How much to Tip on the Inca Trail?

……… The Inca Trail trek has been voted one of the new seven wonders of the world, and it’s no surprise why. People travel to Cusco, Peru, with high expectations and are seldom disappointed even the stats will take your breath away!

Tips are not included in the overall price of Inca Trail treks, but most trekkers do tip their guides, porters, and cooks on the penultimate or final day of the Inca Trail hike. Tipping is not obligatory, so you should never feel forced into it, but it is a tradition on the Inca trail to Machu Picchu.

How Much to Tip on the Inca Trail

To give you an idea of how much cash you should carry for tips and how much you should give to various trail support staff, we’ll have a look at the advice given by some of our recommended Inca Trail tour operators. These recommendations are for the classic four-day/three-night Inca Trail; prices are listed in Peruvian nuevos soles, in general, it’s best to tip trekking staff using low-denomination nuevo sol bills.

  • SAM Travel Peru recommends that each person in the group contributes between 120 and 200 nuevos soles (US$40 to $60) to a “pot.” It is then distributed among the cook, assistant cook, general assistant, and porters. Also, a further 15 to 20 soles ($5.80 to $7.70) from each person in the group for the assistant guide and 18 to 28 soles ($7 to $10.80) for the principal guide.
  • Spider Travel Peru recommends between 60 and 70 soles per porter from the whole group. The group will be of 120 to 160 soles for each cook from the group; 200 to 250 soles from the group for the guide.
  • Orange Nation recommends that each porter should walk away with 70 soles each for a small group. It’s for (1 to 5 trekkers) and 80 soles each for a larger group (6 to 16 trekkers). Also a minimum of 100 soles for the guide. The distribution is 90 soles for each cook, and 70 soles for each assistant cook (given collectively by the tour group).
And a couple more recommendations:
  • Sam Corporations: “A good rule of thumb is anywhere from $10 to $15 per day for the porters” (35 to 45 nuevos soles).
  • Machu Picchu Travel Guide (an independent website, not a tour agency) recommends taking an extra US$60 to $90 per person to cover tips, with additional personal porters tipped separately.

Always remember that tips are not mandatory. The tipping ranges above are suggestions only and assume that the service given was of a good standard. If your food was terrible, for example, you should not feel obliged to tip the cook. At the same time, resist the urge to over-tip. 

If you feel you might want to go beyond a standard tip, keep in mind that many porters would be grateful for additional donations such as clothing or school equipment for their kids.

Inca Trail Porters and Responsible Trekking

The Inca Trail is a bucket list hike and one of Peru’s travel highlights. With its orchids, condors, cloud forest, and snow-capped peaks, this beautiful trail is open to all with training and determination.

SAM Corpotations want people to enjoy the Inca Trail, safe in the knowledge that the porters are respected and rewarded for their hard work and efforts. We hope that by understanding their role, language, and tipping, you can thoroughly enjoy your experience and leave nothing but a positive and responsible footprint.

We’re happy to help fulfil your Inca Trail dream. Contact us for more here!