Good to hear that. I am sure that You will have a great adventure with them.
Hey Tony, we are planning on hiking the Inca Trail in 2023. We have heard great things of Evolution treks Peru and also Alpaca. Which is the best sustainable one according to your opinion? Thanks for your advice.
Greetings from San Jose, CA
Lori. Both companies are well reviewed on sites like Trip Advisor. However, one of them has a more holistic approach to sustainability if that is what you are into.
How about adding happygringotours.com to the list? They seem to have pretty decent reviews and claim to be the only ones serving Organic Food.
Hi Sreeram. We will keep an eye on them and see what they are all about. Trip Advisor reviews are easily manipulated and usually, the ones that rank high on that platform are not playing fair with their competitors. We encourage people to look for other types of ‘social proof’ and hire those companies that have solid ethical backgrounds.
Looks like http://www.perutreks.com/ is no longer working. Did they go out of business?
Hi Cody, Thank you for bringing this to our attention. After checking with people on the ground we learned that they indeed went out of business. We wish them the best as they were doing a good job. Best
We are thinking of traveling with some friends to the city of Cusco from Germany and I am choosing these travel agencies peruhike.com, and your advice would be very useful.
Hi Anke. It’s not a company I know. I can’t find much about them online, so not easy to give you any kind of advice. Sorry. Tony.
Hi Tony – do you know how tour companies are with accommodating dietary restrictions? My girlfriend has true autoimmune celiac disease, not just a sensitivity or by choice, and requires a gluten free diet (free of wheat/rye/barley and any products made from them). She could get very sick on the trail by ingesting small amounts of gluten, even through cross contamination. If you have any info or recommendations, that would be much appreciated. Thank you!
Hi Johann. I imagine some of the companies listed here should be able to accommodate her dietary needs, especially the more expensive/luxury options. It’s definitely worth contacting them to see what they say — but stress how important it is, and that you’d need a cook who really understands what the requirements are (and about the cross contamination). If they can help with the dietary needs, I imagine it could cost quite a bit extra. Contact them and you might well find out that they’ve dealt with the same or similar situations before (and let me know how it turns out, if you can). Thanks, Tony.
really helpful site, thanks.
We’re looking at a two-day Inca Trail due to time constraints – so much to see in Peru and only five weeks to see it (want to fit in as much as possible due to flying from Australia). We’ve found Inca Trail Backpackers, who advocate that their porters are well cared for. have you come across them at all please?
I note that they’re an affiliate of Inti Sun Trek. They seem to get good review on TripAdvisor, although a number of the reviews are from people with one or two reviews.
Thanks in advance,
Hi Helen. It’s not a company I’ve heard of, so I can’t really comment on them. Seems a bit odd that they’re an affiliate of Inti Sun Trek and both list the same trek on their sites, but could be a perfectly normal reason for that. As for treating porters well, pretty much every agency claims that, and treatment is not always good, it’s hard to tell. That’s why I try to recommend the agencies listed here. That said, the company you mention could be great, I just don’t know them. Sorry, that probably doesn’t help much. Thanks, Tony.
Hi Tony, thank you so much for your information. We ( my husband, my 6 year old son and I) will be traveling on August, we would love to do the Inka trail and have some interaction with some locals what will you recommend?
Hi Lina. You don’t get to meet many locals doing the classic Inca Trail trek. The Lares trek to MP has more opportunities for cultural exchanges, so it’s worth considering that. Otherwise you could go stay in a smaller town or village near Cusco before or after your trek, if you have the time, and hang out with the locals for a few days. Thanks, Tony.
Hi tony! Thank you so much for these informations. I wanted to ask if you know the company inkayini peru tours? Best regards, vanessa
Hi Vanessa. I’ve never heard of them, but they look like a good option — plenty of reviews on TripAdvisor etc and a lot of Facebook followers. Worth a shot by the looks of it. Thanks, Tony.
I noticed you have included Machu Picchu Viajes Peru on your secondary list, How reliable are they and what sort of criteria do you have when sellecting companies? I see they have lots of excellent reviews on Trip Advisor but I ofter wonder if there could be any biased reviews on Trip Advisor hmmmm…
Hi Christine. I think I was contacted by the owner of Machu Picchu Viajes Peru a while ago, and we got chatting about something. A lot of agency owners contact me because they want to be included on this list and I don’t normally accept them without a very, very good reason (and they can’t pay to be included, obviously). I think after talking with the owner and seeing all the positive reviews across social media, I decided to include them. I don’t have first hand experience of them (which is why they’re in the secondary list), but they look like a good option. Thanks, Tony.
