Hikers camp in the heart of the Andes mountains on the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu lost city in Peru

Is there phone signal on the Inca Trail?

Apr 9, 2024
Reading time: 3 minutes

There's signal early on Day 1 and usually near camp on the final night of the trek. For the most part, however, you won't be able to make or receive calls while on the Inca Trail. So why not see it as time away from a world that's arguably too connected?

You're not going to have mobile reception for most of the Inca Trail. So it's best to plan for a more mindful adventure, free from noisy or distracting phone calls.

That said, there are some places where you can usually get signal, and many trekkers like to use those opportunities to let loved ones back home know that they're okay (and having the time of their life!).

Where can I find signal on the Inca Trail?

On Day 1 of the Inca Trail you should have signal until about lunchtime. This is because you haven't yet hiked far enough into the Historic Sanctuary of Machu Picchu to be cut off from mobile service.

Campsite on Inca Trail, Peru

A popular campsite used by many operators on the last night of the trek

After that, you shouldn't expect (or waste your time trying to find) signal until you reach the campsite near Third Pass (which will at the end of Day 3 if you're doing the classic four-day Inca Trail). Please do yourself a favour, however, and don't rely on finding signal here.

Finally, you can expect to have signal again when you reach Machu Picchu on the final day of your Inca Trail trek. So if you want to phone someone then to shout excitedly down the line where you are โ€“ you're golden!

Which mobile provider offers the best coverage?

At present, Movistar offers the best coverage for both the Inca Trail and Machu Picchu. Peru's two other biggest mobile service providers are Entel and Claro.


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Can I charge my phone on the trek?

Yes, you can charge your phone (or other smart device) on the first night as you stay in a village with electricity. You can also then charge it at the bar in the Wiรฑaywayna campsite (usually your last night), though you'd need to stay with your device while it's plugged in.

Map of the Classic Inca Trail in Peru

Map of the classic four-day Inca Trail

Note that you'll need some of the local currency to charge your device as you'll be required to pay a small fee.

We recommend that you bring a backup power source like a powerbank with you if you're anxious to keep your smart device charged throughout the trek.

Inca Trail trekking path with ruins in the wild jungle with fog. Peru

For most of the trek you're too isolated for mobile reception

For more on the topic of what to pack, please read Your complete packing list for trekking to Machu Picchu. We discuss everything in detail, including why solar chargers aren't a good idea for the Inca Trail.

Finally, you might like to download our free guide on trekking to Machu Picchu (please see below).