If the Short Inca Trail is fully booked, but you still desire to hike a 2-day trek to Machu Picchu, this trek will surely take your interest. The trek, which lays close to Machu Picchu, takes you first to a lush zone of old plantations of coffee and fruits to later bring you to a thick cloud forest where the splendid mandor waterfall is located. This 12 meter high waterfall is a result of melted water from the nearby sacred yanantin mountain. Later on, another experience awaits us - a hike to Putucusi Mountain. To get there, you follow paths surrounded by orchid and bromelias beds as well as butterfly swarms. This area is also a habitat to mammals such as the spectacled bear and hundreds of bird species, many of them endemic. The trek is challenging as it includes many rocky steps and several vertical wooden ladders, the largest measuring over 30 meters. Finally, we reach Putucusi (a budding zucchini/courgette in Quechua's native language). Putucusi is a 2,560 meter (8,400 ft) high round-shaped mountain situated on the opposite, northeast side from the Urubamba River to Machu Picchu. Its summit offers epic, breathtaking views of Machu Picchu, and surrounding mountain peaks and valleys. The summit sits in the clouds and seems almost surreal.
We visit the long-expected mysterious Machu Picchu where you enjoy a guided tour which explains to you about its history and each unique area and structure. Then you hike Huayna Picchu (or Machu Picchu mountain) which gives you the opportunity to take a different perspective of panoramic pictures of the "Lost City of the Incas".
Day 01: Hike to Mandor Waterfall and to Putucusi mountain
Day 02: Climb to Machu Picchu and Huayna Picchu
Crew: Salkantay Trek Machu representatives in Cusco and a professional Tour Guide for the trek.
Accommodation: Hostel (1 night).
Meals: 1x breakfast, 1x lunch, 1x dinner (Please allow USD 20 - 30 for meals not included).
Transportation: Transportation by private van, 2x train.
We pick you up from the airport/your hotel in Cusco in the morning to take you by our private transport to the railway station at Ollantaytambo (1 hour and 40 minutes far away from Cusco) that is located in the Sacred Valley of the Incas. There, you board a train towards Aguas Calientes, a small town just below Machu Picchu. Your Tour Guide welcomes you at the town´s railway station and takes you to your hostel where you check-in and leave your baggage, Afterwards, you start the today´s hike surrounded by an astonishing landscape! First, you follow the Vilcanota River (the upper Urubamba River that is called with an Aymara name in this part; the name changes to Urubamba within the Convencion Province) walking along a railway with direction to Hidroelectrica (hydroelectric plant).
You can see steep mountain cliffs protruding all around. You leave the railway after an hour walk to turn towards the Mandor Waterfall. On the way, you pass through a fertile country with banana, avocado and coffee plantations, fruit orchards and later a cloud forest where the amazing Mandor Waterfall is situated! There, you can also find a small pool offering you a pleasent refresh! Then you enjoy a box lunch before heading for the next point of interest - Putucusi Mountain. You follow a recently discoverd authentical Inca path leading you through the cloud forest including pristine areas where bromeliads and over 90 kinds of orchids grow! If you are lucky, you can spot a spectacled bear as well as hundreds of bird- and butterfly- species, many of them are endemic!! The trek includes many rocky steps and several vertical wooden ladders (up to 30 metres) so you should be in a very good shape and not to suffer from vertigo to be able to undertake it! In the end, you get to the Putucusi Mountain (2,560 m.a.s.l./8,400 f.a.s.l.), a high round-shaped mountain. There surrounded by clouds, you are given a feeling to appear in a dreamy place with its overwhelming views of Machu Picchu!!
In the end of the day, you return to your hostel when you can have a rest or alternatively, you can visit the hot springs of Aguas Calientes (entrance fee of 10 Soles is not included in the trek).
After an early morning breakfast, we hike for 2 hours up to the mysterious city of Machu Picchu that we enter for the early morning best photos opportunities! Then our Tour Guide shows us around the Incan city and explains us about its history and purposes. After the guided tour, you climb by yourself for about 45 minutes up to Huayna Picchu, a peak above Machu Picchu that serves to take some panoramic pictures of the Incan city. Then, we are given time off to spend and explore Machu Picchu on our own.
In the afternoon, we return by train to Ollantaytambo (alternatively to Poroy), from where we are taken by van back to Cusco.
Machu Picchu is both, the best and the least known site of the Incas as it is not mentioned in any Spanish conquistador´s chronicle so that contemporary archaeologists can not do anything more than just speculate on its functions. Local Quechuan farmers had known about Machu Picchu for centuries before an 11-year-old boy showed the American historian Hiram Bingham (who was in a search of Vilcabamba) this site on the 24th of July 1911. At that time, all the rest of the world became aware of its existence. However, the site was covered with thick vegetation so Hiram Bingham along with his team returned and within the years of 1912 and 1915 cleared its surface. Over the years, plenty of work has been done on excavating and studying the site. Despite these efforts, many unanswered questions remain.
Meal budget: Please allow USD 20-30 for meals not included.
Single room: Please note that if you prefer your own single room, you need to tick a "Single room" option.
Local flights: No local flights are included in the tour´s price!
The Inca Trail to Machu Picchu is included in the “Things to do” of a lot of people, although what most people don’t know is that there are various Inca Trails Trips to Machu Picchu to pick from in the Cusco region. The difference lies in what kind of an experience you want, hiking alternative treks and how challenging you like your treks.
You have to take into account that usually you will need to book in very advanced the Classic Inca Trail, and in case it is fully booked, we recommend other best alternatives:
If very important your take best cover backpacker, because the weather in Inca Trail is change every date, we can’t predict it raining or no. If you don’t have, we recommended to putting your clothes, sleeping bag and other personal equipment inside the plastic bag.
Hiking pants and T-shirts are recommended during the day, complemented by sweaters, fleeces and waterproof jackets. It is very convenient to have light raingear available in the daypack (rain poncho or jacket and/or rain pants) as the weather changes easily and rains can suddenly occur. At night, warm clothing is required, down jackets can be useful, otherwise a fleece and a jacket. During the third day (if sunny) and in Machu Picchu, convertible hiking pants are useful, as can be switched into shorts if necessary. Machupicchu has a warm climate, getting only cold at night. The rest of necessary implements are included in the “What we recommend that you bring” list.