We were hoping to do the Inca Trail in April 2020 but Peru Treks says they are no longer booking the Inca Trail. Could we be too late?
Hi Crystal. You shouldn’t be too late. Have you checked with other agencies apart from Peru Treks? I imagine some will still have availability for April 2020. Thanks, Tony.
We are looking to do one of these tours in mid May next year but that aside i did read you have been a Peruvian local for many years now so i was wondering if you knew of the cheapest and fastest route to the Carribean islands/the Bahamas that we could take after our hike?
Hi Alisha. I’m not too sure, but I guess flying from Lima to Miami and then Miami to the Caribbean would be a good option. Plenty of flights doing that route. Thanks, Tony.
Thanks for your precious information. We are 2 adults and we would like to go trekking around Machu Picchu in July 2020.
Our main question is rather… trivial (!) but I’ll go for it: what about the toilette needs? I mean I can understand that in a 5D-4N trekking experience up on the mountains we will definitely NOT have any confortable toilette/bathroom, but… in the morning before/after breakfast there should be – as an average – a sort of “rush to the hiddenmost bush… Is my guessing right?
Thanks for your attention.
Hi Lino. There are toilet blocks located near camping sites along the classic Inca Trail. They can be quite grim though, so prepare yourself for a not entirely pleasant experience. And yes, if you need to go but there’s no toilet facility nearby, then you’ll have to find a bush. Alternatively, you can book your trek with an agency that provides “toilet tents,” which will cost more but provide a far more pleasant toilet experience. Thanks! Tony.
Do you know anything about the Company “Guiding Peru”? We are looking at going this November 2019.
Hi Penny. Yes, I know Guiding Peru, and have been in contact with the owner a few times. Seems like a good option and a professional company. Thanks, Tony.
Very interested in a trek with G Adventures: Choquequirao to Machu Picchu Trek Express. Any input about this organization?
Hi Lisa. G Adventures are very well known internationally and should be a good option. They are not a Peru-based company, but I think they use one of the local tour companies in Cusco. So should be a good option, unless you prefer to go directly to a company based in Cusco (like the ones listed above). Thanks, Tony.
I would like to do the Inca Trail (7days) , I do not care about the luxury… I can do bivouac all the time if necessary. I prefect cold weather than hot.
My only concern is that I am a woman traveling alone. I would like to know which is the company that you recommend to me.
Hi Monica. Any of the companies mentioned in the article above will be fine in terms of security. If you do the classic Inca Trail you’ll be going in a group with other tourists (unless you arrange a private trek) and you’ll soon make friends with other trekkers. And the porters and guides will take good care of you. Let me know if you have any other questions. Thanks, Tony.
My husband and I are considering hiking the Inca Trail. Our problem is, we don’t like the look of the public squat toilets along the trail (I’m from Asia and grew up with squat toilets, I’m just a germaphobe) and we like our daily showers. We don’t care about gourmet meals, massages etc. Our main priority is the toilet and shower situation.
I’ve found a few companies that offer these facilities but only one so far (View Peru) that isn’t too expensive. Here is the link to their website. http://www.luxuryincatrailtours.com/comfort-classic-inca-trail-tour/.
Do you have any advice about this company? Do you know of any other companies that would fit the bill?
Thanks very much.
Hi Syirin. I’ve never heard of the company you mention. But at least one of the companies I recommend in the article, Alpaca Expeditions, provides private toilet tents (on all it’s Inca Trail expeditions, apparently). So it’s worth checking them out. I guess they might have showers too, but maybe not on all their treks. Thanks, Tony.
First up we had 2 days in Cusco, Peru which was the most charming city full of Peruvian culture, beautiful people and beautiful food. Cusco is at approximately 12,000 feet and served to help us acclimatize before embarking on our 5 day Inca trail adventure. Fiona organised a local Peruvian tour company, SAM Travel, to guide us on the Inca trail to Machu Picchu. Our guide was extremely knowledgeable and personable and the porters looked after us extremely well, carrying our belongings, tents and everything to make us comfortable. The food was excellent and plentiful. The Inca trail itself was challenging (mainly due to the altitude) but such an amazing and surreal experience. Machu Picchu, one of the 7 man-made wonders of the world, did not disappoint. Overall we would have to say that this was the best holiday adventure we have ever had and highly recommend this to others!
