Picture yourself trekking through the majestic Andes Mountains, following the ancient footsteps of the Inca people, and finally arriving at the breathtaking Machu Picchu. The Inca Trail is more than just a hike; it’s a life-changing experience steeped in rich history and stunning landscapes. Choosing the right tour company is crucial to make the most of this unforgettable adventure. In this blog post, we’ll guide you through the process of selecting the best Inca Trail tour operator, focusing on the best Inca Trail tour companies, customizing your trekking experience, and preparing for a safe and enjoyable journey. Let’s embark on this remarkable quest and discover the wonders of the Inca Trail together!

Key Takeaways

  • Choose an Inca Trail tour company for a safe and memorable trekking experience.

  • Prioritize safety, expertise & support services when selecting your operator.

  • Research reviews & reputation to ensure you have an enjoyable experience with the right balance of cost and accommodation.

Why Choose an Inca Trail Tour Company

machu picchu, peru, inca

Selecting the right tour company can significantly enhance your once-in-a-lifetime Inca Trail experience. A reputable Inca Trail tour operator not only ensures your safety and comfort but also provides expert guidance, support services, and an enjoyable trekking experience. Finding the best Inca Trail tour companies can be a difficult task. Fortunately, there are a few criteria to consider which will help guide your decision. It’s essential to consider factors such as:

  • Group size and dynamics

  • Sustainable and responsible practices

  • Customer reviews

  • Customization options

  • Cost

  • Accommodation quality

Remember that reputation and sustainable practices are critical in picking the right local tour operator for your Machu Picchu adventure. Your unforgettable Inca Trail experience can be a life-changing journey if you actually choose the right tour operator.

Opting for a reputable and responsible tour operator means prioritizing an experience that maintains a balance between ensuring an unforgettable hike while positively impacting both the environment and the supporting staff, such as porters and guides who will go above and beyond to have the best adventure ever.

In addition, focusing on the support services provided by the tour company guarantees essential amenities such as transportation, meals, and quality camping equipment. Let’s delve deeper into these aspects and learn how they contribute to an amazing Inca Trail experience.

Sustainable Tourism, Porter’s Rights and Gender Equity

Selecting an Inca Trail tour company necessitates consideration of their commitment to sustainable tourism practices, fair treatment of porters, and gender equity. By selecting a tour company that values ethical tourism practices, you’re not only ensuring a memorable Inca Trail experience but also contributing positively to the people that will make possible for you to complete this trek successfully.

Prioritizing sustainability and fair treatment of staff demonstrates a commitment to responsible tourism and helps create a better trekking industry on the Inca trail and other parts of the world.

Having traversed the Inca Trail numerous times, I feel compelled to share my firsthand observations of the ongoing exploitation faced by the trail’s porters. If you harbor any doubts about the veracity of my claims, I urge you to explore this YouTube channel, where you will witness firsthand the blatant abuse to which these individuals are subjected.

Safety and Expertise

Embarking on an unforgettable adventure necessitates prioritizing safety and expertise. A tour operator that focuses on safety ensures that their guides are equipped with first aid training, radios, and evacuation procedures. Experienced Inca Trail guides will lead you safely through the trek and provide captivating insights into the history and environment of the region. Remember, a safe and enjoyable trek starts with the right tour operator!

Support Services

A group of hikers on the Inca Trail, organized by one of the best Inca Trail tour companies providing support services along the way.

An exceptional Inca Trail experience goes beyond the hike; it encompasses your tour operator’s support services. Essential services include:

  • Ground Transportation

  • Food and water

  • Camping gear

  • First-aid kits

These services will ensure a comfortable and stress-free trek.

There are many tour ompanies offering high-quality camping equipment and delicious meals prepared by their experienced chefs. So, when choosing your Inca Trail tour company, remember that the support services are integral to an unforgettable adventure.

Top 10 Inca Trail Tour Companies

A group of people trekking on the Inca Trail with Machu Picchu in the background

We’ve compiled a list of the top 10 Inca Trail tour operators, considering factors like ethics, group size, and alternative options to assist you in finding the perfect match for your adventure. Each tour company has its unique strengths, including:

  1. Evolution Treks Peru’s commitment to sustainability

  2. Llama Path’s expertise in catering to large groups

  3. Photo Tours Peru focus on photography-based experiences

The upcoming sections will detail these top tour operators, equipping you with the necessary information to make an informed decision for your Inca Trail trek.

