Inca Trail tours figure among the most popular tours in South America. This has a lot to do with the history of the trail and how it figures into the larger history of the Inca Empire. The popularity of these tours is also linked to the beauty of the scenery that can be found along the trail. Exotic plants are found along some stretches, and the fact that this trail is found in the Andes Mountains means that there are plenty of dazzling mountain vistas to take in along the way.
There are two main Inca Trail tours, and they both involve a lot of hiking. The more arduous tours are those that last four days and include trekking over high mountain passes. The easier tours, if you will, last two days and take to a more easily accessible route. Either way, it is necessary to book a guided Inca Trail trek, as independent trekking on this ancient royal highway is prohibited. For those who don’t wish to carry their own luggage during the hike, it is possible to hire porters. Regardless of the tour in question, things such as food and camping equipment are provided as part of the overall cost.
May through September is the most popular time to take an Inca Trail tour. As such, those who are wishing to hike along the trail during this period are encouraged to arrange their excursions at least three months ahead of time. Also worth keeping in mind is the fact that the trail is closed in February for maintenance purposes, and December through March is a particularly rainy period throughout the region. Inca Trail permits are required regardless of the season, and the high mountain city of Cusco is the jump off point for most Inca Trail treks.