If you intend to carry out the Inka trail, keep in mind the following: The Peruvian government has limited access due to its poor condition and only 500 people can access it a day, of which only 220 are travelers since the rest are guides and the porters. In addition, it is necessary to request with a 4 days of advance a governmental permission that allows us the access to the same. This permit is personal and non-transferable, therefore, if someone fails or cancels his, that place can not be assigned to another person. The acquisition of these permits will be managed by the agency you contracted for the tour. It is the only way to do it, before it could be done for free but now it is mandatory through operators or tourism agencies. As you can imagine there is great demand to make the Inca trail, and according to which dates it is impossible to find a place. If you are going to make the trip in the summer months we recommend that you book the tour through the internet as far in advance as possible, you will pay a little more but you will secure a place. If your trip is at another time of the year you can request the permit once you are there, and while it is managed you have 4 days to visit Cusco and its surroundings. The availability of places for the Inka Trail can be consulted here. If you have not got place you can make the alternative Inca trail, called Salkantay trek.
This walk takes the name of one of the highest mountains of Peru, it is the mountain Salkantay (6271 m). For a month a year the traditional Inka trail closes to the public in the rainy season to make small maintenance and restoration arrangements. This made that they looked for alternatives to the traditional walk for that time since the people continued wanting to go to Machu Picchu walking. The salkantay trek is a good option so during the rainy month this trek was the one used by the travelers. When the limitation and the quotas of people on the part of the Peruvian government arrived at the original Inka road, it caused that many travelers were left without places for the walk. Therefore, the Salkantay trek became an alternative for the whole year and not just for the rainy season. Today for this hike has to do through agency, however there are no quotas or limitations, also being less requested will not have problems getting them.
Salkantay trek to Machu Picchu: It is a beautiful trek, lasts 5 days / 4 nights and is not excessively hard. Paisajísticamente is much more beautiful than the traditional road, however in this trekking you do not go through the archaeological sites through which the original Inca trail runs. The big advantage is that it is less saturated with people, which is very rewarding; If you can do it you will not regret it. The recommendations for this trek are the same that you can find for the traditional Inka trail or any type of trekking; Theme of medicine chest, footwear, bag, raincoat, etcetera. In this trek also, the horses can carry up to 5 kg per person, which is to be appreciated when you carry the most loaded backpack of the necessary thing.