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Short Inca Trail to Machu Picchu 2D/1N

This Short Inca Trail to Machu Picchu, is a very popular hike! It incorporates a significant portion of the Classic Inca Trail but in a shorter time frame! But don’t start thinking this is not a great trek on its own merits! On this hike you will tour an Inca Ruin, Chachabamba, which is not seen on any other trek. You will also see a waterfall that is so gorgeous it can’t be described!

This Short Inca Trail to Machu Picchu, includes lodging at a very nice hotel in Aguas Calientes and dinner at the finest restaurant in Aguas calientes.

  • Overview:

    • Day 1: Cusco – Chachabamba – Wiñay Wayna – Machu Picchu – Aguas Calientes
    • Day 2: Aguas Calientes – Machu Picchu – Cusco

    Starting Altitude – 2,170 m / 7,170 ft

    Highest Altitude – 2,720 m / 8,920 ft

    Walking Distance – 13 km / 8 miles

  • Pre-trek briefing:

    You will have thorough briefing with your guide 1 or 2 days before your Short Inca Trail.

    Your guide will meet you at your hotel and you can take this opportunity to ask questions and make any final preparations.

    DAY 1: Cusco – Chachabamba – Wiñay Wayna – Machu Picchu – Aguas Calientes

    We will pick you up from your Cusco hotel early in the morning (about 4:00am) and then drive to the train station in Ollantaytambo and take the train to Kilometer (Km) 104, which takes about three 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 will get to! 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 buildings. Then, we will gradually ascend for about 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. We will visit an important temple with 7 windows that was dedicated to the rainbow as well as observe the amazing engineering of water channels that still function today.

    Once we finish our tour here, we will continue our hike for about 1 ½ hours on a part of the Inca Trail which is relatively flat, with small ascents and descents along the way. At about 5:00 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 and 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 the finest restaurant.

    • Meals: Box Lunch / Dinner
    • Accommodations: Hotel
    • Maximum altitude: 2,720 m / 8,920 ft
    • Minimum Altitude: 2,040 m / 6,691 ft
    • Distance to walk: 13 km / 8 miles
    • Approximate walking time: 5-6 hours

    DAY 2: 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 Poroy/Ollantaytambo. From Poroy/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.

    • Meals: Breakfast
    • Minimum altitude: 2,040 m/ 6,691 ft
    • Maximum altitude: 2,440 m/ 8,052 ft

  • What is Included?

    • Professional English speaking guide. Additional guide for groups over 8 people
    • Pre trek briefing
    • Transportation from your hotel to Ollantaytambo
    • Train from Ollantaytambo to Km 104
    • Bus ticket from Machu Picchu to Aguas Calientes on day 1. Round trip bus ticket from Aguas Calientes to Machu Picchu on day 2.
    • Expedition train from Aguas Calientes to Ollantaytambo
    • Transport by private van from Ollantaytambo to Cusco
    • Admission Ticket to the Inca trail and Machu Picchu Archaeological site.
    • One night accommodation in a hotel in Aguas Calientes (double occupation)
    • 1 Box lunch, 1 dinner, 1 breakfast
    • Private guided tour of Machu Picchu
    • First-aid kit including emergency oxygen tank

    What is not included?

    • Hiking poles (can be rented from us)
    • Breakfast on day 1 and lunch on day 2
    • Tip for your guide
    • Huayna Picchu mountain ticket – US $75

    We recommend that you bring?

    • Backpack (if not waterproof bring waterproof backpack cover)
    • Original passport
    • ISIC card (if applicable)
    • Sturdy Hiking boots
    • Layers for variable temperatures especially at night
    • Sun protection: sunscreen: sun hat: sunglasses
    • Insect repellent
    • Rain poncho or a good rain jacket
    • Toiletries / small towel
    • Bathing clothes for the hot springs (optional)
    • Water bottle: water purifying tablets optional

  • Group Service

    • US $530 per Person

    Private Service

    • US $580 per Person


    • Under 15 years will pay as student: US $20.00
    • Under 7 years Discount: US $35.00

  • Rentals

    • Hiking poles – US $10.00 (pair)


    • Five star hotel or Belmond Sanctuary Lodge
    • Vistadome (US $35) or Hiram Bingham (US $375) train for trip from Aguas Calientes to Ollantaytambo
    • Tinkuy Buffet Lunch at the Belmond Sanctuary Lodge on Day 2 – US $45
    • Single occupation hotel room

  • 2 Day Short Inca Trail Map

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