Best Ethical Tour Operator – Evolution Treks Peru

Evolution Treks Peru is an excellent choice if you’re looking for an ethical tour operator that prioritizes sustainability and empowers local communities. They offer:

  • A solid commitment to creating an equitable and sustainable working environment. They are the only tour operator that hires women porters and guides consistently.

  • High-quality camping equipment. They have managed to reinvent the way tours are operated on the Inca trail which has enabled them to tackle the excess way porters used to carry while providing their clients with state of the art light-weigh minimalist camping gear.

  • Delicious meals prepared by experienced chefs who use the best of the best of the traditional Peruvian products.

  • Safety and sustainability are top priorities for their knowledgeable and experienced guides on all their tours. By choosing Evolution Treks Peru, you’re embarking on an amazing Inca Trail experience and supporting a company that values ethical tourism practices.

Best Tour Company for large groups – Llama Path

When it comes to catering to large groups, Llama Path is the go-to tour company. With a range of trekking options, Llama Path ensures that every hiker, regardless of group size, can enjoy a memorable Inca Trail experience.

Here are some reasons why Llama Path is a reliable choice for large groups seeking an unforgettable adventure:

  • Experienced guides who are knowledgeable about the Inca Trail and its history

  • Top-notch customer service to ensure a smooth and enjoyable experience

  • Dedication to sustainability, with eco-friendly practices and responsible tourism initiatives

Choose Llama Path for your next adventure and make lasting memories with your large group.

So, if you’re planning a trek with a sizable group of friends or family, look no further than Llama Path.

Best Alternative Tour operator – Photo Tours

For those seeking a unique Inca Trail experience, Photo Tours offers photography-based expeditions along the ancient trail. With custom-made tours and comprehensive packages, Photo Tours promises a smooth and stress-free experience from beginning to end. Their Sun Gate Tours include visits to stunning locations such as the Ausangate mountain range, the Sacred Valley of the Incas, and some unique spots along the trail.

If you’re an avid photographer or simply want to capture unforgettable memories of your Inca Trail adventure, Photo Tours is the perfect choice.

Other Tour Operators

A group of people trekking on the Inca Trail with a tour guide

Besides our top 10 Inca Trail tour operators, we’ve gathered a list of other reputable Machu Picchu tour companies that provide exceptional trekking experiences. These tour operators include:

  • Cachi Life

  • Enigma Adventure

  • Wayki Trek

  • Intrepid Travel

  • Alpaca Expeditions

  • TreXperience

  • Inkayni Peru Tours

  • Alpaca Expeditions

Each of these companies provides unique services and trekking options, ensuring you can find the perfect fit for your Inca Trail adventure.

The upcoming sections will provide detailed insights into what each of these companies offers.

Cachi Life

Cachi Life is an excellent choice for personalized, private Inca Trail tours. Cachi Life focuses on providing custom experiences and offers tailor-made tours that include add-on cultural experiences to enhance your Inca Trail journey. Their commitment to customer satisfaction ensures you’ll receive a high level of service throughout your adventure.

If you’re seeking a truly customized Inca Trail experience, Cachi Life is your tour company.

Enigma Adventure

For a sustainable and eco-friendly Inca Trail experience, consider Enigma Adventure. This tour company offers various packages, ensuring you can find the perfect trek for your needs. Enigma Adventure focuses on minimizing their environmental impact and provides a responsible and enjoyable trekking experience.

Enigma Adventure is an excellent choice if you’re passionate about sustainable tourism and want to explore the Inca Trail with an eco-friendly tour company.

Wayki Trek

Wayki Trek stands out as a responsible tour operator with a strong focus on social projects and client satisfaction. With a team of highly experienced tour guides from various rural communities in the Cusco Region, Wayki Trek provides a unique perspective on the Inca Trail. Their dedication to social projects and fair treatment of their staff showcases their commitment to responsible tourism.

