2012 Inca Trail lottery dates announced

Each year authorised Inca Trail agencies (of which Apus Peru is one) have to pass a rigorous inspection process, in order to renew their Inca Trail licence. Once this occurs, (which is usually late in the year, it just happened in November 2011) we know which agencies will be authorised to operate the Inca Trail in 2012.

Just before Christmas,  the Ministry of Culture announced which dates the Inca Trail permits would go on sale this year.    (the Inca Trail year runs from March to January, with the Inca Trail being closed in February)

Basically, if any agency has clients for a certain month, they need to enter the lottery for that month.  The winner of the lottery has their pick of the dates for any one month… and so on… so its really important that when we have clients that have very specific travel dates that we have their details and deposit prior to the lottery date.

This year the dates are

02 January / March 2012 permits

03 January / April 2012 permits

04 January/ May 2012 permits

05 January / June 2012 permits

06 January/ July 2012 permits

07 January / August 2012 permits

What the lottery means is that the very popular dates in May, June and July near the big festivals usually sell out during the lottery period or soon after.   Big tour companies that have large groups of pre booked clients quickly snap up “prime” dates like the first week of March, around Easter and other festivals).

From 09 January the Inca Trail permits are sold as normal. You can check availaibility online at this site


In brief:

  1. If you have very specific travel dates, and really want to do the Inca Trail on fixed dates then you should be contacting your travel company for further advice.
  2. At Apus Peru, we ask any clients that have fixed dates for the Inca Trail for 2012 and have not sent us their booking information and deposit, should do so immediately.   (we would prefer to have all details 3 days before the lottery date, at a minimum).
  3. After 09 January we will know which dates are available for the rest of the year. (We assume most dates will still have some availability but its very hard to be 100% sure or predict this kind of thing!)

A very useful page that further describes this process is found here


They advise:

“Once the permits have gone on sale in January it is very likely that some dates will sell out immediately (dates such as the first week of March, several dates in April, many dates in May and a few dates around Inti Raymi in June (ie 15-28 June). Maybe a couple of dates in July will sell out and probably no dates in August. So if you want to book a trek departing in August you will probably still be safe to wait until February or even March to book.”

If you have further questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us at reservas(at)apus-peru.com

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