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Inca Trail Prices. The cheapest trekking company may not always be the best, and the most expensive may be overcharging for the service.
Ask your trekking company how they look after their porters, as in the past companies have been accused of treating their porters unfairly.
The main difference between the various Inca Trail services are the number of people in the group, the level of comfort that you can expect, the quality of the guide, food and camping equipment, how well the porters are treated and whether the company will actually guarantee their departure date, even if they can't find anyone else to fill up the group.
You might come across Inca Trail treks for under $600, and perhaps as low as $550. This might be a reduced price due to a seasonal promotion, in which case it should be fine. But if it’s the standard Inca Trail cost for a particular tour operator, you should be cautious.
I don’t recommend these cheaper treks for two reasons:
- The level of service will likely suffer at these lower prices. The food and the equipment will probably be average at best, and the standard of the guides won’t be as high as with a slightly more expensive tour operator.
- More importantly, there’s a real possibility that the porters within this price range are being underpaid and treated unfairly. This is a known and ongoing problem along the Inca Trail, so an Inca Trail trek below $550 looks kind of suspicious.
Some of these particularly cheap treks might turn out just fine. And there are almost certainly newly-licensed companies who are trying to do extra-cheap treks just to draw in their first clients. But that in itself is a risk, as you could end up with an inexperienced company that only just got authorized among the 100 licensed Inca Trail operators.