One of the most famous hiking routes in the world, the famous Inca Trail to Machu Picchu reopened last week for the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic began back in March 2020.
In order to preserve the natural habitats and historic sites along the trail, the Peruvian government has always required visitors to obtain a permit, which can only be reserved on a first-come, first-served basis.
These will now be even harder to come by than normal, with the number of hikers allowed on the South American trail being cut in half for safety reasons until at least the end of 2021.
However, a specialist South American travel company is offering travellers the option to add the renowned trek to any of its customizable trips so that they can still experience the Inca Trail, even at its new, reduced capacity.
Not only will this enable tourists to see one of the seven wonders of the world without the usual crowds of tourists, but it also navigates the difficulties of procuring one of the elusive trail permits with this being included in the package.
Michael Eiseman, the Co-Founder of Touring Galapagos, explains: "Today marks the first opportunity for trekkers to resume booking guided tours to explore the extraordinary Inca Trail to Machu Picchu since the Peruvian government closed its borders last March due to the COVID-19 pandemic."
“The number of hikers allowed on the trail has been cut in half from 500 to 250 until at least the end of 2021 and includes tourists, porters and guides, which means travellers will be limited to 100-120 per day. Travellers can only reserve a permit through authorized travel companies like Touring Galapagos and are available on a first-come, first-served basis. This is the lowest capacity we have ever seen and we encourage travellers to book as early as six to seven months in advance".
Touring Galapagos already offers a ‘Galapagos and Machu Picchu’ tour, a 13-day adventure that begins on the Inca Trail with an expert local guide.
On the ascent to the famous city, travellers will have the opportunity to explore some lesser-known sites in the mountains including the Awanakancha farm and weaving centre and the Sacred Valley.
After exploring the Inca Trail, the tour continues to the Ecuadorian capital Quito and offers sightseeing opportunities around the very first UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Guests are then transferred to Baltra in the Galapagos Islands, after 9 days on land, where they will spend the night aboard the luxury Infinity Yacht. The following days will be spent enjoying the beaches of Santa Cruz Island, and the sightseeing spots of Floreana such as the Cormorant Point flamingo point and distinctive “Green Beach”.
Renowned for its biodiversity, travellers will have the opportunity to see some of the Ecuadorian archipelago’s most impressive wildlife with an Española Island visit to see the fascinating albatrosses, blue-footed boobies, lava lizards and sea lions.
And no Galapagos trip would be complete without a visit to the Interpretation Centre on San Cristobal either, where travellers will learn all about the conservation efforts taking place in the area and how locals are working to restore the natural habitats across the islands.
Touring Galapagos offer a range of different tours around the South American archipelago and countries on the continent, and hiking the Inca Trail can be added to any of their customisable travel packages for those keen to explore the iconic hiking route.