If you’re looking for a tour operator who values the environment and the well-being of local communities, Wayki Trek is an excellent option.

Intrepid Travel

Intrepid Travel offers personalized, sustainable Inca Trail experiences with small-group travel and various tour options to suit your needs. As a reputable tour operator, Intrepid Travel ensures that your Inca Trail adventure is enjoyable and eco-friendly.

With a range of trekking options, you can customize your experience to match your schedule, fitness level, and interests. Intrepid Travel is an excellent choice if you’re looking for a tour company that prioritizes sustainability while providing a personalized trekking experience.


TreXperience is a local Peruvian tour operator focusing on offering a range of Inca Trail expeditions to suit various preferences. Their commitment to provide affordable tours ensures an enjoyable Inca Trail experience.

If you’re interested in exploring the Inca Trail with a tour operator who goes above and beyond to satisfy their clients consider TreXperience.

Inkayni Peru Tours

Inkayni Peru Tours is a reputable tour company offering small group tours, including:

  • Trekking

  • Biking

  • Rafting

  • Cultural tours

With a wide range of Inca Trail tours, you can find the perfect fit for your adventure. Their commitment to client satisfaction and support for local communities ensures an enjoyable Inca Trail treks experience.

Inkayni Peru Tours is a top choice for a memorable journey when planning your Inca Trail adventure.

Alpaca Expeditions

Alpaca expeditions is perhaps the most renowned inca trail tour operator of Peru. also, the more controversial. They have been around for quite sometime which gives them the expertise to provide great tours.

Customizing Your Inca Trail Experience

A group of people trekking on the Inca Trail with a tour guide and a llama

Personalizing your experience according to your preferences and needs is vital to making your Inca Trail adventure truly unforgettable. Factors to consider include group size, trek duration, and accommodation preferences. By tailoring your Inca Trail trek to match your desires, you’ll create a once-in-a-lifetime journey that will leave a lasting impression.

The upcoming sections will explore these factors to assist you in creating the perfect Inca Trail experience.

Group Size

Considering the size and dynamics of your trekking group is crucial for a personalized Inca Trail experience. Smaller groups often provide a more intimate and flexible experience, allowing for better connections with the guide and other hikers. Larger groups may offer a more social atmosphere and lower costs per person but may result in a less personalized experience.

When choosing a tour company to ensure the best possible experience for your Inca Trail adventure, it’s essential to weigh the pros and cons of small and large group sizes.

Trek Duration

The duration of your Inca Trail trek should be based on your schedule and fitness level. The classic Inca Trail trek typically lasts four days and three nights, but shorter or longer treks are also available. When selecting the trek duration, consider your physical fitness, available time, and the specific sites and experiences you want to include in your adventure.

Choosing the right trek duration for your needs’ll ensure a memorable and enjoyable Inca Trail experience.

Accommodation Preferences

Selecting your preferred accommodation style is essential to customizing your Inca Trail experience. Options range from:

  • Basic camping

  • Mid-range camping with better facilities

  • Luxury camping with comfortable beds and private bathrooms

  • Staying in lodges along the trail

When choosing a tour company, consider the quality of the accommodations provided and the availability of amenities such as private bathrooms, showers, and dining tents.

You’ll ensure a comfortable and enjoyable trek by selecting the best accommodation style for your needs.

Preparing for Your Inca Trail Trek

A group of people trekking on the Inca Trail with a tour guide and a llama

Proper preparation, including maintaining a basic level of physical fitness, packing essential items, and taking necessary health precautions, is critical to a safe and enjoyable Inca Trail trek.

The upcoming sections will provide tips and guidance on ensuring a successful trek, enabling you to enjoy your Inca Trail adventure fully.

Physical Fitness

Maintaining a basic level of physical fitness is crucial for a safe and enjoyable Inca Trail trek. Begin training for your trek about eight weeks before your first long hike. Incorporate exercises such as:

  • squats

  • lunges

  • crunches

  • leg raises

  • yoga

  • Pilates

  • kettlebell swings

  • stair climbing

into your routine to build strength and endurance.

