Inca Trail is a walking route that leads through the mountainous jungle and rich subtropical jungle above the Urubamba River, following the course of an old Inca roadway leading to the sacred Inca city of Machu Picchu. It is really a fabulous trail. Think about the time at which it was constructed! When the Spanish invaded this region, they needed three days from coast to Cusco on horse. But it was said that Inca Emperor could eat a fresh fish within three hours after it was fishing in the coast- yes we are not talking about 20th century, it was 15th or 16th century. May be that is why people like to hike this trail this much.
Inca conquests could never have been accomplished without good roads, nor could the Inca have to continue to rule over the conquered peoples for long without being able to move armies to any troubled part of the Empire with lightning speed.
New Rule for Inca trail
Inca trail is one of the most visited trails in South America. Because of its growing popularity, it was getting overcrowded. Peruvian government has introduced a new rule to protect the trail from overuse. New rules restrict the number of trekkers on the trail. From 2005 all the new rules came into effect. Since then to get a space in Inca trail is getting more and more difficult. Now a day you have to reserve a place five months in advance if you are planning to visit during high season.
Peruvian government has introduced the new rule in 2002 (Resolution N° 02- 2003-UGM-CD). But government started to enforce all sections of this rule from 2005. New regulations imply that in a day maximum number of people enters to Inca trail can be 500. Of which only 200 are trekker, others are porter, cooks and guides. Another important feature of this rule is that all trekking companies that operate the Inca Trail must have an operating license which is issued every year in March. Also all the trekking companies have to be local, and have to have an office in Peru.
Since only 500 people can enter the trail each day, spaces are filled up very quickly. During the months of high season (April to September) all the 500 spaces filled up four/five months in advance. If you are thinking that once you reach Peru, you will choose an operator and hike the trail, and then you would be disappointed and may have to come back without hiking Inca trail. So you have to reserve a space well in advance.
Check availability online
Good thing is that now you can check availability of Inca trail online for the next year, http://www.machupicchu.gob.pe/ from where you can get information on how many spaces left for a particular day. So you can decide well in advance and then make a reservation on your suitable date