Success! We managed to get permits for the Inca Trail through local tour operator Andean Life Peru. Now on to book our flights.
When making arrangements to hike the Inca Trail it is best to book as early as possible. The trail is closed in February in order to do maintenance on the trail. This month is conveniently chosen as it is the middle of the rainy season so as not to disrupt any trekkers in their planning.
At least two to three up to nine months in advance are usually good to plan for booking your permits. Access to the Inca Trail is well regulated these days with just 200 trekkers allowed on it any given day, plus local tour personnel that may accompany the trekkers.
Our research was unclear as to whether one must go with a local guide (who’s authorised) or could trek alone with the permit in hand. In order to enjoy the trek a bit more going with a guide and cook (they would come with a porter for their equipment) may be preferable anyway. For a little extra money most operators offer this arrangement for a private group so you have support but are still on your own as far as random acquaintances are concerned in your own group.