Cusco

Best Inca Trail Operators in Cusco 2023

Inca trail

It’s a given that you’ll want to choose one of the best TOP Inca Trail tour operators for your trek to Machu Picchu in 2023. One with a good reputation, that fits your budget, and that offers the style of trek you really want (simple or luxury, two-day or four-day, group tour or private).

The Inca Trail hike to Machu Picchu is considered to be one of the most amazing hikes in the world! This historically renowned trail was built approximately 900 years ago by the Incas to connect their capital city of Cusco to the Sacred Citadel of Machu Picchu. Today tourists start their hike from KM82, which is located along the railway leading to the town just south of Machu Picchu, Aguas Calientes. This challenging hike offers trekkers incredible vistas of the Andes as they travel the total distance of 45km /26 miles. Understandably, access to the Inca Trail is extremely regulated by the Peruvian government. Entrance to the trail is restricted by a permit process and only 500 permits are issued per day. Everybody entering the trail, trekkers and trekking staff, needs a permit so they sell out quickly. A typical day on the trail consists of approximately 200 trekking tourists and 300 trekking staff made up of guides, chef’s and porters.

The Best Inca Trail to Machu Picchu Operators, based on information from 2023

If you are beginning your search for an Inca Trail tour operator, this list is a good place to start. There are more than 190 licensed Inca Trail operators in Peru. This list includes some of the most well-established and reputable Peru-based companies.

We have put together a list (below) featuring some of the best TOP Inca Trail operators based in Peru, based on a few different criteria. This includes personal experience with a number of companies (be it trekking, kayaking or other); recommendations from friends and colleagues working within the Peruvian tourism industry, especially in Cusco; and positive reviews in travel guides and travel websites, like TripAdvisor and travelers blogs.

We don’t claim that this is a definitive list; there are certainly other tour companies, both new and old, that probably deserve to be featured here but aren’t. You can recommend a company in the comments section below and we can add that one too.

The list takes a variety of recommendations into account including Machu Picchu tour companies that are featured regularly in the latest Peru travel guidebooks, review sites, travel forums, as well as some personal insight.

All of these companies are based in Peru, so the money you spend should stay in Peru. Besides being more sustainable, local companies have more updated information and usually have better guides too. All these companies offer alternative treks to Machu Picchu, as well as various other tours around Cusco and beyond.

SAM travel peru

SAM Travel Peru is a highly professional Tour & trekking company that focuses on both young and older travelers alike, making sure everyone makes it to their intended destination. A key feature offered by SAM Travel 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. What’s more, the company’s Peruvian owner, Saul Alvarez, has been working along the Inca Trail since the age of 18, including as porter and a guide.

  • A 100% locally owned Travel Company
  • Uniquely designed Adventure treks and tours.
  • Guaranteed high quality personal service always.

More information in: https://www.samtravelperu.com/

Orange Nation

For a while, this relatively new start-up company has been on my list of other Inca Trail tour operators to consider. The tour guides, porters and cooks have shares in the company, with people earning a fair amount for their level of contribution. The company has also had plenty of excellent reviews on TripAdvisor. Definitely one to consider.

  • Small intimate groups of 2 to 8 person.
  • Highly trained English-speaking guides.
  • Best campsites.

More information in: https://www.orange-nation.com/

Spider Travel Peru

Spider Travel is a New & an innovative Local Tour Operator in Cusco, Specialist in Inca Trail to Machu Picchu, Lares Trek, Tour Packages to Machu Picchu, Luxury Glamping Treks, Rainbow Mountain, Choquequirao trek.

  • 100% Local Operator.
  • Quality of service.
  • Shuttle Included.

More information in: https://www.spidertravelperu.com/