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Sustainability and responsible tourism on the Inca Trail

Hiking the Inca Trail is an incredible experience but preserving it for future generations is a huge undertaking. Discover the initiatives we use to ensure that we help to protect the beauty, culture and environment for years to come.


1. All porters come from the Sacred Valley area

To support the local economy we know the best way is to employ local people, and who better than those who live in the Sacred Valley? They know the region like the back of their hand and they are well-acclimatised to the altitude. You'll never meet such friendly people as the porters; and watching them run past you on the trail with their heavily-laden packs is truly impressive. For all their hard work we make sure they're paid fairly so that they're not relying on each trek but have a steady, reliable source of income to support their families.

2. Plastic is banned on the Inca Trail and waste is carefully monitored

Since 2018, trekkers and support teams alike are no longer able to bring single-use plastic onto the Inca Trail. In order to reduce the amount of waste on the trail, all rubbish is weighed at each check-point and at the end to ensure that all waste is taken away. There's no refuse collection on the trail so anything that goes with you must come back off the trail - either with you or as part of the porters' rubbish.

Instead of drinking from a single-use plastic bottle, we recommend using a Water-to-Go bottle; their filters removes 99.9% of contaminants, bacteria and viruses and can be filled up from any non-salt water sources. There are plenty of streams along the way and even ancient water fountains that you can use to top-up. If you don't have a filtered-bottle, the support team boil water at each stop for you to refill your bottles.

3. Food is locally sourced by the support team chef

One of the (many) great things about travelling in Peru is the food and and on the Inca Trail you'll not be left wanting. Three meals a day (two of which are three-course), mean you'll have plenty of sustenance for the trip; our Inca Trail cooks plan and prepare meals that are nutritious and suited to the physical exertion of the trek. Even better, all the food is locally sourced and selected by the support team cook, who is able to cater for any dietary requirements. The fruit and vegetables are as fresh as they can be and have all been grown locally - supporting farmers and the local economy. The food is often one of the biggest surprises for trekkers; meals are hearty and flavoursome, with soups for lunch and even pancakes for breakfast!

4. There's no wild camping on the Inca Trail

To protect the trail, no trekkers can hike it without a certified guide. This ensures that everyone sticks to the designated path and limits any damage to the path itself and the incredible plant life that surrounds its length. On the first day's hike you'll see locals tilling the land that their families have been working for centuries. To protect this history, the locals' livelihoods and the natural environment, no wild camping is allowed; although basic, the camp sites fully immerse you in the surrounding landscapes and add to the experience of the trail.  

5. Numbers are tightly controlled on the Inca Trail and in Machu Picchu

Overtourism is a big problem for the world's most beautiful and iconic locations; to protect Machu Picchu and give everyone enough space to enjoy these incredible wonders, UNESCO has capped the number of visitors that can visit the site each day at 2,500 and the Peruvian government only allows 200 trekkers a day on the Inca Trail (which also includes entry to Machu Picchu at the end). In this way, they will be protected for future generations to enjoy.


Discover the Inca Trail

Discover our Inca Trail trips and uncover the history and beauty of this incredible Andean trek. 


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