Explore Peru!

WE ARE SOUTHERN PERU EXPLORERS

What is waiting for you in the magical land of Peru? You will find extraordinary ancient ruins; breathtaking landscapes, with soaring mountains and crystal clear lakes; and the rich and still vibrant tapestry of the Incan people permeating it all.

We at Southern Peru Explorers are here to provide the perfect introduction. We have 10 years experience in all tours in Peru and treks to Machu Picchu, including a licensed Inca Trail tour operator Our experienced guides and porters, with your safety foremost in mind, know the land intimately because it is their land.

From our top-of-the-line equipment to inspired meals drawing on local ingredients by our seasoned chefs, we promise you a peak experience.

And our love of the land--and respect for Pachamama—means that we embraced sustainability long before it became fashionable.

southern-peru-explorers
trip-advisor-logo
10-years-excellence
reviews
photos
rating
what-people-say-about-us-on-trip-advisor
5-starts-trip-advisor

"Inca Trail couldn't have been better!"

I wanted to thank Joel and the team at Southern Peru Explorers for an unbelievable Inca Trail experience.

The team carefully selects the best camp sites along the famous trail, to ensure you have the most unforgettable views of the Sacred Valley. My personal favourite was our third night where our campsite was pitched right atop one of the final mountains along the trail. We had 360 degree views of the valley and could see Salcantay and Machu Picchu mountains.

The food provided is also second to none. It was some of the best food I ate my whole time in Cusco.

The classic Inca Trail is definitely one of the best treks I have ever done, and is by far the best way to reach Machu Picchu.

5-starts-trip-advisor

"Salkantay Trek"

One of the best experiences I've had in Cusco.

The tour Salkantay Trek is one of the best trek I've gone, since different climates, landscapes, flora and fauna of the route are breathtaking but exhausting, but thanks to the team Souther Peru Explorer the way was much more enjoyable because the good and varied food every day, cozy tents and good attention on the problem that arose.

Indeed, Southern Peru explorer is a recommended company to do a good tour in Cusco don't preoccupy and just enjoy the scenery and have fun.

5-starts-trip-advisor

"Incredible Inca Trail Experience!"

They really went above and beyond! I was impressed with the wealth of knowledge from our guide Yimal.

The team were also so positive and encouraging along the way. Being a vegetarian, I was catered to with delicious, varied and filling meals through out the 4 days.

The campsites chosen were scheduled and breathtaking. Also fantastic they had a doctor during the trek!

Would absolutely recommend and rate more than 5 stars if I could. Thanks again Southern Peru Explorers.

IMPORTANT INFORMATION!

  • There are only a limited 500 permits per day for the Classic Inca Trail (Porters, guides and cookers included). So book your trip at least 8 months in advance.
  • The Classic Inca Trail trek is already fully booked until September 2018!
  • Available treks from now are 2 DAYS SHORT INCA TRAIL and all our ALTERNATIVE TREKS like our best seller treks SALKANTAY or INCA JUNGLE TO MACHU PICCHU.
  • To secure your booking, go to our Book Now page, Only if you plan to book an Inca Trail Trek, check the availability, then fill in the form and pay a deposit of 300$/person.
  • Tickets for Huayna Picchu: If you would like to walk up Huayna Picchu Mountain after the trek and tour of the Machu Picchu archaeological site, please let us know ASAP as passes are also limited.

INCA TRAIL REGULATIONS AND PERMITS

Due to its popularity, the Inca Trail has to be heavily regulated over concerns of erosion. The government in Peru has really stepped up to conserve and preserve the historic trail so that future generations can continue to experience and enjoy its awe and beauty.

Unfortunately, strict regulations haven’t always been in place. Damage was done to the trail back in the late 90s/early 2000s before there was a limit on how many people could enter the trail per day. Up to 1500 people per day were entering the trail at that time, causing distress and damage to the trail. Many trekkers and tourists camped on the ruins themselves, and disrespected the sites leaving trash and human waste. In 2000, Peru said enough is enough and decided to implement rules to help protect the World Heritage Site.

Entrance

Now, a total of 500 persons are permitted to enter the trail each day. This also counts for porters, cooks, guides, and staff. So, about 200 tourists accompany 300 porters each day. Including not only the Inca Trail trekkers but also the alternate route and day trippers, 2,500 people can enter Machu Picchu per day.

The government has also implemented an entrance fee (sometimes called permit) to enter both the Inca Trail and Machu Picchu. The payment must be made at least 30 days before the trip (but you’ll want to book much sooner than that, spots fill up fast). The entrance to the Inca Trail is $50, also including the entrance to Machu Picchu. Your ticket is non-transferable and non-refundable.

Another rule in place by the government to prevent people from booking what limited spots are available and then canceling is a 100% deposit required on the amount of your tour in order to book. You will also need to send a copy of your passport and bring it with you in order to enter.

Groups and Guides

In order to hike the Inca Trail, you will need to be accompanied by a licensed professional guide. Groups can be no larger than 16. Your guide will need to comply with all government sanctioned regulations, such as ensuring a first aid kit and emergency oxygen supply is available throughout your journey.

Technically, if your group is under 8 people you do not need to book your trip through a tour operator, and can hire an independent licensed guide. Doing so, however, can be very risky. Most guides do not work apart from licensed tour operators who have completed all the necessary paperwork and jumped through all the hoops required to ensure a fully permitted, safe and licensed trek. If you hire your own guide, you are not permitted to also hire your own porters and cooks. You will also have to provide your own meals and carry all your equipment yourself. Especially due to the altitude challenges, this is highly unadvised.

