The Inca Trail to Machu Picchu is the stuff of legends. One of the most famous hiking trails in the world, this is the very same path trodden by the Inca Pilgrims as they made their way to the Sacred Citadel, hidden deep in the Andes.
A trek along the full length of the Inca Trail requires a challenging multi-day camping adventure, but for those looking for something a little less strenuous, or perhaps with less time to spare, this short 2 day tour option is perfect!
Spending the first day on a short section of the Inca Trail, we will visit the incredible site of Chachabamba before climbing to the magnificent ruins of Wiñay Wayna (Forever Young) for the most spectacular views across the Sacred Valley with the majestic Andes stretching far into the distance. Continuing onwards, our trek brings us finally to Intipunku (the Sun Gate) where we will witness together this new Seventh Wonder of the World.
After a comfortable nights rest in a quality hotel in Aguas Calientes, our 2nd day is spent with our guide providing a fascinating 2-3 hour guided tour of Machu Picchu, before returning on the train service through the Sacred Valley and a transfer back to your hotel.
We take care of all tickets, transfers and meals where indicated, and at all times you will be in the hands of one of our expert guides. So why not join us for this short, but unforgettable journey of a lifetime!
Cusco – Chachabamba – Wiñay Wayna – Machu Picchu – Aguas Calientes
We will pick you up from your Cusco hotel early in the morning (about 5 am) and then drive to the train station in Ollantaytambo where we will take the train to Kilometer (Km) 104, which takes about 3 hours. Km 104 is an unscheduled train stop, so you will probably feel a twinge of satisfaction that the train is stopping especially for you – and by knowing you are about to see things that no one else gets to see!
At Km 104 we will get off the train and pass the Inca Trail checkpoint, where we will see our first archaeological center called Chachabamba (2,170 m / 7,170 ft). These ruins were one of the last shelters that the Incas used before they reached Machu Picchu. This site was also used as a religious and administrative center and features several historic buildings.
From there we will gradually ascend for 2-3 hours, climbing Inca stone steps while our guide points out different flora and fauna along the trail. We will then pass a tall waterfall before arriving at the archaeological site called Wiñay Wayna at (2,650 m / 8,700 ft), which is named after an orchid and means “forever young” in Quechua. We will climb to the top of the ruins and enjoy lunch with an incredible view of Wiñay Wayna and the Sacred Valley. This large site sits on a mountainside and features experimental terraces that the Incas used to grow different crops and test which conditions were best. We will visit a sacred temple dedicated to the rainbow with seven windows. With any luck, we’ll see beautiful rainbows through those windows. This temple also features functioning water channels to delight you and cool your fingers.
Once we finish our tour here, we will continue our hike for about 1 ½ hours on a relatively flat section of the Classic Inca Trail with small ascents and descents along the way. At about 5 pm we will reach the Sun Gate (2,720 m / 8,920 ft) which is called Intipunku in Quechua. This is where we will have our first view of Machu Picchu. From there we will head down to the ruins to take the bus down to Aguas Calientes. Upon arrival to Aguas Calientes, you will check in to your hotel. The natural hot springs in town are an unbeatable way to spend a late afternoon/early evening if time is available before dinner. Dinner will be at Indio Feliz.
Aguas Calientes – Machu Picchu – Cusco
You will have breakfast at your hotel and then we will take a very early bus (5:30 am) along the winding road to Machu Picchu to see the sunrise. Once there you will be given a 2 hour walking tour of the site.
If you have elected to climb Huayna Picchu mountain (the price for this is not included in your tour price) you will begin the hike at 10 am. If you are not climbing the mountain you will have free time to explore Machu Picchu before you return to Aguas Calientes by bus.
Upon arrival in Aguas Calientes you will board the expedition train to Ollantaytambo. From Ollantaytambo you will travel by private van to Cusco and we will drop you off at your hotel. Arrival time in Cusco depends on the time of your train ticket.
$520.00 USD per person
$575.00 USD PER PERSON
- Student discount (only Green ISIC card): $25 USD
- Children 7-15: $25 USD discount
- Children under 7: $35 USD discount
Included in Price
- Professional English speaking tour guide for the Short Inca Trail
- Assistant tour guide for groups of 9+
- Pick-up from Plaza Regocijo
- Train to Km. 104
- Return transportation by train and bus to Cusco
- 1 breakfast, 1 boxed lunch, 1 dinner. If you have a dietary request such as vegetarian food please let us know.
- 3-Star hotel
- First aid kit including oxygen tank
- Entrance to the Inca Trail and Machu Picchu
- 2 bus journeys between Machu Picchu and Aguas Calientes
Not Included in Price
- Breakfast on day 1 and lunch and dinner on Day 2
- Entrance to Huayna Picchu Mountain
- Gratuities for Tour Guide.
- Travel Insurance – you are strongly recommended to take out travel insurance for the duration of your Short Inca Trail.
What to Bring
- Original Passport
- ISIC card (if you are a student and want to qualify for the discount)
- Walking boots
- Waterproof jacket/Rain poncho
- Comfortable trousers
- Sun hat
- Sunblock (SPF 35+ recommended)
- Insect repellent
- Toiletries and hand sanitizer
- Personal medication
- Camera and film
- Flashlight with spare batteries