Hi Kruss. Thanks for the feedback, much appreciated! Tony.
Hello! Thanks for this great stream of info! Am thinking of going with Peru Summit for an Inca Trail, Machu Picchu, Rainbow Mountain trek. Have you heard of them? They are very responsive and seem quite attentive but would appreciate any color you might have. Thanks!
Hi Susan. I don’t know Peru Summit, so can’t really give you any help. They have good TripAdvisor reviews, so that’s something. Thanks, Tony.
We are thinking of traveling with some friends to the city of Cusco from Colombia and I am choosing these three travel agencies would be very helpful your advice. regards
Hi Juan David. Of these three, I only know Peru Hop, which is a hop-on-hop-off bus service. They’re a good option for traveling from Lima to Cusco if you want to stop in places along the way. I don’t know anything about the other two websites. Thanks, Tony.
Thanks for leaving this comment section open for traveler questions. It really helps!
I’m considering doing the Ancascocha Trail to Machu Picchu. I read that the trail is more vigorous which is exciting. However, is it more beautiful than the other trails? That is important to me! Do you know anything about the trail? How does it compare to the Huchuy Qosqo trail?
I’m also thinking of going mid to late June. Do you know if the terrain will be brown by then and therefore less lush and scenic?
I’m looking at the following organizations you listed: Enigma, Explorandes, Peru Treks, Llama Path, Alpaca Expeditions and Amazonas Explorer. Let me know if there are other strong suggestions. Also, I’m a single female traveler, so let me know if any concerns doing this hike come to mind.
Hi Lynn. I’ve never done the Ancascocha trek and don’t know all that much about it (apart from its reputation for being quite a challenging trek, as you say). I’ve done the Huchuy Qosqo trail which I enjoyed a lot. Really, all of the treks are beautiful in their own way. In late June the landscape won’t be particularly lush. I think December, January, February and March (rainy season) are better for seeing greener landscapes and more plants. All of the tour operators listed here are good options — but I’m not sure how many of them actually offer the Ancascocha trek. As for being a single female traveler, you shouldn’t have any issues, especially if you go with a tour operator with a guide etc. Thanks, Tony.
Hi Tony! Have you heard of a company called Guiding Peru? Looks like they are USA based, they claim to have hot showers. I did the Inca Trail a few years ago and hot showers seem too good to be true. They’re one of the cheaper ones too at $695 including sleeping bag hire, walking pole hire, and private porters. Thanks for your time
Hi Zephyr. I have heard of Guiding Peru, and I’ve been in contact with the owner a few times. Seems like a good option, especially for the price. And I imagine they heat up water at the campsite and then use it in the shower tent — which sounds great! Thanks, Tony.
Hi Tony, speaking of hot water for showers, is that something all companies provide?
I’m thinking of doing the Inca trail next year and Am very appreciative of this article and forum. It’s very helpful! Thank you !!
Hi Hened. No, most companies don’t have hot water showers, just the “luxury” options. You can normally get a little hot water at the start and end of the day for a bit of a scrub down, but not enough for an actual shower. And some of the campsites have basic cold (very cold) water showers along the trail. A lot of trekkers just don’t shower for four days. Thanks, Tony.
Hiya. It looks like we’ve left it too late to book on an Inca Trail for this August/September. Are the other options as good? I’m sure there is a reason why the Inca Trail is the most popular?! Are permits not required for the other treks? Thank you
Hi Gemma. All the treks have their differences, and it’s an open debate which is best. The Inca Trail is the most famous, obviously, but you’ll probably love all the alternatives just as much (and potentially more, considering price, number of people on the trails, etc). So you should definitely consider the alternatives. And you don’t need permits for treks like Salkantay, Lares etc. — you can go independently if you like (you’ll just need a guide for entering Machu Picchu). Thanks, Tony.
Have you heard of Happygringotours they are a small local company just starting out, they are located in cusco just wondering if you have heard about them, they talk about sustainable and organic food
Hi Nicole. I’ve never heard of them, sorry. If you decide to trek with them, let me know how it goes. Thanks, Tony.