Ensure yourself a safe, regulated and enjoyable experience by booking with us. We have 10 years of experience and take care of everything so you don’t have to.

Closing of the Trail

Every February, the Inca Trail is shut down for cleaning and preservation work. This is probably not a time you want to plan your trip anyway, it is right in the middle of the rainy season. During this time, if officials deem it necessary to close the trail for a longer period of time, they have the right to do so. They will notify tour operators and visitors 30 days in advance of extended closing times. They also reserve the right to close the trail in extreme and necessary circumstances without prior notice. This is very rare to occur. Still, it is good to know that there are many hardworking professionals dedicated to preserving and protecting this sacred site.

Leave No Trace

Leave no trace principles are followed by all who enter the trail. Human solid waste must be separated and removed using approved waste disposal containers. Glass containers are not permitted on the trail. Neither are domestic pets, alcohol or other drugs, fossil fuels, traps, fire or pump weapons, or really any tool that can be used for hunting purposes. Walking sticks must have a rubber or plastic protectant on the tip, no metal tips that could potentially damage the soil are allowed. The truth is, experiencing the Inca Trail for yourself is a privilege, and you should respect and treat it as such. Leave no trace of your presence on the trial and resect Pachamama (mother nature) in every step you take.

INCA TRAIL AVAILABILITIES

IT’S A BIG WORLD OUT THERE

There are literally hundreds of tour companies based in Cusco that will take you on tours of Machu Picchu, treks on the Inca Trail, and visits to dozens of other ancient sites throughout our very special country of Peru.

But few of these tour companies can claim that they are 100% locally owned and operated, with a founder that was born and lived his whole life in Peru. That unique relationship informs every aspect of how Southern Peru Explorers operates, from how the porters are treated to the respect shown to the land, and unique perspective you will get on the history of the Inca people.

That is only the starting point for us. Since your health and safety are our primary concern, we have invested in top-of-the-line equipment from some of the most prestigious names in the camping business. Our chefs, who create one mouth-watering meal after another, will be serving you healthy and locally-sourced food. They maintain the highest standards of cleanliness so you can travel worry-free.

book-now

INCA TRAIL TREKS TO MACHU PICCHU

classic-inca-trail-trek-to-machu-picchu

The Inca Trail (also known as Camino Inca) is located in the Andes mountain range in Southern Peru. This epic trek, widely recognized as one of the top 10 in the world, passes through clouds forests and alpine tundras with spectacular scenery. Hikers will have an opportunity to see Incan ruins and settlements. The trail terminates at the Sun Gate at Machu Picchu, a sacred citadel for the Inca civilization. This World Heritage site is one of the most important archaeological sites in the world.

inca-trail-trek-to-machu-picchu

It is a complete experience, with everything you could hope to see on the trail. The five days will allow you to move at a little more relaxed pace than the Classic Trek so you can take it all in. As you hike, moving through tropical forest to cloud forest, you will see an incredible variety of flowers like orchids, the Polilepis Incana (National Peruvian tree), and various animals. You will also learn about the history of the Incan people from our expert guides. Five days later, you will have walked 26 miles (45 km) and crossed passes as high as 4,200m. The highlight, of course, is when you reach the magnificent Machu Picchu.

short-inca-trail-trek-to-machu-picchu

This is a condensed trip, for those who have less time or are not up for the more vigorous trek, but still want to fulfill their dream of hiking the Inca Trail and visiting Machu Picchu. It’s perfect for families and hikers of all ages that want to enjoy this incredible experience. Although it is a shorter trip, you will not feel shortchanged: you will still able to see the most impressive part of the Inca Trail and visit WiñayWayna, mid 15th century steeply terraced Incan ruins. We promise flora and fauna galore; you may even see some larger mammals.

ALTERNATIVE TREKS

See more...

salkantay-trek-to-machu-picchu

Salkantay Mountain (6,271m/20,569ft) is one of the highest and most stunning peaks in the Peruvian Andes. It is the 38th-highest peak in the Andes, and the twelfth-highest in Peru. Machu Picchu, a sacred citadel for the Inca civilization, is a World Heritage site and one of the most important archaeological sites in the world.

lares-trek

The Quechua culture, which excels in traditional weaving and other handicrafts, is believed to have begun in the early 15th century, well before the rise of the Inca Empire. Nearly a quarter of the people in Peru speak the Quechua language, most of them concentrated in the Andean mountains. The trek terminates at Machu Picchu, the sacred Inca citadel. This World Heritage site is one of the most important archaeological sites in the world.

inca-jungle-trek-to-machu-picchu

Abra Malaga is a high mountain pass at an elevation of 3,256m (10,682 ft) located in southern Peru on the Continental Divide.. The road to the pass is extreme, unsecured with many hairpin turns. Santa Teresa is about 6.5 km northwest of Machu Picchu, located within the Wilka Pampa mountain range The trip includes a trek to Machu Picchu, a sacred citadel for the Inca civilization. This World Heritage site is one of the most important archaeological sites in the world.

book-now

WHAT ARE OUR VALUES

commitment-to-our-community

Commitment to our Community

We are 100% locally owned and operated, unlike many other tour operators in Cusco. Our roots in this special region run deep ...

responsible-tourism

Responsible Tourism

With hundreds of tour agencies and operators located in Cusco, it can be overwhelming to choose the right one. Most offer the same tour ...

top-equipment

Top of the Line Equipment

Whether you’re hiking for two days or eight days, you need to start your trek well-rested and full of energy every morning ...

healthy-locally-sourced-food

Healthy Locally Sourced Food

While the unparalleled scenery will feed your soul, we understand that it is equally as important for your bodies to be well- fed ...