Travelers who wish to visit the famed ruins of Machu Picchu by way of the Inca Trail are being strongly urged to book their trips as early as this week unless they want to risk losing out due to some changes being made in how permits are now being distributed. The trek going to the iconic citadel lasts for four days and is limited to only 500 visitors per day. Permits can only be booked through tour operators and they usually get sold out months in advance.
Travel agents usually scramble trying to secure their clients' spots whenever the annual permit quota gets released in January of each year as the trek operates on a first-come-first-served basis. However, new information has revealed that permits for 2017 will be going on sale starting December 15, one month in advance, which has sparked some concern for those unaware as they might find themselves getting caught out.
KE Adventure, one of the longest operating agencies of Inca Trail trekking, was made aware of the changes by its local staff. According to the Telegraph, a spokesperson for KE Adventure revealed that they were informed by their agents that they will need to secure their clients' details by "December 15 of this year, instead of the usual January deadline." The spokesperson also added that the mad rush for permits might be happening earlier than expected as permits for the season's first two months can become sold out within 24 hours.
The Peruvian tourism ministry has yet to make any announcement regarding these changes, but the KE spokesperson explained that the ministry usually doesn't make any confirmations or announcements about these changes "until the very day they happen." A post on the website of Adios Adventure Travel has also revealed that the rates for permits for the Inca Trail hikes will increase by January 1, 2017.
Entry tickets for adults will increase from 128 sol to 152 sol per person, which is an increase of roughly $7.50 per person. Tourists might also be set back 48 sol ($15) per person for the hike to Macchu Picchu.
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