We have booked with Wayki Trek, paid a deposit and was due to be notified about the permits in January 2019. We have recently been in contact with them (end of last year) but we now are unable to get in contact and all emails are coming back as address not found, do you have any insight?
Hi Brittany. Have you managed to contact them yet? It’s strange that they’re not responding. I’ve just sent them a message on Facebook, I’ll let you know if I hear back. Have you tried calling them on Skype? Thanks, Tony.
Hey yes thank you, they were having trouble with there email I think
do you know or have any information about https://incatrailtrekkingcompany.com/ ? They do have reviews on Tripadvisor, however I cannt find more information about them. We thought to book Inka trail via them. Your advise will be appreciated.
Best regards, Monika.
Hi Monika. I’ve never heard of them, to be honest. Is there a particular reason you’re thinking of booking the Inca Trail with them? Thanks, Tony.
we would like to do a 8 or 9 day trek from Cusco, choquequirao to Macchu Picchu in Aug/2019. We have 4 people. our priorities are enthusiastic/knowledgeable guides, sleeping comfort, good food, nicer campsite and a smaller group i.e 8 or less. We are looking at amazonas explore, enigma, explorandes? Your thoughts and suggestions are very much appreciated. thanks, Linda
Hi Linda. All of the tour operators listed above are good options, as long as they offer the trek you want to do with those group sizes. A lot depends on how much you want to spend. The more expensive tours should have better food and possibly higher quality camping gear, but even the cheaper ones mentioned here do well in that respect. But the three you’re looking at — Amazonas Explorer, Enigma and Explorandes — are all great options and I’m sure you’ll be happy with whichever of those you choose. Thanks, Tony.
Hi Tony , 3 irish guys going to do the 4 day 3 night inca trail at the start of June 19 , which company would u recommend, just looking basic and clean tent sleeping bag ect
Hi Jarlath. Any of the cheaper options above should be fine (Peru Treks, Alpaca Expeditions, Llama Path etc). You can find cheaper options, but anything much under $600 (unless it’s a promotional offer) starts to get suspiciously cheap, and may not be worth the risk unless you find plenty of solid, genuine reviews saying otherwise. So have a look at the companies listed here, one of them should do just fine. Thanks, Tony.
Me and my wife are planning for a 2 weeks trip to Peru in June 2019, hiking the Inc trai, Visiting Lima,Cusco and the Amazon rain forest. I found Perutourism.com and they offered me a reasonable rate and good response so far. They say they use Condor travel for the Inca trail hike. I could not find any recent reviews online about them. But many good reviews from a while back. Just want to know if you have any insight to this agency and appreciate your words Thnaks
Hi Thomas. I’ve heard of Condor Travel, but don’t know much about them. They have 10,000+ followers on Facebook, and recent posts, which is a positive sign. And they have plenty of recent reviews on TripAdvisor, with enough very positive reviews to make it believable (https://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g294316-d2435366-Reviews-Condor_Travel-Lima_Lima_Region.html). So, while I don’t have any personal experience of the company, it looks like a good option. Thanks, Tony.
Hi Tony, do you have information about service quality to Mayuc? i want to book a 4-Day trek to machupicchu
Hi Richard. If you mean these guys — https://www.mayuc.com/en/ — then I’ve heard of them, but more as a rafting outfit than for their treks. Beyond that, I don’t know much about them. They’ve got solid reviews on TripAdvisor, but again more for their rafting trips than for their treks. For the classic Inca Trail trek, it might be worth considering some of the specialist Inca Trail operators listed in this article before deciding to go with Mayuc (no offense to Mayuc, I just can’t personally recommend them as much). Thanks, Tony.
Hi Eric. I’ve heard of them, but honestly don’t know much about them. I just had a quick look at their website and Facebook page, and they look like a professional outfit. Beyond that, I don’t know. Sorry about that. Thanks, Tony.
Are you familiar or have you heard of Kona Tours Peru?
My daughter and I are planning to do a Machu Picchu trek in June 2019, likely with Exploreandes. . Do you have any suggestions regarding how many days we should be in Cusco before the trek to adjust to the altitude? Additionally any suggestions for hotels in Cusco, local tours of Cusco and airlines you would recommend?
Hi Ellen. A minimum of of 24 hours is normally recommended to acclimatize, especially if you fly into Cusco from Lima, but two or three days is better if you have the time. All the main airlines are decent, but I tend to fly with Star Peru, Peruvian or LAN/Avianca. You can read more about Cusco here, which also has links to more info about hotels, restaurants etc: http://newperuvian.com/cusco-travel-guide/ . Thanks, Tony.
