The Short Inca Trail to Machu Picchu is designed for those with limited time but with the aim to explore enigmatic and awe-inspiring Inca sites, and a wide range of biodiversity and not miss out to hike on an original Inca Trail. During the Machu Picchu hike, you will explore the sites of Chachabamba and Wiñaywayna through a guided tour. Chachabamba is located on the left bank of the Urubamba river used as one of the main entrance way to Machu Picchu and Wiñaywayna perched up on the hillside with a name meaning ‘Forever Young’ due to the inca structures still standing over five centuries, located near Machu Picchu and with stunning views down on the Urubamba river,was country estate of the 9th Inca ruler Pachacutec.
Along the way, you will enjoy some scenic views of the Urubamba River and see playful torrent ducks, various wild orchids and bromeliads. In addition, you might spot the colourful Cock-of-the-Rock, the national bird of Peru. Later on, you will hike to Inti Punku (Sun Gate) to admire the sunset above Machu Picchu. Then, you will descend to the town of Aguas Calientes to check into the hotel and rest in your comfortable room or soak in the thermal baths pools (hot springs).
The following day, after an early morning breakfast, your Guide will take you back to Machu Picchu to explore this New Wonder of the World!! After the guided tour, you might enjoy the site on your own or hike up either of the main mountains (Huayna Picchu or Machu Picchu Mountain) and take panoramic photos of the Inca jewel!
Machu Picchu is the least mentioned Inca site in the Spanish chronicles, so contemporary archaeologists can do nothing but speculate about its functions. Local Quechua farmers knew about the Inca site, and in fact, an 11-year-old boy showed the complex to the American historian Hiram Bingham (who was looking for Vilcabamba, the last Inca town) on 24 July 1911. Since then, the rest of the world has learned about its existence. The site was covered in dense vegetation, so Hiram Bingham and his team returned and cleared the site in 1912 and 1915. In the '70s, an extensive reconstruction was carried out. Over the years, a lot of work has been done excavating and studying the site. But many questions still remain unanswered.
|12+, all travellers aged under 18 must be accompanied by an adult.|
Day 01: Cusco - Km 104 (trailhead the 2 day Inca Trail) - Aguas Calientes
Day 02: Aguas Calientes - Machu Picchu - Cusco
The Short Inca Trail is known for the best alternative Machu Picchu hike to the 4 day Inca Trail as it is not as hard but as scenic and interesting for the Inca sites and sceneries. The first hours, you will enjoy an outstanding scenery. You will hike up to Wiñaywayna approx 4 hrs. Upon arrival at the site, you will explore and enjoy the views of the Urubamba river vally. Then you will head to Inti punku (sungate) for 2 hrs approx. Afterwards, you will descend to Machupicchu site itself for closer views and finally bus down to Aguas Calientes. You will hike a total of 8 hrs on the first day. On the Second day, you can walk up or you can cach the tourist bus to the lost city of the Incas. if you decide to walk up to Machu Picchu, dont worry!! you can go at your own pace but you will definitely hit your goal
We recommend doing and exploring this short Inca trail as it is one of the best ways to get to Machupicchu
This walking distance goes from Km 104 (headtrail) to Machu Picchu.
Do you need to book it in advance? This 2 day Machu Picchu hike has departures guaranteed, but Inca Trail permits, train tickets and entrance fees to Huayna Picchu/ Machu Picchu Mountain are subject to availability! For that reason, we HIGHLY advise booking it WELL in ADVANCE to ensure you receive exactly what you want!!
Please Note: May, June and July are the peak months of the High Tourist Season which means that Inca Trail permits SELL OUT MANY MONTHS IN ADVANCE!!
Please fill in your personal details in our booking form of the following link: Booking Short Inca Trail Online to request a reservation.
Please note:It is very important that you will complete all information correctly to obtain your Inca Trail permits and Machu Picchu tickets! Except for this, please do not forget to read and accept our service policies before clicking on the Registration & Payment option. Please call us at (+51) 914939913 in case of any queries or to confirm availability over the phone.
One of our Trip Coordinators will contact you, often within two business hours, to confirm availability of the trip and/or provide you with other options. Once availability is confirmed, we will ask you for a deposit of 50% of the total amount in order to purchase your spot on the trek! The remaining balance can be paid in cash upon your arrival at Cusco.
To pay your deposit, you can choose one of the following methods:
If you want to sleep in a tent, we recommned the 2 Day Inca Trail Camping experience.
We pick you up from your hotel in Cusco to take you to Ollantaytambo railway station within a 2-hour drive. There, you get on the train and continue to Km 104, where the checkpoint of the Inca Trail is located. You pass through the point and start the Inca Trail trekking! After about 2-3 hours, you get to the archaeological site of Chachabamba, where you have lunch and rest. This is followed by a guided tour of the site. Afterwards, you continue through a mixture of cacti vegetation and cloud forest towards another significant Inca place - Wiñay Wayna. But before we get to it, we enjoy a refresh at the local waterfall! Later on, you might admire the sunset over Machu Picchu as we reach the Sun Gate (Inti Punku) before entering the famous Inca citadel. Today, however, it is too late to tour this great Inca city, so we slowly descend to the town of Aguas Calientes and enjoy the beautiful surrounding scenery along the way! We stay in a comfortable hostel in Aguas Calientes, where we have dinner. If there is enough time, we can visit the local thermal baths.
After an early breakfast, we walk to the bus stop of the shuttle bus and take a 20-minute journey up to the mysterious city of Machu Picchu, which we enter in the early morning hours that gives us the advantage of the best photos. Then, our guide takes us through the citadel of the Incas and explains to us its history and purposes. After a guided tour, we have the opportunity to climb either Huayna Picchu (45 minutes up) or Machu Picchu Mountain (1 hour and 15 minutes), peaks above Machu Picchu for taking panoramic pictures of the Inca city. (Any of them must be specified while booking!) After returning, we can still explore and enjoy Machu Picchu on our own.
Later, we use our ticket to take a shuttle bus down to Aguas Calientes. The 2 day Inca Trail ends with a return journey by train to Ollantaytambo (alternatively to Poroy), from where a private van takes us back to Cusco.
Many people include Peru into their “things-to-do” list, the 4 Day Inca Trail to Machu Picchu being the main reason usually.
Although it is a pity that most people do not know that there are many treks in the Cusco region using the original Inca trails to Machu Picchu, they are just not as well known as the Inca Trail. If you like to try one of these so-called Alternative Treks, you can choose depending on your preference, for instance, the difficulty of hiking on such an Inca trail, what activity (e.g. mountain biking, zip-line, river rafting) you want to try, what climate suits you, etc.
If you want to say that you have experienced the famous hike to Machu Picchu, then there is the Classic Inca Trail for you! Usually, however, you must book it well in advance. In case it is fully booked, we suggest you hiking other Alternative Treks such as:
It is very important to take a good backpack cover because the weather on the Inca Trail changes every moment, so it is not possible to predict if it rains or not. In case you do not have a cover, we suggest putting your clothes, sleeping bag, and other personal belongings into a plastic bag.
Hiking pants and T-shirts are recommended during the day, complemented by sweaters, fleeces and waterproof jackets. Moreover, it is convenient to have light raingear available in the daypack (a rain poncho or jacket and/or rain pants) as the weather changes easily. At night, warm clothing is a must. For instance, a down jacket and/or fleece and a jacket. Convertible trekking pants can be useful during the 3rd day when in Machu Picchu, as they can be switched into shorts easily. The Sanctuary of Machu Picchu is situated in a warm climate, a little bit cold can get only at night. For a more complete list see below.