By ensuring you’re physically prepared for the Inca Trail, you’ll maximize your enjoyment of the adventure and minimize the risk of injury or illness.

Packing Lists

Packing the right items is essential for a comfortable and safe Inca Trail trek. Ensure you bring:

  • Appropriate hiking gear

  • Shoes

  • Waterproof items

  • A sleeping bag

  • Toiletries

  • A small daypack

  • A waterproof jacket

  • Extra batteries for your camera

  • A water bottle

Packaging essential items will prepare you for any challenges the Inca Trail may present.

Health Precautions

A group of people trekking on the Inca Trail with a tour guide and a llama

To ensure a safe and healthy Inca Trail adventure, it’s crucial to take necessary health precautions. Be aware of potential risks such as altitude sickness, stomach issues, and dehydration. In addition, consult with a healthcare professional to determine which vaccinations are recommended for your trek.

By taking proper health precautions, you’ll ensure a safe and enjoyable Inca Trail experience.

Booking and Permits

Securing Inca Trail permits and booking your trek through a reputable tour company constitutes an essential part of your adventure. Permits for the Inca Trail are limited and can sell out quickly, so it’s important to book your trek as soon as possible.

By working with a reputable tour company, you’ll ensure a smooth booking process and a well-organized trek, allowing you to focus on enjoying your Inca Trail experience.

Safety and Health Precautions

A safe and healthy Inca Trail trek requires the following:

  1. Selecting a reputable tour operator

  2. Adhering to proper safety protocols

  3. Choosing a reliable tour company that prioritizes your safety and provides expert guidance throughout your adventure

  4. Following their advice and adhering to safety guidelines to minimize the risk of injury or illness

  5. Maximizing your enjoyment of the Inca Trail

Reviews and Reputation

The reputation of tour companies and customer reviews significantly influence the selection of the best Inca Trail tour operator for your adventure. Researching a company’s reputation through travel guidebooks, review sites such as TripAdvisor, and word-of-mouth recommendations can provide valuable insights into the quality of their services and the experiences of past clients.

By considering reviews and reputation when selecting your tour company, you’ll ensure a memorable and enjoyable Inca Trail experience with a trusted operator.

Cost and Accommodation

Choosing a tour company based on cost and accommodation preferences requires a balance between your budget and your desired level of service and lodging. The Inca Trail tour cost can differ significantly based on the length of your trek and the company you select. The level of service provided could also affect the cost..

Researching tour companies and comparing their offerings, including camping tours and tour packages, will help you find the best fit for your needs, ensuring a comfortable and enjoyable trek within your budget.


In conclusion, the Inca Trail is a once-in-a-lifetime experience that requires careful planning and preparation. By choosing the right tour company, customizing your trekking experience, and preparing for a safe and enjoyable journey, you’ll embark on an unforgettable adventure through the majestic Andes Mountains and the ancient footsteps of the Inca people. So, gear up and get ready to discover the wonders of the Inca Trail – the adventure of a lifetime awaits!

Frequently Asked Questions

Which Inca Trail is the best?

The Classic Inca Trail is widely regarded as the best of the Inca Trails to take, offering stunning views and a great mix of history and culture.

What is the difference between the Inca and Lares trail?

The Inca Trail is more focused on natural scenery and history than culture, while the Lares Trek is ideal for getting a taste of true Peruvian culture. The Lares Trek reaches higher altitudes, and passes through villages and farms inhabited by modern-day Andean people. Both trails feature stunning scenery.

What are the best months to visit the Inca Trail?

The best months to visit the Inca Trail are generally from late March to May and from September to mid-December, which fall before and after the rainy season and provide good weather conditions and fewer crowds. June to August is also a great time to visit, although it may be more crowded.

How do I choose the best Inca Trail tour company for my needs?

When choosing the best Inca Trail tour company for your needs, make sure to evaluate their safety, expertise, support services, sustainability, group size, trek duration and accommodation preferences. Don’t forget to check customer reviews and the company’s reputation before making your decision.

How important is physical fitness for the Inca Trail trek?

Physical fitness is essential for a successful Inca Trail trek, as it can be demanding and require acclimatization to high altitudes.