My huband and I are planning to visit Peru in August 2019 and are interested in the Classic Inca Trail. I’ve contacted several of the operators mentioned above and the price seems to be very similar. They all want us to book now and send them a deposit, but we think it’s too early. Could you tell me if it’s the right thing to do, that is, book so well in advance? I know that August is a very busy month.
Hi Ruby. It’s always a good idea to book the Inca Trail as far ahead as possible. A year is quite far in advance, but not excessive really, especially for high season. If your plans are concrete and you don’t mind paying a deposit so far in advance, then you might as well do it. Have a good trip! Tony.
Many thanks, Tony. Your advice is helpful.
All the best
Why the big discrepancy in the costs of the various tours to inca trail? Is the added cost for explorandes or amazonas worth it?
Hi Sandhya. It’s more of a “luxury” thing. The more expensive Inca Trail operators have gourmet food, really nice tents, plenty of snacks and stuff like that. For me personally, I don’t really think it’s worth it, as the trekking is more important than having really nice food three times a day. But if you like a bit more luxury, then go for it. If not, the cheaper operators listed here all do a good job. Thanks, Tony.
Hello Tony! I am impressed by how quickly you respond to questions. I am looking to do a Peruvian visit in September 2019 and am very concerned about ensuring I source an ethical company both socially and environmentally. While in Peru, we would like to include a visit to the Amazon jungle, Rainbow Mountains, and the Classic Inca Trail. I am having trouble finding a company that will do everything in one itinerary. Of your list, who would you recommend that could include all three of these? We are looking for about a 10-15 day visit.
Hi Crystal. All of the companies listed above should have fairly high, and probably very high, standards when it comes to being socially and environmentally conscious. They are all Peru-based companies who treat their guides and porters well (a must for being included here), and the guides are normally very responsible (there could be a few exceptions with individual guides, but generally not). As for combining the Amazon jungle, Rainbow Mountain and the Classic Inca Trail, I can understand why you might be struggling to find that as a package, mainly because Rainbow Mountain isn’t always included in Inca Trail + Amazon combos (a common package). And some of the companies listed above are Inca Trail specialists who don’t do the jungle. But you could contact some of the companies and ask about a customized tour that includes all three (I imagine some if not most could arrange that). Or you could do an Inca Trail + Amazon package (probably Puerto Maldonado/Manu for the jungle) and then arrange a separate trip, with the same company or a different one, to Rainbow Mountain, which you could do either at the start of your trip or at the end, depending on the schedule. Maybe try contacting Llama Path and Explorandes first, to see what they say and get an idea of prices (Llama Path tend to be cheaper than Explorandes, but both are good). Let me know if you have any more questions. Thanks, Tony.
I plan to come to Peru this year and want to see as much as is possible given my situation. I am disabled and walk with a walking aid.
What do you suggest in terms of seeing and doing the most that is possible. I am more tan aware of my limitations and of course my safety is a priority.
Thank you in advance for your attention.
Hi Sheila. Generally speaking, Peru isn’t particularly well set up for disabled travelers, although it is slowly improving. That said, there are still a lot of archaeological and natural attractions that you can reach fairly easily, or you can get guides to help you get there (many of the guides in Peru are incredibly helpful, especially with the more reputable companies). The most accessible attractions, and those with slightly better access, are normally in the southern half of the country along the “gringo trail” (Nazca, Arequipa, Puno, Cusco etc). Some agencies also offer customized tours of various attractions for disabled travelers, so it’s worth researching that option for anywhere that you’re interested in. Really it’s probably a question of making up a rough itinerary and then doing a bit of research about accessibility for the places you want to go. Let me know if you have any particular places in mind, or if you have any more questions. Thanks, Tony.
Hello Tony, I would like to book the Inca Trail on December and I found the follow companies:
Tierras Vivas https://www.tierrasvivas.com (This company offer all personal camping equipment)
United Mice http://www.unitedmice.com (This company offer only the tent and roll sleeping mattress)
These companies have a good review in TripAdvisor. Do you know about these companies?. Hope to hear back from you, thanks
Hi Hans. I’ve heard of both. United Mice I’ve heard a lot about, less for Tierras Vivas, but either should be fine. Thanks, Tony.
