The Ministry of Culture is the organism that makes the rules. For every reservation, it is mandatory that every trekker supplies his/her full name, date of birth and document number (for most of you, it's the passport). This document is:
The passport number is asked by the Ministry of Culture but, in general, it is asked in Peru for ID purposes (airplane, hotel, ID checking, etc.). It is not risky at all to provide your passport number, it's a personal information but it is not confidential. The same passport will be asked at the beginning of the Trek to avoid Identity theft.
Buying or booking on the Internet causes distrust to some people and we are aware. That is why we make an effort to clarify as much as possible our prices, conditions, availability, etc. In a word, everything you are entitled to expect. Our position in the market for many years and your feedback are our best advertisement. Even so, we invite the sceptic to check our authorization for the Inca Trail (Register # CI1516, RUC # 20544404726) on the Ministry of Culture's website. Our Agency in Cuzco is open to the public and we will give you any further information you might need. Furthermore, our online payment is made through a secure website (which guarantees the confidentiality of your information) and a digital certificate (which guarantees that we really are who we pretend to be).
Once you enter your card information, your card is verified through a complexe procedure (valid card, not stolen, with enough credit balance, etc.). This procedure is made by your credit card's bank (Visa or Mastercard). Only they are able to validate the transaction. Our server sends this information encrypted to a payment gateway and then they tell us if the card is accepted or not.
We do not offer anything less than our competitors. On the contrary, all our prices are all included and we won't ask for any extra charge or fee after your payment is made, not before, during or after the Trek. Tips for guides and/or porters are optional to your convenience (their wage is included in the total price). Why do we have such low prices? The formula is simple and we haven't created it, our prices are based on volume of sales. We sell a lot, so we lower our prices.
Our online payment system is secure and all transactions are encrypted. Information regarding your payment (card number, etc) is only used during the transaction and they are not kept on our servers. If the payment is accepted, we won't need that information any more. Other information, such as your name, passport number, etc, is transmitted to the Ministry of Culture because it is needed to make the reservation. The personal information is stored encrypted in our servers until the end of the Trek and then permanently deleted. Except the essential information provided to Peruvian authorities, we do not give up or sell this information. You will never receive any advertising, special offer or proposal from us.
Considering there are spaces available, you can make reservations the latest at least 72 working hours before de departure date of the Trek and the earliest at least 1 year in advance and only for the current season (from March 1st to January 31st). However, it is possible to pre-reserve your trek for the next season (see further details). In fact, we advise trekkers to make reservations at least 4 months in advance during the low season (October to May) and at least 8 months in advance during high season (June to September).
Not without fees and in a simple way. Reservations are made for a specific date and for a specific person. In case of cancellation or change, they are no longer available for other people, so they are lost for good. That is why it is really important to choose the exact date.
We offer indeed a discount for students but only under one condition: you must have the international student card (ISIC), valid on the date of the Trek. Any other proof, such as a simple written or verbal statement, a national student card or a university card, is not accepted by our Agency or by Peruvian authorities. Besides, the same ISIC card has to be shown to government agents the day of the departure at the entrance to the Trek. To summarize, this discount only applies to students having an ISIC student card and not to all students in general.
The online reservation is very fast and the payment acceptance only takes few seconds. Once the reservation is effective, we send you a confirmation email; you can then see any time a copy of the reservation through the page Customer service.
In theory yes, in practice no. Although the government allows reservations up to 2 days before the beginning of the trek, in practice it is almost impossible to find available spaces without booking several months in advance especially because the access to the Inca Trail is limited to 500 persons per day (personnel included).
No, for a simple reason: treks are already made in small groups. So, being a part of a group or being alone doesn't change the final number of persons.
We have indeed special prices for Travel Agencies; we invite you to contact us directly.
Supposing these agencies are authorized, many of them do not have enough volume of sales to gather up a group of trekkers. Often, an agency that only has few people for a given date can't organize the Trek alone for profitability reasons. So, it searches (or makes an association with) other agencies in order to gather up a group and make the excursion profitable. Our volume of sales allows us to fully organize the excursion. This also permits us to offer a quality and guaranteed service at competitive prices.