Thanks Tony for the information, do you know some information about this operators:
Thanks for your response
Hi Robert. I’ve never heard of Kenko or Sparrow Explorer. But I do mention SAM Travel in this article. They have good user-generated reviews online and were mentioned by Condé Nast Traveler a while back. They’re probably a good option. But I don’t have any first hand experience of them. Thanks, Tony.
Hi Tony, Any info on the Salkantay Trekking Company? I’m looking to book a guiding service for the Salkantay trek
to Machu Picchu.
Hi Debbie. If you mean these guys: salkantaytrekking.com, then no, I don’t have any direct info. Quite a few of the Inca Trail tour operators mentioned in this article also do the Salkantay Trek, so any of them should be fine. Salkantay Trekking look good, but yeah, I can’t recommend them from experience. Thanks, Tony.
Hi, thank you for this super helpful article! Have you heard anything about Evolution Treks since you wrote it? I’d be really interested to hear people’s experiences with them. Thanks!
Hi Gladys. I haven’t heard any more feedback about them directly. But they do have quite a few glowing reviews on TripAdvisor in recent weeks and months. The trekkers were probably asked to write the reviews, but they do seem genuine — and someone from Evolution Treks has responded to all the comments, which is always a good sign of a professional agency. If you do choose them, let me know how it goes if you have the time. Thanks! Tony.
We went through Cachi (cachilife.com). We loved them! Their chef was amazing. They also made the experience really enjoyable for us as they included a half porter as a part of the cost. They also had a guide that was super passionate about the culture and spoke great English.
Thanks Kara! I haven’t heard of them before, but I’ll definitely keep them in mind. Cheers, Tony.
Hey, thank you for compiling this information! Im planning a 25 day solo trip in May landing in Lima and Im just starting to learn about Peruvian tourism locations/activities. I am a 22 yr old gringo that speaks Spanish fluently. Are there other, cheaper options for Spanish speaking people to do the treks or is this list pretty comprehensive for what companies tourists should feel comfortable using?
Hi Chase. Being a fluent Spanish speaker won’t make any difference. Whether you have an English- or Spanish-speaking guide (or bilingual), the price will typically be the same. As for the list of companies, I woouldn’t call it comprehensive necessarily as there are hundreds of tour companies who do the Inca Trail. But the companies featured here are definitely some of the best, and they are based in Cusco so cater to both foreigners and Peruvians. If you want to keep the price down, consider doing an alternative trek to Machu Picchu, which tend to be significantly cheaper than the classic Inca Trail. Have a good trip! Tony.
I greatly appreciate this article and the information provided. They all seem so great & experienced; am cautious on user reviews because of late they can be very biased. Do you happen to have a perspective on Which Outfitter or outfitters excel in their culinary experience? We are not budget travelers, but also not super high end. Thanks for your insight
Hi Claudia. I had great food when I trekked to Machu Picchu with Valencia Travel — not gourmet or anything, but very well prepared Peruvian food. In general, all of the Inca Trail tour operators listed above should have good food, with a dedicated cook and often a kitchen/dining tent. Typically, the more you pay, the better the quality — especially if you trek as a private group (rather than a scheduled group departure). Enigma Adventures has a good culinary reputation, and Explorandes and Amazonas Explorer should both have excellent food, even with their group departures. Let me know how it goes — and how you like the food! Tony.
Explorandes has not responded to my emails for over two weeks. I’ve called but haven’t been able to connect with anybody English speaking. Is this a bad time of year, or is there some other explanation? Thanks
Hi Larry. I just contacted Explorandes through their Facebook page (www.facebook.com/Explorandes) and they replied straight away. The guy there asked me to give you his email address: email@example.com. He speaks English, so hopefully he’ll be able to help you out. Let me know if you have any other problems. Cheers, Tony.
Your insight is phenomenal I’m planning to do the Inca trail with my daughter this coming June.
we want to do the 2 day version and tentatively I have a quote from a local company called Karikuy.
Was wondering if you heard of them since I don’t see them in your list. If you have can you give me some insight on them.
Are they legit?
Hi Andres. I know of Karikuy and I think they’re a good company, so definitely worth considering. I guess I haven’t included them here because I don’t have first-hand experience with them and they seem to be less focused on the Inca Trail than other agencies on this list, which are often focused entirely on Cusco and the Sacred Valley. Thanks, Tony.